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  1. #1
    AnabolicAnimal is offline New Member
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    how to juggle MMA with Bodybuilding

    this is rather long winded so bare with me. first a lil intro i've been a body builder for going on 8 years now and have finally stumbed into the world of MMA. by taking a ta kwon do class( i know it's not one bit pratical but hey bas rutan even started out doing ta kwon do so give me a break,and i will be switching to muy tai kickboxing when i move to NYC soon anyway) to just improve my flexability and also to find an alternative to boring cardio.in the next few weeks after emersing myself in the world of MMA i found out that bodybuilders might just not be the hardest training athleats in the world. we may have to ,at the best, share that distinction with mixed marital artiest. anyway in the past 4 months i've been taking this class 2x a week for ta kwon do and also just started taking BJJ class 3x a week as well. i find both these work outs to be hard and i'm kinda tworn as to what to do with my bodybuilding life now. i find it impossable to train before the classes because i'll eather get muscle cramps or just not be able to give 100%. lifting after is impossable because the classes destory my energy leaving me with shitty work outs. the classes are on a m-f scedule leaving me only the weekends to train. 2 days a week is a far cry from my min of 5x a week traing i'm used to. i just assume that most of the members on this board where bodybuilders first and i'm just cerious to know how do you guys scedule your weight training around your MMA training? is there a better time (before or after the classes) to lift weights that the body gets used to? i would assume most dont even follow bodybuilding style work outs now, if not what do your works outs look like? i really do not want to give up my first love of bodybuilding but right now i'm more addicted to the feeling of training in MMA. any input into how to juggle the two worlds is greatly appericated. (i appoligze for any spelling mistakes i didn't spell check this kinda tired)

  2. #2
    yannick32's Avatar
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    When i was 16 i was doing Kyo Kushin karate and weight training 5 times a week, its very hard to do, kyo kushin is very demanding, full contact karate with tones of push ups, set ups jumping jacks and more no wonder i never gained weight lol.

    You are doing a lot i guess you might not be able to train 5 times a week with all the martial arts you are doing.

    Modifie your program and see i guess.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    BOUNCER is offline Retired Vet
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    I'll just bump this along a little. I can't reply here right now because we're on the way out to celebrate my wifes birthday. I'll get back to it with my own experience of martial arts and weight training.

  4. #4
    BOUNCER is offline Retired Vet
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    Ok here's what I've found over the years, particularly as I tried to increase the amount of martial arts I was doing.

    My weight holds steady around 260lbs @ around the midteens BF% and I'm naturally strong, I'm 6'2''. While I was kickboxing for years, and training 3 days a week I could hold this weight and bodybuild at the same time. The kickboxing was mainly cardio based so strenght training wasn't hurting my kickboxing training. Then just over 2 years ago I included Judo into my martial arts and found it almost impossible to weight train/body build while doing Kickboxing & Judo. So I cut the weight training back to 3 days a week with nothing going to failure, but I wasn't getting the kick from weight training I wanted so I had to make a decision. Kickbox, Judo or weight training. I dropped the kickboxing in favour of Judo and weight training. I still coach and ref kickboxing. I have to be very carefull with going to failure on too many compound exercises on either the day of my judo training or the day before.

    Now while I'm still big, and its obvious I train, I don't have the same look I had when I was kickboxing and bodybuilding. Its just something I have to get used to. I'm more athletic looking now than bodybuilder looking.

    I haven't done a cycle now since Aug 2003 but I'm very tempted just to get that pumped up look back for the summer, lol..

    To sum it up. If your sticking to a striking skill like TKD you shouldn't have a problem bodybuilding, your just going to have to get used to the crossing training, with proper rest and diet your body will adjust pretty quick. If your getting interested in grappling like JJ, BJJ, MMA or Judo I think your going to find it very hard to bodybuild and increase your body weight, particularly coming up to competition time.

  5. #5
    AnabolicAnimal is offline New Member
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    thanks for your input bouncer, i can see what you mean about going to failure and doing a grappling type of martial art, too many body parts are being worked, and it's a ton more strength involved it seems then a striking discipline i guess i can't have it all, and right now i'm much more into the marital arts then lifting just cause it's a change of pace. but sad to say last night at my TKD class my hamstring "snapped" (at least that's the sound it made i guess i pulled it?) i can barley walk today and i talked to a nurse that said i should relax for at least 2 weeks (i'd go to the hospital to get it checked out but it's not unbearable pain, and i have no health insurance at the moment). i did realize that i will be getting out of TKD much sooner then expected due to the impracticality of the art. i mean it's great caradio cause my instructor takes it real serious but it seems more and more we focus on things that are just not really functional unless your shooting a kung-fu movie (for the record i hurt myself doing a jumping snap kick which i doubt anyone ever does in a real fight). once again thanks for your input.

