Although some of you guys might be interested in athletic preparation methods for combat athletes, I know for a fact that you’re more interested into looking like them.
Most people will agree that fighters have the ideal body and on reason for that is because they are so lean yet are muscular and look like they can kick your ass.
It’s important for combat athletes to watch their weight because combat sports are sports separated by weight classes. If a fighter goes into a heavier weight class as a “puffy warrior”, they’re going to get asses handed to them.
That is on top of the fact that fat is just unneeded weight which then requires more energy to move yourself than a leaner person would need.
Because of this, combat athletes will go through incredibly tough conditioning workouts to not only improve their energy systems but also burn off some body fat for the fight.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, MMA workouts are all the rage right now because of their “fat loss power” and here I am feeding more of that into your mouths haha, but don’t worry, this is actually good stuff!
Although there is a lot of use for aerobic training in an extreme fat loss program, most of your training will be anaerobic or in other words high intensity training.
So let’s get down to the good stuff.
Combat Strength For Muscular Bad Assery
During a fat loss phase, the most important thing to do is to keep muscle size and strength. Muscle size is the number one dictator of metabolism and strength levels are the number one dictator for preserving muscle.
Fortunately it is easy to keep both strength and muscle size in maintenance mode so you can focus more time and effort into metabolic circuits and other forms of energy system training.
According to Alwyn Cosgrove of Results Fitness, it only takes 1-2 heavy sets of a compound exercise to preserve muscle mass. That means you can get away with a 2 sets of heavy squats or deadlifts and get away with it haha.
From my experience, it is true but I would much rather you have 2-3 heavy sets of 2 compound exercises a workout such as squats and chin ups or deadlifts and military presses.
This helps for fat loss as well since it takes a lot of energy to lift heavy stuff. I also like to IMPROVE strength and muscle gains during a fat loss program whenever possible, so I find it necessary to leave in a couple more sets of heavy shit to carry.
Reduce rest periods between these heavy compound exercises and you’ll create a conditioning effect as well to stoke that MMA fat burning furnace.
For here, just stick to the basics which are:
As long as you can hit every movement plane with heavy weights once every week (1-2 of them per workout), you’ll be fine.
With these exercises in particular, I would make sure to stay within the 5-8 rep range as that is “functional hypertrophy” area to help simultaneously improve strength and muscle mass.
MMA Metabolic Conditioning
Here is where the good stuff begins. MMA athletes are known for putting themselves to freaky circuits that leave them on the floor crying for their mom’s.
Although I’ll be the first to say it’s retarded, I do have to admit that training at a CLOSE ENOUGH intensity will make the difference between a regular fat loss program and an X-TREME one.
For these purposes, I like to use 3 methods:
Hurricane training was developed by Martin Rooney, a world re-knowned strength coach who trains many MMA fighters to help them endure their fights. During his use of it, he realized that it also helped improve muscle size and annihilated body fat like nothing else he ever tried.
If you have ever done hurricane training, you can attest that it is probably the single hardest training session you will ever have in your life.
It’s that intense but it’s freaking amazing.
Here is a hurricane workout from Martin’s site, Training for Warriors.
Hurricane Category 3
1a. Treadmill at 10mph and 10% grade incline for 3 sets of 30 seconds
1b. Rope Pull Crunch 3×20
1c. Triangle Pushup 3×10
2a. Treadmill at 11mph and 10% grade incline for 3 sets of 25 seconds
2b. Single DB Turkish Sit-Up 3×15
2c. Uchi Mata 3×15
3a. Treadmill at 12mph and 10% grade incline for 3 sets of 25 seconds
3b. Bicycles 3×16
3c. Knuckle Pushup 3×10
And this is only category 3. There are 5 categories in all and they will all leave you wishing you stayed home but at least you can crawl your way back with less fat on you
I would use this once a week and if later you need an extra boost of fat loss power, twice a week but no more than that.
