Should You Still Exercise While Training in Martial Arts?
Whether you’re training to become a master martial artist or simply enjoy the way a
martial arts practice enriches your life, the additional workouts you do while practicing martial
arts are important. You might be wondering if you should add another exercise routine or sport to
your schedule. Will jogging help you reach your martial arts goals or not? How many rest days
do you need when practicing martial arts?
With a few key martial arts tips, you’ll have the knowledge you need to create a powerful
exercise regime to complement your martial arts practice.
Almost every factor when it comes to exercise in addition to martial arts practice will hinge on
how often you show up to the dojo. If you only go to martial arts class once a week, you can and
probably should exercise outside your martial arts training.
However, if you practice martial arts a minimum of three times a week, it becomes less easy to
fit in other sports or exercise. If you attend martial arts class more than three times a week, or
practice martial arts outside of class times, then unless you’re in peak physical shape, you might
do more harm than good by adding more exercise.
The length of your martial arts class is another element to consider when deciding how much
exercise to include in your routine. Some schools have 30-minute or 45-minute training sessions,
while there are other schools where training sessions last two hours or more per class. If your
classes are less than an hour, it’s easier to include other exercises in your schedule.
As with all exercise classes, some martial arts classes are more intense than others. If your class
schedule includes a lot of sparring, then you may not be able to lift weights the next day. If your
class contains lots of physical conditioning exercise or aerobic training, then you may overdo it
by adding extra cardio outside of the dojo.
As we get older, we need more time to recover from moderate or hard exercise. Consider your
age when deciding if you should add other exercise routines. If you aren’t young, you could
consider less strenuous exercise like walking or yoga to supplement your martial arts practice.
However, age doesn’t always perfectly correlate with tolerance for exercise. It’s important to be
mindful of your unique limits when deciding whether to push yourself and how often.
There is a huge sleep deficit in many parts of the developed world. The body and the mind need
adequate sleep to recover from physical stress. If you’re too rushed to get adequate sleep in your
life, you may want to limit your physical exercise to martial arts class.
Sleep is a crucial part of the recovery process your body undertakes to stay healthy; if you aren’t
able to get the sleep you need, don’t overdo it when it comes to tasks your body will need to
recover from, like a strenuous workout.
Some people still actually work at jobs that demand physical exertion, as opposed to sitting at a
desk writing articles about martial arts—if you can believe that! In the case that your job is the
kind that can be physically demanding, you almost definitely don’t need to add exercise in
addition to your martial arts training.
Exercise Options to Add to Martial Arts Training
You can see there are lots of factors that you have to consider when deciding if you should train
more outside the martial arts studio. Since that’s true, there is no easy answer. Instead, use the
knowledge we’ve provided and consider your exercise options in that context.
Yoga and Walking
Yoga can be intense, but it can also be a gentle activity to stretch and help you recover. Walking
is one of the most overlooked, free, and easy forms of physical fitness in existence. These gentle
exercises are perfect for those who train intensely and need to recover, for older martial artists, or
for those with injuries.
There are too many ways to jog or run to list here. The simple rule to follow would be to ask
yourself if you feel burned out or too tired to add aerobic exercise on top of your martial arts
exercise. Cardio can be an easier form of activity for your body to recover from than
weightlifting. In moderation, you can perform it more than strength training and recover faster
since it doesn’t involve the breakdown of muscle as much as weight training.
For most people, you need to be in very good physical condition to add weightlifting with
martial arts. Again, it depends on all the factors we noted earlier, but it’s not easy to make room
for the recovery time you need when it comes to weightlifting.
If you plan to lift weights and practice martial arts, you’ll need to have your sleep, diet, and
stress management skills ironclad. For younger martial artists and athletes, it’s possible, but
Listen to Your Body
For most people training in a martial arts class for 45 minutes to an hour, three times a week is
generally plenty of exercise. However, consider all of the above when deciding for yourself.
Are You Ready for Your Martial Arts Transformation?
If you want to begin your martial arts practice or take your practice to the next level, Premier
Martial Arts welcomes you to join us. With studios across the country, martial arts students of all
levels enjoy the expertise our instructors offer students. Find a location near you and get your
martial arts practice going strong.