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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 03-11-2004, 10:04 AM   #1
Gary Mills
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Just wondered if the heavy bag features in crossfit workouts at all or if anyone incorporates it into their workout. It's one of my favourite forms of training so I'm looking for ideas for incorporating it into my training.

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Gary.
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Old 03-11-2004, 11:13 AM   #2
Ben Gimball
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Gary,

I could not agree more! Those who have never hit a heavy bag, for even five 2:00 rounds with a one minute rest in between, would be shocked at how fast their heart rate climbs, and how high it stays.
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Old 03-11-2004, 11:18 AM   #3
Ralph
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Before I tore a hole in my heavy bag, I would hit the bag for about 10 minutes prior to every workout. Now I just practice hitting my makiwara post.

Using the heavy bag to warm up and incorporating WODs, I saw a significant increase in my hitting power (both punches and kicks).

As soon as I get my hands on some duct tape, you can sure as hell bet I'll go back to hitting the bag before every workout.

-Ralph
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Old 03-11-2004, 01:14 PM   #4
Gary Mills
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Ben,
Have you tried 2 minute rounds with 15 seconds rest in between or something I've tried since learning about Tabata's from crossfit, 20 seconds non stop hard punching with 10 second rest periods. They're both killers!

Ralph,
I never thought of doing it as a warm up for WOD.
I take it you don't exhaust yourself too much prior to the WOD for fear of losing the benefit.

Regards,

Gary.

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Old 03-11-2004, 01:52 PM   #5
Matt Toupalik
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I've done lots of heavy bag work in the past and it is an excellent conditioning exercise.A few WOD scenarios which incorporate the heavy bag could be:

3 rounds for time of:
2 min heavy bag
Rope climb double up
400m run

OR

Row 500m
Tabata heavy bag intervals
Row 500m

OR

5 rounds of:
21 overhead squats
20 pull-ups
2 min heavy bag

Lots of possibilities here.
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:31 PM   #6
Ryan Atkins
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Another, possibly more objective, way to incorporate bag training would be to make use of the freestanding bags (the ones that have a plastic base filled with water). Most of these will move an inch or five when struck, depending on who's doing the hitting. Instead of rounds, you could have it setup so you have to punch the bag and move it a certain distance, maybe 6'-15' or so (obviously not in one strike, unless you've REALLY got some power).

Most people I've seen do this take around 30-90 seconds to get it the required distance and are pretty fatigued afterwards.

Don't get me wrong, I love heavy bag work. The only problem I see with timed rounds is comparing the workouts of two different athletes. Scoring the work output during the bag rounds, IMO, would be hard to quantify without elaborate equipment. By setting a distance in which to move a freestanding bag, you give a task that requires the same amount of effort from everybody (if you ignore the fact that this is a big guy favorable exercise).

Just some thoughts,

Ryan
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Old 03-11-2004, 02:56 PM   #7
Ralph
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Ryan,
That's a pretty good idea. However, I think that doing bag work for time versus distance will depend on your aim. If you're trying to building endurance, timed bag work is the way to go. For power, your idea behind gaining distance on the bag is nice.

When I work on the bag, I don't necessarily aim for either power or endurance. I train on using proper technique and learning to use techniques in combinations, while moving, and (especially) while visually picturing my opponent and his counter moves. I believe that power and endurance will develop from my WODs and will flow naturally into my strikes as I perfect my technique. I mentioned before that I'm currently trianing on the makiwara post. Besides the fact that my bag is broken, I do this to perfect how I strike a target (ie: first 2 knuckles, last 3 knuckles, elbow, etc.). It also helps me with learning how to "snap" my strikes. Power comes with time and training as does endurance. One last, quick note, I read that Bruce Lee practiced his makiware training first-thing before every workout.

Any thoughts?

-Ralph
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Old 03-11-2004, 04:11 PM   #8
Ben Gimball
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Ralph,

You are dead on with your heavy bag ideas! I think all bag work should be done for time, not how hard you are punching it. Simply striking the bag focusing on technique will be enough to get your heart rate soaring. Also, if you are also performing some other sort of CrossFit movement between rounds-You are really going to have a great workout, and all you can do to keep your technique sharp!
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Old 03-11-2004, 04:12 PM   #9
Ben Gimball
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Gary,

That sounds punishing!
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Old 03-12-2004, 07:41 AM   #10
Ryan Atkins
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Hi Ralph,

Just a couple of thoughts.

I believe that power and endurance will develop from my WODs and will flow naturally into my strikes as I perfect my technique.

I think this statement best sums up how we may be approaching bag training from different viewpoints, at least in this case. From what you're saying, I'm gathering you use the heavy bag primarily for developing sound technique. If that's true, then I would consider it skill or sport-specific training and keep it seperate from the WOD (maybe including it as part of the warm-up like you're currently doing).

I was taking the approach of using the heavy bag as a strength and conditioning tool for use within the WOD included as part of a couplet/triplet (like the ones Matt offered). The only problem I have with a timed round within this context is that the energy output isn't being measured. 2 minutes of dancing around the bag throwing a jab every 5 seconds is a whole different story than clinching the bag and throwing continuous skip knees for the same amount of time. A timed bag round, within a WOD, has no consequences for someone who, consciously or not, slacks off. Using the scheme I offered above, slacking will be reflected in the overall time of the workout (the clock is still ticking while you're punching the bag to its destination).

In my mind, it's a little difficult to seperate power and technique when it comes to punching. Although the drill I offered may, on the surface, appear to be simply a power drill, technique does come into play. Long range arm punches won't cut it here. People who succeed at this drill are the ones most efficienty transferring the most energy from leg drive and hip extension through their upper body and into the punch.

Since the drill would be part of a series including other exercises, I'm going to argue that endurance is being worked as well. In all of Matt's examples (with the exception of round 1 in the 1st example), the bagwork is approached after some other activity (rowing, running, pull-ups). If the athlete is putting forth maximum intensity in these efforts, he or she will be approaching the bag work in a state that is far from optimal. I'm speculating that the fighter's ability to handle bag work while under respiratory duress will improve in the same way Crossfit increases an athlete's ability to lift near maximal poundage under the same winded conditions.

With regards to Bruce Lee; although I admire his open-mindedness and can't deny the contributions he made to martial arts, I feel his 'filter' wasn't strong enough. This is probably an exaggeration, but if Crossfit took the same approach to strength and conditioning as Bruce Lee took to martial arts, then we'd probably be doing tabata bicep curls periodically. Also, he was thin in the legs.

I hope I am not being overyly harsh here. My two cents,

Ryan
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