MMA Strength Workout Tips
MMA Fighters need to be a combination of strong and well conditioned athletes. Fighters need strength to be able to explode at any movement, as well as the conditioning ability to last during the rounds. MMA Conditioning plays a HUGE factor in the fighters ability to fight, but MMA strength is equally important. These are some topics and articles of MMA Strength programs. Also included are some videos demonstrating MMA strength training programs and exercises.
Bodyweight Training for the MMA Fighter
Bodyweight training and incorporating bodyweight training into your MMA workout routine is a perfect compliment to a MMA fighters already rigorous training schedule. Bodyweight training should be incorporated into your workout routine, instead of replacing it. There are many routines out there that are pure bodyweight exercises, and those work. But MMA fighters need a little “something” else that increases their overall strength. These exercises may include kettlebell exercises, heavy squats and deadlifts, grip strength exercises, explosive pressing and snatching, sandbag exercises, etc.
MMA Gym and Weights Workouts
A MMA fighters gym workout needs to be different then the typical bodybuilders workout. A MMA fighter’s body need to work as a whole and needs different types of strength from different groupings of muscle.
Top MMA Fighters Workout Videos
MMA fighters need to incorporate all types of training methods. They need to hit the weights, focus on combat specific exercises, build core strength, and build strength endurance. There are many ways top fighters go about training and preparing their bodies to fight. Many fighters each have a different philosophy on what works for them and how to be in the best shape to fight.
Accelerated Muscular Development
Perfect for the MMA Fighter – Get Beast like Strength and Power while getting ripped up
This is a fairly new program by the guys at Diesel Crew. For those of you who know me, know that I am a HUGE fan of the Diesel Crew and Smitty’s (owner of DC) workout material. They are BY FAR have the best workout material for getting strong as hell and ripped up. They work with hardcore combat athletes and regular guys looking to achieve their goals.
AMD will provide you a solid workout plan and guide that might literally make your muscles explode. The program is geared to challenge you, yet keep your hungry for more.
Guaranteed you will see some exercises and variations you have never seen before. These routines and exercises are designed to challenge your body and give you insane strength. The best part about it too is that you’re not going to be some “fat powerlifter” guy, you’re going to be a ripped up shreded “spartan” who can knockout dudes with beast like strength.
I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this program!
The Pit Workout is a dynamic, three-day per week MMA and fighter workout program designed to build speed, power and endurance. Each one-hour program includes full body conditioning while targeting specific muscle groups. Be ready to work hard, sweat and have fun while building endurance, flexibility, strength, speed and power.
The “Core” is the essential foundation that every fighter needs to have. When you punch, kick, scramble, takedown, etc, you need effective core strength. Many combat athletes neglect strengthen their core and are essentially hindering themselves when it comes time to fight.
The Diesel Crew guys are advanced revolutionary strength trainers. They are known for their insane strength and have worked with many top wrestlers and grapplers to improve their overall strength. This manual has some brutally effective exercises and routines that will produce insane results!
Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, is one of the toughest sports around and becoming more popular each day. The reason? One explanation for its popularity surely lies in the fact that MMA combatants are at their peak fitness level and must have all-around strength, agility, and skill in order to be competitive. So, how exactly does one prepare to be a top-performing MMA athlete?
The dedicated MMA competitor needs to focus on developing his physical prowess as well as his mental functioning. As with any sport, the successful MMA fighter must have sound fundamentals; he must train for anything he might encounter in the ring, so he needs to master stand-up techniques and grappling techniques. It is imperative that you learn the proper way to kick, the proper way to punch, the right way to takedown an opponent, and how to throw, clinch and submit your opponents. Once you get a grip on the proper techniques and receive the right fight training, it is time to work on building your strength, power, balance, and agility.
