Monday, 10 June 2013
It is often said that a bout is won or lost before the fighters even enter the ring. This can certainly be the case with MMA as champions and challengers put their body and mind through rigorous training regimes and unforgiving mental challenges to make sure they are at their peak - before engaging in one of the toughest sports in the world.
So what can an MMA fighter do to increase his or her chances of having their arm held aloft on fight night? Here’s a look at some key factors that might just be the difference between defeat and victory.
MMA fighters use a combination of different training techniques due to the diverse nature of the sport, ensuring they are ready for anything their opponent has to throw at them. A varied approach including wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, weight training and cardio vascular exercise is great preparation for the battle ahead. A good technique is one thing, but you must make sure your body is conditioned to last the duration of the fight, so be prepared for some long days and nights in the gym.
Train twice a day for six days a week and you’ll start to feel the effects, both good and bad. If you don’t eat correctly your body will not be able to take any more punishment and you’ll end up doing more harm than good. Eating plenty but in small quantities is the best way take on nutrition when you are training, rather like a body builder would. It’s recommended that six small meals a day is the perfect intake for what your body is going through. The healthy option is always the best but cutting out carbs isn’t a must, as it’s important that you maintain your energy levels. Many trainers promote the idea of a “cheat meal” once a week, maybe a pizza, steak or chips, as a reward for all your hard work – in regulation of course.
Putting your body through, what is essentially physical torture for up to six weeks is bound to take its toll. When you train you are basically teaching your body to do things it couldn’t before, through pressure and hard work. Over time, if you don’t supplement your body for what it is losing during training, workouts will just become a waste of time. Any good MMA shop will offer a wide range of protein supplements to ensure that your training regimes are not becoming harmful and you can maximise your recovery period.
A good workman should never blame his tools. But if you don’t have the correct equipment from the start, you’ll be severely hampering your chances when it comes to progressing as an MMA contender. There’s no point training with old or second hand gear and then buying new kit for a big fight, as you’ll still be getting used to it when the bout comes around. It may seem like an expensive outlay initially but think of it as an investment for the long term – making sure your fight gear feels comfortable and gives you the freedom to perform to your true ability in the octagon.