The question of what fencers need to do outside of the club is a big one. Will the gym improve your fencing? Do you need to have more physical activity besides just your fencing training?
There is a definite answer here: it depends.
What it depends on are your goals as a fencer. Are you in this for Olympic glory? How about for a chance to test yourself at local competitions? Maybe you aren’t interested in competing at all and want to get all of the benefits of fencing right at the club. There are a wide range of reasons that people train in fencing, and depending on what those reasons are you may or may not need extra workout time to get to those goals.
Elite competitive fencers do a lot more than just train at the fencing club. These athletes weight train and do cardio workouts in order to raise their speed and agility as well as endurance on the strip. If you follow these kinds of renowned fencers on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll see tons of mind-blowing videos of their conditioning training.
However fencing training is in and of itself a great workout that offers an incredible amount of benefit physically. If you’re not an elite competitive fencer, then you will find that your fencing training improves your coordination, strength and cardiovascular health. It’s a perfect way for people to get fit! For people who are here to get a workout, fencing training is a great alternative to the gym.
Will the Gym Improve Your Fencing? Yes.
The real deal here is that working out at the gym will improve your fencing. Your body will be stronger and able to hold position better and for longer periods of time. You’ll have to think less about willing your muscles to stay where you want them to which will let you think more about your opponent – basically you’ll be fighting your body less and fighting them more. You’ll be able to sustain longer bouts without getting tired, which of course is huge because it is so often the person who wears out faster that loses in the end.
However you don’t have to spend hours and hours working out in order to get the benefits in your fencing. Elite competitive fencers might spend a LOT of time at the gym outside of their marathon practice sessions, but for most fencers simply incorporating strength training and cardio workouts a few days a week will offer some incredible benefits on the strip. Incidentally, this is the same level of working out that is really recommended for most people just for health. Do also keep in mind that by training in fencing regularly you’re already getting a great workout, so adding in additional gym time is going above and beyond for fencers.
The most important thing to remember is to coordinate and consult with your coach if you want to add an additional training into your routine. We’ve seen many cases when overtraining causes more harm than good.
And lastly, you do not want to sacrifice your time fencing in service of your outside exercise. Skipping fencing practice so that you can squeeze in a gym workout is counterproductive, and will do you all kinds of harm!
Your focus must stay on your training if your goal is to get better as a fencer, with the gym being viewed as a solid support method.
What do you think? Will the gym improve your fencing? Tell us in the comments.
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