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Kettlebell A+A - minimum/maximum effective dose for a (muay thai) fighter

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Pasibrzuch

Level 5 Valued Member
Hi everybody,
it's my first post here, so at the beginning a thank you to everyone who contributed here. Knowledge I gained here is invaluable.

I'm an amateur muay thai/k1 fighter who got interested in the concept of A+A. There's no one coherent body of text about this type of programming, so all the knowledge I have about it comes from scattered topics and blog entries.

My question is: what is the minimal number of repeats/ time I need to spend on one session so I benefit from it. Consequently, is there any volume limit and session over a certain number of repeats/time yields no results?

I'm asking because my muay thai sessions are taxing enough and I have a tendency to overdo things. Currently I'm using dice to determine my A+A-ish sessions' volume according to the protocol for ballistics from this article: ww.strongfirst.com/simplify-your-strength-programming-using-die-rolled-variability/
I am unruly enough to implement two changes:
- instead of 10reps OTM I'm doing 5reps every 1:15 (OASwings, 40kg)
- I use a die to determine the number of repeats with Beast.
As a result, the shortest session consists of 12 repeats and the longest one of 40 repeats. Are these numbers ok, or this programming needs some tuning?

Besides, I'm doing TGU with 30-42kg bells (S&S format), and aerobic work 1-2 times a week(LSD substituted with CPI every two weeks). And of course muay thai, three times a week (often glycolytic work there, if that's of any importance).

And not connected with the topic itself, but maybe somebody in a similar situation will find it motivating: As a poorly coordinated person and terribly clumsy fighter I rely on strength and conditioning. Sometimes it's enough to overwhelm my opponents, sometimes not. However, I believe that without strongfirst programs (S&S, ROP, this strange MP and PU plan with 8 minute breaks which name I don't remember) I wouldn't even have made it to the ring. As an old saying goes: "The real strength is not afraid of technique".
Thank you for your answers in advance and power to the people!
 

Tim Randolph

Level 7 Valued Member
it's my first post here,
Welcome!

My question is: what is the minimal number of repeats/ time I need to spend on one session so I benefit from it.
I am very sympathetic as I had to piece A+A together over a variety of threads. I don't have the knowledge to answer your exact question, but from what I have read you are probably tending too low in your number of repeats. You may be approaching this the wrong way and killing yourself with A+A, so that more repeats seem too hard. More repeats or rest so that the effect is less taxing may be what you need.

The best single article I have read on A+A is at Al Ciampa's site. Here is a key quote along these lines:

The relatively short work period combined with a sufficient recovery period, in the context of extended sessions is what allows A+A training to increase strength-endurance while improving health. This method of training increases your biological resiliency rather than depleting it.

A + A Training – Be Well and Strong

If you are not able to average the 30 repeats on average that the article recommends, it may be better to look at the Quick and Dead approach. That has a huge bang for the buck at a really low metabolic cost.
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
1. Welcome.

2. When in doubt use the talk test and rep speed to tell you when to stop a session

You will get all the anaerobic and glycolitic work from your muay Thai training so using kettlebells to build your aerobic base would be a welcome contrast to compliment your needs
 

william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
I'm only on week #2 of A&A training, so far I am only doing 20 repeats (10 sets of 5 reps each arm), 3 times per week. I am not measuring my rests between breaks. I'm just taking my time. I'm going to remain with this schedule and slowly increase my bell size, for a month or 2, until I reach the 40+ kg of bell. After this, I will slowly start increasing the volume.

That's my plan.
 

guardian7

Level 6 Valued Member
Hi everybody,
it's my first post here, so at the beginning a thank you to everyone who contributed here. Knowledge I gained here is invaluable.

I'm an amateur muay thai/k1 fighter who got interested in the concept of A+A. There's no one coherent body of text about this type of programming, so all the knowledge I have about it comes from scattered topics and blog entries.

My question is: what is the minimal number of repeats/ time I need to spend on one session so I benefit from it. Consequently, is there any volume limit and session over a certain number of repeats/time yields no results?

I'm asking because my muay thai sessions are taxing enough and I have a tendency to overdo things. Currently I'm using dice to determine my A+A-ish sessions' volume according to the protocol for ballistics from this article: ww.strongfirst.com/simplify-your-strength-programming-using-die-rolled-variability/
I am unruly enough to implement two changes:
- instead of 10reps OTM I'm doing 5reps every 1:15 (OASwings, 40kg)
- I use a die to determine the number of repeats with Beast.
As a result, the shortest session consists of 12 repeats and the longest one of 40 repeats. Are these numbers ok, or this programming needs some tuning?

Besides, I'm doing TGU with 30-42kg bells (S&S format), and aerobic work 1-2 times a week(LSD substituted with CPI every two weeks). And of course muay thai, three times a week (often glycolytic work there, if that's of any importance).

