Basics of MMA Weight Training Program

September 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Weight Training

Article by Wayne

Basics of MMA Weight Training Program – Sports – Martial Arts

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Mixed Martial Arts is a relatively new sport, but combat sports have been around for many years. Each sport has their own specific training regimen scientifically developed to produce the maximal results. Consequently, the routines and principles have already been designed. It is only a matter of incorporating ones that are useful and discarding those that are not. The best weight training for MMA program increases strength, endurance, and explosive power.

What separates a fighter who has knock out power and one who doesn’t? Strength. I am willing to bet that a fighter with knock out power also has a better “MMA weight training program”. A Mixed Martial Arts weight training program sticks to the basics. The key is to strengthen the muscles involved in kicking, punching, grappling, etc. All big movements in MMA involve multiple muscle groups. So compound lifts are the best exercises for MMA. Here are the top exercises: deadlifts, squats, bench press, horizontal rows, glute ham raises. Having a stronger body with the same technique will always produce a significant increase in damage.

Circuit training for MMA has gotten the most attention. But the circuit training is inefficient. Circuit training is when one moves from one exercise to another with the focus on increasing strength and cardio. There are three energy systems in the body: Aerobic, Anaerobic and ATP-PC. Aerobic is the system that predominates when doing the workload doesn’t demand a large amount of energy. Think marathon runners. Anaerobic predominates when more energy is required, but the production limit is quickly limited. This is equal to doing 8 to 12 reps. ATP-PC produces the largest amount of energy for max strength and power, but is extremely limited. Imagine doing a sprint. Because circuit training involves doing many reps of a certain exercise, the aerobic system predominates. It is terrible for strength. This is not the proper way to train endurance.

A good MMA weight training program increases a fighter’s endurance through intensity. High intensity training means lifting heavy weights for low reps with shorter rest periods. Pick a weight that you can do for 4-5 reps, but do it for 2 reps as fast as you can. Then rest a minute before the next set. Work up to 8-10 sets. After all, your body adapts to the way you train. Fighting and combat sports is about constant output of energy. It is about quick bursts and rest periods in between. Therefore, we should lift with the intention to reduce our body’s recovery time while maximizing our explosive power.

One of the easiest methods to improve explosive strength is to buy resistance bands and hooking them onto the barbell. Or to buy powerlifting chains that will make regular lifts heavier at the top and lighter on the bottom. An economical way to make your own chains is to go to Home Depot and purchase their heaviest link-lock chains and stringing them together. The principle behind this is overloading the muscles. In order to complete a repetition, you must generate force greater than the bar because it gets heavier at the end of the motion. For example, let’s say you are capable of benching 300 lbs, but you lower the weight to 225 and put 120 lbs of resistance bands onto the barbell. If you were to bench the bar with 225 lbs of force, you will fail the lift as soon as the bands tighten. The same is true if you were to push with 300 lbs of force. In order to succeed, you must bench with at least 320 lbs of force and accelerate at a speed fast enough to overcome band tension. This forces your body to recruit and fire all your muscle fibers.

Putting it all together

The best MMA weight training routine has two types of lifting days. Days where we work on absolute strength and days where we work on explosive strength. The closer you are to a fight, the more you should focus on tailoring your training for explosive strength with the shorter rest periods. Weight training for MMA should be kept to two to three times per week, but try to avoid doing it on your sparring days. You must have enough strength left over to do sports specific training in MMA – sparring, padwork, grappling, etc.

Check out my web page for more information on how to set up a MMA Weight Training Program Weight Training for MMA

About the Author

When I was 18, I was extremely overweight. I decided I had to make a lifestyle change and became a gym rat when I started college. In my junior year, I was addicted to powerlifting and luckily I had met a someone who competed in Strongman competitions. I asked to join without hestitation. I have competed in many Strongman competitions, but after graduation I had to move back to my hometown. At that time, I started training Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and my obsession for MMA began.

Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

Wayne



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When I was 18, I was extremely overweight. I decided I had to make a lifestyle change and became a gym rat when I started college. In my junior year, I was addicted to powerlifting and luckily I had met a someone who competed in Strongman competitions. I asked to join without hestitation. I have competed in many Strongman competitions, but after graduation I had to move back to my hometown. At that time, I started training Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and my obsession for MMA began.












Use and distribution of this article is subject to our Publisher Guidelines
whereby the original author’s information and copyright must be included.

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