In KMG we talk about 4 “legs” that we need to improve all the time, Technical, Tactical, Mental and Physical. If one of them is lacking the whole platform on top of them will fall to one side. I will talk about adding to Krav Maga and physical training.
Physical qualities are without a doubt an extremely important part of your Krav Maga. Lets think about it, if you can perform a deep squat with a heavy weight without compensations and help, your body has a bigger engine that will be more efficient in generating force, which means that you can punch harder, kick harder, and move faster. In short, you will be a better practitioner of Krav Maga. Are you training Krav Maga two times a week, three times a week, five times a week? Do you have time to add another activity to your schedule? Do you really need to, and if so what should you focus on and how much of it should you do?
First of all, Krav Maga is your main activity. That means that all your other activities, all your other training should help you become better at Krav Maga. If you break yourself in the gym, your Krav Maga will suffer because of sore muscles, lack of energy and so on. In addition, I guess we can agree on that that is counter productive for your main goal: To improve your Krav Maga skills.
Make sure that you focus on quality of movement and that you don’t overtax your CNS (Central Nervous System) by going all out in the gym every session. You do not need to get tired to get stronger.
ACTIVITY THAT SUITS YOU
Make sure to choose the right activity for you; ask yourself (and your trainer) what you need. Do you need strength, mobility, speed, flexibility, endurance…? There are many different qualities to choose from; we are all different with varying “left overs” from earlier training or injuries. Find what you need now, at this moment and go with that.
Choose a few exercises to focus on, exercises that are “high pay-off” exercises. Exercises that help you improve what you need to improve. Focus on exercises that connect your body as much as possible – because in Krav Maga you need coordination and a body that works efficiently as one unit. Focus on exercises that follow natural movement patterns as squat, bend, lunge, pull, push and carry.
Your body is a highly integrated organism and when you improve one quality you will most of the time improve in other qualities too. What I mean with this is that if you focus on strict push-ups (where you can hold a tight plank with abs, glutes and legs in tension) for a few weeks and then you change to pull-ups. There is a big chance that your pull-ups has improved too, without working them at all, and vice versa. This is because you trained on getting stronger and improving your full body tension which will “spill over” to other exercises.
Staying too long at the same exercise routine can be counter productive. Use the same regimen of exercises for 4-6 weeks and then change to some other exercises. Planning your training this way will allow your body and brain to adapt to the exercises that you are currently doing but not stagnate, you will change to a new routine before that happens.
This will help you work on different qualities and it will also help you to improve your GPP (General Physical Preparedness) which is what you as a Krav Maga practitioner need, a general wide base of physical preparedness so that you will be able to fight for a few minutes if you need to (sometimes after sprinting).
Another thing that determines your physical routine is what you have at hand, do you own Kettlebells, do you go to a gym that has barbells and kettlebells, do you have time to go to the gym, do you need to go to the gym? If you don’t have the possibility to go to the gym, you will do fine with bodyweight training and kettlebells.
BODY WEIGHT TRAINING
Make sure that you treat your bodyweight training with the same detail that you use in technical Krav Maga training. You start at the weight you are comfortable at and progress when you are ready for it, make sure that you do not cheat the exercises, treat them like practicing a technique in Krav Maga and make sure that you are at the correct level. You will get stronger over time and trying to rush it might bring you injuries.
Here is a an example of a push up progression, from not being able to do one push up to being able to do One arm-One leg push up with the feet elevated. You will feel a difference after a few weeks. Progress to the next level when you can do 10 strict repetitions (two hand versions), 5 strict repetitions (one hand versions) on the level you are at. The plank is a different thing, progress when you feel strong enough to attempt the push up without loosing tension in the plank.
Push up progression:
Push up plank position (elevated if needed)
Push up – hands elevated
Push up – feet elevated
One arm push up – hand elevated
One arm push up
One arm push up – feet elevated
One arm, one leg push up – hand elevated
One arm, one leg push up
One arm, one leg push up – feet elevated
This is just an example on how you can treat a bodyweight exercise the same way that you treat the barbell while doing bench press, dead lifts or squats, you start at a weight that you can lift with good form and add weight as you get stronger.