Posts Tagged ‘cardio’
When you watch the UFC events, you constantly hear the mantra, “conditioning, conditioning, conditioning.” They are always talking about one opponent having excellent conditioning, poor conditioning, or better conditioning then their opponent. In the current fight game it looks like conditioning is what you need to up your game. Usually when they are referring to a fight, conditioning means the ability of one fighter to keep up maximum output for as long as possible, or at least until their opponent gives out.
There are various kinds of conditioning though, conditioning for explosive power that will take you off the cage, or off your back when an opponent tries to hold you there, endurance conditioning that says you can dance for three rounds without losing a step, even endurance conditioning where you can simply out-exert your opponent and grind them into the mat. You want to work every kind of conditioning in some way into your workout. There is almost no ‘catch all’ circuit, but there are a few general workouts better suited towards someone new to the sport until you find your best workout style.
First things first though, most MMA fighter conditioning workouts have a strong anaerobic component. They go for maximum effort in the minimum amount of time during their circuits, but it is always wise to warm up with a good aerobic workout. This loosens your muscles, stretches you out, and gets your body ready for putting out everything. Depending on your fitness level, consider this as a method to warm up before you get into a heavy workout;
Jogging 3-5 km,
Hitting an Exercise bike for 45 minutes,
Jump Rope for 30 minutes,
All of those basic exercises will get you nice and ready for the intensity you need for your all-around conditioning workout. Here is a sample workout that is common among several MMA gyms;
Squat jumps 30 seconds
Shadow box 30 seconds
Hindu pushups 30 seconds
Shadow box 30 seconds
Situps 30 seconds
Repeat immediately with no break for a total circuit of 5 minutes, but pushes your body to work into that anaerobic workout where you can make real conditioning progress. Take 1-3 minutes to rest, with a goal being 1 minute, then immediately jump into a second set of that circuit. Repeat as many times as you can until you drop flat from exhaustion. The goal is to push your body hard, and feel the anaerobic burn so that your body can work all muscles groups needed for a career fighting in MMA.
In 2008, a quiet light heavyweight made a huge splash in the UFC coming in as a late addition on the prelim card of UFC 87. He hasn’t looked back since. His only blemish on his near perfect record was a disqualification against Matt Hamill for use of illegal elbows. Since then he has fought some very tough opponents, although you wouldn’t know that the way he just tosses them around. When he fought the decorated wrestler Ryan Bader, you would have thought Bader didn’t know how to wrestle and he was a Raggedy Andy doll.
The 6-foot-3 former All-American Greco-Roman wrestler’s training program is as unorthodox as his fighting style. Every exercise is meant to push his muscles to max capacity so he can explode during his fights.
Usually starting two months before his fights, Jones begins his strength and cardio training three days a week. His strength and conditioning coach, Kelly Tekin, explains “We went by feel and used a lot of explosive exercises to train his muscle fibers to fire faster,” and, “We also relied on a lot of heavy compound exercises to keep muscle on his frame.”
Below is an example of a typical training day for Jones.
1. Hang Clean (5 sets of 5 reps)
2. Barbell Push Press (8 sets of 5 reps: 30 sec. rest between sets)
3. Lying Leg Curl (6 sets of 6 reps)
4. Depth Dumbbell Snatch (4 sets of 4 reps)
5. Ring Twists (3 sets of 4 reps to each side)
6. Clean from Knees w/Jump (3 sets of 10 reps)
7. Medicine ball superset (run the cycle three times for a total of three supersets)
• Medicine Ball Power Up (5 reps)
• Medicine Ball Sprawl and Jump (8 reps)
• Medicine Ball Plyo Push Up (8 reps)
8. One-Leg Straight Leg Walking Dumbbell Deadlifts (3 sets for 25 yards each)
Jones’ cardio is worked with high-tech equipment that tests his muscles in ways reserved for fights. For example, Tekin would place a tackling dummy on top of a non-motorized treadmill (called the Tred Sled), then hook Jones into a special vest with resistance cords attached to it. “I would push the dummy as hard as possible, as if I was doing a takedown, for 5-10 seconds,” says Jones. “Because I was being pulled backward by the cords, it’s a strenuous exercise that really builds up your explosive strength.”
Another unique tool Tekin uses is the VertiMax—a platform with resistance cords attached to it that strap onto Jones’ hands, waist, knees and ankles. Jones’ coach then hooks him up, then he does knee strikes, kicks and punches for 30-60 seconds at a time, switching stances (from traditional to southpaw) in between rounds. “The extra resistance made it difficult just to keep my hands up, let alone throw a punch,” says Jones, “After being tied into that thing, once I went to knee a guy without being strapped into the machine, it made my strikes that much more powerful in the Octagon.”
The one thing with Jon Jones is that he’s always been training, partly from being an All-American wrestler but also having to keep up with his two older brothers that are pro football players.
If you have the dedication to follow a plan like this, you have a chance of not only increasing your fighting strength, but your overall fitness will greatly benefit from this.
Machida’s workout plan is surprisingly simple. As a well known fighter, most would assume his regimen would have a lot of fancy bells and whistles, but with a lifelong background in karate, Machida mostly does what he knows best.
Starting with karate, Machida trains with fellow MMA fighter and brother Chinzo for a few hours in the morning as he has been doing most of his life. He attributes much of his success to working closely with his family in preparation for fights, both in the gym as well as psychologically.
His second workout session of the day consists of a lot of hitting mitts, sparring and take-downs, but it is also notable that that all of his workouts are based in some form of karate. Lyoto will usually follow up with some strength training exercises, similar to a combination of soccer drills and Jiu-Jitsu.
Multiple intense workouts spaced throughout the day allow for a full body workout that is as much cardiovascular as it is conditioning.
Much of Machida’s training looks and feels exactly how he moves in the ring; constantly moving while using tactical blocks, hits and evasive maneuvers.