How a weighted vest can improve our martial skills?
After the first phase of preparation (the awakening one, read The basics of 6 Dragons Kung Fu[/ restrict]), in 6 Dragons Kung Fu it is important to gradually start to increase the intensity of our training (read Intensity of training: depends on what?).
A good way to force our body to give a higher performance (read Achieve maximum performance) than the usual is to wear a weighted vest.
Before entering the topic, it is important to stress that:
- Contrary to what is believed, to (intelligently) work with weights do not limit our speed
- Kids should not use a weighted vest (they can use weights but never as a constant pressure on their bones)
We can use the weighted vest for various purposes:
- Work on muscles strength and stamina
- Work on speed, balance and power
- Work on motivation and discipline
- Work with a handicap
Use weights to strengthen our body
This is the simplest, most direct and common way to use this workout tool:
- We can perform a part of our training session (or entire) wearing the vest, this way we get an increase in muscle work and we improve our resistance
- Hoverever, it is fundamental to underline that, unless it is a negligible weight increase (less than 5Kg for example), it is completely wrong to perform all the weekly training sessions wearing the weights
- All the exercises we do must be done in a variegated way to obtain the best result in terms of muscular memory (read Same exercises, different execution); apart from this, the continuous use of overly oppressive weights condition us to move slowly (read Speed and quickness)
Use weights to gain speed, balance and power
This is a very effective trick to deceive our body forcing it to employ a kind of speed and power that it normally avoids:
- In the first half of an appropriate exercise (running, jumping, kicking, punching, dodging, hitting a moving target, etc.) we use the weighted vest
- In the second half, we get rid of the ballast (in this way not only will we have more power but also greater control over balance)
- In the second part of the exercise, we will have an immediate feeling of incredible power and our body can train itself with its real speed (read Find the maximum speed that we can express)
- We become able to jump higher, bend faster, move faster
Work on motivation and self-discipline
Training with a weighted vest can have a double effect in psychological terms:
- When we are tired and unmotivated, its weight makes our training more complex but when we remove it we will enjoy a strength that we did not have before
- When we are in good physical shape, the very fact of being able to train with a further load, automatically increases our self-esteem
- The fact of wearing weights that make us work hard (“regardless” of what we do) affects our mind to maintain a high and constant quality of our workout
Work with the handicaps
In our training method, the use of handicaps aimed at increasing the effectiveness of our preparation is constant (read Same exercises, different execution):
- The fact of wearing a weighted vest allows us to continue to perform important exercises that, however, beyond a certain level, would result dispersive and / or not enough intense
- With weights, we can perform exercises in pairs that, with too little prepared partners, would be too easy and therefore not very useful (read 5 effective ways to find a training partner)
A note by Master Kongling – I have tested all these benefits (both with my students, both first person).
In the next article of this series, we will see what is the best type of weighted vest to buy.
- The “T” weight: an exercise to master weapons – How to get our body used to manage the weight of heavy weapons
- How to do sparring – To increase our fighting skills it is possible to wear a weighted vest during sparring (or a part of it)
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- Have you ever tried to train with weights on your body?
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.