MMA Conditioning Workouts

The common misconception that many new MMA Fighters and Athletes have is that just having the ability and endurance to run 5 miles a day will somehow translate in the MMA fighter’s ability to shave the proper MMA conditioning they will need to fight in the ring.

In order for the MMA Fighter to perform at a high level, during the whole fight they are going to need to train in multiple "levels" of endurance training. These types or levels of endurance relate to the muscles and their ability to perform with and without oxygen. The types of endurance training an MMA fighter most focus on is…

The common misconception that many new MMA Fighters and Athletes have is that just having the ability and endurance to run 5 miles a day will somehow translate in the MMA fighter’s ability to shave the proper MMA conditioning they will need to fight in the ring.

In order for the MMA Fighter to perform at a high level, during the whole fight they are going to need to train in multiple "levels" of endurance training. These types or levels of endurance relate to the muscles and their ability to perform with and without oxygen. The types of endurance training an MMA fighter most focus on is…

  • Aerobic Endurance – The ability of your muscles to perform with oxygen over long periods of time
  • Anerobic Endurance – The ability of your muscles to perform without oxygen.
  • Anaerobic Threshold – A level of exercise intensity beyond which the body cannot consume oxygen fast enough to support the energy demand. As a result, lactic acid begins to rapidly accumulate in the working muscles, hastening exhaustion.
  • Vo2Max – the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to transport and utilize oxygen during physical activity.

Increasing your Fight Endurance

Increasing your endurance really means increasinh the levels and capabilities of your…

  1. Anaerobic Threshold
  2. Vo2Max
  3. Ability to relax

Increase Anaerobic Thershold

To improve your threshold you need to be perform activities at a VERY high intensity for up to 2 minutes. When performing these activities, your body learns to cope with increase lactate levels. Common exerises for increasing your Anaerobic Thershold would be any type of high intensity sprinting (running or swimming), high intensity circuit weight training, bodyweight conditioning exercises, high intenstity grappling and sparring.

When training to improve your Vo2Max – longer periods of exercise at a lower intensity. Swimming is an excellent way to increase your Vo2Max.

Relaxtion plays a huge role in the ability for a MMA fighter to perform in the cage. The ability to relax comes from experience and mental preparation. Some key tips for increasing your ability to relax during fight time are…

  1. Hard sparring and fight training: If the training is brutal and hard, the fight is a welcome release. Challenge yourself outside the cage so that the MMA fight is easy.
  2. Fight visualization – imagine everything about the fight, from getting your hands wrapped, walking out, hearing your music, entering the cage, touching gloves, the initial exchange, the techniques you before, and you WINNING the fight.
  3. Start small – enter grappling or boxing fights first, this will prepare you for the big show.

Sample Workout Circuits

The best way to condition yourself for a fight is to condition yourself according to the rounds and time of the fight. If you fight is 4 minute rounds with one minute rest, perform your exercises non-stop for 4 minutes, take 1 minute rest and repeat or go on the next stations.

When training for conditioning, it is best to setup stations.

  • Station 1: Burpees 30 seconds
  • Station 2: Jump Rope 30 seconds
  • Station 3: Sprawl 30 Seconds
  • Station 4: Instense Jab Cross Combos 30 seconds

Rest

  • Station 5: Sprawl to Double Takedown Exercise 30 Seconds
  • Station 6: Ground and Pound bag 30 Seconds
  • Station 7: Pushups 30 Seconds
  • Station 8: Jumping Squats 30 Seconds

Rest – Repeat 2 more times

You can see that you can mix in or up anything into these workouts. You can just do kicks on the bag one time, you can do all combinations on the bag, you could incorporate dumbbells, a sandbag, a parnter, etc. Get creative. As long as you keep moving at a high intensity pace, you will do well.