Question: What is more important for a fighter to focus on; strength or conditioning?
Answer: Neither is more important than the other. It really depends on what the particular fighter needs to work on and what his major weakness is at the time. If he is inhumanly strong yet completely gassed after a minute, then max strength work will be a complete waste of time and he should focus most of his time on conditioning. The reverse, obviously holds true for someone who is in great conditioning yet weaker than tissue paper. Determine your weakness and what is holding you back and focus on improving that while maintaining (and not losing!) the other quality.
Question: It’s tough for me to weight train and still stay in my weight class. When I start lifting I just blow up too fast and put on too much size. For that reason I only do bodyweight stuff. Is there a way around that or is that all I should be doing?
Answer: In a case like this I think you should only focus on maximal strength/speed/power training in the weight room. This type of training, when done with low sets and reps and long rest periods shouldn’t put on too much size; especially if you keep your calories low enough. I just think the benefits of proper weight training are too great to ignore and can really improve your game. I firmly believe that most fighters could benefit dramatically from improving their max strength levels. I had this conversation with my friend and colleague, Chad Waterbury, over breakfast at The Firehouse in Venice Beach Sunday morning he was in full agreement. From what we have seen there are very few combat athletes who couldn’t benefit from some proper max strength/speed/power work.
Like I said, if you keep your volume low, rest periods high and keep the calories in check you shouldn’t gain any size from this type of training.
Question: Is sprint training of any benefit to combat athletes even though they never run in a fight?
Answer: Yes, it is. Sprint training can make you explosively fast and powerful and also help you burn off bodyfat which is incredibly important for combat athletes.
Question: What kind of supplements should I be taking after my MMA workouts?
Answer: A good post workout drink will help get some much needed calories in ASAP after a brutal conditioning style workout. I prefer waxy maize as the carb source. I was introduced to this a year or so ago by Justin Harris and Dante Trudel and was reluctant, as usual, to try it. As many of you know I think most supplements suck. My good friend Dave Tate said he was loving so it I finally bit the bullet and gave it a shot. So far, the results that most of my guys have gotten have been quite impressive and everyone seems to like it. I recommend mixing it with either pea protein isolate or rice protein. I personally don’t recommend the regular consumption of dairy products for a variety of reasons but if you choose to go that route you could always mix it with whey.
Also, be sure to drink tons of water after training to rehydrate yourself.
For more information about the training of combat athletes be sure to pick up your copy of Fit to Fight today.
Chuck Liddel has his copy.
Ultimate Fighter winner, Mac Danzig has his.
And so does former Olympic gold medal winner and WWF world heavyweight champion, Kurt Angle.
Get yours HERE!