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What Is The Best MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Workout?

What is the best MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) workout? MMA workouts consist of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, No Holds Barred Fighting, Boxing, etc. Learn the best MMA workout, benefits of following this workout, most competitive organization, and much more right here!

By: Athletes Topic Of The Week


TOPIC: What Is The Best MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Workout?

The Question:

MMA workouts consist of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, No Holds Barred (NHB) Fighting, Boxing, Kickboxing, Thai Boxing, Wrestling, Weight Training, Etc.

What is the best MMA workout? Be specific.

What are some of the benefits of following an MMA routine?

Which organization do you think is the most competitive (UFC, Pride, Etc.)?

Bonus Question: Who do you think is the greatest MMA fighter of all time?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - RC26
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

MMA workouts consist of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, No Holds Barred (NHB) Fighting, Boxing, Kickboxing, Thai Boxing, Wrestling, Weight Training, Etc.


Introduction

This article is targeted to those looking to learn about MMA techniques, training and tips. Read on, and prepare to become a fighter yourself.


Workout:
What Is The Best MMA Workout? Be Specific.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:

    Often referred to as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, this form of martial arts focuses on grappling, submissions, and ground fighting. In MMA competition, fighters look to gain a dominant position on their opponents, in order to lock in submissions, and/or strike their opponents. This is done with proper technique, and the correct use of ones arms, legs, and hips.

    The Guard/Mount Positions:

      Below are lists of the guard/mount positions that need to be practiced.

      Top Guard Position

    MMA
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Top Guard Position.

      • On One Foot

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      On One Foot.

      • On Two Feet

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      On Two Feet.

      Side Mount Position

      • Side Mount

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Side Mount Position.

      • Head and Arm Control

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Head and Arm Control.

      • Knee in Stomach

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Knee in Stomach.

      The Mount Position

    MMA
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Mount Position.

      • High Mount

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      High Mount.

      • Side Mount
      • Grapevine

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Grapevine.

      Rear Mount Position

    MMA
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Rear Mount Position.

      • Grapevine

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Grapevine.

      • Side Rear Mount
      • Opponent On Top Rear Mount

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Opponent On Top Rear Mount.

      Bottom Guard Position

    MMA
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Bottom Guard Position.

      • Closed Guard

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Closed Guard.

      • Half Guard
      • Butterfly Guard
      • Open Guard

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Open Guard.

    The Clinch:

      Below is a list of the clinches that need to be practiced.

      • Thai Clinch

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Thai Clinch.
      Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      • Collar and Arm Clinch

MMA
Click Image To Enlarge.
Collar And Arm Clinch.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG

    Submissions:

      Below is a list of submissions that need to be practiced.

      • Leg Triangle

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Leg Triangle.
      Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      • Arm Triangle

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Arm Triangle.
      Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      • Arm Bar

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Arm Bar.
      Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      • Knee Bar

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Knee Bar.
      Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      • Hammer Lock

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Hammer Lock.

      • Key Lock

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Key Lock.
      Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      • Rear Naked Choke

      MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Rear Naked Choke.
      Video: Windows Media - MPEG

Boxing/Kickboxing/Thai Boxing:

    Stance:

      Below are instructions on the correct fighting stance:

      • Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart
      • Take a step forward with your left foot
      • Your right foot should be kept at a 45 degree angle
      • Shift your weight to the balls of your feet
      • To keep proper balance, distribute your weight equally between your feet
      • Keep your knees slightly bent
      • Tuck your elbows to your sides
      • Place your fists at cheekbone level
      • Place your chin down and look up
      • Roll your shoulders slightly forward

      Note- the stance above is commonly used in MMA competitions, and is called the orthodox stance. However, there are many different variations that can be learned.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Stance & Footwork. Video: Windows Media MPEG

    Punches:

      Below are instructions on the punches that need to be practiced.

      Jab:

        Take a small step forward with the lead foot, slightly turn hips and shoulders in a clockwise direction and straighten the lead hand.


    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Jab.
    Video: Windows Media MPEG

      Cross:

        Take a small step forward with the lead foot, turn hips and shoulders in a counterclockwise direction and straighten rear hand.


    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Cross.
    Video: Windows Media MPEG

      Hook:

        Take a small step to the left with the rear leg, turn hips and shoulders in a counterclockwise direction, and slightly bend the knees. Then lift the left elbow up to shoulder level, and turn hips in a clockwise direction, to carry the fist into the side of the opponents head.


    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Hook.
    Video: Windows Media MPEG

      Uppercut:

      Slightly bend the knees, drop the rear hand, then quickly snap the hips in a counterclockwise direction, to carry the fist under the opponents' chin.


Click Image To Enlarge.
Uppercut.
Video: Windows Media MPEG

    Kicks:

      Below are instructions on the kicks that need to be practiced.

    • Roundhouse Kick- take a small step forward with the lead foot, then push off the ground with the rear foot, to turn the hips in a counterclockwise direction. Pivot lower body on the ball of the lead foot, and let the rear leg whip, which sends your shin crashing into your opponents' lower thigh.

    MMA MMA
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Roundhouse Kick.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG

    • Inside Leg Kick- take a small step forward with the rear foot, and snap hips in a clockwise direction, while spinning on the balls of the rear foot. This movement sends your lead leg's shin crashing into your opponents' inner thigh.

    MMA MMA
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Inside Leg Kick.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG

    • Front Kick- snap left knee up to chest level, and push the ball of the lead foot into the opponents' hips while slightly leaning back, to sustain balance.

MMA MMA
Click Image To Enlarge.
Front Kick.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG

    Other Kicks (Optional):

    • Side Kick

    MMA MMA
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Side Kick.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG

    • Spinning Leg Kick

    MMA MMA
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Spinning Leg Kick.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG

    Knees/Elbows:

      Below is a list of knees/elbows that need to be practiced.

      • Knee

      MMA MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Knee.
      Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      • Running Flying Knee

      MMA MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Running Flying Knee.
      Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      • Outside Knee

      MMA MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Outside Knee.
      Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      • Inside Knee

      MMA MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Inside Knee.
      Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      • Elbow

      MMA MMA
      Click Image To Enlarge.
      Elbow.
      Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      Note- all striking movement descriptions are explained using the orthodox stance.

    Heavy Bag:

      The heavy bag is a necessity in any MMA workout routine, and is used for practicing punches, kick, knees and elbows. There are many benefits when using the heavy bag, and they are listed below:

      • Increase Endurance
      • Increase Punching/Kicking/Knee/Elbow Striking Power
      • Improve Coordination
      • Improve Technique

      Use of the heavy bag will be divided into 3 5-minute rounds.

    Speed Bag:

      The speed bag is used by MMA fighters to improve coordination, and punching speed. Use of the speed bag will be divided in 3 2-minute rounds.

    Shadow Boxing:

      Shadow boxing is a great way to perfect all strikes, and is often used prior to the heavy bag. Perform it for 3 minutes, as a warm-up for the heavy bag.

rope rope
Click Image To Enlarge.
Shadow Boxing.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG

    Sparring:

      Sparring is a vital component in MMA workouts, as it test trainees punching speed, power and precision. Use of sparring will be divided into 3 5-minute rounds.

    Jumping Rope:

      Jumping rope is a must for any MMA fighter, as it improves cardiovascular conditioning, coordination and footwork. Jumping rope will be performed to 15-to-30 minutes.

