With the popularity of the UFC – and mixed martial arts in general – skyrocketing to new heights, thousands upon thousands of guys (and girls) are joining MMA gyms and switching up their workout routines. It’s no longer about how much you can curl or bench press but rather, it’s now about how hard you can kick or how quick you can slap on a triangle choke when you’re rolling at the dojo.
With these new priorities comes new training demands and those typical bodybuilding style workouts simply won’t cut it for MMA. Mixed martial arts is perhaps the most physically demanding sport in existence. I’ve been involved with athletics since childhood and I’ve yet to come across a sport that matches the intensity of even an MMA training session – let alone an actual fight. How to watch UFC 249 That being said, here 3 important tips for designing MMA workouts.
UFC Workout Tip #1 – Train at a high intensity!
The UFC implements 3 to 5 rounds – depending on whether or not it’s a title fight – and each of the rounds last for 5 minutes. In between rounds, the fighters are given only 1 minute to recover and regroup. As you already know, the fighters usually keep an intense pace and you should always train for the demands of your sport. Therefore, you should perform plenty of high intensity interval training (also known as HIIT). Doing so will improve your cardiovascular efficiency and of equal importance, the interval training will increase your lactate threshold as well.
UFC Workout Tip #2 – Train for “functional” strength!
All of our muscles function together as a kinetic chain. We move that way and it only makes sense that we train that way too. So rather than spending your time at the gym performing isolation movements that aren’t sport specific, you should focus your efforts on performing compound, multiple-joint exercises that teach the muscles of the body to work together. For example..
Squats > Leg Extensions
Close Grip (Palms Toward You) Pull Ups > Bicep Curls
UFC Workout Tip #3 – Train the “rotary strength” of your core!
Watch any of those UFC workout “all access” specials and you rarely see the fighters performing traditional sit ups. Rather, you see them performing rotation movements with all sorts of medicine balls and such. The core (mid-section) has been deemed the “strength center” and it should be the foundation of your MMA workouts.
There’s so many rotary exercises that can be done for your core. Hitting big tractor tires with a sledgehammer is one of the more popular ones that MMA fighters do. Of course, not everyone has access to a big tractor tire and if that’s the case, you can do all sorts of other exercises with sandbags and medicine balls.