Ironside Fitness: martial arts workout

Some of my top fans have been requesting a martial arts-based cardio workout, which is a brilliant idea.  Here is my first cardio and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout that incorporates the basic techniques found in my empty hand program (Pinto Blad and Impact Tactics).

Depending on how hard you want to push yourself decided how many times you want to repeat the two circuits.  If you decided to repeat the circuits complete both circuit #1 and #2 then go back to repeat them.  Circuit #1 and #2 should take 20 minutes.  All you need is a little space in your living room and a water bottle, no special equipment or martial arts knowledge is required.

Be sure to fully warm-up and stretch before jumping into this workout!  You can do your own warm-up or follow the suggested warm-up

Suggested Warm-up

This is the warm-up Duncan with B Greater Fitness always had me doing before my workouts.  If you like this warm-up you will need a foam roller.

Foam Roll

  1. Upper Back –“Wellness Wednesday: Try a Foam roller for DIY massage”
  2. Quads -“Wellness Wednesday: Tight thigh muscles? Try a foam roller”
  3. Lats –“Lat & Rotator Cuff – Foam Roller Myofascial Release”
  4. Inner thigh –“Foam Rolling Adductor Muscle (Beginner) | Foam Rolling”
  5. Calves – “Foam Rolling Tight Spots in Calves – St Ives Physiotherapy & Sports Therapy Centre”
  6. IT bands – “Fix Your Lateral Knee Pain With A Foam Roller (Runner’s Knee, ITB ,TFL)”
  7. Hamstrings –“Wellness Wednesday: Use a foam roller to release your hamstrings”


Be careful not to overstretch before your workout.  The point is to get your muscles loose and ready not to work on flexibility.

  1. Hamstring – hold for 20 seconds each leg and repeat once –Seated Single Leg Hamstring Stretch
  2. Chest – hold for 20 seconds each side and repeat once –Doorway Pec Stretch
  3. Butterfly – hold for 30 seconds repeat once – How to do a butterfly stretch
  4. Tricep – hold for 20 seconds each side and repeat once – Overhead Tricep Stretch
  5. Quad – hold for 20 seconds each side and repeat once – Standing Quadricep Stretch


Circuit #1

  1. Jab – 25 reps each side
  2. Cross – 25 reps each side
  3. Hook – 25 reps each side
  4. Uppercut – 25 reps each side
  5. Jab/Cross Combo – 25 reps each side
  6. Hook/Uppercut Combo – 25 reps each side
  7. Jab/Cross/Hook/Uppercut Combo – 25 reps each side

Total of 125 reps!

Take a  2 min break

Circuit #2

  1. Box Step – 10 reps each direction
  2. Jab/Cross switch – Left and Right count as one rep do 20 reps total
  3. Hook/Uppercut switch – Left and Right count as one rep do 20 reps total
  4. Female Triangle Step – 10 reps each direction
  5. Male Triangle step – 10 reps each direction
  6. Female Triangle with Knee strike – 10 reps each direction
  7. Male Triangle with Knee Strike – 10 reps each direction

Total of 180 reps!

Take a  2 min break – or use the suggested exercises in the video for your cool down.

Be Sure to Support us on Social Media! #ironsidemedievalcombat

With all the exciting things happening this year, we would love to share this amazing training with our community to help inspire a love for martial arts.  You can help support these programs by following and sharing our various social media pages.  There is a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, and YouTube Channel dedicated to Ironside Medieval Combat.  Check out these pages, share them, talk about them, and together we can make Martial Arts an inspiration for generations yet to come.


Farang Fitness

There just isn’t enough time in the day to squeeze in all the fitness and martial arts training that I want. It always feels like I am sacrificing one or the other. It’s one of the reasons why training smarter is so important.

Take tonight’s training schedule as an example. I worked all day, then taught an hour long belly dancing class, drove home, ate dinner, trained for another hour in martial arts, and worked on my business webpage. I got a ton done but always feel like it isn’t enough. I do meal prep on the weekends to save time during the week, but I still feel like I run out of day light and energy. That is why I have started combining my fitness training with martial arts practice.

Not all forms of martial arts practice is good for fitness. For example, if I am studying new material and going slow, then I still need to squeeze in a fitness workout. However, if I am drilling material I already know, then I can turn it into a great cardio workout.

Tonight I was practicing material from the Farang Mu Sul system. It is a Korean style of martial arts brought to the United States by Grand Master De Alba. I needed to drill these combinations, because in a street fight if I am defending myself I will not have time to check my notes. I will need to be able to respond quickly without thinking about the ”right move.” By increasing my speed and intensity with these drills I was able to get a great cardio burn in and lock down some much-needed practice time. A double win!


