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Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a sport that is much different than almost any other sport in the world from a purely physical point of view.
Most other sports – be they team sports or individual – have a certain set of physical needs and that’s it. For example, cycling is predominantely based on forms of endurance. Levels of absolume (maximal) strength and power aren’t really needed. Baseball, on the other hand, is all about maximal power. Speed is also an important characteristic. Strength without speed isn’t overly usable, and endurance (save for a pitcher being able to make it several innings while keeping/remaining fresh) isn’t a big factor, either.
However, MMA is the exception to the rule. A good fighter needs to be strong, fast, powerful, and have great speed. He needs to have high levels of cardio, great strength endurance, and a lot of muscular endurance.
So the question becomes this – should a “regular guy” do MMA workouts?
See, mixed martial arts is growing steadily in popularity with the masses. And many guys, especially men, like to try and identify with the sport.
Unlike other sports, MMA doesn’t have to be just a spectator sport for the average person. While the everyday fan might not be able to go out and play football or baseball, he can join a local MMA gym, a Jiu-Jitsu dojo, boxing gym, or even a local wrestling or judo club.
However, many guys may not want to actually do any fighting or fight training. Instead, they might just want to be in great shape.
This is because that many men will have favorite fighters that they follow and are fans of. Generally, these fighters are in great physical shape. As a result, while the fan might not want to go out and learn how to punch someone in the face or slap on a rear naked choke, he would be motivated to get into great shape, lose weight, get stronger, etc. This is because (speaking not only as a coach, but as a fan myself) he’ll not only admire the fighting skill of his favorite mixed martial artist, but admire the kind of physicality he possesses.
So let’s say this does motivate a “regular guy” to go out and get into “fighting shape”. Or in other words, the same kind of physical condition his favorite fighter might be in.
(Of course he knows he won’t reach the same level of conditioning the pro athlete will, but that doesn’t mean he can’t radically improve himself.)
Should he go out and do weight training and cardio workouts designed for fighters? Or do a typical workout that a local gym personal trainer might have him do or that he might find in a magazine?
The answer is a definite “YES” – he should be doing workouts designed for MMA fighters!
The reason is because in some ways, the pro fighter and the “regular guy” have the same kind of needs.
It’s already been established that MMA has a wide array of physical characteristics that it needs to build – strength, power, speed, cardio, etc. For any “regular guy” who wants to be in great overall physical shape, this is also true. He’ll want to improve all the same qualities. And when he combines it with a proper diet, he’ll achieve a lean, muscular, and athletic physique. This is something he also wants, and it will come along almost as a by-product of training he’s doing anyway (not as a primary goal).
However, the thing that makes MMA workouts different is how they’re designed.
See, a pro fighter has a lot of demands placed on him from a skills and practice point of view. He’ll potentially training Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, etc each several times per week, not to mention sparring, his combined MMA work, etc. And MMA is such a physical sport, that each skills workout is almost like adding another gym workout, as there’s no way to do one without it taxing your strength, power, cardio, etc.
So as a result, a fighter needs gym workouts that improve all these physical qualities he needs, but does it in as little time possible, with as little work possible, and needing as little recovery possible. He needs the ultimate “bang for his buck” workouts.
The “regular guy” needs the same exact thing, only for a different set of reasons.
Now the “regular guy” isn’t a pro athlete who has a ton of skills workouts to deal with. However, he will have a full-time job working 40+ hours per week. Possibly a wife and kids to take care of, raise, and tend to. He’ll have other chores and responsibilities.
Basically, he has the rest of his life he needs to live. His workouts can’t take a lot of time, nor beat him up so bad that he’s tired, sore, and worn out to take care of the rest of his life.
MMA workouts are the perfect fit for the “regular guy”.
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