One common thing about effective fat loss programs is that they force the user to use both conditioning and strength training protocols into one workout.
Strongman training is basically that in where you have to carry heavy loads over a set distance or time and usually with short to medium rest periods, which is where the conditioning is.
Fighters use strongman training in their programs to replicate the fight sequences that happen often in a fight such as takedown attempts.
Strongman training is so extremely useful for fat loss that it could be all that you need.
There are many ways to include strongman training into your programs. Some are:
and many more things. It’s basically moving heavy shit for long periods of time.
Here is an example of a strongman workout you can use with a prowler, a rope, and a heavy set of dumbbells.
Suitcase Farmers Walk (Left Arm) 3 X 20 yards
Prowler Push 3 X 20 yards
Suitcase Farmers Walk (Right Arm) 3 X 20 yards
Prowler Pull 3 X 20 yards
Farmers Walk (Both Arms) 3 X 20 yards
Prowler Push 3 X 20 yards
Prowler Pull 3 X 20 yards
*Rest for 60 seconds at the end of each circuit*
It’s a toughie but once you’re done, put your hands up like if you’ve just won a fight.
On this blog, I raise champions!
Metabolic training is amazing for fat loss and is the hallmark of fat loss training. Three to four sessions of metabolic circuits is all you need to get real lean.
There are many ways to set up metabolic circuits. My favorite way is to blend weight training and bodyweight training into tri-sets or quad-sets.
You can also just do it with weight training or even blend it with cardio, much like hurricane training.
They are usually performed as supersets, complexes, or as I said earlier, mini-circuits or giant circuits and are almost always done in full body training sessions.
This is because full body sessions burn the most calories while also preserving helping to preserve the most muscle mass and even increasing it.
In general, 8-15 rep sets are used to both stimulate muscle mass growth and calories burned both during and after the workout. Short rest periods are also used, usually from 30 seconds to 60 seconds.
Here is an example of a solid “met-con” circuit:
3A) Goblet Grip Bulgarian Split Squat 4 X 8
3B) Chin Ups 4 X 6
3C) Hip Flexor Stretch 4 X 5
4A) Single Leg Glute Bridges 4 X 8 Each Leg
4B) Pushups 4 X 20
4C) No Money Drill 4 X 5
*Rest 45seconds in between mini-circuits*
I like metabolic circuits as you can include heavy strength training easily so you can also improve strength levels in more straight forward way than strongman or hurricane training (although can still be programmed into them).
MMA Energy System Training To Kick Fatty’s Ass
I like to add some extra energy system training at the end of a fat loss workout to burn off some extra calories while there still is time and energy to use.
I also use it to break up the monotony of circuits and throw in stuff like sprints, gymnastics, heavy bag work, pad work if there is a partner, and stuff like that.
My favorite is to use the heavy bag and set up rounds as if I were in a fight. Going hard for 3 rounds of 3 minutes breaks me apart and burns off some serious flab.
Although you shouldn’t try to exhaust yourself every session, there is no going around the fact that smart, consistent hard work will always lead to fat loss results.
If you choose to do hurricane training twice a week, there is no need for anymore sprints though.
On off days, I would recommend some short aerobic work to help improve conditioning levels, burn off some extra calories you wouldn’t have normally have, and help speed up the recovery process.
3 Hard energy system sessions a week plus 1 or maybe even 2 aerobic sessions a week will do wonders for fat loss.
To look like a fighter, you have to train like a fighter, with a few modifications but keep the intensity. Every training session is a fight that you must win.
My favorite split is to have one circuit day, one strongman training day, and one hurricane training day a week with energy system “finishers” on the circuit and strongman days.
From there, maybe add an extra aerobic sessions of tempo runs or even just regular roadwork and there you have it, a fighter inspired fat loss program designed for X-TREME results.
At the end of every session, don’t you dare sit down. I want you to stand up, look up, and raise your arms up in victory.
It’s time to burn off some fat and breed some winners!