      There are several variations when jumping rope, but below are instructions on the three basic styles:

      Running In Place:

        Remain at the same spot, then lift the knees high with each turn of the rope.

rope
Click Image To Enlarge.
Running In Place.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      Double Unders:

        Remain in the same spot, then lift the knees high with two turns of the rope for every one jump.

rope rope rope
Click Image To Enlarge.
Double Unders.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      Criss-Cross:

        Remain in the same spot, cross the arms at the elbows on the descending swing of the rope, lift the knees high and jump through the loop. Uncross the arms on the next descending swing, and repeat the movement.

rope rope
Click Image To Enlarge.
Criss-Cross.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG

Wrestling:

    Takedowns:

    Below are instructions on the takedowns that need to be practiced.

    Single-Leg Takedown:

      Squat down, drive the lead leg forward, and shoot your body into your opponent's lead leg. Grab the opponent's calf with your right hand, and grab their ankle with the left hand. Stand back up, and pull their ankle up while driving your shoulder in their thigh.

MMA MMA MMA MMA
Click Image To Enlarge.
Single-Leg Takedown.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG

    Double-Leg Takedown:

      Squat down, drive forward with the lead leg, and drive your head in the opponent's stomach. Then wrap your left hand around the opponent's left hamstring, and as they drop, work into a mount position of your choice.

MMA MMA MMA
Click Image To Enlarge.
Double-Leg Takedown.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG

    Ankle Pick Takedown:

      Squat down, and dive forward with the lead leg. Then shoot your head to the outside of your opponent's left ankle, and wrap your right forearm against it, while pulling it to your chest, and driving your shoulder into their leg. As your opponent falls, keep holding their ankle, then transition into a mount position of your choice.

MMA MMA MMA MMA
Click Image To Enlarge.
Ankle Pick Takedown.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG

    Other Takedowns (Optional):

    • Leg Sweep

    MMA MMA
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Leg Sweep.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG

    Note- all takedown descriptions are explained using the orthodox stance.

Weight Training:

    Exercises:

      Flat Dumbbell Bench Press - View Exercise

        Execution:

        • Grab the dumbbells, lie faceup on a flat bench, with back slightly arched, buttocks on the bench, and feet flat on the floor.
        • Inhale and lower the dumbbells to chest level, until elbows are parallel to the ground.
        • Extend the arms back up, and exhale at the end of the movement.

        Muscles Worked:

        • Pectoralis Major
        • Pectoralis Minor
        • Anterior Deltoid
        • Triceps Brachii
        • Serratus Anterior

      Lat Pulldown - View Exercise

        Execution:

        • Sit facing the machine with thighs positioned under the pads, and grab the bar with an overhand grip.
        • Inhale and pull the bar down to chest level.
        • Exhale at the end of the movement.

        Muscles Worked:

        • Latissimus Dorsi
        • Teres Major
        • Trapezius
        • Rhomboids
        • Biceps Brachii
        • Brachialis
        • Brachioradialis
        • Pectoralis Major

      Dumbbell Lateral Raise - View Exercise

        Execution:

        • Grab the dumbbells, and stand with a straight back.
        • Raise the arms to horizontal to about trapezius level, then lower the dumbbells back down.

        Muscles Worked:

        • Medial Deltoid
        • Anterior Deltoid
        • Posterior Deltoid
        • Trapezius
        • Supraspinatus

      Seated Cable Row - View Exercise

        Execution:

        • Sit facing the machine, feet resting on the foot pad, and grab the handle.
        • Inhale, and pull the handle to sternum level by straightening the back, and pulling the elbows back.
        • Exhale at the end of the movement, and return the handle back to the starting position.

        Muscles Worked:

        • Latissimus Dorsi
        • Teres Major
        • Rhomboids
        • Trapezius
        • Posterior Deltoid
        • Biceps Brachii
        • Brachialis
        • Brachioradialis
        • Erector Spinae

      Dumbbell Curl - View Exercise

        Execution:

        • Grab the dumbbells, and stand with a straight back.
        • Inhale, and curl the dumbbell, without moving the elbow.
        • Lower the dumbbell back down, and exhale at the end of the movement.

        Muscles Worked:

        • Biceps Brachii
        • Brachialis
        • Brachioradialis
        • Anterior Deltoid

      Lying EZ-Bar Triceps Extension - View Exercise

        Execution:

        • Grab the EZ-Bar with an overhand grip, and lie on a flat bench.
        • Inhale, and lower the EZ-Bar to the forehead by bending the elbows.
        • Extend the bar back up, and exhale at the end of the movement.

        Muscles Worked:

        • Triceps Brachii
        • Anconeus

      Leg Press - View Exercise

        Execution:

        • Position the back on the backrest of the machine, and place feet on the foot pad at a shoulder width apart distance.
        • Inhale, and bend the knees until the thighs touch the torso.
        • Extend the knees back up, and exhale at the end of the movement.

        Muscles Worked:

        • Quadriceps
        • Hamstrings
        • Glutes
        • Adductors

      Standing Leg Curl - View Exercise

        Execution:

        • Position thigh on pad, and ankle on ankle roll, and stand with the back straight.
        • Inhale, and bend at the knee.
        • Exhale at the end of the movement.

        Muscles Worked:

        • Hamstrings
        • Gastrocnemius

      Standing Calf Raise - View Exercise

        Execution:

        • Place the balls of the feet on the foot plate shoulders under the pads, and stand with the back straight.
        • Push up on toes, while keeping the knees straight, then lower back down.

        Muscles Worked:

        • Gastrocnemius
        • Soleus

      Crunch - View Exercise

        Execution:

        • Lie on back, with thighs vertical and knees bent.
        • Inhale and raise the shoulders off the ground, and perform a crunching movement with the back rounded.
        • Exhale at the end of the movement.

        Muscles Worked:

        • Rectus Abdominis
        • Obliques

    Warm-up/Stretching/Flexibility:

      To decrease the risk of injury, warm-up for 5 minutes before beginning your training routine. Below is a list of movements that should be done as part of your warm-up.

      Jumping Jacks

        Perform 250-500 jumping jacks.

      Neck Circles - View Stretch

        Stand up, and slowly lower your chin to your chest. Then roll your chin across your collarbone, and to your right shoulder. Inhale, then exhale rolling your chin slowly across your collarbone to your left shoulder, and repeat this movement five times.

      Shoulder Circles - View Stretch

        With your shoulders relaxed, and arms resting loosely at your sides, slowly roll your shoulders forward, up, back and down, and then reverse the direction.

      Arm Circles - View Stretch

        Begin with your hands straight out by your sides. Then slowly make circles with each outstretched arm, about one foot in diameter, and continue the circular motion of the outstretched arms for ten seconds.

      Elbow Circles - View Stretch

        Stand with your feet slightly apart, and place your hands on your shoulders, with your elbows at about shoulder level, and pointing out. Slowly make a circle with your elbows, breathe out as you start the circle, then breathe in as you complete the circle.

      Wrist Circles - View Stretch

        Slowly move your hand in a circular motion, drawing a circle with you finger tips.

      Knee Circles - View Stretch

        Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and move your knees in a circular motion. Maintain balance throughout the movement.

      Ankle Circles - View Stretch

        Rotate your ankle in a circular motion and draw a circle in the air with your big toe.

      Back Rolls

        Sit on the floor and roll on your back, until your toes touch the ground behind your head. Repeat this movement 10 times.