And not connected with the topic itself, but maybe somebody in a similar situation will find it motivating: As a poorly coordinated person and terribly clumsy fighter I rely on strength and conditioning. Sometimes it's enough to overwhelm my opponents, sometimes not. However, I believe that without strongfirst programs (S&S, ROP, this strange MP and PU plan with 8 minute breaks which name I don't remember) I wouldn't even have made it to the ring. As an old saying goes: "The real strength is not afraid of technique".
Thank you for your answers in advance and power to the people!

Not an expert here but I have adapted the principles to my own Muay Thai (for fitness) approach. The standard 2-3 minute boxing bell is glycotic thinking. Instead, you can for example work the heavy bag for intense ten second combinations and back off and rest. And repeat for the three minutes. Then take a break longer than the standard 2 min to 30 second boxing break.

Another think you could do is layer your training. For example, instead of doing three rounds of heavy bag, you do one round and then something else like stretching or shadow boxing. This increases the rest period between sets of similar exercises. Jump rope between sets of heavy bag or strength work. This helps to increase the rest period. I do a set of pullups every 15 minutes or so as another example.

For pad work, use normal rounds for practical reasons.

If during the class, the instructor says do 30 pushups or 50 pushups. I do crisp sets of ten with a pause where others get sloppy after 20 or whatever and keep grinding.

This is not strict adherence to the protocol but is informed by the principle. You probably have less than the recommended time to fully recover for practical reasons. You may notice the quality and endurance of your heavy bag work increase with this simple adjustment.

The counter-argument is that you need to feel the burn to simulate a fight. You can also do this with pad work or other types of conditioning work. You can work multiple energy systems as you are doing and should keep doing with the slow aeorobic work.
 
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Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
Welcome @Pasibrzuch

You could give it a shot for 4 weeks and report back. The bottleneck I see is your ability to recover - and to find the time for doint it A+A style. Otherwise it looks really cool and sensible.

If you find yourself having less time you could either do swings S&S style, 10x10 straight, or Q&D style (even following plan 044, which is introduced for snatches in the Q&D book). Or of course just choose a die roll of 1 or 2 following your plan as @Arryn Grogan suggests.

I wonder, as you apparently do, why sets are to be done EMOM for the longer sessions and not the shorter ones.
 

Pasibrzuch

Level 5 Valued Member
Thank you all for feedback! My presuppositions on what A+A is are seriously challenged now. @Tim Randolph , thank you for the link, I read everything on A+A at this forum, but didn't know about the article.
If my current ballistic program is not a+a what is it then? What parameter(s) am I working on? Is it alactic without the aerobic component?
The bottleneck I see is your ability to recover - and to find the time for doint it A+A style.
I think you're right and I tend to be overconfident with my recovery abilities. As far as I understand, the conclusion is I'm not doing a+a at the moment. Maybe it would be better to go purely S&S and with each cycle (8weeks) increase sets by 1 rep, without changing the diced overall volume? I think it's what @Alciampa recommends here: Simple & Sinister + Heart Rate Training | StrongFirst . When I reach 10x10 with 40kg then I'll do a cycle of Q&D 033 and only then think about A+A. Does it make any sense both recovery- and programming-wise?
 

Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
@Pasibrzuch
I would say it is still probably reasonable and effective ballistic training, pretty close to A+A but not pure A+A. S&S still falls under the umbrella of A+A.

Imagine a continuum from alactic to glycotic. On the far left there would be pure A+A with sets of 3-5 and long rest, on the far right would be the original Tabata intervals or a 400m sprint. S&S and your style of training would probably still be more on the alactic side of things - yet already a bit towards the midline.

Sets of 10 still have their merit - especially muscle hypertrophy. Check out S&S 2.0 if you haven't already. It has moved S&S more to the alactic side of the continuum by stressing the talk test and removing the time standard below Simple weights.

I have tried to discuss the topic with quotes from Pavel in this thread, ableit before S&S 2.0 came out:
https://www.strongfirst.com/community/threads/q-d-and-the-role-of-s-s.14588/
 

Deleted member 8599

Guest
Yeah I would do a daily dose of simple and sinister until timeless simple to lay a broad foundation.
After that stick to A+A. An important note for you is to keep your muay Thai training away from lactic. Take the sessions easy (aerobic) and work more on your technique. Keep it pretty easy and your aerobic foundation will grow and get big. If there is an competition in sight I would train more lactic for a max of 8 to 12 weeks until competition.

If you stay aerobic in your muay Thai sessions your body will never stuck and gets aerobically more efficient, so you get better and better. If you stay lactic in those sessions you will reach an plateau and will never get better. The pro fighters train like this. If they have no fight coming up they train most of the time light. Maybe once a week for a short period of time (5 to 30 minutes) in the lactic zone. I would train only for competition hard. Max 3 to 4 times a year for 8 weeks.
Summarise:
Stick with this and stay aerobic, do your a+a after you reach a good strength foundation and train only once a week in the lactic zone for a short amount of time (as an amateur 3x3min or so).
 
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