Thursday, December 27, 2007

How to Avoid These MMA Workout Mistakes

If your Mixed Martial Arts workout could produce any results you desire, what would those be? Would you like to have more strength? Maybe you'd like to be more flexible. Or maybe you'd like to fight until that final bell rings without getting tired?

The answers you just came up with in your head probably depend on your current strengths and weaknesses. And I'm willing to bet that right now you have some area of physical weakness that you've thought "If I only had better (fill in the blank), my performance would improve ten fold. Recognizing this is a huge step forward because these weak areas are what really hold your performance back.

For example, take the fighter who is very physically strong. Whenever you have to train with this guy, you think to yourself "I hate fighting this guy. He over powers me every time."

But then you remind yourself that while he is very strong, his strength doesn't last for very long. You know that if you can force him to exert some energy, his strength quickly drains.

In the end, it's not his incredible strength that stands out, but his lack of endurance. Endurance is his Achilles heel, and pretty soon his strength doesn't even matter anymore.

The other example that I've seen a lot, is the fighter who has incredible flexibility, but very little strength.

Flexibility is such a great thing for a mixed martial artist to have because it gives you a very distinct advantage over your opponents. But again, it's usually your weak areas that show through the most.

There are some really great fighters out there that are incredibly flexible, but they lack strength, power, and conditioning - or even all three.

Don't let your weak areas overshadow your strengths. Don't let your opponent negate your strength because your endurance is weak. Don't let your opponent overcome your superior technique because your conditioning is faulty.

Strengthen your current physical short comings and your performance will improve ten fold.

Use an Ideal MMA Workout:

Just like a mixed martial artist cross trains in fighting styles - becoming great at wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, submissions, boxing, kickboxing, etc - he also needs to "cross train" in his physical conditioning.

Your ideal mixed martial arts workout should build up all of the physical tools you need.

It shouldn't focus just on flexibility, just on strength, or just on endurance. It should improve all of those things together - as much as is possible. This way you don't end up like the guy we talked about above who has a ton strength, but gets tired too fast. This way you won't be the guy who can run a two and a half hour marathon, but doesn't have any functional strength.

In a fight, you don't use flexibility, or strength or endurance separately. They are all combined at the same time. And you will be more successful if you have a good balance of all of them. So the best mixed martial arts workouts train these elements simultaneously.

Rickson Gracie explains this concept -

"[In a] fight you must have speed. You must be flexible. You must have strength. You must have endurance. Everything at once. And the exercises I do combine all of them."

So now I would like to give you a very simple, but powerful way, to put this into action so your workouts actually simulate a fight.

Pick five exercises or drills to perform. (There are way too many options to cover them all in this article) We will just pick a few simple ones that you probably already know how to do.

We'll use a variety of bodyweight exercises: pushups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, and leg lifts. These exercises are very basic, but you can substitute different exercises in the future.

We have chosen five exercises that hit various muscle groups throughout your entire body.

Now you want to perform the exercises in a continuous, circuit style fashion for five minutes straight without stopping. To make the workout even more specific to mixed martial arts, you can add 30 second bouts of shadow boxing to the circuit. Here's a quick run down of the end result:

Minute 1:
30 seconds - pushups
30 seconds - shadow boxing

Minute 2:
30 seconds - sit-ups
30 seconds - shadow boxing

Minute 3:
30 seconds - squats
30 seconds - shadow boxing

Minute 4:
30 seconds - leg lifts
30 seconds - shadow boxing

Minute 5:
30 seconds - lunges
30 seconds - shadow boxing

Now, you have a very simple, high intensity, five-minute workout that you can use any time, anywhere.

This circuit style MMA workout conditions your body to perform the same way you would in a fight, getting no rest for an entire five minutes and using a wide variety of full body exercises.

The workout seems simple, but you'll begin experiencing positive results very quickly if you use the process as I have outlined it above. And, as your conditioning improves, you can begin implementing more advanced exercises and more MMA-specific drills to increase the intensity and take your conditioning to an even higher level!

Powerhouse author, specializing in Mixed Martial Arts workouts, conditioning and training, Marcus Fisher, has a passion for helping fighters, grapplers and other combat athletes reach their peak performance.

He runs a training website filled with resources for mixed martial artists, grapplers and fighters including workout articles, conditioning books, training manuals and DVDs. Visit his MMA Training, Workout and Conditioning site and while you're there, you can also get his free daily health and conditioning tips.


Matt said...

Randy Couture has been doing that workout for years

MARKS said...

I agree with you completly. Today, many fighters train just martial arts and weight lifting, paying no attention to flexibility, explosive polymetric drill or anything else.


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