MMA
Click Image To Enlarge.
Back Rolls.
Video: Windows Media - MPEG

    Stretching/Flexibility Movements:

      Follow the warm-up with 5 minutes of stretching/flexibility movements, which are listed below.

      Chin To Chest Stretch:

        Place both hands at the back of your head, with your fingers interlocked, thumbs pointing down and elbows pointing straight ahead. Then slowly pull your head down to your chest and hold for a few seconds.

    MMA
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Chin To Chest Stretch.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG

      Side Neck Stretch - View Stretch

        Begin with your shoulders relaxed, and gently tilt your head toward your shoulder. Assist the stretching movement with a gentle pull on the side of your head and hold for a few seconds.

      Lying Neck Pull Stretch - View Stretch

        Lie on your back with both legs bent, then grab the back of your head with your fingers, and slowly pull your chin down toward your chest. Hold the stretch for a few seconds.

      Elbows Back - View Exercise

        Stand up straight, place both hands on your lower back, with your fingers pointing downward, and elbows out. Then pull your elbows back, aiming to touch them together.

      Shoulder Stretch - View Exercise

        Reach your left arm across your body, and hold it straight. With your right hand, grab your left elbow, pull it across your body toward your chest, and hold for a few seconds.

      Upper Back Prayer - View Exercise

        From a kneeling position, slide and extend both arms out in front of you. Ease your buttocks back and your chest down until you feel a stretch in your upper back and shoulders. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat 5 times.

      Triceps Stretch - View Exercise

        Reach your hand behind your head, grab your elbow, gently push downward and hold for a few seconds.

      Seated Butterfly Stretch - View Stretch

        Sit up straight, and touch the soles of your feet together, with your feet six to eight inches in front of your hips. Rest your elbows on your inner thighs, incline your chest forward, and hold for a few seconds.

      Seated Floor Hamstring Stretch - View Stretch

        Sit on a ground with your right leg extended in front of you, and your left leg bent with your foot against your right inner thigh. Lean forward from your hips and reach for your ankle until you feel a stretch in your hamstring. Hold for 15 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

      Side Lunge - View Stretch

        Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart, and facing forward. Place your hands on your hips and bend your right knee, while taking your body to the right side. Then switch to the other side.

      Standing Toe Touches - View Stretch

        Stand with some space in front and behind you and bend at the waist, keeping your legs straight until you can relax and let your upper body hang down in front of you. Let your arms and hands hang down naturally, begin to stretch out your arms and try to touch your toes. Hold for a few seconds.

      One Leg Over Stretch - View Stretch

        Sit on the floor with one leg straight in front of you, cross your other leg over your straight knee, and place your foot flat on the floor. Then place your elbow and forearm of your opposite arm of your bent leg on the outside of your bent knee. Slowly pull your bent knee across your body, and hold for a few seconds.

      For more warm-up, stretching, and flexibility movements, click here.

Equipment:

    I recommend you buy the equipment listed below for use during training sessions, for your own safety.

    • Handwraps - To protect the bones in the hands.
    • Gloves - To protect the bones in the hands.
    • Mouthpiece - To protect teeth.
    • Headgear- To protect the head from getting cut.
    • Cups - To protect the groin area.

The Split:

  • Monday - Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling
  • Tuesday - Weight Training, Endurance Training
  • Wednesday - Boxing/Kickboxing/Thai Boxing
  • Thursday - Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling
  • Friday - Weight Training, Cardio
  • Saturday - Boxing/Kickboxing/Thai Boxing
  • Sunday - Rest Day

Monday - Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling:

Tuesday - Weight Training, Cardio:

    Repeat this circuit training 3 times, with no rest between sets.

Body Part Exercise Sets Reps
Pecs Flat Dumbbell Bench Press 1 12
Lats Lat Pulldown 1 12
Delts Dumbbell Lateral Raise 1 12
Middle Back Seated Cable Row 1 12
Biceps Dumbbell Curl 1 12
Triceps Lying EZ-Bar Triceps Extension 1 12
Quads Leg Press 1 12
Hamstring Standing Leg Curl 1 12
Calves Standing Calf Raise 1 12
Abs Crunch 1 25

Wednesday - Boxing/Kickboxing/Thai Boxing:

  • Shadow box for 3 minutes.
  • Practice your punches, kicks, knees and elbows on the heavy bag for three 5-minute rounds.
  • Use the speed bag for three 2-minute rounds.
  • Spar for 3 five minute rounds.
  • Jump rope for 15-30 minutes.
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Wednesday.

Thursday - Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling:

Friday - Weight Training, Cardio:

    Repeat this circuit training 3 times, with no rest between sets.

Body Part Exercise Sets Reps
Pecs Barbell Bench Press 1 12
Lats Lat Pulldown 1 12
Delts Dumbbell Lateral Raise 1 12
Middle Back Seated Cable Row 1 12
Biceps Dumbbell Curl 1 12
Triceps Lying EZ-Bar Triceps Extension 1 12
Quads Leg Press 1 12
Hamstrings Standing Leg Curl 1 12
Calves Standing Calf Raise 1 12
Abs Crunch 1 25

Saturday - Boxing/Kickboxing/Thai Boxing:

  • Shadow box for 3 minutes.
  • Practice your punches, kicks, knees and elbows on the heavy bag for three 5-minute rounds.
  • Use the speed bag for three 2-minute rounds.
  • Spar for three 5-minute rounds.
  • Jump rope for 15-30 minutes.
  • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Saturday.

Sunday - Rest Day.


Benefits:
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Following An MMA Routine?

  • Developing Self Defense
  • Increasing Speed and Quickness
  • Increasing Strength and Power
  • Increasing Agility
  • Improved Conditioning/Endurance
  • Improved Discipline
  • Gains In Confidence
  • Decreased Body Fat
  • Fun Workout


Organizations:
Which Organization Do You Think Is The Most Competitive (UFC, Pride, Etc.)?

UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship):

    I think that the UFC is the most competitive organization, and will stay that way for quite a while. Fighters like Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz and Matt Hughes keep the UFC on top.

Pride FC (Pride Fighting Championships):

    Following the UFC, Pride FC is the second most competitive. However, Pride FC fighters might have scheduled fights with UFC fighters soon to prove that they are number one.

K-1:

    K-1 isn't as popular as UFC, or Pride FC, but is very competitive, and will only improve over the years.


Bonus Question:
Who Do You Think Is The Greatest MMA Fighter Of All Time?

Ken Shamrock

MMA Record: 26-11-2

I believe Ken Shamrock is the greatest MMA fighter of all time. He was there when it all started, and he is still fighting as we speak. Ken Shamrock is a submission fighting expert, with knockout power. He has beaten many greats, and on October 10th, he will try to defeat long time nemesis Tito Ortiz, and prove to the world that he is still "The World's Most Dangerous Man."


Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed this article, and good luck!

Richard C.

References:

  1. Strength Training Anatomy, By Frederick Delavier, Human Kinetics
  2. Beyond The Lion's Den: Ken Shamrock, With Erich Krauss


2nd Place - Ho_124
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

MMA (Mixed martial arts) is a relatively new sport that is gaining huge popularity with a growing number of fans and participants. The basic principle of MMA is to combine martial arts styles to make a more well rounded and complete fighter.

For example traditionally one would only train in one martial art such as kickboxing, however if the fight ever were to go to the ground, the person training just kickboxing would be dominated. Therefore to fix this problem different styles have been combined so that a fighter can be in attacking mode in all situations and positions.

