At some stage on your Grading day for what ever dan you are going for you will attempt the fitness test. When ever during that day you do that test you know there is another 6 hours of exercise for your grading you know you have to perform at your best so you strive your hardest regardless of the fitness test. The purpose of the test if for the examiner to access your fitness and perseverance as the grading is to push you to your limits and then some more. To be able to be at ones best, to remain stress free, have enough energy to concentrate and perform consistently, you should be reasonably fit before you send away your application. So lets look at the preparation needed. Remember 16 points can be earned and this can be the difference between failure or a pass. So if you fail quite badly on this, your fitness level isn't really there for the whole grading and your whole result could be down.
For example, let's look at the requirements for a 20 year old male. He needs to do 2.4 km in 8 minutes, 100 sit-ups in 2 minutes, 55 press ups without stopping and 3 x 2 minute rounds on an air shield kicking with full power in a good tempo. So, how do you go about it?. You DON'T just wake up one day and be able to do it. Firstly, we work out a training programme not just to concentrate on these particular requirements, but bring your general fitness level up to survive the whole weekend and perform at your best.
Let' s look at your proposed weekly plan, starting 3 months or more before grading day. Every morning except for your rest days: light skipping for a couple of minutes joint rotations of the upper body reps of 10 both legs: reps of 10 for rotations dynamic stretching of the legs to the back, hip rotations both sides dynamic stretching of the legs to the side, knee rotations both directions, dynamic stretching of the legs to the front, ankle rotations both directions Now set a number of press ups you can do with failure on the last three. Do the same again for your sit ups. Remember, don't push it. After each week, assess your progress, slowly increase push ups by 5 and sit ups by 10. Now do the stretching and joint rotations for 1 more set. This is your early morning work out.
Club Training: At the end of training do the air shield work out. You should start off with 2 x 1 minute rounds with 1 minute rest between rounds. Bring it slowly to 2 x 2 minute rounds, then bring in the third round with increases by thirty seconds. Near grading time, you should be up to 3 x 2 minute rounds. Occasionally throw in a fourth round and do until failure now and then for a complete blow out.
Run - Push ups & Sit ups: A minimum run of half an hour preferably on a hilly road course. You will find you can increase the time away from home, but remember to slowly increase as if you "over- train" you can pick up stupid niggly injuries!. Attempt the sit ups and push ups. Do as many reps and sets until you reach your goal e.g. one set of 55 push ups, second set of 30, third set of 15,. Total of 100 push ups. Make sure you spend a good time stretching after this work out.
Club Training - Air Shield Work:
Run - Sit ups, Press ups, Strength Work out: Do your half an hour run with medium intensity. Do your sit ups and press ups. Follow this with a weight work out on areas of your legs which need improvement. Followed by a good stretch.
Run - Sit ups and Press ups: Now the run tonight is the 2.4 km timed (keep a record) on the flat, or if you know where the grading is, use a course which is similar. Sit ups and press ups 1 set for each to failure. A good stretch again.
Light warm up e.g. jogging on the spot, skipping, star jumps, burpees. Now start at Chon - Ji and work your way up to your highest patterns, full power. If you have a hanging bag, do some kicks. 10 kicks per leg every kick you know. Push ups then sit ups. Your one step against an imaginary partner. Finish with your three highest pattern, then a good stretch.
Rest Day *NOTE: If you find yourself not coping with this workload, drop off Thursday training. Bring it back in when you can handle it.
** Plyometrics can be performed on two to three times a week. To be done for no longer than fifteen to twenty minutes. To be performed before you go on the run.
With any exercise programme it should be a good idea to have a look at your diet and fluid intake. You should concentrate on foods that are going to give you energy (Carbohydrate foods). Increase your fruit and vegetables to about 60% of what you eat. Cut out fatty foods, make it easier for your body to digest the foods and free up a lot of energy for exercise.
Water - being hydrated is the state your body should be in all the time. As a guide, weight yourself in the morning, then weigh yourself after exercise. The difference is how much water you have lost. 1 kg equals 1 litre of water - generally eight to ten glasses of water a day are required to stay hydrated. If you increase your fruit intake you will find you have to drink less to stay in the hydrated state.
If you eat and drink well your body is generally getting all the nutrients and minerals if needs. Supplements aren't needed. The only one I would recommend is a carbohydrate drink for after training. Just because you have stopped training, physically your body hasn't it's just starting to really burn calories.
So a good carbo fluid replenishing drink keeps your body going by supplying it with food it can burn. Until you can get home and eat something substantial.
This essay for the fitness test is not the final word on it but a guide that can be used and altered to suit your needs.
I've based this plan on what seems to work for me, having played provincial and International Australian Rules Football for the last nine years. During that time I've met a lot of people in the exercise arena and been put on numerous programmes to increase our fitness levels and it seems all the programmes are pretty much like this.
The fitness level needs to be rood before the skill level improves is the most important statement in this essay. The only way to do that is by putting time aside and doing that.