Hammer Time

I’m showing may age here when I say this has nothing to do with baggy pants days of the early 90′s. Instead, it has to do with three areas of need in the world of conditioning combat athletes. These areas are grip, shoulder strength/mobility, and punching power. The circuit was born out of necessity for myself and my combat clients like Kenny Florian, Stephan Bonnar, and Alex Karalexis. I came up with the concept based from Indian club techniques (thanks to Dr. Dick Thomas) and Pekiti Tirsia kali (thanks to Guro Bill Schultz, Mandella Tim Waid, and Grand Tuhon Leo Gaje).

I have a slight bicep tendon injury on my left arm from all the years of throwing punches. Every time I tried any traditional pressing motions, my shoulder would absolutely kill me the next day and I found myself popping Alleve the next day, which I can’t stand to take. After experimenting with four and three pound sledge hammers for about a week, I came up with a circuit I was happy with.



WEC fighter Alex Karalexis On Kenny’s first day of his phase 1, Strength and Hypertrophy program, I introduced him to the concept. As he knows, I am always thinking outside the box, and this one was way out. He at first thought I was a little crazy (I am actually really crazy) and started to play with the circuit. To his delight he actually really liked it and he could see the benefits of it. Kenny has had, on and off, a bit of an elbow problem from punching. After a few weeks he reported that elbow pain had subsided and he felt his punching power and grip were better. I thought, works for me.

Then about a month later Alex Karalexis was in town and we connected to start his program. I also introduced him to the “Hammer Time” which he instantly loved. He also commented that training like this made him feel like a man. I asked him what he meant. He said “sitting down lifting weights on a machine will not help me fight, this stuff will.” WEC fighter Alex KaralexisI thought case number two also had worked. I decided since I had such good results from this circuit, that I would include it in my latest three pack DVD series for MMA conditioning “The Burn with Kearns Basement Tapes for MMA Conditioning”. I also posted a clip of this on you tube which we will post in the end of this story. There are six basic movements I use, either for reps or timed intervals.

1. Side swings

2. Roof block

3. Iron T

4. Cut up and cut down

5. Straight hammer time

6. Front to back swings.

If you want a different shoulder, grip, and arm workout, try the “Hammer Time” from Burn With Kearns.

Article courtesy of BurnWithKearns.com & Be Physically Fit, Inc.

Kevin Kearns has been strength and conditioning coach as well as a corporate wellness consultant for over 20 years. He is the director of Burn with Kearns .com and Be Physically Fit .com. Besides being the strength and conditioning coach for UFC fighters Kenny Florian, Stephan Bonnar, and WEC Fighter Alex Karalexis, his companies regular consult with Fortune 500 companies, such as UPS. Currently he is middle of releasing his new DVD series for MMA conditioning
“The Burn With Kearns The Basement Tapes for MMA Conditioning”. His MMA Conditioning seminars are always cutting edge and almost always sell out. For more information about seminars and workshops please contact Ron Weinberg at consenmar@hotmail.com or 508-653-7401. Kevin can be reached at Kevin@BurnWithKearns.com

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