Weight Training for Goju Ryu

It was really fun training with my mate Cameron from work; he is a bodybuilder and strongman and really knows how to train his body depending on his mood for that time. I decided to test out earlier that week and was surprised to see that despite focusing on bodyweight training for two years my weight lifting strength hasn’t changed that much (obviously weaker because I haven’t trained my nervous system like that in years).

Explosiveness and tempo for martial arts

As I told him I wanted to train for my martial arts, rather than two separate hobbies where my body tries to do two different things and get injured often as a result. He completely agreed recommended speed training for explosiveness and he also noticed that my temp was different to his almost double his speed. Cameron is focused on squeezing the muscles feeling a pump, where my natural mindset it to blast through that exercise which he said was great for the power that I need in martial arts. I wasn’t doing speed for the sake of it, largely my form was clean, I have to get lower on my dips etc.


I learnt why I never put on sheer mass, except for bodyweight exercises I had never done that many sets for one or two muscle groups, I was surprised to see myself keep going at these points, it shows how remarkable the body really is. Today I am surprised how loose my body is showing that lifting weights the correct way stretches your body.


Cameron was surprised that for a naturally strong man some exercises I was really weak and he was looking at my muscles in shock, and he started to analyse why that was. On the bench my right side is far stronger which means it takes up more of the load on the bar thereby looking weaker. Cameron couldn’t understand at the time because sometimes my left would kick in. He worked on my form on some key exercises and told me to lower the weight to where the problems starts and build up slowly from there, he reckons three months they will go away.

I noticed on one exercise and he noticed on another that on my left side I turn my body into the exercise meaning I am using more of my body and joints into the exercise. This is probably how I use to injure myself in weight training, that my right side would take the load and that I damage my joints by not letting the muscles bear that weight.

This is the first time I really weight trained with someone and it is really eye opening on what I have been doing wrong.

Then I was tempted to do Single Arm Rows (SAR) my former speciality I really wanted to see if I could use a 50 kg dumbbell again, and so with Cameron watching I blasted through my right side and struggled with my left side. He noticed I didn’t go so deep on my left and that my body would twist to make it easier. I was ecstatic that I could lift that heavy a weight, and relieved that I knew where I was going wrong, I need to fix my left side for martial arts. He said I had a really strong chest, strong lats but need to work on my traps.

Next time we will work on squats and deadlifts which when I perform the correctly will be so beneficial to karate, especially if I keep that explosiveness mentality I’m not a bodybuilder I am a martial artist.

Comparing bench-press to Sanchin

Not an exercise that I really used as I use to train on my own, but the way to drive force and power in the bench (and probably for squat and deadlift) reminds me of Sanchin/Sanzhan) is to breath into your abdominal muscles (or dante/tanden) squeezing the lats and feel like you’re bending the bar. Doing it correctly felt very much like doing a hard version of Sanchin.

Keep Training, Never Give Up, OSU.


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