This has proven to be more effective in a fighting situation since the fighting situations are always changing in MMA. For example a fight can go from standing up, to clinching, and to the ground and back up again. Therefore to be ready for a fight standing up or on the ground, you must train more than one style.

The rules in MMA are simple, basically anything goes. You're allowed to punch, kick, take down, wrestle, knee, elbow, submit your opponent etc. However you're not allowed to hit the groin, gouge the eyes, pinch or bite your opponent. MMA is not only good as a sport and to keep in great shape, but can also be trained for self-defense.


First Things First,
Pick Your Martial Arts Styles

First of all there is no point in training if you haven't picked your styles that you're going to fight with. This can be a tough decision since every style has pros and cons.

Basically when picking your style you have to keep in mind the two places fights take place, standing up and on the ground. Therefore it only makes sense to pick a stand up martial art and a ground fighting martial art.

Usually, most people choose two to three martial arts styles they want to use, at least two of them should be a stand-up martial art and a ground fighting art. I would stick with two, because the more martial arts you attempt to learn and master, the more your other styles will suffer as well as your training.

For example someone taking 4 styles, they will have to spend a lot more time learning them all, therefore he/she will have less time to focus on each martial art and their training. On the contrary someone learning only two styles will have a lot more time to focus on each martial art as well as their training (i.e. cardio, weights, etc).

Stand Up Martial Arts To Consider:

    1. Tae Kwon Do:

      This is a popular Korean stand-up martial art that emphasizes kicks especially the roundhouse. However the main drawback is that only 20% of the art is allocated to hand techniques which is a problem in the MMA. Kicks leaves you in a vulnerable position to get taken down since you're only on one leg, that's why in shows like the UFC a lot of the fighters use their hands a lot more than their legs for kicks.

    2. Karate:

      This is a Japanese martial art that is great for stand up. Unlike Tae Kwon Do karate athletes use a lot of hand techniques as well focusing on strong and fast kicks directed at pressure points. Strong emphasis is placed on physical strength/conditioning and brute force.

      The only problem is that you have to find a good place to learn karate since a lot of places just train you for point sparing which will get you killed in the MMA. In point sparing you just get points for touching your opponent first and then you have to return to your fighting positions. So you should look for a place that teaches bare knuckle sparing.

      There are many sub styles of karate, in my opinion the best style is Kyokushin since they actually teach you how to fight all out and it's known for its rigorous physical training. Here's a link to a video of Kyokushin fighters.

    3. Muay Thai:

      This martial art is one of the more popular styles in the MMA. It teaches kicks and hand techniques while focusing on the knees and elbows. This is a great style when you're clinching with your opponent since it teaches you how to throw knees to disable your opponent.

      It is a well-rounded martial art and it's known for its flying knee which is deadly when used properly. Every time I've seen it being done it's almost always devastating.

    4. Kung Fu:

      Kung fu is a great martial art to learn for stand up. It is probably one of the best stand-up arts there is since it employs effective hand techniques and strong kicks. It also teaches one pressure point strikes as well as grappling and joint locks. There are many attacking combinations as well as defensive techniques.

      One great thing is that you learn to use your opponent's energy against him, therefore if you're a smaller guy kung fu can still be effective.

      There is one huge drawback however, which is why it isn't popular in shows like the UFC. It takes a lot longer to learn since you have to learn forms (for weapons as well), the philosophy, other exercises and internal aspects. If you look at a lot of the fighters in the UFC, they have only been learning martial arts for a few years, and kung fu takes long to learn and master since there is so much material.

      Some top UFC fighters started martial arts in their 20s and late teens, therefore kung fu isn't for them. However if you're young, I suggest learning it since it is a great stand-up style.

    5. Kickboxing:

      This is probably the most popular stand up style in the UFC since it takes less time to learn. The name is just as it says. It uses different punches coupled with kicks, mainly the roundhouse. It combines several styles such as Muay Thai, boxing, and karate.

      There is only one problem that I see which is the lack of techniques or what I like to say the lack of a "Game plan" used in kickboxing. Usually the guys in the UFC who train kickboxing just stand in the ring and punch it out, wait for their opponent to come, or attack with a few punches in hopes of hitting their opponent.

      In other styles they actually teach you how to attack your opponent for example wedging into the other fighter, stepping off the line, clearing the person's hands to penetrate, faking etc.

      Don't get me wrong though, it's still a great style. If you're an older person who wants to get into MMA in a shorter period of time, kickboxing is great.

    6. Boxing:

      Boxing is another popular style in the MMA. It works well because most of the time punches are being thrown. The only thing is that you never train kicks in boxing, so if you ever had to throw a kick it would be super sloppy and weak. Since your just focusing on your arms, most boxers develop strong punches.

      If you do take up boxing, make sure you take up another stand-up so you know how to throw kicks. For example Stephan Bonnar a UFC fighter takes boxing, but also Muay Thai so he can throw kicks as well.

Ground Fighting Arts To Consider:

    1. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:

      This is the ultimate ground fighting art that almost every MMA fighter uses. It uses effective takedowns to get the opponent to the ground. From there, punches, knees and a wide variety of submissions such as the arm and leg bar, chokes and locks are used to beat the opponent.

      This is so popular because most fights go to the ground, and it is also popular because you can still be in attacking mode if your opponent is on top of you. If you want to learn a ground fighting art, this is the one that is a must learn.

      Most fighters learn this art and some just focus on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and have experience success. Royce Gracie is probably the most successful Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu athlete. With this style, he took on guys who were almost TWICE his weight (Kimo).

    2. Judo:

      Judo focuses on throwing the opponent down, pinning him or submitting him by applying pressures to the arm joints and neck. It's a great art to get the opponent down, but once he/she is down, it doesn't have a wide variety of ways to beat your opponent like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

    3. Wrestling:

      This is another popular art used in the MMA. It focuses on bring your opponent down and holding him/her there. The only problem is it doesn't teach you to finish your opponent off. Unlike Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it doesn't teach you how to submit the other fighter or how to punch and knee him out since that's illegal in wrestling.

      Just because I didn't list a martial art style you were thinking of trying doesn't mean it's off limits. The best martial arts style combinations are the ones that work best for you. So if you don't like a style then don't use it or else you won't excel in it.


Workout:
What Is The Best MMA Workout? Be Specific.

This is the most complicated process since there are many aspects you need to focus on such as endurance, power, speed, strength etc. This workout has many aspects to it, which are:

  1. Cardio
  2. Weight training
  3. Plyometrics and speed work
  4. Agility
  5. Ground work (Ground fighting)
  6. Sparing (Stand up fighting)
  7. Technique work (Fine tuning)
  8. Balance (Fine tuning)
  9. Conditioning the bones (Fine tuning)

After reading all these aspects of MMA training you will probably be really confused because you might say "How am I suppose to put this all together into a program?" Don't worry I will put it together into a program for you in the "Putting it all together" section.

1. Cardio:

    This is the most important part of training for a MMA athlete and mustn't be underestimated. If you've ever watched the UFC you will see that the fighters who get tired first always get dominated even if they are a stronger fighter. MMA is all about cardiovascular conditioning since you're pushing and pulling against your opponent's weight and exchanging fast-paced punches. If you don't do a sufficient amount of cardio, you will get tired real fast and get killed.

    However a lot of MMA athletes even in the UFC do the wrong type of cardio to begin with and there's a huge misconception on how to do the proper cardio. If you think about doing cardio for your sport, you have to mimic your cardio so it prepares you for your sport.

