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I am currently 6'0" 194 lbs. I teach martial arts, which requires me to be physically fit in almost all respects.

My physical fitness goals are (in random order):

  • Increase flexibility in the hips, legs, and shoulders
  • Decrease body fat
  • Gain muscle
  • Increase explosive power
  • Increase cardio

In what order should I focus on each area?

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Well, what level is each area at now, and how much improvement are you looking for in each area? –  Dave Liepmann Nov 17 '13 at 22:30
    
At the moment i can do 10 pull ups consistently, run a 5k in 21:36, and the last time i bench pressed (2 years ago) i completed 185 4 times. However i am VERY unflexible, i have hip problems that make it painful to lift my leg sideways above waist level –  Mitchell Nov 18 '13 at 0:59
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1 Answer 1

The only elements of these attributes that are at cross-purposes for a novice is cardio and strength/explosiveness. Even so, you'll be able to work on both simultaneously with negligible conflict.

However, if your mobility issues are serious, they take top priority. Cardio, strength, and muscle mass all rely on movements which require mobility. Regaining full hip and shoulder mobility should be your top priority, even if you do a concurrent strength-and-conditioning program.

A basic mobility-focused strength program with a cardio finisher might work for you. Something like what is described in this answer, with the caveat that you shouldn't worry overmuch about doing cardio work, would be appropriate for the strength work. Make sure you take into account the cardio work you get in martial arts (whether it's a little or a lot), and increase the weights slowly if the strength training is concurrent to cardio and martial arts. Mobility work might involve a longer warm-up with more dynamic stretches: leg swings, lunges, 3rd world squat practice, and so on. Yoga or a morning stretching routine could help with mobility, which does well with greater frequency.

In six months--able to do a solid set of pull-ups, mile run, barbell squat, deadlift, and power clean--you can revisit the question with wiser eyes.

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