Strength Training For MMA

When it comes to MMA strength training, most people get it mixed up with either bodybuilding or general fitness, simply because the majority of what the average person is exposed to in weight training are these two types of training. Often time’s people assume that building strength is the same thing as building muscle mass, though these are entirely two different things.

It is important for a MMA fighter to understand the difference between MMA strength training and bodybuilding. You can easily point out the difference when you look at the end goal for each of these two respective sports. In bodybuilding, the goal is to build as much symmetrical muscle mass including all of the major visible muscles in your body. In other words, the purpose of the muscle developed is for show.

The purpose of MMA strength training on the other hand, is to supplement the fighters skill and ability to perform at the highest level physically for a given time period. In other words, the purpose of the muscle is to improve strength, endurance, and technique in a fight.

It should be obvious by now that since the purpose of each of theses sports is completely different, that the type of training itself is different. I know, this is some real rocket science here. And I KNOW you already knew this, and you’re just reading this article so that you can pass it on to OTHER people who aren’t a smart as you (wink, wink).

When training for the sport of body building, bodybuilders are taught to perform resistance training in a way to that involves muscle hypertrophy, which basically means you are increasing the size of muscle cells. MMA strength training requires you do resistance training exercises that will carry over to fighting, such as explosive power and muscular endurance involved in striking and grappling.

MMA strength training requires you to perform certain exercises and in a way that is functional and will enhance either the fighters technique itself or allow the fighter to continue executing a technique or techniques without tiring. Bodybuilding requires you to train a certain muscle so that you build mass and symmetry; in terms practical use for the muscle, there is none outside of how it looks in the eye of the judges or your girlfriend.

Keep this in mind for every exercise you do if you are strength training for MMA. Isolation exercises, such as concentration curls, serve no purpose for fighters, so don’t do them. Deadlifts, where hip and core strength is quite often used in fighting, are an example of an exercise that carries over to combat.

The goal of MMA strength training is to first develop maximum levels of strength, transmute that new strength into power, and to develop power endurance so that the fighter can continuously exert maxim power with his technique throughout the whole fight if it goes the distance.

Derek Manuel has been involved in MMA and physical fitness for over 12 years. He is in the process of becoming certified as NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) to train professional fighters and athletes. When he is not training he is discovering the fastest way to both efficiently and effectively improve physical strength, conditioning, and overall performance as an MMA fighter. To see Derek’s reviews of the top MMA strength and conditioning programs on the market, visit:

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.