    For example in badminton matches last up to 45 minutes, therefore cardio has to be longer. But a lot of MMA athletes do long medium intensity cardio to prepare for the matches which is totally wrong. Think of the UFC, the rounds are 5 minutes of high intensity punching, wrestling, grappling etc. to a maximum of 3-5 rounds. Does it make sense to train with long period medium intensity cardio?

    The cardio that MMA athletes should do must be short but high intensity like an actual match. Therefore cardio should only be 30-40 minutes max done 3-5 times a week depending on the type of cardio. Another important note is to change up the cardio every month to two months. This will help you avoid your body adapting to a type of cardio and making you plateau.

    If you frequently change the cardio your always shocking your body into increasing it's cardio conditioning. An example would be doing high intensity running for two months, circuit training with body exercises to boost intensity for two months, and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for two months.

    One last note is that cardio should always be done well after weights - a couple hours would be optimal. The reason is because weights puts so much stress on the body. One thing is that you should never have cardio and leg workouts on the same day, space them as far apart as possible.

    Here's a cardio routine to follow for 6 months. This will be added into the other training in the "Putting it all together" section.

    1-2 Month Period - High Intensity Running

    • Running should be 15-20 minutes long
    • It should be high intensity 80% of max heart rate or above. At the end of the run you should be fatigued
    • To add intensity run in a hilly area

    3-4 Month Period - HIIT Cardio

      To perform pick an exercise such as running and start by running for 1 minute at 60-80% of your max heart rate. After a minute do a sprint at 90% of your maximum heart rate for 20-25 seconds. This is one set. Perform 8-10 sets which will equal 12-15 minutes. It should look like this:

      • Set 1: Run 1 minute at 60-80% of max HR. Sprint 20-30 seconds at 90-95% of max HR.
      • Repeat for 8-10 sets.

    5-6 Month Period - Circuit Training With Bodyweight Exercises

    • Sessions last 20-25 minutes long.
    • There is a set of four exercises, each is done for 30 seconds and the circuit is done 3 times without rest. This is one set. After each set rest 1 minute then do a total of 4 sets. It should look like this:
    • You should be going at 65-80% of your max heart rate. You shouldn't be going all out. At the end of the cardio session you should feel fatigued but not dead.
      • Four Sets Of:

        1. Burpees 30 seconds
        2. Jump squats 30 seconds
        3. Tuck jumps 30 seconds
        4. Jump lunges 30 seconds

        5. Circuit x3
          Rest 1 min.

        Total Time: 24 minutes not including rest

2. Weight Training:

    Weight training is also key in developing an MMA athlete. It should be simple without too many intensity boosting techniques such as drop sets, rest pause training etc. The reason is because MMA athletes already have tons of other training to do such as cardio, sprint work, plyometrics etc. Making the weight-lifting routine extremely high intensity would likely cause an athlete to overtrain.

    Weight training is crucial to develop strength and speed in the athlete. For strong kicks, punches, throws and good ground game you need to develop strong muscles, that's no surprise. Right there some people would make the mistake of doing low rep ranges for strength.

    Although that is true, it's not good for MMA. Low rep ranges will train your body to be strong, but you will get tired easily since low rep ranges works mostly fast-twitch muscle fibers. This isn't good for MMA so therefore a rep range of 6-12 is best since it works strength, while still keeping the athlete resistant to fatigue.

    Sets should vary according the body part. Rest times should be short 30-60 seconds. Shorter rests mimics MMA since an athlete has to be stand up fighting or wrestling with their opponent constantly for 5 minutes, therefore it prepares you to have more resistance against fatigue.

    Weights should be done 3-4 times a week and the workout split can be arranged to suit the athletes needs. Later in the article I will talk about putting the workout together with the other training.

    An MMA athlete needs speed, no doubt and this can be boosted with two weight techniques. They are drop-catch movements and explosive reps. Explosive reps are exactly what the name says, on each rep you explode on the concentric phase. This will train the fast-twitch fibers to become quicker and therefore making an athlete faster.

    The second is drop catch where you literally "Drop" the weight while still holding onto it in the eccentric phase. Next before it falls to the lowest part of the concentric phase you rapidly try to stop the weight. This will train your fast-twitch fibers since it quickly requires them to stop the weight during the "Drop" in the concentric phase.

    Now you have to know how to apply these to techniques. Obviously it isn't smart to do drop catch on squat because you can easily kill yourself in the process. It's best on things like seated row, chin/pull ups, dips, etc. Explosive reps are best on things like squats, bench press, dumbell curls etc. Now these two techniques should only be used 2 out of 3 sets for an exercise. For example:

    Exercise 1:

    • Set 1 - Explosive reps or drop catch depending on exercise
    • Set 2 - Explosive reps or drop catch depending on exercise
    • Set 3 - Normal speed

    You can do this for a couple exercises or all of them. However you can't do this for EVERY workout or else your body will adapt to the technique and progress will go down. Only do this for a couple weeks and cycle off of this technique.

    Here's a workout to follow. Later it will be put together with other training in the "Putting it all together" section.

    Training split - 3 day split, but the days you workout varies.

    Workout 1 - Chest, Back and Forearms:

    Workout 2 - Legs, Shoulders - Triset Between All Three Shoulder Heads

    Workout 3 - Arms (Biceps and triceps), Abs and Lower Back

3. Plyometrics & Speed Work:

    If you want to develop that explosive power in your punches, kicks and attacks then Plyometrics and sprints are a must. This type of training will do miracles to develop speed and strength which will give you power. This is a problem with many MMA fighters. Just look at some of their kicks and punches.

    Some fighters have good punching speed and strength but others are slow because they don't do enough explosive training. This is especially true with kicks, I have never seen anyone in the UFC with fast, strong kicks, most are slow and that's one of the reasons why people get taken down, because their kicks are too slow.

    By doing this type of training, you're training your fast-twitch fibers to become more explosive and powerful. Fast-twitch fibers have the fastest contraction speed as well they produce the most force. 2-3 days should be allocated to Plyometrics and sprint work. Any more than that is just too much and unnecessary. It should also be done closer to competition date. Like a weight routine you should change the exercises so your body doesn't adapt to them.

    The sessions won't be that long and there is just one misconception I want to get out of the way. Plyometrics aren't suppose to be a tiring exercise since reps are low to really focus on the fast twitch. Focus should be on quality of the exercise and exploding as much as possible.

    If you go to fatigue you're not working your fast twitch, you're working endurance and slow-twitch fibers. On the other hand, sprints should be tiring and because of this Plyometrics should be done before sprinting.

    Here's a Plyometric and speed work routine to follow. This will be added into the other training in the "Putting it all together section.

