Should You Lift Weights While Practicing Karate

The Best Way to Balance Karate & Weight Lifting (Explained)

To perform to the best of your ability in Karate class and competitions, sometimes the bottleneck is your strength instead of skills. But how to actually balance weight lifting and Karate practice?

When it comes to training in Karate and lifting weights, the first and most important thing to keep in mind is to get enough rest. For someone who has just started Karate, strength probably is not the bottleneck of your performance. Focus first on developing your Karate skills.

Let’s take a better look on whether you should lift weights on top of Karate, as well as how to do it if you should.

How to balance Karate training and weight lifting?

As mentioned above, balancing weight lifting and Karate training comes down to getting enough rest. Overtraining and burning yourself out are real things.

If you get burned out by training too much, that will have much more harm than good to your overall progress.

Getting an extra training session a week can in the worst case force you to take months off from training, or even make you quit for good.

So, as you start, start slowly. Don’t add too many weight-lifting sessions to your schedule at once.

Another thing to keep in mind is whether you even should lift weights. Let me explain.

When you first start training in Karate, you most likely have some strength. At first, you should focus on your skills. Strength most likely is not the issue for the first year of practicing.

As you get better at Karate, you might notice that your lack of strength is getting in the way of progressing.

This is when you could start adding some weight lifting or other strength training to your schedule.

By no means is strength training mandatory if you practice Karate. However, it can help you to get more out of your training and perform better in competitions.

Should you lift weights and train Karate?

If you are just starting Karate out, chances are, you don’t yet need any additional strength. The bottleneck at first is your skills in Karate, not your strength.

Unless you are really out of shape and lack some basic strength, adding weight lifting into your training is not mandatory until you have practiced for a year or so.

Even after a year of training, adding weight lifting to your weekly schedule is not required. Just practicing Karate will slowly but surely develop the muscles it needs as you practice.

Also, if you eventually start lifting weights to support your Karate practice, make sure weight lifting does not hurt your Karate classes.

Lifting weights will take a lot of energy, so make sure you get enough rest between Karate classes and lifting weights.

Should you add cardio to your weekly training schedule?

Cardio and endurance training is another thing you could add to your weekly schedule if you notice your endurance is holding you back at the Karate class.

Simply going for a jog once or twice a week will have a huge impact on your endurance, if you have not done that in the past.

I noticed a huge difference in my endurance by adding just one hour-long jogging/walking session to my weekly schedule.

The good thing about going for a jog once a week is that it does not have to be the same day every week. If this week Tuesday is fine, the next week Thursday could fit your weekly plan better.

Read also: How to get a yellow belt in Karate Faster?

Final thoughts

In conclusion, adding weight lifting is not mandatory for Karate training. On top of that, for the first year of Karate training, try to focus on the Karate itself.

When you have learned the basics and start to develop a deeper understanding of the sport, if you notice your strength or endurance are becoming a problem, start developing those on the side.

Also, if Karate is your number one priority, make sure lifting weights does not hurt your Karate classes. Especially as you first start lifting weights, you can feel sore for days, so try to get enough resting days before your next class.

Hopefully this was helpful, have a wonderful day!

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