Cardio...had a little bit of a surprise – The Self Defense Company

Cardio…had a little bit of a surprise

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    • #187202

      A few years ago, my cardio consisted of some mid-distance jogging. A few times a week on off, life days I’d walk a mile and run 4. I thought I had appropriate cardio…then I got a call…

      Literally, one day WHILE JOGGING, my kids call in a PANIC saying some crazy woman was chasing them in her car. My daughter (18) was driving and my son (15) was with her. They were local and I told them to DRIVE TO THE POLICE STATION and I would meet them there….and I ran.

      Whoops. With the adrenaline dump – my wind quickly went to ZERO. The PD was literally 1/4 mile away and I should be able to SPRINT that…but truth be told, I got winded…about 1/3 of the way there.

      Needless to say – kids got the PD and the threat bailed. But I was concerned. I need to go from 0-100, not just in defensive tactics…but all aspects, running, swimming…etc.

      So now I train in TABATA for running as well. 1 min run with 30 sec rest. Just to climb up and come down. So far, so good, but it hasn’t been tested…yet.

    • #187205

      That’s a really profound experience. This highlights a common issue with how people train their physicality. There is often a massive difference between how we train and how we expect our bodies to perform.

      In the combat arms section of the military there is a constant debate on how to exercise. For example, in combat you often dash from cover to cover while maintaining a constant state of “work” (kneeling, standing, lifting a 10lb+ weapon hundreds of times, throwing, etc), all while under immense stress. This equates to prolonged levels of moderate “work”, with many spurts of intense “work”. Yet, exercise is planned and conducted generally by people who have zero training in exercise theory trying to pass tests that don’t mimic the physical requirements (the new acft is an attempt at a better job). What you end up with is people doing “what has always been done” or “what they were taught (by people who didn’t know)”, which is almost always long distance running and arbitrary calisthenics. Which from your short experience you know just doesn’t quite add up.

      I like that you switched to intervals. I don’t think it would technically qualify as TABATA (that’s not really important), but doing general versions of HIIT even where your cardio is concerned helps you reach those spurts of high intensity while maintaining prolonged levels of moderate work.

      When I performed my best at the infantry mission I would run no longer than a half mile sustained (pushing that half mile as hard as possible), and usually did significantly more spurts (light pole sprints or death by 10 meters are great) for a distance of a few miles. Or, I would do 20min on the bike with longer intervals (4min moderate to 1min intense) then jump in the pool for 20min of varied swim intervals. Aside from a half mile “hard” running warm up to the gym, I would do a “running workout” once every 10ish days. Normally I did HIIT weightlifting combined with the bike and/or the swim daily (depending on time). When my routine was really good it boiled down to 20-30min HIIT lifting, 15-20min interval bike, 15-20min swim sprints/intervals; for an hour workout (plus transition time etc).

      With that routine I never got smoked in field training, my body felt like a million bucks, and I was strong as an ox. The interesting bit is that my PT score never really changed, but my general performance results were insanely better.

    • #187206

      Right. With combat sports we always trained in intervals in both running and lifting. Module 7 is about the short burst, quick recovery.

      Funny that running (in only to potentially escape) really never happened until that point. Even responding to to threats never required extended running towards. In fact, running was discouraged.

      To your very excellent point – all aspects of fitness for self defense must mimic that BURST – RECOVERY HIIT interval.

      When lifting I even go as far as to achieve full recovery between sets (occasionally I’ll super set or drop set because I like the pump) but for core, working sets…I wait until my heart rate is back to rest before the next explosive set.

    • #187209

      There are a lot of great interval versions, even for weightlifting. It would be cool if people posted some of their favorites. If you haven’t done it yet, talking fitness on KoBK would be a really great show. I know George has BFRT, and I’ve been looking into that more as well. A TON of benefits.

    • #187270

      Yes I have been enjoying the benefits of BFRT but the intervals is absolutely the way to go. I use it with my boxing/striking training. I use to do tghe running thing but I just couldn’t get into it. So for me lifting, yoga and striking the heavy bag has become my go to.

    • #187274

      Hey George can you expand on the BFRT – I don’t think many people know what that is or what it does.

    • #187275

      Yup. This is a training technique that combines low intensity exercise with blood flow occlusion. It produces similar results to high intensity training. Here is an article that explains it more in depth or anyone interested. I received my certification in BFRT so always willing to help out.

    • #187280

      Just hit an SDC style striking HIIT session. 30 secs on 15 secs rest. 20 rounds working through some core strikes. Palms, hammers, slaps, knees and elbows. Next time I will add some rounds of pushups and burpees.

      • #187284

        That’s awesome George! Kinda like a way more effective version of “cardio kickboxing” 😎.

    • #187283


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