These are my thoughts on the general, raw strength training versus stability strength training disagreements that I've seen. There are two poles on this discussion and lots of people are at some point on a continuum between these two opposite ends. For the purposes of this commentary I'm going to contrast the two poles, as doing so makes some things more clear.
And as a reminder: the context of this blog is assumed to be athletic individuals training for combat sports and martial arts. Training for general fitness, and/or with deconditioned individuals is somewhat different.
1) All you need is conventional, basic strength training. Squats, deadlifts, barbell bench press etc. Exercises done for high weights on stable surfaces with the objective of increasing the weight that can be lifted in that exercise.
2) Functional, and therefore useful, strength training means training on unstable surfaces. Increase the difficulty of squats by doing them on one leg and/or unstable surfaces. Increase the difficulty of chest presses by doing pushups on hanging handles/BOSU/wobble-board.
The problem I see with position 2 is this scenario: you are fighting someone who goes for type 1 and you do type 2. When they are stable, because they train for high force production when stable, they can hit much harder than you. They are more likely to blow through imperfect defenses because of this. They have good technical training and footwork and agility. As such, they are almost always stable; at which they are ideal. You don't suffer as much when unstable, but that doesn't come up as much during the fight. How does strength training influence the outcome of this fight?
The conclusion I've reached is that you need to do the basic, conventional, high-load strength training. And supplement with the stability based training.
A sample 2 day a week program might look like this:
Straight Leg Deadlift
Barbell Bench Press
Cable Low Row
Rear-foot elevated or Single leg squat
Single leg, straight leg deadlift
Single arm, Dumbbell Bench Press
Bent Over, Dumbbell Row
If I were going to do only one then I would do the basic strength training. My reasoning being twofold: 1) The conventional lifts do require stability, though I include the split squat as a basic lift; 2) I do stability training by doing technical and agility training.
I'm especially interested in feedback on this particular post. So please share your thoughts.