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  1. #1
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    Lifting for Tae Kwon Do

    Hey y'all. Haven't been on here much lately, but I've still been lifting. My family has started doing Tae Kwon Do together, so I've had to revamp my routine yet again. We've been doing it for 6 weeks and made our yellow belts last weekend. I've been experimenting with different things to try and settle on what type of workouts I should be doing. I should note, speed and power are the elements I'm looking to enhance. I'd like to raise my vertical and be able to punch/kick harder. Additionally, my cardio blows, so I have to improve that. In the meanwhile, I'd like to continue adding a little quality mass, in particular fixing my long time nemesis, upper chest. I've been holding weight at 175, but envision 185 being the right target weight for fit and function. Here's roughly what I've been doing.

    Our Do Jong beings each class with 20 minutes of intense push ups, sit-ups, shuttle runs (and other various HIIT type activities)

    2600-2900 calories daily 50/30/20 c/p/f split

    Sunday - 4 x 10 x 60lbs incline db bench, 4 x 10 125lbs clean + Jerk , 4 x 10 pull-ups (no weight)
    Monday - Rest
    Tuesday - Tae Kwon Do (1 hour)
    Wednesday - 4 x 10 power cleans 155lbs, 4x10 105lbs Military Press
    Thursday - Tae Kwon Do (1 hour)
    Friday - 2 miles jog (takes about 15 minutes on the treadmill - yes, super sucky)
    Saturday - Rest

    Thoughts welcome.
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  2. #2
    The show goes on chodan9's Avatar
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    I wouldn't see TKD classes as interfering with your chest development, I would moderate any other cardio accordingly though to match your goals.
    your strength training will augment your TKD greatly by the way, its a good combination. (second degree black belt in TKD)
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  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by chodan9 View Post
    I wouldn't see TKD classes as interfering with your chest development, I would moderate any other cardio accordingly though to match your goals.
    your strength training will augment your TKD greatly by the way, its a good combination. (second degree black belt in TKD)
    2nd degree! That's awesome. How long did it take you to get there? Do you do any contact sparring? I'd like to get into sparring when I get a few belts higher. I don't drive and the sparring is on Saturdays when my wife works, so I'm not sure if I'll ever get to do it, but I'm hopeful. Any exercises you think I'm missing?
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  4. #4
    Registered User erinlee01's Avatar
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    I've been running the 2-day split of Wendler's 5/3/1 for the past 5 weeks or so and have found it work out well with my TKD training. It's pretty close in line with what you are doing. When I first started, I was running a 3 day split and was constantly feeling beat up.

    Your workout looks a little shoulder heavy - you're hitting shoulders with the clean and jerk, military press, and indirectly through bench. That seems a lot to me (especially along with the punching).

    However, I've only been TKD training for 6 months, so I certainly will not proclaim to have all the answers! Good luck - I started because my kids were doing it and it's been great to have the whole family involved!
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  5. #5
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    I have been doing Kempo Jujitsu for 15+ years and I honestly haven't done anything special as far as revamping my weight training for it (or because of it). I just lift how I want to lift and train martial arts based on whatever we're doing that week. About the only thing that I may be more conscientious about is maybe switching days around if I know we're doing something particular in Kempo (like if I know we're doing some kicks (which is rare) for a class I'll move my leg day around in the week so I'm not quite as sore/tight for that. But otherwise I really don't adjust the weights.

    Sounds like you guys are having a ball . . . that's great. Enjoy! My kids trained with me for a little while but they kind of burned out on it so I am giving them a break. If they ever show an interest again, I'll get them back into it.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by erinlee01 View Post
    I've been running the 2-day split of Wendler's 5/3/1 for the past 5 weeks or so and have found it work out well with my TKD training. It's pretty close in line with what you are doing. When I first started, I was running a 3 day split and was constantly feeling beat up.

    Your workout looks a little shoulder heavy - you're hitting shoulders with the clean and jerk, military press, and indirectly through bench. That seems a lot to me (especially along with the punching).

