Chikara Undō - Physical Strength Exercises (力 運動)

Nautilus Strength Workout

Beginning 1980 Nautilus was introduced in the Netherlands by shihan Loek Hollander in the 'Nautilus Sportcentrum'. Very soon after the introduction, i was asked to become head-instructor, due to my background as sports-masseur and -carer. Besides teaching and educating instructors, i also trained Nautilus for myself to support my Kyokushin Karate Workout. I did this for more than 10 years. Currently, almost 30 years later, i train Nautilus again. Now at Budokai Vleesenbeek with shihan Jan Vleesenbeek. Probably it is the same equipment as in the first period.

When exercises are properly performed on Nautilus machines, they produce faster results more efficiently than any other strength training equipment. High Intensity Training, Full Range Exercise, Isometric Resistance (Nautilus shell) and Pre-stretching are some principles that were implemented in the Nautilus equipment.


My Physical Strength Exercises or Chikara Undō are based on the Strength Routines of the Nautilus Program by Arthur Jones. For me these Physical Strength Exercises on Nautilus equipment are part of my weekly schedule. They are are supporting exercises (Hojo Undō) and part of my emphasis on developing physical strength, stamina, muscle coordination, speed, and posture.

Time has not stood still. New developments and insights makes that the combination of targeted Nautulus and Kyokushin karate workouts influence each other positively. At Budokai Vleesenbeek we are fully experimenting with combined training. They start with "Full Range Exercises" followed by Pads workouts and forms of Kumite.

My workouts looks like:

My weekly schedule places a lot of emphasis on a good work/rest ratio. For my body, on my age, these are heavy workouts, so i scheduled a rest day after these exercises.

In 1970, after 20 years experimenting, Athur Jones built a device to train the human muscular system as effectively as possible. This was the first trainingdevice with variable resistor. The resistance was variable due to the use of a carefully designed eccentrically shaped disc, similar to the shape of a Nautilus shell.

Exercises properly performed on Nautilus machines produce faster results more efficiently than any other strength training equipment. The building of strength is proportionate to the intensity of exercise. The higher the intensity the better the muscles are stimulated. The cornerstone of Nautilus training is progression. Progression means increasing the workload during every training session. With each workout you should try to add another repetition, increase resistance or both.
For best results in each repetition will be achieved in a negative-emphasized manner. Like all forms of strength training Nautilus exercises require the raising and lowering of resistance. When you raise the weight stack you're moving against the resistance of gravity and performing positive work. Lowering a weight under control brings gravity into play and is referred to as negative work.
In normal positive-negative exercise performed in Nautilus equipment you should always concentrate on the lowering (negative) part of the movement. If it takes two seconds to lift a weight smoothly it should take about four seconds to lower it.
If each Nautilus exercise is done properly in a high-intensity fashion brief workouts must be the rule. High-intensity exercise has an effect on the entire system and this effect can be either good or bad. If high-intensity work is followed by an adequate period of rest muscular growth and increase in strength will result. Intensive work, however, must not be overdone. Low-intensity work has almost no effect at all.
Between Nautilus workouts you should rest at least 48 hours but not more than 96 hours. high levels of muscular size and strength begin to decrease and atrophy after 96 hours of normal activity. High-intensity Nautilus exercise causes a complex chemical reaction inside a muscle. If given time the muscle will compensate by causing certain cells to get bigger and stronger. High-intensity exercise is, therfore, necessary to stimulate muscular growth but it is not the only requirement. Time and rest are also important as the stimulated muscle must begiven time to recover and grow.

Workouts should begin with the largest muscle groups and proceed to the smallest. This is important for two reasons:
- training the largest muscle first causes the greatest degree of overall body stimulation;
- it is impossible to reach momentary muscular exhaustion is a large muscle if the smaller muscle group is serving as a link between the resistance and the large muscle groups has already been exhausted.
Therefore, it is important to work the largest muscles first while the system is still capable of training at the desired intensity. For best results the exercise sequence should be as follows: hip, legs, torso, arms, waist, lower back, neck.

Warm-Up and Cooling Down
During warm-up, the cartilages of the knee increase their thickness and provide a better fit of the surfaces of the knee joint. Friction-like resistance of the muscle cells is reduced by the higher temperature of the body and the elasticity of the tendons and ligaments is increased. The change to higher temperature allows for increased speed of movement and strength potential. It also minimizes risk of injury. A rise in temperature of the muscle cells by only a few degrees speeds up the production of energy by one-third. Almost any sequence of light calisthenic movements can be used as a general warm-up to precede a vigorous Nautilus training session. Suggested movements include head rotation, side bend, trunk twist, squat and stationary cycling. Doing each movement for a minute or so will be sufficient. Specific warming up for each body part occurs during the first four reps of each Nautilus exercise.
Cooling down after your workout is also important. This prevents blood from pooling in your exercised muscles. After your last exercise, cool down by walking around the workout area, getting a drink of water and moving your arms in slow circles. Continue these easy movements for 4 to 5 minutes or until your breathing has returned to normal and your heart rate has slowed.

20 Seconds Stretching between Exercises
Research has shown that adding stretching exercises to the Nautilus workouts may have dual benefits, enhancing both joint flexibility and strength development. Normally you take a 1-minute break between the Nautilus machines. So the 20-second stretch for the muscle group just worked at, can easily be implemented.

Budokai Vleesenbeek

Chikara Undō - Nautilus Workout (1)

Chikara Undō - Nautilus Workout (2)


Lower Back

Triceps Press

Incline Press

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