Conditioning is one of the most important aspects of MMA. Fighting for 3 rounds can be really exhausting and scary if you are not prepared for it. I will try to give you some general advice that could help you improve your conditioning.
Chain drilling can be very beneficial for your conditioning. Chain drilling is very common in wrestling and grappling practice. This type of exercise focuses on a specific position and how to react in a specific situation. It is very similar to the conditions that may occur in a MMA fight.The fact that you went through these situations in training can give you confidence when you find yourself in a bad spot. Chain drilling shouldn’t be done with too much resistance but the speed may have a big role. In the beginning, when you are learning the drill you should do it slowly so you can master the technique. As you progress, you can increase the speed and make it similar to the fighting pace.
Running is also very important for MMA athletes. Running can be very beneficial for losing or maintaining weight. Studies have shown that running boosts “afterburn” that is, the number of calories you burn after exercise. This happens when you’re exercising at an intensity that’s a little faster than your easy pace and little slower than your high pace. I am usually doing low pace running or sprints. Running is also increasing your bone mass and it is preventing injuries. I believe that running and sprinting is one of the main human functions, and that you should be able to do it. Many fighters have injuries and they don’t run at all. I think that they should focus to improve their technique of running and their posture during any exercise. I like to run 5K once a week, and sprinting once a week. Remember, running shouldn’t replace your regular MMA training and if you want to get better in fighting you should be doing that training more than any other training.
I believe that there are many forms of workouts that are depending on your goal. I think that bodyweight exercises are a great method for all athletes and I will explain why I believe in that. Bodyweight exercises can make you strong and at the same time, they will increase your endurance. Contrary to the popular belief, many professional fighters do not lift weights. I have been speaking with UFC fighter Damir Hadžović, and he told me that he doesn’t lift weights at all and that he is doing a lot of bodyweight exercises and a lot specific sport conditioning like wrestling and MMA sparring. Recently, fighters like GSP and Jeremy Stephens have been talking about this, and they said that they stopped traditional weight lifting and they started using bodyweight exercises as their main strength and conditioning program. My take on this is that if you use a lot of energy on lifting heavy weights you will be sore when doing combat trainings and you will not be able to reach your peak in training. With bodyweight training you do not need equipment, too much space and you will not waste a lot of time doing it. You often need very little equipment like jumping rope or a box, chair, etc..Benefits of bodyweight training are that you are getting stronger, more flexible and healthier and it can improve your stability as well. In Spartan App you have a variety of bodyweight exercises that you can use every day, and you don’t have to spend too much time doing it. I use Spartan app 2-3 times a week in between my fighting trainings and I am already feeling a lot of benefits.
SPECIFIC SPORT CONDITIONING
Many people who train MMA are asking the same question, they are wondering what is the best way to develop good stamina for MMA fights. If you talk to any professional MMA fighter he is most probably going to say that MMA sparring is the best way to develop conditioning. Of course running, bodyweight exercises and drills have their place, but the most difficult thing is to effectively control a person, throw punches and execute right techniques against non-cooperating sparring partner who is trying to do his best and execute good technique on you. Of course, you have to be careful when you are sparring not to hurt your training partner, and sometimes you can do playful sparing just to test new techniques, tactics,etc… Doing pad and heavy bag sessions can be really exhausting too. Unlike sparring, in pad sessions you can hit as hard as you can, but you need to learn how to control the pace and when you should hit hard and when you should cool down. If you have an experienced coach, he should be able to help you figure that out. Heavy bag sessions are also very good for developing technique, strength and conditioning at the same time. When you are hitting heavy bag you can focus on hitting it with high volume which can benefit your overall fitness or you can focus on increasing power in your punches.