Becoming an effective fighter depends upon a number of factors. Obviously, learning the skills required for mixed martial arts is key. Drilling them until they become second nature is essential. But many view that as the fun part, fine-tuning the execution of the moves we love – as almost an art. Possessing a body capable of lasting round after round, taking a beating while maintaining the energy and strength needed to execute moves precisely is essential as well – and often overlooked. This is because the amount of painful training your body needs to become a well-tuned machine capable of great amounts of speed, endurance and power is very high, and often painful. Most fighters dislike the training part. The best fighters embrace it. In order to maximize your potential in the sport, you’ll need maximum physical conditioning. Therefore your workout needs to demand all of these things – at a maximum level.
Your performance in the ring is directly related to your training protocol in the months leading up to any match. A trained eye can observe a fighter a month from his/her match, and fairly accurately predict how the match will go in a few weeks – based upon the training taking place in the present. Therefore it is essential to choose the right kind of training, and complete it effectively to a point of near-failure as well! Circuit training is highly popular among boxers, mixed martial arts fighters, and anyone who wants to fully develop their body’s capabilities in the shortest amount of time possible, for this exact reason. Let’s look at an effective training program you should be using to develop the greatest possible speed, endurance and power. You’ll be out of the gym in under an hour, having hit your power and boxing muscles, as well as have having targeted your endurance. You can’t beat that!
Start with one set of barbell squats (using a moderate weight for 12 repetitions). Keep your back straight, and head looking forward. Don’t drop down past parallel, as the emphasis for this movement would then leave your thighs and move to your knee joints once you break parallel. Follow your squats up with 3 minutes punching on the heavy bag. Finally, jump on the nearby treadmill and run .25 miles at 4.5 mph with a 3% grade incline. Repeat for 3 sets. Are you feeling the burn yet?
Round 2 is here! Begin with Deadlifts. This movement is about as simple as one can find – Pick up a heavy weight, then put it back down. Repeat! Choose a moderate weight and knock out 15 repetitions with safe and solid form. Move on to 3 minutes of speed punching using the heavy bag. Follow with a 40 yard sprint. Repeat for 3 sets. You should be feeling a tremendous muscle burn in your back and legs now, and your lungs should be working hard too!
It’s time to wrap things up for round 3. Begin with Bench Pressing. Again, select a moderately heavy weight that you can control, and complete one set of 10 to 12 repetitions. Check your ego at the door here – If you cannot control the weight on your own for at least ten repetitions, you should reduce the total weight being used. Jump to 3 minutes of shadow boxing. Your arms should be hurting a great deal now. Finally, wrap things up with 3 minutes of machine rowing set at low intensity. Feel the slow burn in both your back & arm muscles as well as in your lungs with this movement. Complete three sets of this rotation as well. Then you can safely collapse!
The most important thing to remember is that you once you’re hit, once you begin to get tired – you will perform in the ring exactly as you train before the match. If you want to become a powerlifter, you should train with very heavy weights for a few repetitions – and that is what you will be able to achieve in competition. If you want to become a bodybuilder, you train your muscles with plenty of sets, plenty of rest, and you train for a “pump” so you can have pumped up muscles. If you want to become a skilled MMA fighter with the endurance to execute moves as the rounds pass, then you need to train in this exact manner. As we previously stated – Just as you are what you eat, you perform as you train. Remember that!