  6. #6
    BOUNCER is offline Retired Vet
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    Sorry to hear about your hamstring, its a bitch. I've done mine kickboxing. But if it really snapped you'd have been taking a ride in an ambulance. You most likely just pulled a tight hammer, it'll settle down.

    TKD is like all MA, its a great style if you apply yourself to it properly, and your getting the proper instruction. Don't go down the road of the MMA'er -v- TMA'er (traditional martial artist). Do whatever style you enjoy and fcuk the negative comments.

  7. #7
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    Bro, I am having the same exact issues right now. I just started JuJitsu 3 weeks ago and its tough. I decided to limit my JJ to 2 days per week and lifting to the other 5. I may eventually, when my body gets used to it, start 3 days of JJ per week. Im also in the middle of a cycle right now so weight traing is the priority. Im sure that will change once I come off!

  8. #8
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    I started out with TKD as well

    There are a lot of different ways you can approach this.


    Bodybuilders have this Idea that doing cardio will make you loose muscle. I do not beleive that, i think its total BS.
    I used to go have great lifting sessions after two hours of muay thai or jiu jitsu.
    What helped me to do that is continuously drinking a carb drink during my MMA workouts. And right after MMA training. I like Endurox, works good and tastes good. Then I would go straight to lifting. If I waited too long, then I would get tired and lazy and wouldnt want to go.
    Effedrine helps but I didnt like the sides, so I stopped.


    AnabolicAnimal, it seems as though your cramps are a result of the pharmaceuticals you are using. Especially ones for cutting. If you want to continue MMA you better start taking taurine, maybe some glycerol and pyruvate. You could easy pull a muscle in your state. Being that most of these movements are new to your body. Then you will be really sorry. Also drink twice as much watter. And for the hamstring...shoot 1-2 ml of b12 into the sore spot twice a week and you should be good to go after a few weeks.

    Pro fighters dont lift to bodybuild for the most part. They powerlift.
    Technically you can say that golf, bowling, bodybuilding, ect ect are sports. But they really arent sports to me.
    I have found that from my MMA training and powerlifting, that I have built a very good physique, Naturaly.

    You probably dont want to be a pro fighter...
    ITs hard to give you some advice since we dont know your schedule.
    But if you can split up your workout times, one in the morning and one in the evening.
    Eat good in between and try to squeez in a nap.
    If you work all day, take a nap on your lunch break. That is what Iused to do when I had a 9-5 job. I would just go to my car and take an hour nap. I tell you what..it for sure makes a difference.

  9. #9
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    I am in the same situation. (5'8" 220lbs 10% bf) Here is how I work it: Mon/Wed/Fri weights Tues- Boxing/Muy Tai Thurs- BJJ Sat- BJJ Sun- Boxing/ Muy Tai Cardio- Everyday My weight training focuses mainly on higher rep training for endurance one week then the next week focus on power and explosive movements.

  10. #10
    Div1Wrestler's Avatar
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    Its nearly impossible to keep up training for these two things without and injury or just getting burned out...

    One has to be a hobby and one a goal or dream.

    Cycling my lifting really works good for me. Im just wrestling now and out of mma so there is a cut and dry season.
    I can train like a BB in the off season (what ive done for years before MMa)
    And do sport specfic weight workouts during the season

    Im 250 right now I can drop to 205 or get to 280 all in lifting due to contracts the last year Ive had to stay at the high end of 250 plus Im more a 225 guy I feel the best at that weight.

    Hey PhwssJ------- I use Endurox too I like it alot ever try Cardio Discovery?(its real good)

  11. #11
    MMA's Avatar
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    when i gave people my stats, they said "there is no way you can hold onto that kind of size when you start doing real fighting training".

    except i've actually built all this mass while continuously boxing, wrestling and doing martial arts. i'm more than 100 pounds heavier than what i wrestled at my senior year of high school.

    it's hard to integrate a serious lifting program with a serious martial arts program, but it can be done. you've got to work your lifting around your other activities, not try and do a full lifting program AND a full MMA routine. the key to continued gains is reducing the volume (but not intensity) of your lifting program. realize that that your muscles are getting a lot of work already form constantly rolling/sparring/drilling, and you won't be able to make gains if you're also giving them a high volume lifting program. do a search, Dogcrapp has an amazing and very effective low volume weight training program. he lifted the most useful stuff form mentzers HIT without adopting his crazy bull$hit.


    if i'm rolling till i drop every night, by biceps are completely cooked and are borderline overtrained, so my jiujitsu IS my back and bicep routine. doing any more would make them weaker not stronger.