    However, I've only been TKD training for 6 months, so I certainly will not proclaim to have all the answers! Good luck - I started because my kids were doing it and it's been great to have the whole family involved!
    Thanks for chiming in Erin. I'm definitely overloading shoulders to help with the blocking and punching. I'm not sure if it'll lead to overuse or not, but my military is pretty sucky, so I figured the extra focus should help. What belt are you up to? So far I find TKD totally addictive.
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  7. #7
    The show goes on chodan9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    2nd degree! That's awesome. How long did it take you to get there? Do you do any contact sparring? I'd like to get into sparring when I get a few belts higher. I don't drive and the sparring is on Saturdays when my wife works, so I'm not sure if I'll ever get to do it, but I'm hopeful. Any exercises you think I'm missing?
    took me 3.5 years to get to blackbelt ( I trained 5 days per week though) and another couple to get my next rank.
    I did quite a bit of sparring and competing.
    I got my nickname from back when I got my first blackbelt, my buddy found out that was called chodan in TKD so they started calling me that.
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  8. #8
    Registered User erinlee01's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    Thanks for chiming in Erin. I'm definitely overloading shoulders to help with the blocking and punching. I'm not sure if it'll lead to overuse or not, but my military is pretty sucky, so I figured the extra focus should help. What belt are you up to? So far I find TKD totally addictive.
    Right now I am an orange belt. I test for my green next Thursday. We start sparring at the green belt level, so I need to up my cardio. Last week we did shoulder touch sparring and I was sucking wind.

    I definitely love it! My 7 year old started first (he's a green getting ready to test for his high green belt) last year. My 11 year old and I started along with my brother about 6 months after him. And now my husband started going. We do a family class at least once per week, which is fun. I wish I had started when I was younger.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by erinlee01 View Post
    Right now I am an orange belt. I test for my green next Thursday. We start sparring at the green belt level, so I need to up my cardio. Last week we did shoulder touch sparring and I was sucking wind.

    I definitely love it! My 7 year old started first (he's a green getting ready to test for his high green belt) last year. My 11 year old and I started along with my brother about 6 months after him. And now my husband started going. We do a family class at least once per week, which is fun. I wish I had started when I was younger.
    That's awesome. Good luck on your belt test! I should add, I have a 80 lb heavy bag in my basement next to the home gym, so I hit / kick that in between sets. It definitely helps the endurance (from what little time I've been doing it). That's cool your kids are doing it. My son just turned 6 and it's great to see him be active. He's so fun to watch. I love the little kicks and him doing his form. Let me know how your test goes!

    PS. Cho, you're still on spread
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    Keep on going with pushups - not that you have a choice there, but you could always do more, and do variations (there are many). Main thing is, do lots of them, and do them fast. Well, the vast majority of the types, anyway. For "explosive power", as they say. Which, IIRC, translates as "more of the fast twitch stuff".

    But also, I'd think about squats, and maybe squat variations too. Of course, deadlifts are good no matter what you're doing, but you've probably heard that too many times around here. Squats though, are also pretty much a "core" lift, and a good deal of punching power actually comes from the core (hips, etc.) - maybe something to think about, is all.

    Otherwise, you're already doing some good things there, such as power cleans. A bit of running can't hurt. Nice!

    edit: I've done a few martial arts, and a bit of lifting (so far), so I'm not totally talking out of theory here. Oh, and I missed the fact you wanted to kick harder too. Put some leg exercises in there!
    Last edited by MichaelCJ; 11-29-2011 at 08:32 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    In the meanwhile, I'd like to continue adding a little quality mass
    That's going to be difficult while doing tae kwon do. I did tae kwon do for 16 years, I earned a 3rd degree black belt in 2008. Back then I thought I was a hardgainer. But I quit tae kwon do to focus on powerlifting and my muscle growth basically exploded.

    Good luck, tae kwon do is fun.
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    Originally Posted by MichaelCJ View Post
    Keep on going with pushups - not that you have a choice there, but you could always do more, and do variations (there are many). Main thing is, do lots of them, and do them fast. Well, the vast majority of the types, anyway. For "explosive power", as they say. Which, IIRC, translates as "more of the fast twitch stuff".