Stand-up techniques are striking, kicking, kneeing, elbowing, punching, and footwork, but the greatest MMA competitors must also know how to takedown an opponent and fight on the ground. Like everything else in life, some aspects of MMA come easier to some people than do other aspects. We all have our own particular strengths and weaknesses, but if you are going to conquer your MMA competition, you must dedicate yourself to improving your weaknesses as well as mastering what you are already rather good at. In the MMA ring, anything can happen, so whether you are staring down at your opponent, in a clinch lock and feeling his breath on your neck, or on the ground staring up at your adversary, you need to have what it takes to overcome and become victorious.
Of course, MMA fighters have to know how to fight, but they also need to be quick and quick-witted; they need to be strong with lots of endurance; they need to be flexible and agile; they need to have a boxer’s fancy footwork. In short, they need it all.
To become the master MMA fighter you were destined to be, work on your overall fitness and strength level first. If you are not in top physical shape, you will get tired in the ring, and no matter how intense your technique, if you lack the endurance and strength necessary to maintain domination, your performance will suffer. Eat a diet fit for an athlete, get the aerobic exercise necessary for prime heart function, and get as strong as you can. Overall strength and health are like the foundation under a house; without a foundation to hold the walls and roof up, the house will crack and fall. Without sound strength, power, and endurance, the MMA fighter will tire, weaken, and lose.
Overall physical fitness alone will not make a top MMA performer out of you, however. You have got to be strong. Remember that football player in high school who showed off to all the girls by lifting up the rear end of the coach’s car? You need that kind of strength, and you need it the whole time you are fighting. You need the strength that will give you sheer power as well as the strength necessary to keep your balance and stabilize your stance.
All movement, whether it be a strike, throw, submission, whatever… originates from the core and all power is created and amplified from having a rock solid torso. The “core” is all of the musculature, anterior and posterior, starting at your knees and going all the way up to your chest. This encompasses a ton of muscle groups! And these muscles must work together to execute all movement. But, if your core is weak, your movements will be weak and you won’t be able execute in the gym or in the ring. If you ever wanted to know how to train for real world functional core strength, then I recommend Combat Core.
Here’s a quick example of some of the exercises and tips included in Combat Core The exercise and routine they feature: “bracing” is something I have never seen before…. but no doubt and amazing strength builder. I wouldn’t expect anything less from the Diesel Crew.
Bread and Butter Strength Training Exercises
There are a few exercises that every MMA athlete and martial arts athlete should do. Included in the them are squats, deadlifts, cleans, bench press, push press, and rows.
Squats are one of the best leg and full-body exercises that a mixed martial arts fighter can do. It will build overall body strength and give you tremendous power. You should vary your squatting routine. Some days your should squat heavy, other days squat for repetitions. Squats give you the power and speed for takedowns, kicking, and explosive techniques.
Deadlifts are a great overall strength and power developer. It is probably the best exercise for developing overall pulling strength. It is also amazing for your grip, leg and core strength. Deadlifts can be done with a barbell, trap-bar, sandbag or any heavy object that needs to be picked up. The Combat Core package includes a deadlift 101 manual and video. I strongly suggest that if you want to deadlift better and improve your overall core strength for fighting then check out the Combat Core
Cleans are the best overall explosive exercise. Football players swear by the clean. Adding a press to this exercise makes it the famous clean and press. Bill Starr, a well known strength trainer for football teams said that if his athletes could only do one exercise, it would be the clean and press. Do a clean and press with a dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell clean and press, and of course the sandbag.
Lunges are an excellent choice for MMA fight preparation because lunges build leg strength. In particular, those lunging exercises develop the muscles that are required for standing on one leg at a time, and since you are likely to have to stand on one leg in the ring, those are the muscles you want to empower. In addition, you must be able to kick, and that means you need strong legs. Lounges give you incredible leg driving power for kicking and takedowns. One of my favorite ways to do lunges is shoulder a sandbag and do them that way. A favorite routine of mine, developed by the Diesel Crew (author’s of Combat Core) is the sandbag strength training circuit for grapplers and fighters.
