“Cardio For the Martial Arts,” by Stephan Kesting

“Cardiovascular training can be a confusing topic and there are many different and divergent views on the subject. Different reputable sources inform us that you don’t need to do cardio – just spar really long rounds (for grappling), or that you should spar twice as many rounds as you are going to fight (boxing), or that you should do sprints, or do long runs, or lift weights for muscular endurance, etc. With so many ‘experts’, it is no wonder that the answer isn’t cut and dried.

I have my own beliefs and they seem to work fairly well for me. I noticed a couple of years ago that my techniques worked best and my sparring was sharpest not when I was stronger but rather when my ‘cardio’ was at its peak. Because I wasn’t getting winded in sparring, I was able to think and make coherent plans throughout the match. At the time I was running 3 or 4 times a week, for 20 to 50 minutes at a time, in preparation for the fire department entrance test.”

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