Want to start but not sure what to do

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Simon, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Christmas has come and gone and you have promised yourself that you will start training. The only problem is that you are not sure what to do.
    The question most asked is, "what bodyweight exercises can I do?"

    Here we will offer some advice on what you can do to improve your fitness, be that just for your own sense of well being, or in preparation for joining a martial arts class.

    Before any training programme you should make sure you are free of injury and illnesses. It is foolish to train through an injury and an illness can be made worse by over doing things.
    If you do have an illness then get checked over by a doctor. Tell them what you plan to do and make sure they are happy for you to start training.

    Training is only going to benefit you if you eat and sleep well.

    The food you eat is the fuel for the workout, however before it does anything else your body will utilise the food you eat to maintain its core temperature, brain and organ function, skin and nail growth and so on. This is your basic metabolic rate (bmr).
    These functions need to be maintained before you can even hope the food you eat will fuel you through a hard run.

    Here are some useful links to give you more understanding in regard to diet.




    That is the diet taken care of, so next is rest and sleep

    You will not make gains if you don't sleep well. Sleep is where we get our mental and physical recovery.

    Here are two thread on the subject of sleep.




    We are all aware that we are probably not hydrated enough throughout the day.
    How much water do you need though?
    This will vary greatly depending on how active you are throughout the day.
    You can work out your required fluid intake here.


    So now you can start training

    I am going to assume that you have done some training, maybe started a martial arts class, but just want a little bit more fitness, strength and flexibility.

    What can I do, I have no equipment and no training partner outside of class?

    In terms of fitness running and skipping are good starting points. A speed rope is only a few pounds and can be purchased anywhere.


    You don't need to be a whizz with the rope, basic girly jumps are good enough.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI_6eT-0-X4"]How to jump rope (skip rope) - YouTube[/ame]


    Here is a you tube video I quite like that should help.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIIIXLhK8vw"]Learn the Art of Skipping with Dennythetrainer - YouTube[/ame]

    3 x 1 minute rounds will be enough to start with, building up as your skill level progresses.
    To improve fitness and cardio levels add a 30 second sprint in the final round.


    Let us assume that you are new to running. Your aim is to be able to jog slowly for 2-3 miles. A more than realistic target.

    Get a good pair of running shoes. A good shop specialising in running will put you on a treadmill and video your running style, from there they will recommend a shoe that corrects any supinating (turning out) or pronating (internal rotation) of the ankle on landing and taking off.

    Don't use an MP3 player if you run. Many car or truck drivers will not be thinking that a runner will be coming around the corner. You best bet is to be able to hear them coming.

    There is no need at this stage to be running more than 2-4 miles.
    Once you are comfortable at this distance you can add variations.

    This means speed play and the easiest method if running on the road is to work between landmarks. My chosen method and recommendation is to get a mile or so under your belt so you know you are correctly warmed up and ready for sprints. You can now jog between lap posts, sprint between the next set of posts and walk between the next. Continue with this jog, sprint and walk.
    If you are running along tracks or in countryside you could just as easily choose trees or bushes.

    The next stage is interval training.
    There are various interval training methods, but a simple example is to sprint hard for 50 metres (build this up in 10 metre increments to up to 100-200 metres). Walk back to the start point, regain your breath and go again.
    Repeat for a set number of intervals.

    The above two methods can be carried over to cycling, swimming, skipping etc. You may choose to do 30 second sprints as opposed to distances. Build up each interval by 10 seconds as you progress.

    Bodyweight exercises

    We get a lot of beginners saying they do press ups, squats and crunches because they have no equipment, but there is so much more you can do.

    The Members Workout Thread has some great ideas to set you on your way.

    For more ideas.





    The best advice I can give here in terms of creating your own programme is the check out the flexibility forum and in particular these two threads.



    Hopefully this advise goes some way to helping you in your new year fitness drive.
  2. Seventh

    Seventh Super Sexy Sushi Time

    Thanks Simon for the lovely Christmas gift!!
  3. Fu_Bag

    Fu_Bag Valued Member

    Awesome, Simon. Thanks! :cool:
  4. Madao13

    Madao13 Valued Member

    I am exactly in the position you described Simon. I was wishing for a thread like this and now my wish came true! Thank you :cool:
  5. P.G

    P.G Valued Member

    Simon says:

    And we Do IT!

    Great thread!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2011
  6. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Nice post Simon :)

    On a personal level I'd add:
    For running, don't run on the roads if you can help it, run on grass/paths. It's softer on your joints and you'll see wildlife instead of cars. Canal paths, disused railways, parks, riverbanks; there are all sorts of places. Be aware of your personal safety as always though!

