There is no question that mixed martial arts athletes are some of the most conditioned and talented athletes of any sport. In addition to huge entertainment value, MMA training is a great mind and body workout!
Here are some key training tips and principles for the recreational athlete:
Cross Training will Improve your Game
In addition to the basics of stand-up and ground game, it’s all about endurance – muscle endurance, strength endurance, and power endurance. Put simply, you need to train your body to use the right muscles for as long as you can, and for as hard as you can. These additional training techniques will help boost your skills:
The purpose of sports conditioning is to improve overall athletic ability. Sports conditioning improves core strength, flexibility, balance, stamina, and reflexes. Here’s a sample of a great 30-minute workout:
Sports Conditioning Circuit: 6 rounds; 1-minute rest in between rounds, 2-minute rest after 3rd round.
- 15 X Medicine Ball Leg Lift/15 X Medicine Ball Crunch
- 50 X Medicine Ball Arm Curl/50 Medicine Ball Overhead Press
- 15 X Bosu Ball Launch Push-Ups
- 50 X Medicine Ball Hop Squat/50 Medicine Ball Hope Lunge
- 15 X Bench Hop/Sprawl
- 50 X Jump Rope High Step
The purpose of cardio conditioning is to improve athletic endurance. Fighters must be well-conditioned in the event they are caught in a guard – without proper cardio conditioning, no matter how skilled, a fighter may “gas out” early on and lose the match. Examples of cardio conditioning are:
- Running 5 miles for time
- Running stadium stairs for time
- Jumping rope for time
Weight training improves strength, power, force, and develops muscle memory. The goal for MMA athletes should be geared more towards muscle and power endurance, rather than bulking up.
Your Car won’t Run without Gas!
This is a no-brainer, right? You’d be surprised to know how many athletes neglect their nutrition. A bowl of cereal, a turkey sandwich, and taco dinner simply isn’t enough to properly fuel the athletic lifestyle. Properly portioned, nutrient-dense, frequent meals are better. You’ll need to un-school yourself from the three-meal-a-day dogma.
Your Body Can only Process so much Food at One Time
If you’re packing in the recommended 1.5g/lb bodyweight of protein a day into three meals, your body is only using part of the nutrients, and storing the rest as fat. Break your meals up into smaller portions and eat 5-6 times instead. This will increase your metabolism, give you more energy, and improve your mental focus.
Eating enough Protein will Help you Recover for your Next Workout
Your body rebuilds itself when you sleep – if you don’t give it the right tools to repair your muscle, you will start to feel sore and even feel sick. Try drinking a HEXAPRO shake 30 minutes before bedtime. The formulation will help feed your muscles over a longer period of time.
Eat your Carbohydrates Earlier in the Day and Around your Workouts
This will make sure you have the right nutrients available for your body when you need them the most. This does not mean drinking soda before a workout. When selecting your carbohydrates, minimally processed foods are best – yams, quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice. Next best are whole-grain pastas, breads, and tortillas. Simple sugars and highly refined carbohydrates – sodas, white bread, and most snacks – are usually just empty calories and should be avoided.
Don’t Forget your veggies!
Your body needs the minerals and vitamins in fresh vegetables to use nutrients. Steamed kale, collards, green beans, and asparagus are all excellent sources of vitamins, enzymes, minerals and fiber. If you are terrible at eating fresh vegetables, Cytogreens and VITASTACK will supply your body with the vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and enzymes it needs.
Do Not Skip Breakfast!
But…you’re running 15 minutes late, what to do! At a minimum, mix 1 cup of plain oatmeal, 1.5 cups of water, and two scoops of ISOFLEX protein. Chug and run.
Planning is the Key to Success!
Like everything else in life, fail to plan…plan to fail. If you put a little thought, time, and preparation into your meals, you are more likely to achieve to your training goals. Set aside some time each week to prepare your meals. If you find yourself rushed each day with no time to cook or package your meals, pick a two-hour window sometime during the week to prepare a week’s worth of meals. Throw some chicken or turkey breast into a rice cooker or crockpot, along with a can of sugar and sodium-free tomato sauce and no-salt seasoning before going to train. When you get home, you’ll have a hot meal and week’s worth of food waiting for you! It’s also a good idea to pack an extra ISOFLEX BAR in your gym bag for emergencies or fumbles.
Supplements Help Fill in the Gaps
Supplements weren’t designed to replace food. Your primary source of nutrition should always come from whole food. That said, athletes’ nutritional demands often exceed what they can get by eating meals alone. Don’t like fish? Add OMEGA-3 to your diet. AMINOCORE branch-chain amino acids consumed pre-training will help you preserve muscle tissue and aid recovery.
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly” ~Buddha
Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
Stress makes you fat and tired. Your body’s reaction to stress is to increase cortisol levels, which promotes fat storage, and burned-out adrenal glands. Learn to let the little things slide, and choose your battles wisely. Taking ZMA at night not only aids recovery, it also helps you get a good night’s rest.
Enjoy what you do! Your hobbies should bring you happiness and release, not headaches. Preparation, having the right tools, and maintaining a positive outlook will help you reach your goals both inside the ring and in all aspects of your life.