What does your testing battery look like? Part 1

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Training with a Purpose

For many of us, both athletes and general fitness enthusiasts, the new year brings a new wind of enthusiasm and motivation. In the last several posts we covered the goal setting process (read here if you missed them:http://www.thescienceofstriking.com/mental-training/goal-setting-for-2019-part-1-types-of-goals/), and the importance of this. After goals have been set, we need to figure out where we are and where we need to be. For some athletes, their competition schedule may mean that they are already in the middle of a training cycle, however for many athletes, and most individuals with general fitness goals, the new year will signal the start of the training/competition year (often referred to as the macrocycle).

This serves as an optimal time to carry out a testing battery to establish our current baseline of performance, to help guide our programming.

A testing battery should be based on a needs analysis, which involves analysing the specific demands of the sport and identifying the attributes required to match these demands. If possible, normative data for the particular sport, level of competition, as well as weight division etc. can be useful in providing a bench mark upon which to compare performance in the relevant attributes.

The tests used should be ones that are relevant to the performance of the athlete, and they should understand why he or she is performing a particular test. If the data gleaned from a test is not to be utilised in the training process then it’s performance is a waste of valuable time and energy.

Common physiological tests performed in combat sports are those of strength (both lower and upper body), power (both lower and upper body), muscle endurance as well as metabolic capacity. A testing battery may also include assessments of posture and range of movement, in addition to anthropometrics (weight, body fat, ect.)

Order of Testing

If possible, these tests should be conducted on 2 or 3 non-consecutive days to allow recovery from the tests and decrease the potential impact of fatigue on the results of the assessments. If the tests must be conducted on one day, they should be conducted in the following order to minimise the effects of fatigue from one test to the next:

  • Anthropometrics
  • Posture
  • Flexibility
  • Power
  • Strength
  • Strength endurance
  • Anaerobic capacity
  • Aerobic capacity

In the next series of posts, we will explore the type of tests that may be used to assess some of the qualities mentioned above so stay tuned!

A complete guide to athletic testing may be found in “The Science of Striking: A Comprehensive Guide to Physical Preparation for the Stand-Up Combat Athlete”, available now on amazon in both paper and kindle formats.

https://www.amazon.com/Science-Striking-Comprehensive-Physical-Preparation-ebook/dp/B07KYJPDB8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1547344813&sr=8-2&keywords=the+science+of+striking

# training # performance testing #thescienceofstriking #boxing #kickboxing #karate #shinkyokushin #kyokushin

About the author

Sam Gilbert

Sam Gilbert is a registered physiotherapist with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from Latrobe university (Melbourne, Australia) and a master’s degree in Exercise Science (Strength and Conditioning) from Edith Cowan University (Perth, Australia).

A 3rd Dan black belt in Shinkyokushinkai Karate under the World Karate Organisation (WKO), Sam participated for over 20 years in full contact competition, winning multiple state and national titles, and culminating in a 4th place in the heavyweight division of the Shinkyokushinkai World Cup in 2009.

As the co-founder and clinical director of Club 360, the premier multi-disciplinary health and fitness center in Tokyo, Japan, Sam has combined his practical experience with an in-depth study of sports performance in relation to combat sports, and strives to help other combat athletes reach their full competitive potential, whilst at the same time decreasing injury risk and increasing competition and training potential.

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