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Thread: Fitness for fencing

  1. #161
    Member funkygibbon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purple View Post
    I did a session at Sheffield yesterday with James Williams. I had almost forgot what a proper conditioning session was like. It was brilliant, if exhausting and painful. Makes the Salle Kiss routine look like a stroll in the park.
    You should try one of his sabre lessons.....

  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedrie123 View Post
    Am just a beginner in fencing ..for few months now am learning..What excercises should I follow.Do I need more of them..I practice swimming half an hour...and skipping too for 10 - 15 mins..Is there be some health tips you recommend to follow?
    I would recomend going to the S&C forum off the main page and reading some of the discussion on there about general fitness training for fencers. It should give you some good ideas!

    Briefly answering your specific question though, skipping is a great intro exercise. Teaches some plyometric ability. Worth trying to do it in fencing stance if possible. Other than that, swimming will have little to no benefit for fencing fitness unless you are extremely deconditioned... think morbidly obese, in which case fencing may not be the right sport for you!!! ;-) Swimming can be ok to help with recovery between sessions though. Key things as a beginer is to improve mobility, strength and speed. After that slowly increase your time spent fencing! Not only will this increase your conditioning level, it will allow you to improve your fencing skills at the same time!

    Good luck!

  3. #163
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    Default Distance Practice?

    Heya, I found your post really insightful, I do a few of those things myself, I just wondered what kind of distance practice games you would recommend. And are there any that could be done alone in the gym?

    Thanks,

    Shaun
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I have only just started doing competitions so I decided I needed to train properly over the summer. I have seen some improvement, and here are the excercises I have done and the benefits I have seen:

    Swimming: Twice a week, about an hour on both occasions. Really not a good exercise for Fencing, develops completely different muscles, you have tendency to stiffen up so loads of stretching to compensate, doesn't improve endurance much because the water takes away the most important factor in fencing (over-heating). On the plus side fencers do put on a lot of mass between the waist and the knees (esp. female fencers) so something that develops the upper body is good.

    Walking: Three times a week, about three miles. Seems to help with endurance but only as long as you really puch the pace.

    Skipping: Each day in 10 minute bursts using an egg-timer. Well worth doing, my footwork and endurance really improved and I noticed the difference at Colchester.

    Distance: Lots of distance practice games. As important as footwork on club nights. Try to do 15 to 20 minutes each night. Once I worked on it I realised just how many hits that appear to be blade-work are really about distance.

    Coaching: Get a lesson each week at the club. Always get as many lessons as you can, these are much better than free-fencing. The important thing is to really put the effort into the lesson, like it was a reall bout, and not get dispirited because you can't see improvement, it tends to come in bursts.

    Fencing better people: This is what comps are for. So enter as many as you can, esp. the really tough ones, and treat it as an extra day of practice.
    I find my fencing as a whole really improves when I am fencing people a lot better than me. It goes downhill when I fence bouts at the club.

    Other sports: Do two nights a week of another sport, but only real benefit I see is in exercising muscles the fencing doesn't use and getting away from the fencing for a few hours.

    The other thing is sticking to the regime you set. I ought to do do about 13 hours a week, but I would say I tend to skip some of the things each week and it is more like 8 or 9.

    Robert

  4. #164
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    I fence...and i fence and i fence and fence...It's good cardio

  5. #165
    Paul Sibert Foilling Around's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Filroy View Post
    I fence...and i fence and i fence and fence...It's good cardio
    And if that is all you are fencing for then good luck to you. However you will develop your body very asymmetrically and that could come back to haunt you in later life.

    All of our discussion on this forum is not about fencing to get fit, but about getting fit to fence competitively and injury free. That is a much more complex subject.

    The concept of "the only way to train for fencing is to fence" is very 1980s.
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  6. #166

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    Just wanted to say thanks to all the contributers on this thread - wish I'd found it sooner! Been fencing for a while now but have just decided to go for it and start entering competitions, so really need to improve my (not so great) fitness... I've found some really great advice here on where to start, and things I wouldn't have otherwise considered...

    On an unrelated topic it might help me lose this extra 2 stone before my wedding! Bonus!

  7. #167

    Default Fit it in in little chunks.

