MMA STRENGTH 101

By TAKU

Performance enhancement is the product of practicing the skills involved in the sport, strengthening the muscles and preparing the appropriate energy systems. This basic strength program for MMA was designed to strengthen the entire body as one functional unit in the safest manner possible thus improving performance and helping to prevent injury.

 

There are a variety of approaches and schools of thought on strength and conditioning, and the methods I recommend are just one approach. I have already developed a basic Combat Sports conditioning program (see TAKU’s Intervals). This article is going to focus only on the “strength” portion of the athletes overall Strength and Conditioning preparation.

Remember, these are recommendations for a basic strength training program for MMA. This approach may at first appear far too simple. However, for most athletes (even those who are considered “advanced) sticking with the basics as a foundation to build from, is usually best. I hope you will give these ideas a try before you dismiss them. I of course encourage athletes and coaches to keep an active mind in determining what works best for them; in other words if it does not seem to work, find out what does and do it.

The best way to truly know what is working is to keep very accurate records of all program variables as well as the athletes response to how these variable are manipulated. Some of the program variables that should be tracked regularly include; volume, frequency, intensity, and duration of training bouts. The athlete’s response to the training variables is tracked by monitoring closely for both physiological and psychological signs of over training* which may include but are not limited to: a decreased eagerness to train, a decrease in performance, a gradual increase in muscular soreness from training session to training session, as well as an increased resting heart rate.

With that being stated, I recommend a low-volume high-intensity approach to strength training for the MMA athlete. The first program I recommend is for an athlete who is in training, but is in an off-season mode; It is an abbreviated training’ method that requires the athlete to perform brief, intense exercises infrequently.

Off-Season Training

Day 1:

Rep cadence = 3-5 seconds up / 3-5 seconds down

Rest = 90 sec between sets

Exercise – Sets – Reps

    1. Squats 3 x 5
    1. 4-Way Neck 2 (each direction.) x 6-10
    1. Bench 3 x 5
    1. Barbell / Machine Row 3 x 5
    1. Barbell / Machine Military Press 3 x 5

Dynamic AB series (2 sets each)

    1. Torture Twist
    1. GHD raise

Day 2: (3-5 days after Day 1)

Rep cadence = 3-5 seconds up / 3-5 seconds down

Rest = 90 sec between sets

    1. Hex Bar / Barbell / Hammer Deadlifts 3 x 5
    1. 4-Way Neck 2 (each direction) x 6-10
    1. Chins or weighted chins 3 x 5
    1. Dips or weighted dips 3 x 5
    1. Curls 3 x 5

Static Abs series: (2 sets each- 30 second timed hold)

    1. Hanging knee / leg raise
    1. Resisted Rotation
    1. Back Extension

The “In-season” program is used for the athlete who is within 6-8 weeks of a fight. This routine is very low-volume, thus allowing for maximal efficiency so that an athlete will be able to maintain strength while allowing time to condition for the demands of an up-coming fight.

Pre-Fight (In Season) Training

Workout 1

Exercise Sets Reps**

    1. Hex Bar / Barbell / Hammer Deadlifts 1 x 5-8
    1. Weighted Dips 1 x 6-10

Static Abs series: (2 sets each- 30 second timed hold)

    1. Hanging knee / leg raise
    1. Resisted Rotation
    1. Back Extension

5-7 Days Later: Workout 2

Exercise Sets Reps

    1. Squats 1 x 8-15
    1. Weighted Chins 1 6-10

Dynamic AB series (2 sets each)

    1. Torture Twist
    1. GHD raise

If the recommended exercise can not be performed due to equipment limitations, contact me for alternatives.

*See my article on over training for more information on this important topic.

**Reps recommended are guidelines however all work sets should be taken to a point of volitional fatigue. If the recommended rep range is far exceeded, increase weight by 5-10% next session.
PAU fir NOW

TAKU

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