    For fartlek you can get hold of downloads of routines to follow.

    Once you have been running for a while you may be ready for a bleep test.
    If you have never heard of this, welcome to hell. :) You cannot win. It will hurt. When you stop you will curse your weakness. Then you'll do it again to try and do better :D.

    A bleep test is a series of shuttle runs on a 20m course run against a "bleep." You must reach the end of each 20m lap before the next bleep. The bleeps get closer together as the test progresses, so you run faster as you get more tired. There are 21 levels covering about 5k in distance but very few have ever completed the test. No. No you wont. Uh uh. :D

    You can download a bleep test app for android phones, I presume there is one for Fisher Price phones too. ;p

  7. OSu Simon,

    The simplest things bear repeating over and over... it is always useful.
    I'd like to add that before you jump into a routine, know what you are training for. :)

  8. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Further to Mitch's advise in regard to the beep test, here are some links.

    App Store - Ipod & Iphone

    This one is a good app, which costs just 69 pence.
    I like this app because it has not just the standard 20 metre test, but the UK police entry test of 15 metres, which I can just about do inside the training hall.


    I also use boxing timers. These are good not just for in the gym, but working out at home.
    You can set the preparation length, round length, warning length (time until end of round) and rest length.
    This is good not just for bag work, but shadow boxing or skipping.

    This particular app is £1.49.


    Ultra trainer is very good as it has sections for sprawl drill, tabata, warm ups, stretching and more. Worth the £1.99.


    Android Apps

    I have just loaded this beep test.Simple and free.


    This one does the 20 metre and 15 metre beep tests and again is free.


    For round timers I have this app. Nice and simple and free.


    This app does HIIT. So tabata, cycling, running and sprinting are covered. The app is free.


    As an instructor I find these timers very helpful. I can keep an eye on my students and not the clock, it is all taken care of.
    In the summer I take the cones out to the park and we can do the beep test.

    When training at home I find the timers help me set a much more structured routine.
    Even if just shadow boxing you can set the timer for say 6 rounds of 2 minutes. Set a warning to go off at 90 seconds and you can add 30 seconds of intensity at the end of each round.
  9. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    There oughta be someway of flagging some of the posts ( like this one ) as 'must-reads'. I almost missed this one.
  10. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    The thread is a sticky, so will appear at the top of the forum list. You can also rate the thread, just above the report thread icon is a rate thread option.
  11. jasonjason

    jasonjason New Member

    Simon, between one minute intervals, how long should beginner skippers rest? How would this rest interval change after we become more fit from skipping?

  12. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    It really does depend on each individual, but in class I would do 30 second rest periods.

    I would be trying to build up to 2 or maybe 3 minutes before each rest period, but I do 2 minutes in class.

    As you get fitter I would increase the skipping intensity, rather than change the rest period, so for example in a 2 minute round you may have three 10 second bursts of real speed, or do 10 seconds of double unders.

    If you are training for competition then you also want to replicate how a round may go, so the bursts of speed then back to normal pace are what you should be looking at.

    Hope that helps a little.

    I really must get round to shooting a skipping video.

  13. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Hope that you do, Simon. Including any tidbits that you have on weighted-handle ropes, pros and cons of cable vs synthetic fibre, adding more advanced jumping (like double-unders) into the routine would make a crackin video.
  14. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I'm no expert, but I will one day get around to it.
  15. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    A truly excellent thread. The only thing I would add for those new to skipping rope is the importance of a good ground surface. I once did it in a dirt lot (wearing my very thin and light skeletoes shoes too) for lack of a better place at the time, and came down on a rock I didn't see. That smarts! :/
  16. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    The importance of clear airspace free of chandeliers, mounting hooks and the like, as well. And for those long-legged, jon jonesey types with the extra long ropes, stay at the front of the mats instead of the rear during the skipping portion of MT class.

    There is but one path outta the place - which is south of the mats and the stragglers finishing boxing late have had enough fibre in their diet already.
  17. ellacooper

    ellacooper Banned Banned

    Taking rest is the opposite of work and is whatever is needed to reboot the body so that we can do more practice with good efficiency.
  18. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Here's a nice video explaining how you can increase your cardio, VO2 Max, explosive power, sprints and long runs.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtWUzD0wZoI"]Running Program for Boxing - YouTube[/ame]

    It's worth subscribing to this you tube channel. His skipping video is very good.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKxnhxI3q6Y"]Beginner Skipping Rope Tutorial for Boxing - YouTube[/ame]

    If you can't skip then take a look at this skipping tutorial thread.
    Arun Kumar Saha likes this.

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