Last week I got the chance to watch a few of the American Freedom Bull Fighting Championships on the Field Life Network. I have done a lot of tough sports. I’ve taken a lot of whacko heavy stuff. Things most people are afraid to try. I was a fighter and that ‘s some tough business. But maybe these people would take the cake.
Let me briefly explain what they do. Many of them work as rodeo clowns, which means their job is to protect a bull rider and keep them from killing by pulling a 2,000lb bull. One of the largest, meanest and perhaps deadliest animals on the planet. In freestyle bull fighting there is no cowboy to defend, but the bull fighter in the ring with the bull alone. In freestyle bull fighting they use smaller Mexican fighting bulls, probably still 800lbs or better. It is bloodless. They don’t kill the bulls like Mexican matadors. The bull fighter gets points for artistically beating the bull around the ring for about a minute. The closer and more dangerous he dances with the higher bull he scores.
Things like jumping over the bull while running on it, “step thrus,” where he goes alongside the bull and turns his back on him, grabbing the bull by the horn and jumping with him, etc. . One bull fighter surprised me. . To start his round he turned his back with the bull’s pen, when the bull came roaring out he deliberately jumped allowing the bull to hit him in the calves and made him roll back sheets over the bull’s body while run below. No fear at all. Think about that the next time you get a little nervous trying heavy PR or doing a little sparring. Talk about tough. One man had a broken wrist at the start of his round while fouling the bull. He didn’t even consider calling the round short, he kept going. Think about that the next time you feel pain and anguish.
These are guys whose lives depend on the ability of their bodies to move. Their conditioning and agility as well as titanium nerves are probably more intense than they are smart (I know a bunch who are to blame for that), so we’re going to dedicate a little training routine to them .
One of the things they did during the show to illustrate the various movements was to take a small hand cart or two wheels and pretend it was the bull. This allowed them to use a kit that moved like a bull (the rear end must turn to turn the front one), and slowly display the various times the bull fighter does. It struck me how that kind of fitness would be great in real life. Great for fighters and athletes because it’s very applicable to what you do, ie, moving around in the ring or on the football field or self-defense, basketball, baseball … or what you have. Also how this could be combined in a routine to help quickly create those qualities, balance, coordination, control, agility, as well as conditioning and strength.
So this is how we do it. We’re going to combine a combination of a heavy barbell, an alternative conditioner, and the “bull fighter” fitness drill. So the first part of this work; choose a heavy barbell exercise that you want to do for singles. This could be squat, chests, deadlifts, whatever. You’re going to do a heating set or two as well as a bit of light jogging, a general movement to warm up and sweat. From there, you will gradually make 5 to 10 heavier singles. Between each single you do 30 to 60 seconds of the bull fighter fitness drill. Move back and forth as fast as possible. If you have a small dolly and a party you can do it by turning your partner around you with the dolly. Now dodge him, but stay close. Do not run away from it. Work on your lateral fitness, being able to change directions, body positions and the legs you drive. Kind of like a sprint, but a few steps in each direction and then immediately change direction. If you do not have a hand cart but have a party you can do it resourcefully by chasing the party or chasing you with a stick. (I guess the bigger the stick, the faster you move. LOL), don’t go out there and try each other, just get a good move. If you don’t have a partner, imagine being turned around and moving around.
Complete the routine by picking an alternative conditioner, ie physical exercise, kettle exercise, swinging an Indian club or sledgehammers or cable pulling, etc., and do 5 sets of that mixed with 5 rounds of the bull fighter fitness drill.
In this routine you have to lift heavy, do some high reps and build some athletic qualities. You should be sweating like a horse and deeply out of breath if you are doing it right.
Have fun and no complaints. Sometimes we all have to do a little bit harder.
As a side note, this routine might seem a little funny especially to you hardcore guys. I can hear you now, “What kind of goofball routine is this ?! He wants us to let WHY ?? I just lift heavy things … I’m too macho to do anything else.” Well give it a try. The drill itself is actually a simple movement-based fitness drill. See how heavy you can lift when you have just sprinted back and forth for 45 seconds with your heart beating at 180 beats per minute. The good thing, though, is that if you do this a few times, you can get a pretty heavy lift when you change it and your heart becomes effective. This conditioning takes over. You will feel it. The whole routine should not take you more than 20 minutes and get you strength and cardio at the same time.