This is a guest Blog post written by Paul Mosher.
These 3 intense workouts will get you fit for Judo, no matter what age ytou are. They include kettlebells, a tire, a mace and a weighted vest.
But forst who am i?
I am a Jiu Jitsu students as well as a Vietnam Veteran and former Police Officer. I’ve been halfway around the world and back, been places and done things (some actually useful) that many have not. I’m 66 years old and a heart attack/triple by-pass survivor. Long story short, I know a bit about Self Defense, Martial Arts, getting in good physical condition and living.
The Exercise regimen I use is what will be presented. It’s what I do weekly. It uses unusual (non-contemporary) equipment and techniques. IF you want to try it, you’ll have to acquire your own equipment, unless your gym has this stuff already.
LARGE tires, the kind you find on tractors or small/medium sized Back-Hoes etc. You’ll be flipping these and using at least one for Tire Slams with a Steel Mace (or Sledge Hammer). The tire or tires you acquire should be at least 2/3 of your own weight in pounds. For instance if you weigh 200 pounds, you’ll need a tire (2 is better, giving you a wider range to work up from) weighing in the range of 130 to 160+ pounds. AND depending upon your current physical condition and strength level you’ll probably also want to acquire one in the 300+ pound range (or a set of 4 ratcheting tie-down straps to fasten your 2 tires together). HINT: Many tire shops (at least here in the USA) will actually give you old tires of this sort for free OR a vastly small sum of cash etc.
Good Work Gloves:
Make sure they fit snuggly and are well made. These are quite handy (get it?) in protecting your hands and keeping them clean. Unless you like the dirt, scrapes, abrasions and other wounds associated with manhandling big, heavy tires. Up to you.
A Steel Mace:
OR a Sledge Hammer in the 10 pound range. Or heavier depending again on your current perceived or actual strength level. Here in the USA an outfit called Onnit makes a very nice one with a decent range of weight from 7 to 10, 15, 20 and 25 pounds. In Australia there are these are good starting points:
NOTE: you shouldn’t need gloves for this tool/exercise. Unless you’ve just had your nails done and don’t want to ruin the gloss.
Use whatever weights you’re comfortable with to start. You’ll end doing exponentially greater weight and more reps as you progress. So have several.
A Place to Do it:
I’ve been blessed with an almost perfect location right outside my garage door. The driveway slopes up at about 7-8º about 12.5 yards to the street (the far curb of which is almost exactly 25 yards from the garage door) which is gently sloped uphill (then down at the halfway point) at about 4-5º.
From my garage door to the sudden end of the street is 1/10th of a mile (I cover a little bit more than that as I cross the street a couple of times for a distance of 200 or so yards).
Note that this distance is doubled as I naturally have to bring the tire back the way I came with it. So just over 1/5th of a mile. The fresh air is invigorating and as we’re at almost a mile of altitude above sea level the benefit thereof to stamina and breathing under pressure speaks for itself. Find something like it and you’ll do wonders for yourself both physically and mentally.
Otherwise…well…do the best you can. I STRONGLY recommend exercising outdoors. It’s just better for you mentally, physically and emotionally. Sunshine, air, sights and sounds and a good workout all in one…what could be better?
Do whatever warm up you find efficient. Get the blood flowing.
(Start at the Neck and work your way downward. Here ie s good warm up if you like this sort of thing:
Tire Slams: Assume a slightly staggered stance (one foot ahead of the other) with the Mace (or Sledge Hammer) gripped firmly in both hands. Slightly rotate your upper body slightly toward whichever side you’re starting from; in one smooth motion lift/turn/strike the tire (or your most hated relative) with as much force as you can muster. The mace will rebound, you’ll catch it and repeat the process. I do 200 (100 per side) per workout day. I suggest you start a bit lower than that and work your way up and break up the sets as you see fit.
HERE are some examples of what and how you can do these:
TIRE FLIPPING: Technique, Form, Control, Safety. Tire flipping can be fun and productive. It can also be DANGEROUS. As Judoka you know the importance of these cornerstones of training. OBSERVE THEM.
Technique: You’re going to go low on the tire and establish a good grip, palms up. You’ll be in a deep squat, back straight, hands on available tread OR under the tire. When you begin the lift, you’ll lean into the tire. Once it begins to move you’re in business. And always wear your gloves.
Form: Head up, back straight, CORE TIGHT, legs evenly spaced and ready to drive forward. Explode up and forward (leaning into it) using your legs and core (NOT YOUR BACK)
Execution: You’ll hit a “sticking point” when the tire starts to come upright; when this occurs quickly switch your grip from underneath to both hands in front of you while pushing the tire forward. At the same time jump/switch your stance from legs apart/squat to a lunge position and continue the movement FORWARD.
