Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Morning Training: Wake up to Sharper Reflexes - by Adam Benshea

Taken from

The romantic image of a prizefighter rising before the sun to complete his roadwork is etched in the mind of most boxing fans. Of course, this morning run builds the crucial endurance that keeps a fighter fresh in later rounds. However, the pugilist’s sunup training has significance outside of increased cardiovascular conditioning.
Physical training in the morning can increase your metabolism rate, and wake up your central nervous system. Waking up your nervous system in the AM means that you will have sharper reflexes when sparring and rolling in the PM.
Yet, the dreaded dawn distance run is not the only way to get the nervous system going. The early 20th century wrestling champion, the Great Gama of the Punjab, would rise well before dawn to perform 3,000 one and two leg squats and 2,000 one and two arm push-ups.
Here are some workout ideas to be implemented first thing in the morning. Remember, starting your day with a workout will make you sharper on the mat, in the cage, around the office, or wherever life’s battles occur.
100 (+) Push-ups
This is a push-up workout based on changing body placement at each set to keep your body and mind guessing. By consistently changing your push-ups, you will progress out of the morning fog and into, what the Samurai call, ‘mindfulness.’
Start with 10 repetitions of each push-up variation, and then increase the repetitions as your strength progresses.
  • Wide grip (extend the hand placement slightly beyond shorter width)
  • Diamond (touch the thumb and forefinger of each hand to form a diamond shape)
  • Knuckles (on your knuckles, just like Cobra-Kai in the Karate Kid!)
  • Finger tips (only the tips of your ten digits touch the ground)
  • Normal Push (you know this!)
  • Finger pointing outward (the fingers on each hand are placed horizontally away from the other)
  • Finger pointing inward (the fingers on each hand are placed horizontally toward the other)
  • Decline (place your hands on the floor and your feet are elevated on a chair or bed)
  • Clap (in the midst of each repetition clap your hands together)
  • Close grip (bring the hands close together with your elbows tight against your torso)
Boxing with Shadows
Shadow boxing is a great way to work your striking techniques, timing and physical condition. In this variation, throw your combos as you normally would, but after every tenth punch, hit a sprawl.
The addition of the sprawl will provide a more complete total body workout than normal shadow boxing and it produces a drill that is more applicable to the nature of an MMA fight. This is because an MMA fighter will consistently have to fluctuate between throwing strikes and defending takedown attempts.
In addition, working your striking combos inside of a specific drill will wake your mind and body out of their nocturnal slumber.

About the author:

Adam benShea is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Ricardo “Frajinha” Miller (Paragon Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu). Adam has won the World, Pan American, and California State Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and holds an MA from Indiana University. Adam is currently training at the Alliance HQ in Atlanta with Franjinha's instructor Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti. Adam's is working at Emory University completing his PHD.
Check out his website for more workout ideas: Adam's Website. Adam is the Grappling/MMA Advisor.

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