When it comes to MMA or Mixed Martial Arts, you’ve certainly heard of names such as Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Israel Adesanya, and Amanda Nunes. If you’re new to the world of MMA or if you don’t have a clue on who these people are, well, they’re legendary fighters in the world of MMA. These people mentioned have held or are currently holding championships in their weight classes.
Now, for the young MMA fighter, it’s essential to take note that the champions mentioned above all have one thing in common: Elite Fitness. Without a high-level conditioning program, fighters such as Conor McGregor or Amanda Nunes won’t be able to knock out high-quality opponents. Without proper health and fitness training, champions such as Jon Jones or Israel Adesanya won’t be able to show their flashy knockout moves.
If you want to increase your performance towards the elite levels, you must focus on your health and fitness. Without these two, you stand no chance of even defeating an untrained person inside a ring, octagon, or cage.
You might be thinking that the fighters mentioned above have the money, personnel, and conditioning to help them achieve their perfect forms come fight day. However, these fighters also started from nothing. Believe it or not, a lot of champions started from garage-style gyms and backyard rings as they were training to become world champions.
Although being at a disadvantage early on in life can be difficult for some fighters, it certainly didn’t make their dreams of becoming champion impossible. In reality, you too, can start the same way as a lot of champions do. Here are some tips to help you improve your ring health and fitness.
Nutrition and Balance
As with every human being, food is an important aspect that helps us stay alive. In the world of MMA, nutrition is a must if you want to become a world champion. As each champion has a specific weight class, a strict diet is often crucial for them. Maintaining weight isn’t the sole reason why a strict diet is needed. Specialized diets can help improve the way the human body performs.
Not having a proper meal plan for a fighter can spell disastrous consequences come fight day. When you’re not eating the right food, you can quickly gas out. You can gain weight and add more stress to your muscles, which can cause devastating injuries, given that you want to perform at a high level.
Fighters who don’t make weight also have to face a lot of sanctions such as paying fines, being disqualified, being pulled out from a championship fight, or even losing a championship.
Strength and Conditioning
Since you’ll be performing on a high level, always make sure that your body can take the punishment. Without proper strength and conditioning training, your body can be prone to injuries when fighting.
With the help of equipment such as weights, punching bags, and resistance bands, you can get a full quality workout through these items. You can also opt for gym equipment that can help you attain that goal. If you’re not sure of what you need, some sites offer a full review of the Bowflex Blaze and other great equipment you can use in your strength and conditioning program.
Sure, you may be able to kick and punch with power, but can you do it consistently? Can you maintain footwork without having the risk of a possible ankle injury? Having a high level of strength and conditioning prepares your body for the stress it’ll take from performing such powerful moves inside the ring.
Another thing that fighters need to incorporate in their training is cardio. Cardio is the ability of the fighter to deliver sufficient blood and oxygen to all the parts of the body. Without cardio, a fighter can’t perform for too long. Although the typical MMA Fight lasts for 3, 5-minute rounds, there’s a lot of movement and pressure that can negatively affect the cardio of a fighter.
This is the reason why cardio is an essential aspect of any training regimen for an MMA Fighter. Having good cardio enables you to perform at a high level for more extended periods. If a fight isn’t won by knockout or submission, it usually goes to a decision by judges. Judges can see a fighter who is gassed, isn’t performing up to the standards, and those who get saved by the bell.
Even if you don’t get knockout or submit an opponent, outworking them can bring positive outlooks on the judges for you. Although most fighters don’t want to win by a decision, any fighter will take a win regardless.
Sleep is an important thing to do when you’re training, especially for MMA Fights. Since the nature of the sport and its training is very physical, your body will surely take physical damage. The amount of physical damage can add up, which can start to hurt you not only physically, but mentally as well. Proper sleeping hours after a rigorous training day can help fight off those problems.
Sleep enables the body to rest, allowing it to regenerate and heal itself from the damage it takes during training. High quality sleep can also help ease tensions and reduce stress.
What does motivation have to do with your fitness? A lot. Motivation is an important thing to have when you want to increase your chances of winning. When you’re motivated, you keep pushing yourself to the limit. With motivation, you feel good while training, making you more ready for a fight.
Motivation helps you steer clear from negative people, negative thoughts, and other distractions. A lot of fighters swear that their motivation is what pushes them to train even harder, to not quit “until they can’t feel their legs anymore,” and to persevere.
Being an MMA fighter isn’t easy. One of the best advice that most people, experienced or not, can give you is to train yourself to become healthier and fit. Being at an elite level of fitness prepares your body for a tough MMA fight. Getting the right nutrition, rest, cardio, conditioning, are all critical factors to increase your health and chances of winning.
Through proper training and having the right motivation, you’ll soon become a well-developed fighter. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll become world champ. Never give up on that dream and continue training.