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Hocus Focus: Martial Arts Training Involution #188

Here’s a guy who knew how to hit full power.  Still one of the best boxing books ever written. 

Do you ever just walk up to a heavy bag and start aimlessly pummeling away?  Is your goal to “get sweaty” or “do some cardio?”

That’s not training.  That’s “working out.”

Working out is like ambling around the great outdoors taking pictures — it’s fun and beneficial in a million ways, but it’s not training.  Training is like climbing Mount Rokkō (which I’ve done by the way).  You have to prepare, plan, and execute.

If you’ve just been working out, the improvements in skill and fitness you’ll see when you switch to training with focus will seem like magic — hence the name of this week’s T.I.

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Need some ideas on how to make the switch from working out to training?  Check out my SAFE MP program.  It even comes with some nifty dice to help you put some unpredictability into your training program.  Check it out here.


This week we’re training for power.  Come on, let’s go!

Hocus Focus: Martial Arts Training Involution #188

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes.  I like to do 2 minutes each of jump rope, light calisthenics, shadowboxing, and dynamic stretching — or I just do 8 minutes of MBF.
  • 4 minutes of Thrusters.¹  If there was ever a way to train for power, this is it!  To warm up, do 2 x 10 low-intensity Thrusters at about 50% of your single rep max weight.  Then set a timer for 8 Tabata rounds (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest).  Do as many Thrusters as you can for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.  While resting, stand tall with your weight in the racked position — at shoulder level and ready to go.  This sounds like nothing, but trust me, it is killer.  Note: Cut your estimated weight for this by about a third.  If you think you can do it two #25 dumbbells, go with #15 and thank me later.  And while you’re at it, thank the immortal Dan John for this little slice of hell.
  • 8 minutes on the heavy bag for power.  Set your timer for 16 Tabata rounds (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest) and then go all in — punches, crams, braces, palms, kicks, knees, etc.  Take 3 mins to cool down.  You’ll need it.
  • 10 minutes of meditation or contemplation.  After you cool down — for about 3 minutes or until your heart rate is below 100 bpm —  have a seat and do 10 minutes of internal work.

¹ What’s a Thruster?  It’s a Squat and a Military Press at the same time.  You can do these with a barbell, two dumbbells or kettle bells, a sandbag, etc.

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?