    Personally, if you are looking for general improvement and you are a sabreur I would put my efforts into interval training and circuit training so that you can use any spare five or ten minutes that you have. Skipping is great fitness for fencing and it looks cool. Sprints and stair work too. Get the seven minute circuit app on your phone and do it whenever you can. If you do get to the gym, free weights are better than fixed as you are working all your ligaments as well as larger muscle groups without bulking up in an unhelpful way. Also, try out the yoga 'salute to the sun' as a way of doing dynamic stretching, balance and strength for your whole body.

  8. #168
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    Default How to prepare the body for tournament conditions?

    How does one best prepare the body for the rigours of multi-round tournaments that span many hours - certainly many more hours than more people are able to spend training?

    In your average domestic tournament one will have to navigate:

    - 1 (possibly 2) rounds of poules: 6/12 fights to 5
    - DE's from 64 down to the gold medal: 6 fights to 15

    Does anyone know of effective fitness training to best replicate tournament conditions without actually having the same number of hours to spend in a single day? I am constantly aware of the number of fights I get in training sessions (which I don't rush to get more) but the highest I've hit is 8 in a 2 hour sparring window, with the following schedule in an average training evening:

    - 30 minutes footwork
    - 10 mins stretching
    - 20 minute lesson
    - 2 hours sparring

    On top of this I also do conditioning work that focuses on body balance and swimming. If you keep runnning out of steam 2 or 3 DEs into a tournament, what can you do to improve that?

  9. #169
    Senior Member ChrisHeaps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J4G View Post
    How does one best prepare the body for the rigours of multi-round tournaments that span many hours - certainly many more hours than more people are able to spend training?

    In your average domestic tournament one will have to navigate:

    - 1 (possibly 2) rounds of poules: 6/12 fights to 5
    - DE's from 64 down to the gold medal: 6 fights to 15

    Does anyone know of effective fitness training to best replicate tournament conditions without actually having the same number of hours to spend in a single day? I am constantly aware of the number of fights I get in training sessions (which I don't rush to get more) but the highest I've hit is 8 in a 2 hour sparring window, with the following schedule in an average training evening:

    - 30 minutes footwork
    - 10 mins stretching
    - 20 minute lesson
    - 2 hours sparring

    On top of this I also do conditioning work that focuses on body balance and swimming. If you keep runnning out of steam 2 or 3 DEs into a tournament, what can you do to improve that?

    For cross-training I'd recommend mountain biking, especially timed runs around dedicated trail centres. It's great for forearm, hand, leg and core strength and brilliant for cardio. It's much more exhilarating than fencing and you see some sunshine instead of the inside of a gym

    I was up at Gisburn this weekend and loved it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eU67YYVMGFI

    (not my video, I'm not brave enough to do the black sections and get less brave as I get older!).


    Other than that 3 DE's must be getting you into the last 8 where you are probably facing pretty fit opposition. What age are you and what weapon? As an epeeist I think we have to adapt our style as we get older to pace ourselves, I'm not sure this is an option with the other weapons.

  10. #170
    Senior Member max's Avatar
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    There's a well known epee club in Chesterfield called The Skivers Club. We book a badminton court for an hour, set up some pistes (you can fit 4) and fence for 3 minutes or to 10 hits not stopping the clock for hits. After 3 minutes we rotate and set off again.

    Yesterday, there were 5 of us which meant a break for each fencer after 4 fights. We each had 12 fights which is as many as you'd expect in a competition. At the Vets' Winton we have a maximum of 24 x 5 fights to 5 hits which is twice as many fights but spread over 2 days.

    I'd recommend the Skivers' model for anyone that wants stamina training.
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  11. #171
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    Thank you both for your replies.

    I quite like the idea of doing quick-fire fights, the idea is to boost stamina so that I can fencer harder and for longer. I'm a 27 year old top 20 foilist but really want to push up higher!

    Mountain biking in an interesting idea but quite difficult for me as I live in London, squash is one that I am quite fond of but struggling to find somewhere to play!

  12. #172
    Senior Member ChrisHeaps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J4G View Post
    I'm a 27 year old top 20 foilist
    Based on this information I can guess that you are already way fitter than me!

    One other thing came to mind though. In episode 8 of the fencing podcast Sean interviewed Georgina Usher and she was describing the WCP and it drawing to an end. She mentions that she hopes that the knowledge and expertise that have arisen from that programme can be of benefit to others going forward. As it was centered very much on foil I bet they've got all sorts of information that could be of benefit to you in particular such as training and exercise plans, nutrition etc.

    http://www.thefencingpodcast.com/podcast/

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