Weight Training, Not Just For Bodybuilders Anymore

It is widely accepted that weight training complements and improves good technique. Many grapplers and martial artists lift weights to make them stronger, faster, and more explosive.

Being stronger, faster, and more explosive is a good thing, but the best reason to pump iron is to increase resistance to injury. So much training time is lost to injury that anything you can do to cut down on injury time will have a dramatic effect on your skill level.

Lifting weights strengthens the muscles, bones and connective tissue. This makes your joints much more injury resistant.

Some people worry about lifting weights because they don’t want to get bigger and ‘muscle-bound’. Don’t worry about this. Really.

For 99% of people getting significantly bigger requires a remarkable amount of work. From 1998 to 2000 I went through a phase of trying to ‘bulk up’, and eventually put on about 20 extra pounds of muscle. It was a lot of work: 4 or 5 days a week of weightlifting and eating a tremendous amount of food every day.

Rest assured that lifting weights once or twice a week isn’t going to turn you into a bodybuilder from the pages of Muscle and Fitness anytime soon. I still weight train now, but my approach and my goals are different. I pump iron one or two times a week to maintain strength and prevent injuries that would prevent me from training.

It’s interesting that people are more willing to do physiotherapy AFTER an injury than preventive strengthening BEFORE an injury. Isn’t it best to avoid the injury in the first place, not to mention all the other benefits of weight training?

Read my article on basic weight training for martial arts and grappling

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