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What Is MMA Conditioning And Why Is It So Important?

by admin - August 6th, 2015.
Filed under: Allgemein.

What is MMA conditioning?

Well before I talk about what MMA conditioning is. I first have to talk about what conditioning is in general. The best definition that I can find relating to the word conditioning is:

„Repeated use of a specific stimulus in order to create a predictable and controlled response in and individual“

It may sound a little deep but it sums up exactly what what conditioning is that controlled response that is talked about is the additional ability to proceeed under pressure. Or having that little extra gas in your tank. Once you understand this generic definition of conditioning you will see that It applies for all sports.

However; MMA conditioning is pretty intense. As mixed martial arts is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world so too must the level of conditioning that fighters will have to undertake. With runners or soccer players their conditioning is focused on particular parts of their bodies but for mixed martial artists, their MMA conditioning workout must be aimed at every part of their bodies.

Why is it so important to have a solid MMA conditioning program?

When the UFC first started it was easier to win fights based on the technical ability alone, but as times have moved on the level of technical ability in the sport as whole far surpasses those early days of the UFC and Toughman contest. Fighters are no longer tied to one discipline and have a variety of tools at their disposal.

Now don’t get me wrong, conditioning has always been a major aspect of the fight game. However; this has become even more important in the last few years as fighters have become more strategic. Sometimes; it the level of conditioning that a fighter has that is all that separates the winners from the losers, the champions from the mere contenders. Something that many fighters fail to realise is just how difficult good MMA conditioning can be to attain.

Think about how difficult it is for you to box or to wrestle for a whole 15 minutes. This is extremely physically taxing and highlights how physically taxing the mixed martial arts are and how important a good MMA conditioning routine is in order to succeed.

Another reason why conditioning is important is not only about the physical effect of the fight but the mental element. As I said before fighting has become a lot more strategic than, the „I’m gonna punch his face off“ – Chris Leben type attitude.

This is something that is not often talked about, but all the more important. Think about it this way. If I asked you to keep your hands up and sing the theme song to… lets just say „the fresh prince of bell air“ (almost everyone knows that song). It is not that difficult. But; if you have had your hands up for a good few minutes and they are beginning to ache. You shoulders are burning, and you want to rest them, every second you hold them up is another second of agony and all you really want to do is to put them down and to rest. Imagine this point where even though you try not to think about how tired your arms are, you think and focus on how tired your arms are. Now imagine at this point when all you want to do is put you hands down because the lactic acid in and around your arms and shoulders have built up to a level where each second is agony, and every agonising second seems to be 10 times longer.

Imagine… Imagine at this stage I asked you to sing the same theme song… Or, any song for that matter… I think you will notice that it is not so easy. No matter how disciplined and mentally strong you are you will find your attention is now split between your aching arms and the words of the song. This is the problem in the fight game your attention will shift from the thing you need to be conscious off such as particular moves or defences and there is a tendency to start focusing on things that you should not be thinking about such as being tired, keeping your hands up, and not wanting your opponent to know how tired you are. Basically, you will start focusing on things that will not serve that will not serve you that well.

How do we prevent that from happening? Through a well-rounded MMA conditioning program, that is the answer

The program must develop…

  • Aerobic capacity
  • Anaerobic capacity
  • Strength
  • Functional Strength
  • Power
  • Muscular Endurance

The main ways to develop these attributes is through…

  • Running
  • Sprinting
  • Weight Lifting
  • Functional Exercises
  • Plyometrics

Where to start? The best place is where you are the weakest,

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