    But also, I'd think about squats, and maybe squat variations too. Of course, deadlifts are good no matter what you're doing, but you've probably heard that too many times around here. Squats though, are also pretty much a "core" lift, and a good deal of punching power actually comes from the core (hips, etc.) - maybe something to think about, is all.

    Otherwise, you're already doing some good things there, such as power cleans. A bit of running can't hurt. Nice!

    edit: I've done a few martial arts, and a bit of lifting (so far), so I'm not totally talking out of theory here. Oh, and I missed the fact you wanted to kick harder too. Put some leg exercises in there!
    Thanks for the advice. We do about 60 pushups each session. I do the first 20 as 3 finger, and the other two as claps, first wide, second narrow. For squats, our Do Jong has an indoor track, so we'll do straight aways (walk curve) of lunges, inch worms (really hate these), squat turn things, and other creative ways to obliterate the legs. I'd love to add squats back, but I've been holding off the past few weeks to give my legs a break. I figure my legs will eventually adapt to the bodyweight stuff enough for me to add squats back. I do miss them, especially since I finally got my form where it needs to be. Re: Deads, I'm not sure if doing them wouldn't be redundant with two days of cleans. Possibly I'll scratch the clean and jerk and change to deads. I finally figured out the trick on that recently too.

    Originally Posted by bigtallox View Post
    That's going to be difficult while doing tae kwon do. I did tae kwon do for 16 years, I earned a 3rd degree black belt in 2008. Back then I thought I was a hardgainer. But I quit tae kwon do to focus on powerlifting and my muscle growth basically exploded.

    Good luck, tae kwon do is fun.
    I was afraid somebody would say this. I'm not really giving myself much in the way of rest days and burning a lot of calories. I thought about upping to 3600 calories a day, but I really need to sit down and to the math on this. I was gaining weight lifting 3 days a week at 2800 a day before, so that's why I was using the same calorie load.

    BTW. You have any TKD vids? I'd love to see you fighting somebody. How the hell do they get past a 40" inseam?
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    Originally Posted by drudixon View Post
    BTW. You have any TKD vids? I'd love to see you fighting somebody. How the hell do they get past a 40" inseam?
    I'm sure I have some around. But I didn't really get into putting video online until after I started powerlifting. I'm pretty sure I have some video of me doing some forms. I remember thinking how skinny I looked in them. I'll have to find them.

    Just for the record, I have a 39" inseam, but I wear dress shirts with 40" sleeves. It was definitely an advantage in sparing.
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    Didn't change my routine while I was training/working on my black belt (took me 5 years, but I had about 8 months total time of injury layoff in there), and I was training more or less like Chodan described.
    My goals-

    Today, I want to better then I was yesterday. Tomorrow, I want to be better then I am today.
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    Registered User icankeepup's Avatar
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    Weight Training and Tae Kwon-Do

    Hi. I hope this helps. I'm a 4th degree black belt and a member of the Welsh TKD team. I also lead the teams conditioning.

    I wrote a post on icankeepup's blogger account. its worth a look.
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by icankeepup View Post
    Hi. I hope this helps. I'm a 4th degree black belt and a member of the Welsh TKD team. I also lead the teams conditioning.

    I wrote a post on icankeepup's blogger account. its worth a look.
    Pretty SRS bump, bud.

