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Any MMA athlete is probably aware of the role endurance training plays in their conditioning programs. My question is how many are aware of the proper methods needed to enhance this ability? From the coaches and athletes I have spoken to very few have a grasp on what they should really be doing to increase their work capacity as it relates to their event.
Running 5 miles per day is not effective for enhancing the type of endurance utilized when competing in a NHB competition. It is important to have a general understanding of the bio-energetic systems the body utilizes to perform movements. Refer to my article Muscular Energetics at www.maxconditon.com for an in depth look at the different pathways of energy production.
We will not get to scientific in this article about the process of energy production. Although I would like to provide the reader with some basic terms often mentioned when discussing endurance training. I will also give a sample routine that will enhance the MMA athlete's ability to perform at a high level of intensity for the entire duration of their bout.
- Aerobic Endurance: The capacity of the muscles to perform with oxygen being the primary source of fuel being utilized.
- Anaerobic Endurance: The capacity of the muscles to perform without sufficient oxygen.
- Vo2Max: Maximum oxygen uptake.
- Anaerobic Threshold: Exercise beyond this level induces strong acidosis (high levels of acidosis causes various disturbances in the muscle cell). The lactate concentration at this level is about 4 millimoles per liter in most athletes. At this level anaerobic mechanisms are the primary sources of fuel.
At any time there is a combination of aerobic and anaerobic mechanisms working to produce movement. To design an effective endurance program it is important to understand which energetic pathway is primarily utilized in carrying out specific tasks. In general activities that are intense and short in duration ( up to 2? minutes ) are primarily anaerobic. As the activity goes beyond 2? minutes it becomes more aerobic in nature. Keep in mind that the primary pathway can change often during an event.
The anaerobic system is sometimes called upon for explosive bouts of energy. As an example two guys have been laying down in the guard for 5 minutes. Suddenly the guy on the bottom explosively sweeps the man on top mounts him and begins delivering forceful blows.
Increasing endurance capabilities depends mainly on three factors:
- Improving lactate threshold (anaerobic threshold);
- The ability to relax.
To improve lactate threshold the athlete performs activities of very high intensity up to 2? minutes in duration. The body learns to cope with the high lactate levels and function at intense levels. When to training to improve Vo2max longer durations of activity with lower intensities are used. I prefer aerobic interval work for MMA athletes.
The time of the intervals vary depending on the athlete and the time constraints of the up and coming event. The ability to relax plays a key role in an athletes endurance performance. Many athletes have great endurance capabilities, but due to their inability to relax in the ring appear to have poor conditioning. I have seen many athletes in the gym be able to fight for eternity, yet when they compete they look like they are dying within a couple of minutes. When a competitor is not able to relax his breathing is usually hampered and his body is in a constant state of isometric contraction which rapidly results in fatigue.
One of the best ways to learn how to relax is by providing yourself with an inner voice that is constantly telling you to relax. Everyone has his own way of doing this, but the main key is to constantly remind yourself that you are in great condition and you can go all day if you need to. Performing in front of large crowds and sparring in different environments can also be beneficial when learning to relax.
GPP Circuit: Perform circuit 3 times non-stop. Do 4 sets of this, with 1 minute rest between sets ...
- Burpees: 30 seconds - view exercise
- Shuffle Splits*: 30 seconds
- Cross Leg Jumping Jacks**: 30 seconds
- Mountain Climbers***: 30 seconds
- Total Duration = 24 minutes.
* These are basically a simple "boxer" type of movement where you shuffle the feet back and forth in quick fashion. Feet are approximately two feet apart; movement is nice and quick.
** Like jumping jacks, but with each time the legs meet at midline they crossover each other. Alternate crossover position.
*** From a push-up position with butt slightly higher than normal, climb/jump quickly, bringing knees up to chest and back. Work in quick fashion.
Punch Out Drills
Punch bag in non-stop fashion for one minute. Throw straight punches, no pausing. Strike bag as many times as possible. Perform Punch out drills. Three 1 minute rounds, 30 seconds rest between each round.
To monitor performance levels count the repetitions performed during the GPP circuit as well as the punch out drills. The goal is to increase the number of repetitions performed with each workout. Perform the movements with good technique. You need to learn to maintain proper form even in the face of fatigue.
Join us next week as we briefly discuss agility and quickness training and the mental aspect of MMA conditioning.
Agility Quickness Camp Conducted by Coach Hale
February the 23rd
Call for info 859-737-2753
Email for information firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Coach Hale's site at www.maxcondition.com
Coach Davies / Coach Hale MMA Strength and Conditioning Camps.