    it's a little easier on my triceps, but i can still only do triceps effectively once a week. i'll do a chest/tricep day on the weekend, and a seperate chest day midweek. it takes a full week for my triceps to fully recover with all the secondary work they get from my skills routine.

    chest/tricep day looks something like -

    (after warm up) some kind of pure chest exercise, cables, flies, whatever, 1 set to failure - pre-exhaust the pecs so you can bring chest and triceps to failure at the same time.

    plyometrics - sprawl drills, visualize opponent shooting in, SPRAWL - throw your legs back, landing in a push up position. EXPLODE back to fighting stance, and shadowbox to keep your heart rate elevated. then visualize and sprawl again. repeat to "explosive failure" - when you can no longer perform this drill explosively, there is no point in continuing with it.

    then heavy dumbell presses to failure, on the slightest incline bench you have.

    squats/deadlifts on saturday would give you a day to recover before sparring again. you may be able to train legs more often than that, but if you start running/windsprints constantly for cardio, you won't be able to fully do legs more than once a week. you can do a second hamstring day midweek.
    Last edited by MMA; 05-18-2005 at 08:04 PM.

  12. #12
    phwSSJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Div1Wrestler
    Hey PhwssJ------- I use Endurox too I like it alot ever try Cardio Discovery?(its real good)

    Nope, but I am gona give it a try now... Thanks bro!

  13. #13
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    If your serious about mma you don't want the physique of someone who does heavy lifting 5 x per week. Bad for movement and flexability

  14. #14
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    I getting ready to go through the same thing bro. Let me know what you find works best for you and I will let you know what I find works. Im waiting on my Bas workout to get here too, just ordered it.

  15. #15
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    GQ-Bouncer is offline Anabolic Member
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    MMA - awesome post, the pro-fighters at my club have similiar training philosophies as you ('fighting muscle')

    I personally compete for fun, were all friends, for 10 minutes were advisaries, for the rest of our years were brothers - having said that, i dont considerably change my life for jujitsu, it's what I do, not who i am (if that makes any sense)

  16. #16
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    Panzerfaust is offline Ron Paul Nuthugger
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    To be honest, this is a tough question for anybody as i think every situation is unique based on your schedule/lifestyle.

    I decided a little over a year ago to stop training BJJ/MMA to focus totally on my physique/weight training to get alot of weight off...when i trained i was 240lbs+ at times and was a beast.

    Now i am 195lbs and would love to get back..actually i am dying to get back into it. It has only been a little over a year but it seems like yesterday i was training. I could only imagine what it would feel like to roll around and be this light? I am sure it would be interesting. So much for my old Gi's...anybody need any A4's?

    I think the best weight training method would be light weight with extremely high reps..circuit training basiclly. Check out the link i put on here showing Randy Couture lifting weights and this should give you a good idea.

    You could always do something like this:

    Mon- MMA
    Tues- Gym
    Wed- MMA
    Thurs-Gym
    Fri-MMA
    Sat-MMA
    Sun-Gym


    That is how i would probably work it...

  17. #17
    WHOADY4SHOADY's Avatar
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    looks good

  18. #18
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    well...i have been doing bjj and kickboxing / mma for about 2 years. I usually only lift power lifting to help with my explosiveness because i found that i just didn't have the juice to spend the right amount of time in the gym to develope my body ... but i have found that after a couple of years of training ...my recovery time from class is about 10 - 15 minutes and then i have my energy back. My schedule goes

    Monday - kickboxing / Submission wrestling (bjj w/o the gi)
    Tues - BJJ / lifting
    wed - Kickboxing / open matt (spar class)
    Thur - BJJ / Lifting
    Friday - off
    Saturday - kickboxing / open matt (spar class)
    Sunday - off

    and I do an hour of cardio a morning Mon - Saturday

  19. #19
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    i am in the same situation bro. i used to train MMA and BB a couple years ago and then i just dedicated to BB. now in two weeks i'll start boxing and doing jiu jitsu and don't really know how to mix my wight training with my MMA training. i was thinking of lifting weights mon/wed/fri boxing tuesday and thurs. jiu jitsu will be the same two days witch boxing or on monday and wed but that will probably overtrain me. weight training will be in the mornings most days and it will consist of doing one exercise per muscle only last set to failure and working out all my body. i was thinking of 4 sets per large muscle groups and 3 for small ones. also i'll be supersetting chest witch back shoulders with calfs bi's with tri's and quads with harms. any opinions?

  20. #20
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    there must be a way to still gaining muscle big time and also training MMA. for example look at mark kerr, ken shamrock, vitor belfort, ricardo arona, mark coleman, bob sapp, etc. you can make a huge list with names. how does this guys struggle with this? appart from using AAS.