    Full Body Plyometric And Speed Workout

      Lower Body Plyometric And Speed Workout:

      1. Depth jumps - 6 reps x 4 sets
      2. Explosive jump squats - 6 reps x 4 sets
      3. Jump lunges - 6 reps each leg x 4 sets
      4. 100 meter sprints - 4 sets
      5. 40-50 meter sprints while dragging a sled of weights - 2-4 sets - If you have no sled of weights then do 2-4 sets of hill or stair sprints lasting 15 seconds


    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Depth Jumps.
    Video: Mpeg - Windows Media - Real Player

      Upper Body Plyometric And Speed Workout:

      1. Single or double explosive clap pushups (Focus should be on exploding upwards) - 6-10 reps x 4 sets
      2. Explosive chest pass with medicine ball: 6-10 reps x 4 sets
      3. Explosive hop pushups 6-10 reps x 4 sets
      4. 20 second punching bag drill (Punch the bag as fast as possible for 20-30 seconds) - 6 reps
      5. Optional - 20 second shadow boxing (Shadow box as fast as possible for 20 seconds) - 2 reps


Click Image To Enlarge.
Clapping Pushup.
Video: Windows Media (235 KB) MPEG (775 KB)


Click Image To Enlarge.
Medicine Ball.
Video: Windows Media (220 KB)
MPEG (707 KB)


Click Image To Enlarge.
Hop Pushup.
Video: Windows Media (196 KB) MPEG (635 KB)

4. Agility:

    Agility is the ability to stop, start and move the body in different directions quickly. This is important in the MMA since it allows an athlete to attack quickly and change directions to avoid a kick, punch, takedown etc.

    This type of training should be done 2 times a week. It is high intensity but for a short period of time therefore not affecting recovery a whole lot. There shouldn't be rest between sets. But when you change exercises in your agility workouts rest 1 minute.

    Remember just like a workout to change up the exercises frequently to ensure your body keeps making progress. Here's a few agility exercises:

      Quick stop and starts - Just as the name says you do this by going in a starting sprint position. Then you sprint and accelerate for 5-10 meters as fast as possible and stop as fast as possible.

      Z cone drill - You set up cones in a Z, 5 yards distance from top to bottom and sprint to the outside of each cone making a Z with your path

      Man makers - Simple drill, you set a distance of 10 yards and sprint back and forth three times.

      Figure 8 cone drill - Again simple, just sprint and make a figure 8 around 2 cones:

    Now here's an agility workout to follow which will be put together with the other training in the "Putting it all together section."

    • Quick stop and starts 6 sets
    • Rest 1 minute
    • Z cone drill 4 sets
    • Rest 1 minute
    • Man makers 4 sets
    • Rest 1 minute

5. Ground Work (Ground Fighting):

    This is the time where you practice fighting on the ground. This is where you train takedowns and how to beat your opponent when you take him/her down through strikes or submissions. This is best done with an expert who knows the ground martial art you're training and other partners to practice on.

    If your by yourself then you can get heavy bags and practice takedowns. You can also get dummies to train submissions, but it's best done with other people.

    This should make you tired and should sort of be like cardio since you're pushing and pulling against someone else's weight. You should imitate an actual match so ground fight for 5 minutes then rest for 1-2 minutes and do it 2 more times for a total of 15 minutes.

    If you're tired after this that's enough. But if you can continue, rest 5 minutes and repeat the whole process for 30 minutes of just ground fighting. If after 30 minutes you're still up for some more fighting do the whole thing again or just do some light ground fighting to cool it off.

    You should do this 2 times a week.

6. Sparring:

    This is practicing standing-up fighting. Again you should train with someone who's an expert in your stand-up martial art. Sparring partners are needed to practice your techniques and moves. You should practice all elements of stand up with your partners, elbows, knees, kicks and punches.

    While sparring, the goal isn't to kick the living crap out of your partners, this wouldn't be good because it could lead to injury. Rather you're trying to perfect your techniques for attacking, defending etc. Then again you shouldn't throw sissy punches. You want to fight hard enough so you know what it's like to get hit so when you go into a fight you won't be shocked when you get kicked, punched etc.

    Like ground work sparring should act like cardio since you're going at your partner for a bit. In this you should totally mimic a fight. Go for 5 minutes nonstop then rest for 1-2 minutes. Then repeat 2 more times for a total of 15 minutes.

    Depending on your fitness stop here or rest 5 minutes and repeat the whole process again for 30 minutes of pure sparring. If you can still keep going then do the whole thing again, or you can cool off with some light sparring. After that you should be tired.

    You should do this 2 times a week.

7. Technique Training (Fine Tuning):

    Technique training is where you perfect your martial arts styles. These sessions shouldn't be hardcore but light (You shouldn't be tired after or wrestling hardcore). Going all out in technique days would most likely lead to overtraining. The basic idea here is to improve in your martial arts techniques.

    For example kicks, punches, combinations, attacking/defense techniques and your ground game. Technique training will vary from athlete to athlete. For example one MMA fighter may decide he needs to work on his kicks, so the whole technique day will be dedicated to perfecting his kicks. Or one might decide to work on punching and groundwork, so the whole day will be dedicated to that.

    The basic idea is that you decide what you do on those days. Whatever you want to work on, you do. Remember you still have to work everything so nothing starts lacking (i.e. don't neglect practicing kicks).

    Technique training should be done at least twice a week. If you can fit in more days then go ahead since these sessions are light and won't impede recovery. It should last for at least an hour which is sufficient enough to work techniques.

8. Balance (Fine Tuning):

    Balance is key in MMA. When throwing kicks or taking down an opponent, balance helps a whole lot. Balance is also essential to prevent yourself from getting taken down and also when your clinching with an opponent.

    This should be done at least 2-3 times a week for about 10-20 minutes whenever the athlete feels like it (It can even be done while watching TV). Since it's practically zero impact and extremely low intensity it can be done more than 2-3 times a week.

    For training balance equipment would be best to use. Equipment such as an exercise ball, BOSU balls and rectangle and circular balance/wobble boards should be used. The exercises for improving balance are easy, just try to stand on the equipment without falling off.

    The balance boards and BOSU balls are best for beginners. As someone gets more advanced they should be doing it on an exercise ball. Don't always do the same old exercise for balance, switch it up frequently so that your body doesn't adapt to that exercise diminishing the progress your making in improving balance. Try something like this:

    • Week 1: 10-20 minutes on the BOSU ball 2-3 times a week
    • Week 2: 10-20 minutes on square balance/wobble board 2-3 times a week
    • Week 3: 10-20 minutes on circular balance/wobble board 2-3 times a week
    • Week 4: 10-20 minutes on the exercise ball 2-3 times a week

9. Conditioning The Bones (Fine Tuning):

    This is a part of training that a lot of MMA athletes don't consider. Imagine you're in a fight, but you haven't conditioned your bones. You roundhouse kick an opponent in the leg, and you hold your shins in pain because the impact was too much for the shin bone. That's the worst case scenario. To prevent this you must condition your bones to take a beating. This just isn't your shin bone for kicking, but also the fists and bones in the forearms.

    For this type of fine tuning you literally smack your bones against hard objects to "Condition" them to become harder and train you to get used to the pain. At first you should use hard objects wrapped in soft material. However as your bones get harder, you should use things like bare wood, and when you're truly ready you use metal. You can also use other people. For example kick other people's shins to condition both people's bones.

    You should always start off slow to prevent injury. At first you will have a low threshold for the pain, but as you get harder bones you will be able to hit them harder, longer and they will recover faster. When you first start off do this 1-2 times a week.

    When you get harder bones to 3-4 times a week. 5-10 minutes should be enough time to condition your bones. Basically do this until you've felt like it's enough for your bones.

    The shins must be conditioned if you're planning to throw kicks, otherwise it will hurt every time you kick your opponent. Also your kicks will hurt more. Wouldn't it be more devastating if you kicked your opponent with hard bone rather than soft bone? To condition you can hold an object and hit your bones, or just kick hard objects.

    Lastly you must condition your fists through punching hard objects. You might be thinking why do I need to condition my fists if they are wrapped up?

