“Remember the goal” – Three simple words, which more often than not, get forgotten.
And it’s not just athletes that forget, its coaches as well.
The goal of a strength coach is simple. The reason an athlete trains with a strength coach is simple – To improve performance when they compete in their sport or in life.
The amount of weight lifted is irrelevant. The complexity of the exercises chosen in any given workout is irrelevant. The tools used during the workout are irrelevant. Frankly, anything that lacks a correlation between the training and improved performance is irrelevant.
Moving forwards before this rant consumes the rest of my day.
This post was meant to be about MMA conditioning, but the rant above had been building up and needed a platform to come out on. So, onto the actual reason I’m sitting here writing these words: Conditioning.
Conditioning is a vital element in training.
When people tire, they get weaker. They get slower. Reactions slow down and the mind fails.
While programming and executing conditioning drills it’s imperative that they firstly improve both the heart and lungs whilst increasing the efficiency of the individual’s energy systems.
And secondly, it should push the individual to the edge, make them face it and surpass it – Increasing the limit next time around. This limit isn’t just physical. It 100% applies to the mental element too. Mental toughness is something I feel very strongly about and anyone who has followed me for a little while will know this already.
Mental toughness is a trainable skill. It’s one that transcends the gym or sport and directly effects life. Increasing mental toughness will make the uncomfortable comfortable. It will make decision making an easier task. It will push people to new heights because they won’t fear the unknown.
The set-up for a great MMA conditioning routine is easy.
The execution is the hard part.
The key is to always move, and move fast. Always push the pace as hard as possible. This type of drive will require breaks – pretty frequent ones. Make them short. The goal is to catch a break but not to fully recover. You will need to push again giving max effort until the prescribed reps, sets, time, whatever is being used to condition, is completed.
There is no pace. Its 100% effort, rest a little and repeat.
Remember, the goal (ahh see, the rant at the start came in handy!) is to reach the upper limit and push it further back. The training is enabling the ability to push harder for longer.
The main problem with most conditioning online is that it is lacking any, or at least, failing to mention progressions. Progression is crucial to make gains in conditioning levels and aid the effectiveness of the drills. It’s not complicated though. More reps, heavier weights, more time, increased distance, whatever it is it needs to be recordable and progressive over time.
This type of MMA conditioning is incredibly effective, but it is far from fun. It’s truly horrible. It’s uncomfortable, but that’s the key to successful MMA conditioning – pushing through and performing when uncomfortable.
If this is something you can’t do in training, you’ll never truly push yourself in sport or life. True MMA conditioning is an eye opening experience. It’s one of the best learning tools. It’s a look into who you are and how you will perform when the odds are stacked against you.
The goal is to find your limits, break through to new limits and find out what you are capable of.
Remember, the mind controls the body and conditioning is as much mental training as it is physical. When your mind becomes unstoppable, the body is capable of great things.
Here was my last MMA conditioning session:
1a. Thrusters – In my case using a large piece of concrete:
10 x 10
2a. Walking lunges – Again, using the concrete:
5 x 200 ft
3a. Zercher carrying the concrete:
3 x failure
Simple, brutal, and can be done essentially anywhere using anything. Mine was out in the cold, early in the morning, near the woods, using a block of concrete I found.
Train hard guys.
Always push for strength and toughness in the body and mind.