Originally Posted by I.P.Freely
Woo-hoo! Again, something I know a little something about...
Okay, here goes.
You are talking about both functional strength, and explosive strength. Functional means you can lift real weights in real situations, and explosive strength means being able to output a lot of power in a very short period of time.
For functional strength, it's critical to develop your small muscles (the stabilizer muscles) along with the large muscle groups. It's also critical to develop your core. For starters never ever do fixed weights- they usually do only the big muscles. For any exercize you might want to do, figure out the equivalent using free weights. Also, small bars are better than a long bar, because you use more stabilizer muscles. So, if you want to develop your power to push (chest and lats), do presses using a weight in each hand from a deeply reclined position. The motion is similar to a bench press, but you are using all the small muscles in your torse close to your arms to keep your arms still, as well as your pectorals and triceps.
It is also crucial to get maximum range of motion when doing strength exercises- start as extended as possible and finish as contracted as possible. You see so many people cheating, lifting really heavy weights but only in the middle of the motion. That's the easy bit. To be strong you have to be srong at the beginning and the end.
Don't rush... when executing a repetition, exhale and do it over a mental count of three or so.
Dumbells and bars are good, but special mention has to go to all exercises where you are lifting your own bodyweights, especially pullups and tricep dips. If you do pullups, concentrate especially on getting the full range of motion, and mix them up (i.e. gripping bar with palms inwards versus outwards, bringing bar behind head versus in front of head).
Resist the machismo urge... you can double your weight if you rush, don't get a full range of movement and use fixed weights. But you won't benefit so much. You do it right, chances are you are lifting less than everyone else. Ignore that fact.
As for the 'core' stuff, there are specific exercises you can find out about, but anything standing up with bars and dumbells will help. Just concentrate on making sure that your torso is immobile when you're throwing those bad boys around- those are the core muscles that keep your body still. That's my understanding anyway.
Anyway, that's how to build functional strength. Then the issue is how many reps/what weight. If you want to increase your strength then you need to lift very heavy weights, close to your maxium, 6-7 times, 3 repetitions. A more balanced workout, 10-12 times. For the intense strength-building stuff you are supposed to do it so that your muscles are burning and you can barely move afterwards. I don't know if that's a good idea for grapplers- I kind of doubt it.
If you do all of this you will get a lot of strength, but keep stretching a lot or you will lose some flexibility.
Oh, and take breaks. 2 days on, 2 days off. Your muscles need time to recover and build strength.
youre wrong on many points. first off set weights arent bad by any means, they isolate muscles and sometimes you need to do it. its a fast way to catch up those muscles that arent up there yet. if done right, they ahve their purpose. free weights build overall strength by using balance muscles, set weights isolate and focus on tone and strength in a particular muslce group. not worse, just different.
small bars are not better than a 2 handed bar.. to develop tone and good singular muscle endurance, you would want to grab a short bar in each hand. for overall strength and fast twitch potential, you need both your hands on 1 bar.
again, not worse or better, just different. you just need to know which excercises do what and in what way and you need to know what you need. simple as that.
and what you called "intense strength-training stuff" is indeed 6-8 or more reps in 3-5 sets. this builds fast twitch muslces and when combined with endurance workouts (15-20 reps same # of sets) works all types of muslces, in every way.
and if you take 2 days on 2 days off you are either new to working out or you are looking to degrade your muslces. what works much better is 3 day cycle then 1 day off ( on that day off you NEED cardio) if you work less than 4 or 5 days in a week yo uare doing more harm to yourself than good. it takes about 72 hours for a muscle to start softening up, so having a constant cycle that works is important.
also, always change your workout. if you walk in the gym and do the same thing every day you WILL NOT get stronger. keep chaing it up, and you will hit every muscle and your body will be used to adapting to muscle strain, which is a VERY GOOD thing. if you get this right there should be no two days where you do the same thing.