Avoid Training FOMO

By William Wayland


Out of all my favorite internet acronyms, including IDGAF and WTFBBQ, the one I really like our information dense age is FOMO.

FOMO = Fear Of Missing out

Fear of missing out is an problem I see in MMA strength and conditioning regularly. Its a side effect of information overload, with concepts such as strength, power, speed, plyometrics, mobility drills, movement training, recovery, stretching and on and on it can seem daunting. This is also compounded by the constant stream of 'new' information and exercise variations. What sometimes results from this the FOMO workout, which is mass of everything jammed into a single workout. This often occurs when a coach over values what they want the athlete to do versus what they probably need to do.

Just checkout instagram, youtube or facebook for plenty of posts of coaches focusing on what looks cool or current. Your athletes matter more than your social media standing!

william wayland 2Training FOMO is the raison d’être of the coach without a ‘process’, it is also the opposite of paralysis by analysis. Paralysis by analysis is when a coach doesn't know what do due to an over abundance of information. Where as the FOMO coach just decides to try include everything. This is a failure of prioritisation, without a carefully thought out process it can be difficult to decide what to do. I've seen workouts that involve, long dynamic warm-ups, extensive foam rolling, max strength work, plyometrics, aerobic and alactic conditioning, speed work, ladder drills and sprints all in one session. By trying to do everything we end up with a muted and subpar adaptation to training FOMO. This works well with beginners who have vast adaptation capabilities seeing as everything is under  trained. But in athletes with greater training age we need a more nuanced approach on what to improve.

When it comes to broad training targets for athletes I have generally found that we can simplify it based on training FOMO age;

Year 1 The main focus is generally Strength and Bodyweight Manipulation

Year 2 Power particularly learning how to express strength quickly and develop Rate of Force Development

Year 3 Speed focusing on high velocities and sports specific movements.

This is generally the process I've gone through with long term athlete development, not everyone develops at the same rate of course. Things like mobility, flexibility, conditioning are generally more acute training FOMO focuses which we'll cycle or maintain based on competition schedules. So discernment from the coach as to where the athlete sits and what they need to do is key.

"Do nothing which is of no use." -Miyamoto Musashi

There are plenty of great flow charts of how to approach this checkout How to Prepare for an MMA fight. Trust yourself don't get caught in the hype.

William Wayland is a strength coach and owner of Powering Through in Chelmsford, Essex, UK. Striving for performance that can be measured in success on the field, on the court, in the ring or in the cage. William works with Olympians, UFC fighters and other high level athletes.