  21. #21
    Panzerfaust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabriel595
    there must be a way to still gaining muscle big time and also training MMA. for example look at mark kerr, ken shamrock, vitor belfort, ricardo arona, mark coleman, bob sapp, etc. you can make a huge list with names. how does this guys struggle with this? appart from using AAS.
    Well Coleman, Kerr and Vitor were juicers and thats a fact. You also must take into consideration that thi is there lifes, they don't go to work 8-5 then train..they train and recover all day long.

    Wanderlei has eight people following him in his training, physiotherapists, nutritionists, trainers etc....

  22. #22
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    well i haven't thought of the fact they can rest all day and recovery, but then take for example people i know that have built massive physiques while training in both things and studying, working...i know many big guys who also train for martial arts and can compete in a BB championship and get a respectable place... i was planning to do one more cycle and then stay natural for awhile but i guess they'll be two because it will be a little difficult to gain the same size maybe not, will see...

  23. #23
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    I recently had to stop grappling (shoulder injury) and go to kickboxing (MT). When you are trying to construct a routine you should make recovery your first priority. It does not matter if you are bodybuilding, powerlifting or doing MMA and weight lifting. Your main goal needs to be recovery. I think the best routine would be a 3 x per week split. Go with Push/Pull/Legs. Overall, just cut way back on your volume and do not go to failure. BTW, since doing MMA, I have been doing 2 exercieses for big bodyparts and one for the smaller bodyparts. Also, BOUNCER makes a good point when he says that it is easier to combine kickboxing with weight training than it is to combine grappling with weight training.

  24. #24
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    i am with bouncer in that opinion too catabolic kid. and what do you mean with push and pull? on push day you do chest shoulders and tris and with pull back and bis?

  25. #25
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    I think it is also quite relavent to point out.

    Alot of talk is going into fitness training for MMA/Jujitsu - There is an encyclepedia of maneuvers that must be remembers and executed competently - not to mention timing (which only comes through experience/sparring) this should be the priority

    Are you on cycle? your body will adapt to the streneous training

  26. #26
    WHOADY4SHOADY's Avatar
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    GQ how many times a week do you work out? Also how long did it take your body to get used to the MMA training?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by gabriel595
    i am with bouncer in that opinion too catabolic kid. and what do you mean with push and pull? on push day you do chest shoulders and tris and with pull back and bis?
    Yes.

  28. #28
    GQ-Bouncer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHOADY4SHOADY
    GQ how many times a week do you work out? Also how long did it take your body to get used to the MMA training?
    6 days a week,
    when i first started training, my shoulders/triceps would be BEAT from bagwork, my abs/groin/hamstrings would be strained the next day from rolling (jujitsu)

    3 months later, my body adjusted to it, and i've only ever gotten more flexable with faster recovery - I am very grateful to have a great club i go to, all the guys are very tight, we always chill outside of training, so the motivation to go is always high.

    One thing that helps when you get better, is that you relax and your breathing gets better etc.

  29. #29
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    In the same situation now. I have switched to a powerlifting routine on m,w,f and muay thai, BJJ on t,th. For lifting I stick to low reps and multiple sets and power movements like squats, deads, and bench press. Been working pretty well because these lifts help me stay explosive and keep my size up. Still having trouble with recovery considering I work 8-12 hours a day at times, but youll find ways around that. I upped my complex carbs and have actually started to lean out more than anything. Because of the powerlifting routine I have actually gotten stronger as well, I just dont know how much It would be better if I went into class without any soreness in the tris/bis etc. Its a hobby for now so if I ever decide to get serious I may up the training and limit the lifting, but for now its been ok. Hope this helps, goodluck. Doc.

  30. #30
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    In the same situation now. I have switched to a powerlifting routine on m,w,f and muay thai, BJJ on t,th. For lifting I stick to low reps and multiple sets and power movements like squats, deads, and bench press. Been working pretty well because these lifts help me stay explosive and keep my size up. Still having trouble with recovery considering I work 8-12 hours a day at times, but youll find ways around that. I upped my complex carbs and have actually started to lean out more than anything. Because of the powerlifting routine I have actually gotten stronger as well, I just dont know how much It would be better if I went into class without any soreness in the tris/bis etc. Its a hobby for now so if I ever decide to get serious I may up the training and limit the lifting, but for now its been ok. Hope this helps, goodluck. Doc.

  31. #31
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    thanks doc, you've been very helpful with your post.i have a couple of questions, do you go to failure? and if so how many sets to failure? am sticking with compunds too but i also work the small muscle gropus like bi's, tri's and calfs, and i use different exericses in every workout for example for chest on monday i use flat bench press, on wed incline and on fri decline or if i don't feel i'd recovery well from the other workouts and from the martial arts training i go with flyes sometimes...

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