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Combat Conditioning Program

Strength and Conditioning Program for the MMA Fighter

Combat conditioning has inherently unique requirements. The nature of martial arts is wide, varied and unpredictable. For this reason strength and conditioning for the martial artist needs to be structured to meet the many varied needs of the athlete. Keep in mind that this is a summarised program with only the basic instructions, unlike the programs in our downloads section.

The following combat conditioning program is specifically for a mixed martial artist who resorts extensively to ground fighting, specifically Brazillian Jui Jitsu, but also requires striking ability.

This program incorporates two phases, each phase being six weeks long.

Simply follow workout one through to workout four then rest two days and repeat until the phase is over.

Phase One

Phase one is designed to build a solid foundation in preparation of more highly specific combat conditioning.

Workout One

This workout requires a partner.

Stand on a soft surface like grass or jigsaw mats. Have a partner roll a medicine ball at your feet. Jump over the ball into a sprawl then immediately spin around onto your back in preparation for a guard position.

Complete a total of 30 times.

Workout Two

This is a strength workout utilising pushing movements.

Front squat for 5-5-5 reps

Bench press for 5-5-5 reps

Push-press for 10-10 reps

Workout Three

This is a strength workout using pulling movements.

Dead-lift for 5-5 reps

Single leg dead-lift for 10-10 reps

Pull-ups 2 x max reps

Bent-over row for 5-5-5 reps

Workout Four

Complete the following for time…

Burpee broad jumps x 50 metres

Dumbell bear crawl x 50 metres

High box jump x 50

Back bridge crab crawl 2 x 20 metres (one time each direction)

Phase Two

Phase two is a more specific phase of training designed to develop specific skill-related fitness.

Workout One

Mark out 20-30 metres.

Crawl face down as low as possible (stomach touching ground) for 20 metres.

Lying on your back, crawl back 20 metres using a guard pass style of crawling.

Complete five rounds.

Workout Two

Back squat for 5-5-5 Superset each set with five deep broad jumps

Heavy thrusters 3-3-3 Superset each set with five squat jumps on the spot

Push-ups, as many as you can do in five minutes. Rest as many times as necessary. For added difficulty use gymnastics rings for your push-ups.

Strict overhead barbell press for 8-8-8 reps

Workout Three

Heavy dead-lift singles x 5

Turkish get-up x 3 each side

Two-point push-up x 20 each arm. Partition reps as needed.

Pull-ups, as many as possible in five minutes. Rest as many times as necessary.

Workout Four

Five rounds of the following for time…

Kettlebell swing x 20

Single push-up, single sit-up alternating as fast as possible for 20 reps of each

Squat jumps x 10

10 metre shuttle sprints from a lying start and lying down between each sprint x 4

Follow the preceding combat conditioning program for the prescribed time. Once the program has been completed then move onto a different program. All strength and conditioning programs operate in a saw-tooth pattern. When you begin a program you get results. After a period of weeks or months the results start to level off until you are no longer progressing. From there the results come to a halt and then even begin to decline back to previous levels of conditioning. This is why it is essential that you change your program every 8-12 weeks and include periods of recovery.

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YOUR COACH – Chris Lyons

Chris Lyons is an experienced strength and conditioning coach, having trained athletes of all ages and levels since 2002. Chris specialises in coaching athletes for speed and power specific to fast-moving sports such as rugby league, rugby union, soccer, Aussie rules football etc. Since 2002 Chris has conducted close to 15,000 hours of training and coaching directly with athletes and members of the general population. From this experience comes Sprint Ninja, based on tried and tested training methods combined with up to date research. Chris continues to challenge himself not only as a coach, but also as an athlete, competing in sprinting events, strongman and Olympic-style weightlifting.

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