Use your legs and core to finish the movement by pushing the tire over onto the ground. Repeat. Several times. Do it for distance and take your time. THIS will build Technique, Form, Strength and Stamina. Once you’ve achieved your initial Distance goal, switch it up and start doing it for Short-burst, High Intensity (ie go 45 seconds for as many flips as possible in that time, Rest 45 seconds, ad infinitum.
I am currently using both of my tires fastened together with ratcheting straps; total weight is 295 pounds. I’m up to 35 yards on level ground, aiming for 50 while wearing a 20 pound weight vest. Once I hit 50 yards, the vest comes off and I start flipping Uphill as described earlier.
Control and SAFTEY: Just so’s ya know, I do NOT and will never recommend flipping 2 tires strapped together uphill OR downhill. I’m flipping mine on level ground.
Here’s why: Experience with these tires has shown me that it’s quite a workout to flip either of them over distance up or downhill. It is of course easier to flip them going downhill, gravity being there to give you a helping hand. BUT, if your push when the tire comes upright is slightly off (left side gets a bit more muscle than the right, for instance), the tire has a tendency to bounce slightly and can even ‘wobble’ (like a coin on a countertop).
SO.. if for instance you stumble, sneeze, don’t pay attention when you make that ‘off” push and it’s a STRONG ONE, the tire can and will indeed bounce and ‘wobble’ and can begin to move all on its own. DOWNHILL. Fill in the blank…..
I have observed over the past couple of weeks that when I flip my strapped up tires on level ground, regardless of how much or how little force I apply to pushing them over, the ‘bounce’ phenomena is magnified. This comes from the fact that instead of 1 tire all by itself, there are 2 tires, fastened together on top of each other. The ‘bounce’ is magnified. Greatly.
On my last workout (Friday the 18th) I gave them a really big shove and was elated to see all 295 pounds of industrial rubber tire bounce approximately 6 to 8 inches into the air before wobbling and coming to rest. All because they’re artificially fastened together. I can and have stopped a 160 pound tire from destroying all in its path. I will not even TRY to stop these babies at 295. Upshot is, I’ll have to get one last big (300-350 pound range) tire if I want to tour my local hill. And then I’m going to be REALLY REALLY CAREFUL. 1 tire of 300 or so pounds will bounce less than 2 tires together.
USE CAUTION and STAY SAFE.
KETTLE BELLS: I’m going to make the leap that you know about and most likely use Kettle Bells. Stick with what you know and do. What follows is what I do each week.
KB Swings: 10 sets of 20 (each side)
KB Cleans: 10 sets of 20 (each side)
KB Curls: 6 sets of 8
KB Deadlift: 6 sets of 8
KB Alternate Press: 4 sets of 10
KB bent Lat rows: 4 sets of 10
AND FINALLY: THE STOLL ABOUT TOWN
I walk briskly, often with the weight vest, at least 1 mile per day, rain/snow/shine. Then I get on the stationary bike and cover 5-8 miles while watching MMA or other mind rotting TV.
That, folks is what I do 3 days per week without fail. I intersperse calisthenics and aerobic exercise along with Yoga on the ‘off’ days.
There are a plethora of exercises and techniques you can do with the Steel Mace/Sledge Hammer, many of them highly beneficial to Judoka, Jiu Jitiero’s and regular folks practicing some form of self-defense.
I am not and will never be a ‘competitor’; my interest doesn’t lie in that direction. I aim to recover fully and get as good as I can at Gracie Jiu Jitsu and other Combative arts such as Judo, Kickboxing, etc. I intend to at least try to live another 25-30 years, achieve as high a skill level as possible and continue living and enjoying life.
You as competitors have the skill, form, technique, and control to excel at what you do. YOUR edge comes in your physical conditioning and your dedication to it and your Art. Much of what I’ve given you is anecdotal but I also think you’ll find it useful for what and how you perform.
Innovate; Get one of those tires upright and begin rolling it side to side, change its balance, change its orientation and react to its momentum and weight using what you know already how to do. Look up some more Mace exercises and see what’s applicable to gripping, turning, moving, building assistance strength for what you already know how to do.
You have the desire, the talent, the motivation to do what you do; it’s your passion. Use every tool at your disposal and never stop moving, learning, adapting, living. ANYTHING in this life worth having is worth working for; those who work achieve. Those who don’t……don’t.
There are two old Viking sayings that might apply here:
The coward believes that he will live forever if he holds back in battle; yet in old age he shall know no peace though spears have spared his limbs.
Trample the Weak. Hurdle the Dead.