    First of all, the gloves are thin, so you will still feel some pain when you strike an opponent, therefore you have to have hard fists.

    Second of all what's worse? Getting hit with a metal hammer (i.e. hard bones) wrapped in an MMA glove or a plastic hammer (i.e. soft bones) wrapped in an MMA glove? Third, let me tell you a crazy story of a Chinese fighter, Master Pan. He punched metal as a kid and grew such hard bones and calluses that he could knock out with 10% punching power. Now does that sound attractive?

    I don't recommend condition elbows and knees since it could cause unwanted knee or elbow problems, plus they already take enough stress and are hard enough.

Putting It All Together:

    Now that you know exactly what training to do you have to put it together. One problem though, doing all the above training would probably overtrain even an advanced athlete. To solve this problem you split it up into 2 phases, you do each type of training in different phases.

    This is where tournaments and matches come in. Usually you will have a few tournaments to peak for. At the end of phase 2, this program is designed so that you peak for it. Because I don't know everyone's schedule, I will assume you have about a half a year to prepare for your match or tournament.

    Phase 1 lasts for 5 months while phase 2 lasts for 2 months and two weeks. If your match is happening in a shorter period, simply reduce the phases.

    In the first phase you do more cardio and no speed, plyometric and agility work. Weight training, ground fighting work, sparring, technique, balance and bone conditioning is all still done. The goal in this phase is to get cardiovascular conditioning up and techniques perfected.

    In the second phase the goal is to condition the athlete for speed and power. Less emphasis is put on cardio but more on Plyometrics, agility and the speed workouts. Technique workouts become less often, but ground work, sparring are still done frequently to prepare for fighting in a match. Conditioning the bones still happens but stops 2 weeks before the match.

    Now for the long awaited 6 month training program which is the best MMA workout there is:

    Phase 1: 4 Months Length:

    Phase 2: 2 Months Length:

      Months 5-6

        Important: Change all exercises in the three workouts. This is to prevent adaptation. You can also take a week of rest if you need it. Rest 1 week after each month if needed.

        Monday

        • Weights - Workout 2
        • Ground fighting - 30 minutes or more

        print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Monday.

        Tuesday

        • Weights - Workout 1
        • Agility workout
        • Sparring - 30 minutes

        print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Tuesday.

        Wednesday

        • Cardio - Circuit training
        • Ground fighting - 30 minutes or more

        print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Wednesday.

        Thursday

        • Plyometric and speed work - Full body Plyometric and speed workout
        • Sparring - 30 minutes

        print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Thursday.

        Friday

        • Cardio - Circuit training
        • Technique - 1 hour
        • Agility workout

        print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Friday.

        Saturday

        • Plyometric and speed work - Full body Plyometric and speed workout

        print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Saturday.

        Sunday

        • Rest

        • Balance training and bone conditioning should be done whenever there is time. However 2 weeks before competition stop conditioning bones.
        • One to two weeks before competition stop all weight training.
        • One week before competition stop all speed and Plyometric workouts.
        • One week before competition stop all agility workouts.
        • The only things you should continue are technique. You should only do sparring and ground work once in the week before competition.


Benefits:
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Following An MMA Routine?

1. Self Defense:

    Of course self defense is a great benefit which many people are seeking. Today's world is full of crooks and it's great that you will be able to defend yourself and your family.

2. Work Capacity:

    Because there is so much to do each day, your work capacity skyrockets. This is beneficial if you have a few fights scheduled in one day. If this is the case you will be fresh for each fight because your training has mimicked that.

3. Power, Strength & Building A Good Body:

    This program emphasizes building power, speed and strength. These are great benefits to take to other sports and into your fighting of course. Also because there are workouts you will be building a better body which isn't the focus, but is a plus.

4. Mental Toughness:

    MMA is probably one of the sport that builds the greatest mental toughness. Think about it, you're getting punched, kneed, kicked and taken down. On top of that you're slamming your bones against metal and working your ass off in cardio and sprints. This is no program for the mentally weak!


Most Competitive?
Which Organization Do You Think Is The Most Competitive (UFC, Pride, Etc.)?

In my opinion UFC is the most competitive. First of all it is more popular and is aired on national TV. Because of this fighters go all-out because they don't want to be seen losing on national television. Some fights there is just blood everywhere because fighters fight to their last bit of strength.

Also because it is more popular it attracts better fighters. I have seen other organizations and some of their fighters are lousy, and the fights aren't good to watch. But most of the time the top fighters are in matches in the UFC and it makes it really entertaining to watch.

UFC also has a huge group of fighters, just look at their fighters list. This makes it all the more competitive since each fighter is trying to surpass each other. Think about it, if there was an organization with 10 fighters, it wouldn't be that competitive at all compared to one with hundreds.


Bonus Question:
Who Do You Think Is The Greatest MMA Fighter Of All Time?

The greatest MMA fighter of all time in my opinion was Bruce Lee. Many people think he did Kung Fu but that is not true. He did Jeet Kune Do which adopts the philosophy that you absorb what is useful from other styles and discard what you don't like from other styles. He actually practiced fencing, boxing and many other types of martial arts making him a mixed martial artist.

Not only is he famous but he is probably the fastest martial artist that ever lived. His kicks and punches are so fast that you can't even see them. And his power is so unbelievable that he could punch someone from one inch and make him stumble backward. Some people have said his side kicks are like being hit by cars.

If you're talking about modern day MMA fighters I think it's Cung Le. He's a bit underground but he is the best stand-up fighter you can imagine.

He's never lost a fight in his San Shou fighting and is starting MMA with an undefeated record as well. Another great thing about him is that he has the best takedowns out of every fighter I have ever seen, especially his scissor takedown. He's learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and when he becomes good at it, he will be the deadliest MMA fighter ever.

References:

  1. http://www.veloforce.net/MMA_conditioning_II.html
  2. http://www.martial-way.com/
  3. http://athletes.com/fun/hale36.htm
  4. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/wiggy5.htm
  5. http://www.eliteathletetraining.com/Tips/Agility.aspx


3rd Place - BurningHeart

A new sport is rising in popularity. It's a sport that has been around for thousands of years when the Neanderthals noticed fights gather a crowd of people. Although it was unrefined, the basic principals of MMA have been a staple in the world's culture. MMA has had a sharp spike of popularity that can be attributed to UFC's Spike TV deal in 2005 for both a weekly reality and fight show.

Mixed Martial Arts consists of all types of fighters with their own fighting styles including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, No Holds Barred (NHB) Fighting, Boxing, Kickboxing, Thai Boxing, Wrestling, Shoot Fighting and Karate. The rules differ depending on the organization, but most of them basically revolve around a win coming from a referee stoppage, knockout, judge's decision, tapout, disqualification or doctor recommendation.

Even though the UFC is the most well-known provider of MMA fighting, there are many other established organizations. These include Pride, K-1 Hero's, ZST, Shooto and International Fight League. For individual rule sets of each organization visit this link.

With the rising popularity of this sport, the workout routines that these competitors perform are also becoming an interest to the public.


Part 1:
What Is The Best MMA Workout? Be Specific.

The best MMA workout is split into four time periods. These periods are called Off-Season, Pre-Season, Early Season and Peak Season. In each of these periods two aspects of training exist. These are Energy Management and Muscular Fitness.

These training methods organized in a table would look like this ...

