April 1 2018


Conditioning is essential to any martial art and really, to life. I have always practiced some form of conditioning.

Lately, I have been doing body weight conditioning. And by lately, I mean the last few years. I started in earnest when I was training under my good friend Richie Ciriello of Boca Aikido. That’s going back a few years.

My routine consisted of doing a lot of movement across the dojo mats at Florida Aikikai. Such as, military crawls, spider crawls,and crab walks. I would do a few of each across the mats.

These are good size mats. I never measured them but you can get an idea by checking out the pictures on the Florida Aikikai website.

The course of conditioning I am on now is more Systema related. I like the basic movements. It is essentially the same workout I did in boot camp many moons ago.

So the program I developed for myself revolves around a Weider Power Tower that I purchased off of Amazon in 2016. To increase the effect, I use Fat Gripz. I also use a Concept 2 rowing machine since I don’t run anymore.

My routine, as of this posting, starts at 5 a.m. on weekdays. Four days in a row. One day a week I use the rower. No weekends.

Here is the routine:

  • 10 squats
  • 5 Fat Gripz pull ups
  • 5 regular grip pull ups
  • 5 Fat Gripz chin ups
  • 5 regular grip chin ups
  • 5 Fat Gripz hanging leg raises
  • 5 regular grip hanging leg raises
  • 15 Fat Gripz push ups
  • 3 back bridges
  • 10 Fat Gripz vertical leg lifts
  • 8 Fat Gripz dips

I do this two times with minimal rest between exercises. It takes approximately 30 minutes. I end it with a 20 minute sauna cranked up as hot as I can get it. That’s a whole other posting.

The effect this conditioning has had on my Aikido and Systema has been incredible. I feel myself being more aware of my movement and I have experienced less injury.

Doing body weight exercises stretches out my tendons and ligaments and lengthens my spine. It feels great.

Conditioning should be a part of everyone’s daily routine. It needs to become a lifestyle habit so that your body asks you for it.