Sunday, August 28, 2022

An Interview with Brad Steiner - Total Fitness - By David Sedunary

I read with interest the excellent article written by Jim Duggan, praising the efforts of Bradley J Steiner. In my humble honest opinion what a writer he was on strength training, weight training, body building, survival, self defence, hypnotherapy and ways to live a more productive, healthy, and fulfilling life. What more could one ask for than to, read Bradley J Steiner s writings, when one was down, and feeling unenthusiastic as I have been at times.

One only needs to read a paragraph or two of Brad’s informative articles, and you feel like training harder than ever. I know I did. To remedy feeling down and out, I just picked up one of his books or would go to his web site www.American Combato .com and read of his monthly Official Newsletters of the International Combat Martial Arts Federation called Sword and Pen. What a treasure chest of brilliant life absorbing information.

I was fortunate as mentioned in an earlier article to visit and train under Brad Steiner in Self defence, I lived in Seattle for 2 weeks. All our conversations I taped and at one such taping I asked Brad What are the unseen attributes or characteristics Weight training or training in general gives you besides Strong muscles, good, impressive physique, large shapely and balanced development, and power to back up your impressive development.

Well David said Brad in his knowledgeable tone of voice, If you are wise David, and if you are seeking total fitness as well as a muscular and developed body, you will direct much of your training energies toward the acquisition of cardiovascular efficiency, flexibility, coordination and physical toughness.

I asked Brad to please give me his opinion and knowledge on the acquisition of each, and here it is, I have also added my training in which I have done over the years to meet each of the attributes. In Bradley Steiner’s words and some of my training added:

Cardiovascular efficiency

This is David said Brad a finely tuned, healthy thoroughly conditioned heart, circulatory and respiratory system. It is what many physical fitness authorities mean when they speak of “being in good physical condition.” A person who possesses top cardiovascular efficiency will not get winded running for a bus or playing a moderately demanding sport.

The best physical training methods we can use to achieve cardiovascular efficiency are Bike riding, running, Rope skipping, distance swimming and many more. I like Brad Steiner preferred 250 reps of rope skipping for two sets after the completion of my weight training workout. Also, three rounds of 2 minutes each on the punching bag after my workout. Brad wore ankle weights when he skipped, and Brad told me when he trained for self defence, he would pick out three to four blows and work them hard for 2 minutes, rest and repeat.

This worked his cardiovascular system strongly. Some cardiovascular conditioning takes place from regular training but not much. The best way to train in body building is with total body workouts, and if one does this, and adds cardiovascular work to the program, one will be in fine shape. I now prefer Bob Whelan’s instruction of 30 to 45 minutes in an interval style cardio fashion two or three times a week or Ruck walking with a weighted pack.


Brad said that in normal training it is always important to use a full extension and full contraction style of working at each exercise, at every rep; but that will not assure maximum flexibility it only assures full range development of the muscle. The lower back and legs are critical parts of the body. A body must be kept supple to be properly fit. Brad Steiner employed bending and stretching at every martial arts workout he took.

He found it beneficial with weight training. Brad could touch his palms flat on the ground by keeping his knees locked. At least keep yourself limber enough to be able to touch fingertips to toes without bending at the knees. Yoga provides a wealth of tips and exercises for flexibility and will provide you with lots of movements you can add to your training, said Brad.


It was Brads contention that bodybuilders that could only pose and flex were incomplete athletes. Many would disagree. Body building routines assist coordination only in the most limited way, said Brad. Brad also added whereas a man who practices Olympic snatches and the clean and jerk, need not worry about coordination.

Attempt to learn some skill that assist your coordination such as table tennis, or if young and fit judo. David’s training for coordination, balance, and toughness. I now at 70 years of age twice a week practice strikes with my walking stick and hand stick for 15 minutes nonstop. I step and move to the face of an imaginary clock, at for me a quick pace. Stepping forward, backwards, and sideways striking and moving, it not only helps coordination, balance as well improves, and this also gives one a taste of the real world. Best to be always ready for the worst. My walking stick is heavy and takes hand strength and body strength to keep the self defence movements going.

Physical toughness

I had a fair idea of Brads meaning of physical toughness as I played Australian Rules football from age 10 and retired when I was age 33, one had to be physically tough to play Football as it is a very physically demanding and contact sport. Brad explained physical toughness as not of the obnoxious” tough guy” type of toughness. Brad meant one’s entire body should be stressed like high quality steel. One should seek to develop a ruggedness and a hardiness that can provide the means, if necessary, of surviving and emergency or crisis.

The realistic world we live in, is coldly indifferent to the way things ought to be, and it provides us with emergencies, violent criminal attacks, fires, and car accidents to name a few. Brad said we need to be prepared to weather these crisis situations and proper physical training can help. One can practice Boxing, mountain climbing, martial arts, especially combat martial arts. So, there you have said Brad, some suggestions on how to improve you present training program and make it a super training program, so that all round fitness as well as impressive muscularity becomes yours.

I have been saying all my training life every man should have set of weights in his back shed, and a boxing bag hanging from the rafters, know how to use them and use them regularly. Read and study all writings by Bradley J Steiner and bring them into practice. Thank you to Brad Steiner for allowing me to interview him on this important subject, I have many more I wish to share.
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