"The more muscular fitness you have," says Cotton ( 1 ), "the greater the capacity you have to burn calories." Improved muscular fitness accelerates the body’s metabolism at rest, because muscle uses more calories to maintain itself than fat. Therefore, the greater the muscle density, the more calories are burned every day, even while you sit on the couch! Kaikudo workouts focus on comprehensive strength training so that your body will continue to burn calories long after class.
Traditional martial art strength training aims at increasing muscle density to produce strong, lean muscles (think Bruce Lee) not bulky muscle mass. Isolated muscle training (think Schwarzenegger) can cause imbalances in the body structure leading to slow, uncoordinated body movement and flabby arms when you get old. The best kind of strength training involves techniques that use multiple muscle groups at once so that you receive the best bang for the buck in each movement ( 2 ). Karate and tai chi movements coordinate upper body and lower body muscle groups so that the whole body is engaged and building muscle density. In China, a special muscle development form was created on Wu Dang Mountiain, called ‘Zhong He Qi-Gong,’ which uses isotonic stretching to build muscle tone and release qi blockages. Isotonic exercises uses slow, stretching movements while maintaining constant muscle contraction. These execises are especially beneficial for the joints and improving muscle tone. Zhong He Qi-gong tests your mental and physical stamina!
"Varying your pace throughout the exercise session stimulates the aerobic system to adapt," says Cotton ( 1 ), "The more power the aerobic system has, the more capacity you have to burn calories." High-intensity interval workouts are defined by repeating intervals of fast-paced, high-energy movements, followed by a short interval of rest or low-intensity training. Compared to non-interval training, high-intensity interval workouts burn more fat in less time, minimize the impact on your joints and ligaments, and reduce the ill-effects of inflammation in the body. Simply-put, alternating between sprints and walking for 20 minutes is better overall, than running at a constant pace for an hour ( 3 ). Low-intensity, non-interval exercises, like cross-country running, will only burn calories during the exercise, whereas high-intensity workouts will burn calories for the next 48 hours, even while you sleep ( 4 )! Traditional martial artist capitalize on the concept of high-intensity interval workouts in a training regimen called “Hard Qi-gong”. The goal of Hard Qi-gong is to make you sweat and restore your health! Hard Qi-gong improves your cardiovascular health and removes toxins from the body. High-intensity exercises are followed by isotonic breathing and muscle contractions to develop muscle tone.
Circuit training keeps the body moving and working on different muscle groups while other groups rest. Circuit training is an exceptional fitness strategy when combined with cross-training techniques so that the same muscle groups are rarely exercised in the same way ( 2 ). Therefore, the body adapts to diverse movements, allowing muscle groups to become well-rounded in movement coordination and muscle density. In truth, there must be a balance between repetition, so that our neuromuscular memory can develop coordination; and circuit-training, so that muscles don’t become used to an exercise, resulting in that dreaded fitness plateau ( 4 ). Kaikudo has developed fitness routines called “Bunkai Training” that strengthen the appropriate muscle groups to execute techniques and develop movement coordination. Bunkai Training incorporates circuit training, interval training and strength training into the fabric of the routines. The Kaikudo Fitness program builds a student’s movement control by introducing new movements that will simultaneously build muscle groups in a unique way. When performing routines, the body will execute different exercise and work the whole body with little repetition.