Wednesday, April 29, 2009

There seems to be a very big surge of people who want to train like fighters. Almost certainly, this stems from the popularity that UFC has made. Lots of and so called "UFC fitness guru's" have been made out of this new phenomenon as well. UFC fighters are, without a doubt, some of the most in shape and well conditioned individuals on the planet, so it is a good thing in my mind for people to look to this as a way to get into a FUNCTIONAL fit state. However, it seems many people don't know how to train like this and achieve the level of badassery that these warriors eminate on a daily basis.

So, I'll shed a bit of light on the subject with a few ideas to help get you started. (DISCLAIMER: All knowledge I have is stolen from coaches and is proven to work by them. If you implement what I say, and you get hurt cuz you do it in a dumb ass fashion or go beyond what you are capable of, don't sue me, because then it will be really difficult to be friends.)

- Train using compound movement patterns: This means that you guys who think doing leg curls is gonna help make you a stronger kicker are way off. The muscles of the body are made to work with one another in a total body manner. So, by trying to isolate muscles, you are making your body "forget" so to speak, how to work in coordination with other supporting muscles, thus making you an uncoordinated fighter, which will make you get your ass kicked by Fedor. Compound movements include: Olympic lifts, deadlifts, presses, squats, rows, etc.  Now, that being said, and I can't believe I'm saying this, there is room for bicep work here, BUT A MINIMAL AMOUNT!!! In order to choke out an opponent, you need a strong hook, and extra bicep work can definitely help with that.

-Train in a circuit fashion: Ever wonder how those fighters can last so long in The Octagon? Well, that has to do with their epic level of conditioning. They do this by putting their exercises into stations and going through them based on an alotted time per station or a higher rep scheme. This also boosts their metabolism because the intensity of the work is do high. Here is an example of one I would make:

  • Speed snatch x 30 sec
  • Sled Push x 30 sec
  • Sled Pull x 30 sec
  • Med Ball Slam x 30 sec
  • Plyometric Push-Ups x 30 sec
  • Kettlebell Swings w/External Push (for core) x 30 sec

All that by maybe 3 or 4 sets with 2 minutes rest between.That's just off the top of my head, and it could be way off (so don't try it!), but that's about what it could look like. To use regular weights, just substitute your exercises in and alter the work time to suit your needs. The point is to make the workout be as intense as a bout could be, so for about as long as the duration of a round (in this case a three minute round).

-Stretch regularly: These fighters need to be flexible to be able to withstand and armbar or an Achilles hold (they hurt like Hell). Also, it helps speed up recovery after workout. So, for the average lifter (i.e. you), you want to do it for the latter. A simple 10-15 minute static stretching session after workout should be fine. Also, invest in a foam roller. It's like getting a deep tissue massage. It's painful at times, but it is well worth it.

-Eat nutritionally sound foods: You can't look like a fighter if you don't eat like one. Most (with the exception of BJ Penn, who ate cheeseburgers all training season and got his ass rocked by GSP), have a very clean and nutritionally sound diet. What does that mean? Well, for starters:

  • Cut out calorie containing beverages. I know the Gatorade makes you fell all powerful and strong, but your love handles beg to differ.
  • Eat 5-7 smaller meals a day rather than 3 big ones. More meals throughout the day means an increased metabolism and constant nutrients getting to you all important muscles.
  • Protein with every meal. Protein is the building block of muscle, so you need a lot. Some say 1 gram per pound of bodyweight, but I'd say you'd be safe around 2 or so. Added bonus: protein has a high thermic effect on the body, which means more overall calories burned.
  • Fruits and vegetables. If you don't eat them, a) you won't get good fiber and minerals and b) your mom will be pissed.
  • Carbs around workout. Have alot of your carbs around the workout for fuel you will need. A pre-workout shake of a 2:1 carb to protein ratio should be perfect. Have another shake after then another high carb meal an hour or so after that.
  • Don't forget fats. You need good fats to grow. Fats help increase the amount of testosterone in the body, and in this day and age, we could all use more of that (fuckin Zac Efron).

Well, that's all I got for this installment. As I come across more research and plans, I'll be sure to let you faithful in on it. 

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