|Tuesday, 22 September 2009 16:25|
Wushu Training and Cardio/Aerobic Benefits
This is by no means a formal scientific report. It’s more like a personal blog, to give people (Monash Wushu members) an idea of the cardio benefits of wushu training. Keep in mind every body is different and there are many factors that will affect heart rate and how many calories burnt e.g. sex, body type, training intensity, etc
As a short summary, in a 1.5 - 2hr training session, an average of 800-900 calories will be burnt. Females might burn around 600-700 calories. Read on to see how/why.
My heart rate at rest is around 65 - 70 bpm. Maximum heart rate is around 193bpm.
Training might vary slightly, but a typical session will consist of:
Warm up (5-10 mins): 100 – 110 bpm
running 5-8 laps of the basketball hall or 1 lap of stance drills or something similar.
Stretching (10-15 mins): 90 – 100 bpm
hamstring, quads, side torso, hip flexor, glutes, crouch stance, splits (front & side), arms
Basic Kicks (20 – 25 mins): 155 – 165 bpm
16-20 kicks each of: front, cross, side, outside, inside, snap, snap punch, heel palm, backsweep, frontsweep, front slap
Jump Kicks (15 – 20 mins): 160 – 180 bpm
8-10 kicks each of: warm up jump, front jump, tornado, lotus, cartwheel, butterfly turn, butterfly kick
Forms (average 5 mins): 170-196 bpm
Longfist, spear or straight sword done in either 2 sections, or as a whole form (1min 25sec).
Calories Burnt (continuously updated):
Session 1: 115mins - 902 calories
Session 2: 102mins - 889 calories
Session 3: 115mins - 865 calories
As I’ve mentioned before and you can see in the results, a typical two hour training session will burn roughly 800-900 calories, as measured on the heart rate monitor, which is massive. Women might burn around 600-700 calories (still measuring).
During a regular cardio session, I might run for 20 minutes and burn 230 calories. Which is good, but to burn 900 calories, I would have to run for something like 1 hour 20 mins. What normal person would run for that long?! I’d rather do wushu, which is more interesting. Plus it also works on your flexibility, strength and coordination. And I learn new skills!
As for the intensity of wushu as a whole, I would say it would equate to something between a light jog and running. This is actually very good for weight loss and cardio because doing a row of kicks and coming back waiting for the line to move up would be similar to the interval training method, where you sprint for 8 seconds followed by light jog/cycle for 12 seconds. So basic kicks, jump kicks and forms improves aerobic and anaerobic capacity and endurance.
In terms of maximum heart rate, the monitor measured 196bpm-ish. If this is correct then I’d be using slightly more than 100% of my maximum heart rate, measured by the most common method (probably also the most inaccurate, but nevertheless):
HRmax = 220 – age (27)
HRmax = 193 bpm
Again, this is only meant to give me an idea. So I should’ve killed myself by now doing forms that pump up my heart rate to 196bpm, however this is only sustained for about 20 seconds of the form (1min 25sec). Maybe that’s why I was keeling over gasping for air after a whole form. Or I could just be unfit. Problem here is that for cardio training, the heart should be pumping around 60-70%, but forms do improve anaerobic capacity.
So there you have it. Wushu training is awesome as aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Forget about the latest Les Mills aerobic program (see below) and just do wushu. Although if you do decide to do Body Combat, we’ll probably be standing outside laughing.
"No - Toes pointing forward. Fingers together, thumb tucked in. Palm higher above your head. Right hand is a fist."
I’ll soon be doing this test with a few other people in the club – a female and possibly an intermediate level male.
One of the main problems for our training is that we only train twice per week, which is still good but if you wanted to use wushu as your only source of exercise for cardio, you'd need to train at least 3 times a week.
Another problem I see is that, it's very much individual training. So you'd get out as much as you put in. There's no point if you're gonna do 3 kicks up and down, sit around and talk for 10 mins, and do half-arsed forms.
These are papers that I’ve found online, which have used proper methods in similar research:
“Heart Rate and Blood Lactate Reponses to Changquan and Daoshu Forms of Modern Wushu”
“Analysis of Pysical Activities in Wu-Shu Training”