Yesterday, I had a great deal of fun (well, my kind of fun) trying out a multiple Tabata style workout with the use of my Bulgarian Bag and a good old-fashioned skipping rope. Not a difficult or highly complex workout, but it certainly got the heart, lungs and muscles fired up! Sometimes, simple is best, so I thought I'd share it here :-)
For karate, these two training tools can in my view provide a very direct functional transfer effect. The rope is great for learning how to move and coordinate the legs, maintain efficiency when travelling and increase footwork skill. The Bulgarian Bag can be used in so many ways, but even the most fundamental exercises, such as the spins or snatches, challenge the whole kinetic power chain from the floor to the hands. In terms of power generation and koshi (core) development, gaining a deeper understanding of how to integrate the kinetic chain and maximise it's potential is key. In addition to all of this, these tools require you to perform accurately even when tired (another important skill) and always provide me with a tough, but enjoyable workout.
So here's the workout - if you happen to try it out then let me know what you think. I suppose you can substitute the equipment and alter the exercises to suit, but then it would be an entirely different workout...hey ho!
The workout is based on four Tabata intervals. These require you to work for 20 seconds at high intensity followed by 10 seconds rest (apart from the last interval, which doubles up the rounds). This is to be completed a total of 8 times for each Tabata interval. You'll need a stop watch, clock or ideally an interval timer set to guide you through a full workout. You can now even grab some dedicated Tabata training songs direct from iTunes or YouTube that fix both the timing and music problem all in one go!
Check them out here >> http://tabatasongs.com/
Like I said, nothing fancy but a great time efficient workout nonetheless - have fun!