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Jacdaw
-29th March 2012, 18:27
How strong and muscular do you need to be for an international fencer? Is there a line that can be crossed? can you be too strong?

Foilling Around
-29th March 2012, 18:38
If by strength you mean world's strongest man type strength then yes there is a limit. That type of strength at a certain point leads to a reduction in speed, so there has to be a compromise.

Jacdaw
-29th March 2012, 18:51
what kind of physique are you trying to aim for? Light weight boxer? As heavy weight build seems abit heavy and slower?

Fencer91
-30th March 2012, 16:32
what kind of physique are you trying to aim for? Light weight boxer? As heavy weight build seems abit heavy and slower?

Yes as while brute strength might have immediate early advantages it is easier to work out and counter whereas good stamina is far harder to deal with if it is applied correctly. Considering that some foil DEs can last sometimes around half an hour an with a lot of action going on stamina is always going to be preferable

Spider5
-30th March 2012, 19:21
There can only be a maximum 9 minutes of actual fencing in a DE. A high anaerobic / lactate threshold and fast recovery are probably more important than stamina.

Fencer91
-30th March 2012, 20:17
There can only be a maximum 9 minutes of actual fencing in a DE. A high anaerobic / lactate threshold and fast recovery are probably more important than stamina.

Nine minutes but with only two 1 minute rest breaks which for most people in foil whom i highly doubt maintain maximum perfect fitness levels is not likely to be a long enough recovery rate. The most energetic and long lasting DE's due to the fast paced start stop nature is I think a very aerobic activity and therefore on that basis can last as long as I said (30 minutes of actual fencing might kill me :-P). Therefore high stamina levels are needed with one of the best ways to achieve them being Fartlek training a method used for sports requiring explosive speeds and yet endurance as well

pinkelephant
-31st March 2012, 09:27
TEN minutes maximum.

Hansei
-31st March 2012, 09:31
The most energetic and long lasting DE's due to the fast paced start stop nature is I think a very aerobic activity

I agree with Spider5. In a DE, you can only be working up to a maximum of 10 minutes duration. A DE is "long lasting" because this 10 minute period is being continuously broken up with pauses - most often when a hit has been scored. By its very nature then it is a decidedly more anaerobic activity - you are working at a high intensity over a series of short time periods (every individual hit). If it was aerobic, you would be working at a lower intensity over a much longer period of time. You seem to have this confused in your post when you suggest that "the fast paced start stop nature" is what makes it an aerobic activity - these are the very characteristics that make it aenerobic.

Spider5
-31st March 2012, 10:17
Oh aye, right enough with the extra period. Point is though that 9-10 minutes are a lot less than 30.

Fencer91
-31st March 2012, 14:32
I suppose, maybe i do. What i meant though was because its so start stop its barely a pause in the energetic action, but by definition of the type of exercise you are right.

John222
-27th July 2012, 09:01
Fencing requires both strength and speed. Don't think that strength means overweight which will reduce your speed. One must be fit and strong to be perfect for fencing. For gaining good strength eat high protein foods and do regular practice.

Confuzzled
-11th August 2012, 23:23
The muscles are formed by fibres. Some of them slow twitch, some of them fast twitch.

Slow twitch muscle fibres (type I) carry out extended contractions for long periods of time. These muscle fibres are predominantly used in sport such as endurance running.

There are two kinds of fast twitch fibres (type IIa and IIb). Type IIa have the characteristics to produce more powerful contractions than type I, but less powerful than IIb. They can also contract for longer periods of time than IIb, meaning that for fencing you can produce fast, powerful contractions throughout a bout. Type IIb produce the most powerful and fast contractions, although these only last very short periods of time. These muscle fibres produce the kind of contractions that you would see in an explosive lunge.

All of these muscle fibres are being used at the same time. What is important to note, is that there is a predominant muscle fibre being used in each contraction. For example, if a fencer was going to do an explosive lunge, the muscle would use type I and type IIa, but would predominantly recruit the IIb muscle fibres.

A muscle cannot be made up of just one type of muscle fibre, the muscles will always be made up of all three types of fibre, it's thought that you are made up of 50% slow twitch and 50% fast twitch. However it has been seen in some elite marathon runners to change to 80% slow twitch, and in some elite sprinters to 80% fast twitch. So it is possible to train the body to recruit more fast twitch fibres if an individual selects the right exercise and training routine to match this.

Hope this helps :-)

sphericalcat
-12th August 2012, 07:39
what kind of physique are you trying to aim for? Light weight boxer? As heavy weight build seems abit heavy and slower?

Something similar to what top athletes in racket sports have. Lots of explosive power in the legs and excellent core, not so much up top.

purple
-12th August 2012, 13:05
Something similar to what top athletes in racket sports have. Lots of explosive power in the legs and excellent core, not so much up top.

I used to be a believer in the "not much up top". I'm just back from London, "up top" just gained some priority.

sphericalcat
-13th August 2012, 01:07
I used to be a believer in the "not much up top". I'm just back from London, "up top" just gained some priority.