Type Of Training
Time Period
Energy Management
Off-Season

No fight in the near future
Aerobic Fitness
Pre-Season

Fight will be scheduled
Anaerobic Threshold Training
Early Season

Fight is scheduled
Increasing Anaerobic Threshold
Peak Season

Fight is very soon
Speed Training
Muscular Fitness Strength Training Strength Training Strength Training

Now that the basic schedule is set, let's go over what each training method means.

Energy Management:

    Aerobic Fitness:

      Deals with the conditioning of the fighter's body to withstand a long duration of oxygen use. The preferred of aerobic fitness is long distance running at a constant pace 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. When running, it is important to never run just the amount of time that a match will last.

      For instance if your organization holds three 5-minute rounds, you should not run only 15 consecutive minutes. Before a fight you will feel nervous, which adds stress on your body and increases your heart rate. Also during a match you will be punching, be punched, taken down and more.

      A fighter does not want to go into a match with "just enough" cardiovascular training, he wants to go in with more than enough. So if your match is 15 minutes, aim for a goal of 45 minutes of straight running at 60-70% of your max heart rate.

    Anaerobic (Threshold) Training:

      Threshold means peak. Anaerobic Threshold Training is a workout which goal is to increase the amount of work your body can do without the use of oxygen. This includes weight training. As may be a belief by some, high repetitions are not ideal for MMA training.

      High repetition weight training is ideal for increased blood flow to the muscles, which relates to an increase in size. Muscular endurance is increased with higher repetitions, but not to the point where they would be ideal doing over low reps.

      A fighter's endurance comes from aerobic training, not weight training. Low reps with heavy weight are more important in MMA training to increase the strength of the athlete, which is used for takedowns, submissions, and defense. The weight training routine, along with other training routines, will be discussed later in the article.

    Speed Training:

      Speed training focuses on two major things. One is explosive speed one must have. A fighter will never be a great fighter if they are heavy on their feet, which means unable to react with a movement in a split second. The second factor is endurance over a period of time categorized by short bursts of intensity followed by a small period of rest.

      Both of these factors are trained by a method called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). The HIIT principal is a cardio routine composed of a short warm-up period, followed by a brief (1 minute) duration of intense cardio (~90% max heart rate), which is then followed by a moderate duration (2 minute) of light cardio (~40% max heart rate) all for a total of 20 minutes.

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      Following this method increases a fighter's "stop and go" method of fighting. Combined with a training technique which uses explosive speed, Speed Training is a crucial part of a MMA fighter's routine. For more information on HIIT, visit this link.

Muscular Fitness:

    Strength Training:

      A required part of a fighter's training routine is strength training. Without strength, the fighter will be tossed around easily and make it more difficult to apply and break out of submission attempts. A strength training program consists of low repetitions with heavy weight, and focus on the muscles that are used in punching, kicking and grappling. A routine would look like this:

Strength Oriented MMA Workout:

Body Part Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday
Abdominals Decline Crunch Decline Oblique Crunch
Back (Lats) Weighted Pullups
Back (Rhomboids) Bent Over Barbell Rows
Biceps Barbell Curls
Chest Incline Bench Press Weighted Dips
Triceps Tricep Pushdowns
Delts (Anterior) Front Dumbbell Raise Front Cable Raise
Delts (Lateral) Side Lateral Raise Seated Side Lateral Raise
Delts (Posterior) Seated Bent Over Rear Delt Raise Reverse Dumbbell Fly
Legs (Calves) Standing Barbell Calf Raise Smith Machine Reverse Calf Raises
Legs (Glutes)
Legs (Hams)
Legs (Quads)
Barbell Squats Barbell Lunges
print Mon. Log. print Tues. Log. print Thurs. Log. print Fri. Log.
Rep/Set Range - 3 Sets, Max Weight for 6 Reps


Part 2:
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Following An MMA Routine?

An MMA routine has benefits that exceed just the sport. Following an MMA routine will improve such things as quickness, endurance, self-defense and strength. There are those people who'd rather be considered fit, people who do not concern themselves with the raw power of powerlifters or the symmetry of bodybuilders. These people would benefit most from following an MMA routine.


Part 3:
Which Organization Do You Think Is The Most Competitive (UFC, Pride, Etc.)?

To be competitive means you have to be good to stay in the organization. This is why I believe UFC is the most competitive. It is true that Pride has a fighter pool that outnumbers UFC in some weight divisions; however the number of fighters does not necessarily mean it is more competitive.

To be successful in the UFC, you must not only be able to compete in a manner that propels you above your competition, but you must also be able to get the crowd on your side. This is not as big of a factor in the foreign or smaller organizations, as skill is the topmost priority.

UFC is a business, and the most advertised MMA organization to date. The PPV subscriber base is growing; it is approximately 500,000 people to date. The free television viewer base is even higher. This all means that UFC must cater to the fans. Someone cannot just be skillful anymore; they also must have the charisma to "sell themselves." This is why the UFC is the most competitive. Some fighters may have skill, and some may have charisma, to have both is a rare gift.


Part 4 - Bonus Question:
Who Do You Think Is The Greatest MMA Fighter Of All Time?

Bar none the greatest MMA fighter of all time is Matt Hughes. Hughes transformed himself from just being a striker to being a submission artist also. This is what is needed to be successful in this sport. While single specialty fighters such as Royce Gracie are remembered for their dominance and contributions to this sport, they did not evolve their fighting styles to include the full range.

Gracie stuck with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which while excelled him over opponents in the mid 90s, do not hold up against the wide range of skills fighters possess now.

Hughes has an outstanding record of 39 wins and 4 losses. He spent almost 4 total years as champion now, and for a reason. He is possibly the strongest pound for pound fighter in the UFC today. He can fight on his feet and on the ground. His grappling skills allow him to take his opponent to the mat when need be. Once on the mat, Hughes has an outstanding submission offense and defense.

Hughes has not been defeated since January 2004. All of his opponents he faced since then he beat. This is why his upcoming match has him pitted against the man he lost against in 04 (BJ Penn), because he beat almost all other qualified fighters in his division. These are the reasons Matt Hughes is the greatest MMA fighter of all time. His wide arsenal of knowledge is what is needed these days in MMA to succeed.

References:

  1. www.grapplearts.com
  2. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mixed_martial_arts
  3. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Hughes


What Is The Best MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Workout?
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TheB3rs3rk3r

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TheB3rs3rk3r

Im here to inform you that who ever wrote this article on BJJ is completely wrong.... for example... when they show you the "key lock" their in fact showing you a Kimura. I am a Purple Belt in BJJ. Also them showing you "High Mount Position" is incorrect, their showing you whats called Half Guard, and their not even doing it correct... Bodybuilding.com usually has very good and informative articles but in my opinon this needs to be removed bc there is nothing correct about it... The "hammer lock" lol this idiot had to of created his own names for this stuff

Dec 31, 2012 3:10pm | report
 
FBrown89

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FBrown89

Well a key lock and Kimura are the same thing (so is an Americana) but are done from different positions. Also, they're* right about the "hammer lock" only it's the name it is used for in submission wrestling (not BJJ). Finally, you are right about the high mount though. That's definitely side guard/side control depending on the POV you're looking at. I don't think it needs to be taken down though for that small error though. I think this focused more on the workout aspect of than the BJJ aspect. If someone wants to learn BJJ, head to the gym. Does no good to attempt to learn it here...

Feb 18, 2013 3:24pm | report
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