    I don't think Op even posts here anymore.
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  17. #17
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Whats more of a priority building a chest or your martial arts?
    I would try to concentrate on things that would make my martial arts better.
    Trying to be a bodybuilder and do tae kwon do is serving two masters.
    You can't put your all into each and splitting your focus will not make you the best at either.
    Quick explosive movements IMO are what you should be working if your going to weight train.
    Power cleans,squats,moderate deadlifts,and push presses as well unilateral work like lunges,side lunges ect.
    Really the oly lifts would have a good carry over for you.
    Rotational work as well,contact twists,Russian twists as wells twisting sit up and leg raises.
    If you keep it moving during your weight training it can also be a cardio benefit for you.
    No more than 60 second rest between sets and down to 30 seconds if you can.
    This should take care of your cardio.
    Being stronger overall will help your power, but just practicing your strikes and kicks will help your speed.
    Basically if you want to get good at a particular thing practice it over and over.
    Thousands of hours of strikes and kicks from every angle and every kind.
    I earned a black belt in Kenpo.
    I came in as a big bodybuilder and was slow as molasses.
    I had to loose some weight up my cardio and practice as i mentioned to you.
    Totally opposite of my bodybuilding mentallity.
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    I placed 3rd in the USTU and the USTA (nationals) many many years ago. When I was training back then I never changed anything on my lifting routine. I tried to focus my lifts for power on whatever the movement was. I tried the bands, but wasn't too impressed with them. I don't really see why it would stop you from developing your chest personally unless your worried about too much cardio, but you stated that your trying to increase cardio ability anyway.
    I do think Garage Rat above hit it pretty good.
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    What a funny concidence that someone resurrected this old post as I have been struggling with the same issue lately. I recently started TKD with my son, which has made my morning lifting schedule more complicated. I've found that I need two days between heavy leg work and TKD classes because of all the kicking, so I've had to switch alot of things around to make everything fit.
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    Hi... 2nd degree TKD black belt here. Here are some thoughts:
    - I started TKD at 40, did it 4 times a week for 8 years until I tore my meniscus sparring 2 yeas ago (while recovering from meniscus surgery I got back into body building); before that I lifted weights in one form or another from age 16 to 40

    - when I started TKD I stopped lifting weights and started doing push ups and pull ups twice a week. I lost 20 pounds of muscle over those 8 years (big mistake, but I all I cared about was TKD at the time). If I could do it again, I would have done two days of full body workouts a week and TKD 3 times a week (but probably would have hit legs just once a week... TKD works the hell out of them)

    - the first 5 years I sparred once a week and attended class 3 days a week; the last 3 years I sparred 3 times a week and attended 1 class a week. I wasn't very motivated to get my 3rd degree, I just wanted to spar. The 3 nights a week of sparring took a toll on my body, but I was addicted. My school has 3 locations all within 10 minutes of me, each sparred on a different night, so it worked out well

    - I would suggest you start sparring as soon as your Master or instructor feels you are ready. I started as an orange belt

    - what you get out of TKD is all about what YOU want to get out of it. I wanted to learn martial arts / self defense and started in TKD because it was close to where I live. Some guys my age go for the exercise, enjoyment, spiritual well being etc and don't spar at all (which is great for them), some spar from time to time, I sparred, as I said before, extensively. But, that is what I wanted out of it. If your children do it (my daughters did), I would push them to spar. If not, the self defense aspect isn't very practical IMHO. TKD has its nay-sayers, especially from the BJJ and MMA bunch. But I can tell you from experience, if you are good at TKD, and spar, you (and your kids) will certainly be able to defend yourself / themselves

    - I had very involved rotator cuff surgery in April, and my surgeon feels going back to TKD, which for me would be sparring (competitive sparring), is too risky, so it's probably history for me now. That said, I loved my time in TKD, and still kick the bag twice a week to keep my skills up and as part of my cardio workout.

    I am going on and on (because I love the topic), feel free to ask me any questions. Again, my only regret is I wish kept up with the weights during that time
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    Great advice, thanks. For now, I'm doing two days total body and one day upper body... All compound lifts. I'm basically doing the starting strength two-day program described in the "Older Lifters" chapter of Mark Rippetoe's Practical Programming book, which puts my squats, DL's and cleans two days before my TKD sessions. So, far this seems to keep my legs a bit fresher for all the kicking. I'm also doing a third day which does fall the same day as TKD, but on this day I'm only continuing the bench press/ OHP rotation and some accessory work which hasn't been an issue so far. I may eventually drop this third day if recovery starts to become an issue.
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