Can Martial Arts Build Muscle?

Martial arts training can be a great way of improving your general fitness levels, while a commitment to training can also help you shift the calories and lose weight. Martial arts can also be utilised to build and maintain muscle. Some martial art forms, such as Thai boxing, are incredibly useful at developing the core and leg muscles. However, many other martial arts styles can achieve similarly impressive results. The reason for this is that many martial arts classes incorporate high intensity interval training (HIIT). 

Can Martial Arts Build Muscle?

High Intensity Interval Training Explained 

HIIT training is increasingly popular with those who are short on time, but still need to ensure their fitness levels remain in check. If you are struggling to find time in your schedule for an hours-long gym visit, HIIT training can be a good compromise. Generally speaking, most HIIT sessions will not exceed more than 20 minutes. However in many cases, HIIT sessions are often much shorter. When incorporated into a martial arts class, a HIIT session may last as little as a few minutes. 

One of the main reasons why HIIT training is so effective at building muscle mass is that such training leaves many areas of the body with depleted oxygen levels.

This is particularly important when it comes to the muscle groups. When muscles are left with depleted levels of oxygen, they need to work considerably harder after HIIT training in order to recover. In other words, HIIT puts more demands on muscle tissue when training. In some cases, HIIT training can put almost twice the demand on muscle fibres than conventional exercise.

Provided you are undertaking HIIT training regularly, such demanding exercise will inevitably lead to improved muscle growth. What’s more, if you’re practising a martial art that involves all key muscle groups, you can expect to see impressive growth and development throughout the body. 

Bruce lee workout

When it came to writing this article, I accidentally stumbled upon the workout below. The truth is, I’m not entirely sure if this is the workout Bruce Lee actually did – however, there’s no denying that it’s a fantastic regime.

Bruce Lee Workout
From Pinterest

Key Benefits of HIIT

High intensity interval training is not only effective, it is incredibly easy to work into a busy routine. A rigorous workout of just 10-15 minutes is often more than sufficient to help everyday practitioners achieve their muscle-building goals. In addition to helping build muscle, HIIT can help you lose a considerable amount of weight.

Provided you are partaking in HIIT on a regular basis, you can look forward to an increased metabolism that will continue to remain active long after you’ve finished your workout. In many cases, increased metabolism levels will remain active for up to a day after training has been completed. 

Here’s a 5 minute martial arts ab workout session by Jesse Enkamp