5 Rules for Effective MMA Workouts

 by Corey Beasley

Training for a fight or other competition can be mentally and physically demanding.  Practice, drilling, sparring, conditioning, strength and other aspects of training take their toll on us.  In order to stay healthy, alert and effective, we must follow a few simple rules.

5 Simple Rules to Help you Train Hard, Stay Healthy and Perform at Your Best.

1) Do no harm

The internet has exposed a lot of people to different training styles, exercises, tools and information.  Unfortunately, people don't ask 'how', 'why' or 'when they should use this new information.  They think that if a big name athlete does it, that they should too, but thats couldn't be further from the truth.

Just because a UFC fighter or jiu jitsu champ is doing an exercise doesn't mean that its right for you.  They may have different goals, ability levels, weaknesses or reasons for performing that exercise or drill.  If you follow them blindly, without understanding why they are doing it, you could end up doing more harm than good.

A very common example of this is when people see athletes doing complex Olympic lifts.  They decide to do them and get hurt.  They might not understand how to do the lift, they may have previous injuries or other compensations that create a problem.

Bottom line:  Do NOT use exercises unless you understand how to do them, why to do them and when to use them to get the desired effect.

2) Heavier does not mean “better.”

Loading up the bar has its benefits, but load is not the only variable that we can use to challenge our bodies.  Body position, position of the resistance, stability of the resistance, plane of motion, and speed are other factors that can affect an exercise.

For example, deadlifting with a bar is great, but what if you have to pull with staggered feet.  A simple change of foot position can have a dramatic effect on our strength and ability to pull the implement off of the floor.

For an wrestler or grappler, training in a variety of different positions may help prepare your body for the positions during a match.    Mix it up, try new things and see how your body reacts by changing a few other variables.

Check out this advanced deadlift variation of Mike Rojas

3) More does not mean “better.”

We hear things like 'no days off' and people bragging about doing their third, fourth and fifth workout of the day.  I understand that they want to display their toughness, but this mentality will only leave you broken and tired.

You goal with training should be to stimulate the body to get better.

Martin Rooney talks about using the effective dose of exercise.

Max Shank says "I don't crush myself in the gym, I make myself better."

Forget trying to perform 50 snatches to get your name on the board.  Stop training 3+ times a day.  Training all the time will catch up to you, will slow you down and will hurt your career.

Make a plan, stick to the plan and focus on quality, not quantity.

4) Plan more

Are your workouts random or planned.  I'm not a super organized person, but training for a fight requires a plan of attack.

Taking the time to develop a plan of attack with your coaches can speed your progress and help you avoid overtraining, injury and poor performance.

The plan should include mental, physical and skill related goals.

When do you work, what do you do, how much, when, sleep, food, recovery techniques and more.

Here's a simple template for your Effective MMA Workouts:  MMA Workout Template

5) Take time off

Rest is when we get stronger.  Our minds and bodies require sleep to reset and repair after tough Effective MMA Workouts.  Failing to take enough time off usually ends up sidelining an athlete when they get hurt.

I would recommend that an athlete takes at least one to two days off every week.   While it may be difficult, this time off will allow you to recover and will help you focus and retain more when you do get to practice.  Remember, quality, not quantity.

Plus, its healthy to have a life outside the gym.  Pay attention to your friends, family and enjoy your life.  Once your career is over, you will need them.  Life is a long race and taking a little time for yourself will yield HUGE benefits.

Read more here:  Avoid these pitfalls

Training for Effective MMA Workouts, jiu jitsu and other combat sports can take its toll.  There are many myths and examples that are leading many young athletes astray.  By taking the time to plan, act and recover effectively, you will notice a huge increase in your performance and a decrease in mental and physical stress on your body.