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  1. #1
    octagon is offline New Member
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    periodization for MMA

    i'm an athlete (mma fighter), and most of my program is sport specific movements and plyometrics. the weight training i do do is mike-mentzer style hi intensity: one berserk set to utter failure. how do i perodize a program that is mostly explosive power movements, grappling and cardio?

    examples of some of my routines

    chest/tris - warm up chest with moderate weight, one set to failure, chest exercise (varies with equipment available).

    sprawl drills - jumping down into a push up position, exploding up back to a fighting stance with one explosive push. repeat until no longer explosive.

    incline dumbell presses, heavy weight to failure, 5 to 8 reps.

    isometric lock out of triceps (joint angle similar to end of punch, for power at the end of my punches...great feeling with the pump at the end of a good workout)

    legs (in addition to lots of roadwork)

    double leg takedown drills (motion similar to lunges)

    deadlifts, 1 set to failure

    leg curl, 1 set to failure

    jump squats...from a deep squat (no weights) explode upward as high as i can. repeat until no longer explosive.j

    jumping rope for calves

    bi's/back

    chin ups, 1 set to failure, explosive as possible

    rowing machine (don't laugh, can actually be a power exercise if you go wind sprint, ERG test style). i wrap a towel around the bar for greater range of motion.

    any suggestions/comments welcome
    Last edited by octagon; 11-13-2003 at 12:00 AM.

  2. #2
    Chino0905 is offline New Member
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    Good work out... MORE CARDIO If you have any mass on you trust me your going to burn hard unless after a serious weight lifting session you use 5-8 sets of 3 minute cardio burns on the bag train to snap your punches when your tired and explode when your rested... 1-2's arent good enough finish with at least 3 hit combo's then work on plyometrics jumping etc when your completely burned or trust me bro you will burn hard in the ring JUICE and ADRENALINE = SHEER EXHAUSTION but yea I like your controll points like your arm and jumping exercises!

    keep up the good work and tapout some foolz

  3. #3
    octagon is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chino0905
    Good work out... MORE CARDIO If you have any mass on you trust me your going to burn hard unless after a serious weight lifting session you use 5-8 sets of 3 minute cardio burns on the bag train to snap your punches when your tired and explode when your rested... 1-2's arent good enough finish with at least 3 hit combo's then work on plyometrics jumping etc when your completely burned or trust me bro you will burn hard in the ring JUICE and ADRENALINE = SHEER EXHAUSTION but yea I like your controll points like your arm and jumping exercises!

    keep up the good work and tapout some foolz
    thanx for the advice. you're 100% right, about the cardio, cardio is king in MMA. thats my power routine so i didn't include most of my cardio (basicly roadwork every morning, grappling or sparring till i drop at night.) anyone else got something to contribute? BDTR?

  4. #4
    saboudian's Avatar
    saboudian is offline Senior Member
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    I would switch to a powerlifting routine, i.e I would strong suggest WSB, then you could use cardio for your GPP.

    I don't see HIT as being very effective for athletics.

  5. #5
    wannagrow is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by saboudian
    I would switch to a powerlifting routine, i.e I would strong suggest WSB, then you could use cardio for your GPP.

    I don't see HIT as being very effective for athletics.
    I would have to disagree with this, but then again different things work for different people, but i have found when your seriously training for fighting, especially grappling and no rules type stuff, you train a hell of alot and you don't want to spend large amounts of time in the weights room. Maximum effort and results in the minimum amout of time, maximise recovery.

    One suggestion would be to do some grip training, i guess that is more important in pure grappling especially if wearing a gi. but still usefull for submissions and chokes as well in no gi type fights, for this it needs to be things like thick bar holds.

    Grab a thick pipe, 3inch and put it over your bar, load it up and try to hold for more than a minute, if you can go that long up the weight.

  6. #6
    saboudian's Avatar
    saboudian is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wannagrow
    I would have to disagree with this, but then again different things work for different people, but i have found when your seriously training for fighting, especially grappling and no rules type stuff, you train a hell of alot and you don't want to spend large amounts of time in the weights room. Maximum effort and results in the minimum amout of time, maximise recovery.
    Hey I completely agree with you on the importance of recovery, no doubt about that. But you will seriously be hard pressed to find a better split than WSB for power which is what you're trying to acheive as a fighter in the weight training room.

  7. #7
    chicamahomico's Avatar
    chicamahomico is offline Respected Member
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    When you are an athelete biggest factor when periodizing training is the competition date, or some goal at a point in time. This is what determines the breakdown of your training split. The farther away from your goal the more strength and mass training( assuming you want to gain weight ) are prioritized and fight training is maintenence at this point, then as you move closer to the date the strength triaining moves into maintenance and the fight training moves into priority. Sort like this rough outline if you had a fight in 24 weeks:

    week 1: 90% strength, 10% fight
    ...
    ....
    week 14: 70% strength, 30% fight
    week 16: 60% strength, 40% fight
    ...
    ...
    week 20: 15% strength, 85% fight
    week 22: 10% strength, 90% fight
    week 24: 5% strength, 95% fight

    The %'s are a reference to total time spent training. To keep the example simple I omitted cardio conditioning which you would obviously need to add into the mix. A good book that explains this stuff in detail is Staley's Science of Martial Arts Training.