This website contains material derived in whole or in part from the teachings of Grand Master Michael De Alba, the International De Alba System Confederation™, Modern Farang Mu Sul ® and their students, instructors, and associates. International copyright, trademark and other intellectual property laws protect these materials. Users, guests and visitors may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute in any way or in any form, any material from the Service including code and software. Users, visitors and guests may download material from the Service for personal, non-commercial use only, provided all copyright and other proprietary notices are clearly visible and intact. Commercial use, reference or linkage to the Service site, without the express written permission, of Michael De Alba or his assigns, by registered letter, is prohibited.Copyright 2001® DeAlba Productions

Break out of your Comfort Zone

The comfort zone is that warm and fuzzy place where everything is safe. We don’t grow in the comfort zone. Body positivity is establishing who we are and firmly rooting that image into our comfort zone. In itself, that isn’t a bad thing, but what happens if you want more? Complacency is the death of progress. No matter how much we wish it the world will not stand still for us. If we stop pushing, and the world keeps moving forward, then we fall behind. Fitness, martial arts, nutrition the same rule applies to them. A martial artist who doesn’t practice her skills will start to loose them. A healthy eater who doesn’t adjust their nutrition as she gets older will start to have problems. A fitness buff who does the same thing all the time will plateau. In order to grow we need training that is going to push us outside our comfort zones. For me high intensity is something outside of my comfort zone. No matter what sport I am in I’m always the slow and steady type. That style has served me well, after all I won a world championship undefeated in martial arts. However, complacency is the death of progress. To keep pushing and keep moving forward with my skills I need to train outside of my comfort zone. With both my fitness and martial arts training I’m working on increasing my intensity. After all I wouldn’t be much of a instructor if I can’t practice what I preach. What is your comfort zone and how are you pushing your limits? Give it a try and see how far you can go!

#ironside #ironsidemc #ironsidemedievalcombat #pushingboundaries #outsideofcomfortzone #mentalfortitude #workoutmotivation #progress #trainhard #martialarts #weaknesstostrenght #workhard #fitnessmotivation #fitness #fitnessgirl

Food for thought- April Nutrition

Nutrition is more than just calories, vitamins, minerals, and protein. A person, not just an athlete, that wants to live a healthier life needs to put thought into what they are eating and when.

There is all kinds of studies and information available as to when it is best to eat different types of foods. I have heard conflicting information as well but that isn’t the topic I am addressing today. Today I bring up the thought of eating based on what you are doing with your day. This simple change can make a difference on your fitness goals and your quality of day to day life.

Growing up on a southern family farm there were many summers that my family got together and bailed hay. Before we got started on the work of the day we would have a big breakfast of tons of heavy and carb filled foods: biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon, eggs and hash browns. Sounds like a ton of food and not all of it is all that healthy right? The thought here was to make sure that we had the fuel to make it through a tough day of work and not end up dragging halfway through.

That is an example of thinking about eating based on your day. If you are going to do a ton of physical work first thing in the morning or most of your day eating more carbs, such as biscuits and gravy, isn’t necessarily going to derail all of your hard work. Eating an easily absorbed and used source of energy is a good idea for a day of activity. If you are going to work at your desk job and not going to move around a whole lot for a period of eight hours eating a lot less is more advisable. A smaller breakfast of egg whites or a protein shake would suit you much better. Your body wont need to draw energy as much throughout the day and the protein will be used by your body for a more sustained energy gain through the day.

These are very broad examples of food that can do different jobs based on a persons needs. Change what you eat based on your day, this can work for any diet. Think before you eat, think about what you eat.

Thursday Workout 2/28 – Fitness February

This is our last day of free workouts for Fitness February. I hope you enjoyed them and were able to take your training to a new level. Stay tuned for next month we start a month of martial arts drills. Keep training, keep working hard, and you are always welcome to join the Ironside team for training, tournaments, parties, and much more.


Had a great back-and-forth the other day about these HIIT workouts:

“Thanks coach. Keep em coming. Maybe some more quick sprint/burst/agility ones?”

Ask, and you shall receive Allie.

Circuit #1

5 Plyometric Push-Ups (6 if you’re Acoustic)


5 Plank Tucks (6 if you’re Acoustic)

25/m sprint (Down/Back)

You will complete the plyometric push-ups and IMMEDIATELY transition to plank tucks. Once you’ve completed the plank tucks, stand up as quickly as possible and take off for your sprint. Touch the line 25/m away, turn around, and sprint back. Rest 30-60 seconds.

Repeat Circuit #1 five (5) times.

Circuit #2

5 Alternating Speed Lunges (L/R =1)


5 Prisoner Jump Squats (Touch and go but GET UP THERE!!!)


5 Backpedal/Sprints

Complete the alternating speed lunges as quickly as possible and IMMEDIATELY transition to prisoner jumps squats. I want you to get deep in your squat and EXPLODE up…GET UP THERE! Once those are complete, backpedal to sprints; take 20 steps in your backpedal with your hips down moving as quickly as possible. Once you get to that 20th step, settle your feet and sprint back to the starting line. Rest 30-60 seconds.

Repeat Circuit #2 five (5) times.

Circuit #3

10 Plank “Knee to Elbows” (L/R =1)


10 Sideways Run-To-Sprint (5 leading with right foot, 5 leading with left foot)


Take your time with the plank knee-to-elbows…your upper body might be a little shaky at this point. When performing the sideways run-to-sprints, be sure to run sideways at least 5/m as fast as possible and then sprint at least 15/m.

Repeat Circuit #3 two (2) times.

If you like just the fitness part of what we are offering be sure to check out Duncan’s B Greater Fitness Facebook page!