Which weapon, out of interest? Sabreurs have always had a bit more bulk (fast paced, big actions).

The bottom line though is what do you compare against? Compared to boxers, fencers certainly don't need much up top.

TomA
-13th August 2012, 11:03
what kind of physique are you trying to aim for? Light weight boxer? As heavy weight build seems abit heavy and slower?At the risk of ass-kissing, look at Jon Willis. I don't think you'd call him big and slow. There's a video kicking around of him back squatting something in the region of 150kg, although he probably doesn't do that every day (or maybe he does!?)

There's a difference between muscle and strength (although the two are obviously linked). Bigger muscles will probably make you stronger, but will, as has been mentioned, add to your physical bulk. The consensus among my sports science friends (not graduates or fencing specialists so take this with a pinch of salt) is that the increase in muscle mass generally will have enough associated benefit to strength that it will compensate for the increased bulk and still leave some physical force for output, therefore not slowing you down up to a certain point. However there are training methods to maximise strength output which only involve acquired muscle mass as a subsidiary outcome, and these are what are more useful to us as fencers as they provide a large strength output (which we can convert into speed) for relatively little muscle gain (compared to say, bodybuilders).

I'm not going to say what weights you should be doing etc - book yourself an hour or two with a trainer, explain to them your needs and get them to write a training plan for you and show you how to do it. Or go to the Academy where I believe they will do this for you.


Something similar to what top athletes in racket sports have. Lots of explosive power in the legs and excellent core, not so much up top.I wouldn't necessarily use tennis players as a good model. 3 and 5 set matches are big endurance tests, which fencing is not so much. I suppose a squash player might be a good example though.

sphericalcat
-13th August 2012, 11:44
I wouldn't necessarily use tennis players as a good model. 3 and 5 set matches are big endurance tests, which fencing is not so much. I suppose a squash player might be a good example though.

I was thinking more of badminton than tennis. Badminton games tend to be relatively short. Interestingly, the footwork injury statistics for badminton are virtually identical to sabre.

Jacdaw
-13th August 2012, 14:46
You know boxers do skipping allot, is it worth fencers doing this?

TomA
-13th August 2012, 15:06
You know boxers do skipping allot, is it worth fencers doing this?Nothing wrong with it, not sure what the benefits of it are to fencing though vs other exercises. It's mostly used as a cardiovascular/weight loss exercise - so if you've got any extra baggage to burn and/or you can find yourself some sort of anaerobic skipping routine, then you'll see some benefit. The question is really not 'is such and such good for fencing' - most physical activities, if you do them long enough and well enough, will probably lead to some improvement in your fencing. But the question you want the answer to is 'which exercises will I see maximum benefit from' as your time is a finite resource. The specific answers to that, as opposed to general points about fencers' training, are best obtained from the real-life S+C guys at the Academy or your local gym, rather than an internet forum.

Andy
-21st August 2012, 21:04
You know boxers do skipping allot, is it worth fencers doing this?

Yes! It's also great plyometric exercise.

There are a number of benchmarks for different areas of fitness, but basically if you are asking the question, you need to be cardiovascularly fitter, stronger, more powerful, better core...

Once you can run a 13 on the Bleep test, just go for CV maintenance
Once you can squat 1.3-1.5x bodyweight just go for maintenance
Once you can do a broad jump of 1.5-1.8x your height just go for maintenance
Once you can fence all day, and your body position is still good...

(I am NOT saying that all you have to do is RUN and SQUAT and JUMP - BUT if you can perform these results on these simple to perform tests, then you will not be far away from being Fencing Fit - fitter than most of the GBR Fencers)

Alongside this you need to work on your footwork, small and quick steps, good quality lunges etc etc
Alongside this you need to work on your blade-work, small, neat, precise actions
Alongside this you need to see the actions that you need to make from what distance, and make the hits.

Now you have 4 years to win ME my Olympic Gold...

LifeBeginsAt58
-21st August 2012, 23:29
is it possible that overemphasis is given to the role of muscles in sport? Shouldn't we look more at the transmission & suspension system that translates the h.p. of the body into useable and sustainable movement (eg tendons, skeletal fixings and bones)?
The layman's impression that I have is, more injury is sustained from deficiencies of the latter than the "va, va vroom" of the former!
I find it difficult to divorce the mental image association of the Stig in a three-wheeled Reliant Robin tooled up by a Bugatti Vayron engine on the "Top Gear" test track with that of a muscle-clad fencer having similar transmission and suspension properties!
Thoughts, and apologies for any unpleasantness, anyone?

Johnny12
-12th January 2013, 08:58
If by durability you mean globe's most powerful man kind durability then yes there is a restrict. That kind of durability at a certain factor results in a decrease in rate, so there has to be a bargain.

Devante
-16th February 2013, 04:37
The most dynamic and resilient DE's due to the fast moving start quit characteristics is I think a very cardio exercise action and therefore on that foundation can last provided that I said (30 moments of real walls might destroy me :-P).