  8. #8
    saboudian's Avatar
    saboudian is offline Senior Member
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    Chico laid it out pretty well as a general approach. As full season approached I would be in the gym only 1 day per week to maintain strength and speed, but even then I don't think you could find a better split than a WSB style split.

  9. #9
    octagon is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by saboudian
    Chico laid it out pretty well as a general approach. As full season approached I would be in the gym only 1 day per week to maintain strength and speed, but even then I don't think you could find a better split than a WSB style split.
    thanx for all the input guys. a couple of comments

    i've found MMA so demanding that i need to maintain a 95% / 5% sport to strength training regimen year round, just to have my skills and cardio where i need them to be. thats why i went to HIT. you just CAN'T do a standard bodybuilders back and bicep routine, with numerous sets and exercises, and then go and grapple 2 hours a night because A: you can't grapple after taking your body to the limit like that, and B: you won't have any gains because of massive overtraining, it's like doing arms twice a day. with HIT i've managed to continue to make slow but steady gains, which is very difficult while doing so much training that is esssentially cardio.

    couple of more questions for saboudian: can u define your terms WSB and GPP?

  10. #10
    saboudian's Avatar
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    WSB = West Side Barbell, a style of powerlifting.

    GPP = General Physical Preparedness, includes just about anything but lifting, sled work(dragging), cardio, playing football with your friends, etc

    I wouldn't suggest a standard BBing routine for fighting cuz it doesn't make sense, but HIT doesn't make sense either.

    I'm struggling with words on how to explain this because you're not familiar with WSB, so you should read up on it.

    Maintaining a split year round where 95% is devoted to skill work is probably not the best way to go, if a fight is close approaching than that might be your best option. What I'm trying to relay to you is, what if say in the offseason you cut down the sparring/ skill work stuff down to 4-5hrs a week plus your cardio, what if you could do that and then as you built your skills, you increased your bench to 400 and your squat to 600. Then say 6 weeks or so out from your fight you just maintained those lifts and then went back to your 95% skill work split. Can you imagine how dangerous you would be?

    IF you look at alot of olympic athletes, you would find that its hard to get them out of the gym, because they don't do much skill work at all in the offseason.

  11. #11
    octagon is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by saboudian
    WSB = West Side Barbell, a style of powerlifting.

    GPP = General Physical Preparedness, includes just about anything but lifting, sled work(dragging), cardio, playing football with your friends, etc

    I wouldn't suggest a standard BBing routine for fighting cuz it doesn't make sense, but HIT doesn't make sense either.

    I'm struggling with words on how to explain this because you're not familiar with WSB, so you should read up on it.

    Maintaining a split year round where 95% is devoted to skill work is probably not the best way to go, if a fight is close approaching than that might be your best option. What I'm trying to relay to you is, what if say in the offseason you cut down the sparring/ skill work stuff down to 4-5hrs a week plus your cardio, what if you could do that and then as you built your skills, you increased your bench to 400 and your squat to 600. Then say 6 weeks or so out from your fight you just maintained those lifts and then went back to your 95% skill work split. Can you imagine how dangerous you would be?

    IF you look at alot of olympic athletes, you would find that its hard to get them out of the gym, because they don't do much skill work at all in the offseason.
    thanx saboudian, where is a good place to look up WSB? tho i have to admit, i'm not sure if it's right for my sport: my sport has no off season...you're ALWAYS about 6 weeks or less from your next fight. i can definitely see olympians in attribute-driven sports spending all their time in the weight room...they've mastered the basic motions they need to accelerate the luge sled or whatever...but MMA is the most skill intensive sport in the world. it's like trying to learn 4 skill intensive sports at the same time, boxing, wrestling, muay thai, and jiu-jitsu. look at the ages of some of the guys in the sport. the top fighter in the world, randy couture, is 40 years old...it took him 34 years of intensive training to make him a master of every aspect of his game.

    also, non endurance athletes often under estimate what goes into having world class endurance. it's not just a matter of getting into shape before a fight...it takes YEARS of hard work to develop the kind cardio you need to go all out in a long title fight.

  12. #12
    saboudian's Avatar
    saboudian is offline Senior Member
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    Check out www.elitefts.com and click on articles, there's plenty there.

    There's also a q&a there for sport specific questions that is helpful, very often its just people asking questions like you on how to apply a weight training for a certain sport.

  13. #13
    octagon is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by saboudian
    Check out www.elitefts.com and click on articles, there's plenty there.

    There's also a q&a there for sport specific questions that is helpful, very often its just people asking questions like you on how to apply a weight training for a certain sport.
    thanx bro

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