Bench pressing makes you strong and most athletes who need upper body strength rely on this classic. Since MMA is all about being the ultimate fighter under any circumstance, you will need powerful arms and upper body. MMA routines should include the bench press, but not be limited to it. Since the MMA fighter is unlikely to encounter a perfectly balanced weight when he is in the arena, you would be wise to employ a weight routine that more closely simulates the condition of the fighting ring. A one-armed kettlebell clean and press is a good option, another is the push press
Another upper body exercise that is great for MMA strength is the standing shoulder or push-press. It is an explosive movement that develops your punching, pushing, and driving power. You can use kettlebells for this exercise and do a kettlebell clean and press, a straight bar, or even a sandbag. Sandbag training alone is great for MMA athletes. I believe this is probably the best strength upper body exercise you can do for fighting. Mix it with a clean and it becomes a full body explosive power building kick ass exercise!
Rows and pull ups are great exercises for developing pulling power and strength. You can train rows with anything you want. Go heavy and go for power. When doing pull ups strap on some weight with a hip belt and really challenge yourself.
Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise increases general fitness. Anaerobic exercise however, is also critical to top performance in the MMA fight because anaerobic preparation will allow you to avoid muscle tiring. Muscle fatigue occurs when too much lactic acid builds up in the muscles, so if you are going to be able to outlast your opponents in the ring, you must build up a tolerance for this natural occurrence so you don’t wear out too quickly in the fight. Try circuits or sprints to lessen muscle fatigue. Isometrics, too, will help your body outlast the competition. Try isometric push-ups where you get in the position for a push-up and hold that position. Other isometric techniques whereby you exert force on a muscle or muscle group that you need to rely on in the ring can be beneficial. Remember that if you are going to build up your strength, you must hold the position for a minimum of six seconds, and if you are a top MMA athlete, you must increase the time of the hold as you continue your training.
This is a basic MMA workout routine that can be used as a beginning routine. If you are looking to enhance your routines and ready to increase your core power and strength, the Combat Core has a great workout routines geared towards the MMA or combat athlete.
Sample Mixed Martial Arts Workout:
Power Clean – 3 sets of 3 reps warm up, then 3 to 5 sets of 3 reps with a work weight, about 80% of a 1RM.
Bench Press – (medium to heavy day)- (if med)- 3 sets of 5 to 6 reps warm up then 3 sets of 5 with a work weight. (if heavy)- work up over six sets of 5 to 6 reps to limit set of 3 to 5 reps on the last set. A rule of thumb puts a limit triple at about 90% of one’s 1RM.
Squat – (light speed day)- one warm up set of 10 reps. Then 5 sets of 5 reps with no more than 65% and no more than 60 seconds rest between sets. Start with 60% . Apply 100% effort on every rep and do each rep as fast as possible.
Day 2: Rest
One Power Clean followed by 3 Military Presses followed by 2 Push Presses for 5 reps total per set – 3 warm up sets, then 3 sets of 5 reps with a work weight.
Deadlift – warm up- 10 reps, 6 reps, 4 reps. Either keep adding weight and go for strength, or you can use the same weight at your last warmup set and do that for 3-4 sets and for 3-4 reps. If you continue to add weight, continue to pyramid up until you reach 1 rep.
NOTE: Because squats and deadlifts overlap the working of a lot of the same muscles, squats are not recommended the same day as deadlifts.
Day 4: Rest
Bent Row – 3 sets of 5 to 6 reps warm up, then 3 sets of 5 to 6 reps with a work weight.
Squat – (medium to heavy day) same formula as BP on Day 1.
Bench Press – (light speed day) same formula as Squat on Day 1.
Remember, as a Mixed Martial Arts fighter, you are expected to be a boxer, a kick boxer, a judo expert, a wrestler, and a Jiu-Jitsu expert. You are the ultimate fighting machine, and as such, you need to have low body fat and overall strength and fitness combined with an appropriate diet, and you need to be flexible and powerful. Your training routine needs to conquer all areas of fitness if you are going to be able to conquer your opponents in the MMA ring.