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MMA Training For UFC Competition Beth G Gil G Jose S Sean K Demographics Sport: MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Age: 23 yr. old, male Strengths: Highly skilled in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) High school/College wrestler (8 years) High levels of cardio endurance, proprioception and balance

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MMA Training For UFC Competition

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mma training for ufc competition

MMA Training For UFC Competition

Beth G

Gil G

Jose S

Sean K

  • Sport:
    • MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)
  • Age:
    • 23 yr. old, male
  • Strengths:
    • Highly skilled in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu)
    • High school/College wrestler (8 years)
    • High levels of cardio endurance, proprioception and balance


Poor power, strength and low levels of lean mass, needs to improve work capacity in relation to UFC workloads

    • Competing in the UFC in the Welterweight class (155 lbs.-170 lbs.)
    • Our athlete is 5’7” 160 lbs.
  • Mixed martial arts (MMA) is an intense and evolving combat sport in which competitors use interdisciplinary forms of fighting that include jiu-jitsu, judo, karate, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and others to their strategic and tactical advantage in a supervised match.
  • Scoring for mixed martial arts events in Nevada, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Florida is based on athletic-commission approved definitions and rules for striking (blows with the hands, feet, knees or elbows) and grappling (submission, choke holds, throws or takedowns).
sport specific demands
Sport Specific Demands
  • Standup:Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, and/or full contact karate are trained to improve footwork elbowing, kneeing, kicking, and punching.
  • Clinch:Freestyle, Greco-Roman wrestling, Sambo and Judo are trained to improve clinching, take downs and throws
  • Ground:Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Shoot Wrestling, Catch wrestling, Judo and Sambo are trained to improve submission holds, and defense against them. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and amateur wrestling are trained to improve positioning and maintain ground control.
  • Other:Proprioception, Range of motion, Work Capacity/Endurance, Strength, Power, Flexibility, Quickness, Agility, Reaction Time

Utilizing a 5-1 work rest ratio, to simulate UFC atmosphere

goals of our training program
Goals of our Training Program
  • 1. Increase total body mass
  • 2. Increase total power/speed strength
  • 3. Increase overall strength
  • 4. Increase anaerobic workload capacity (main component of MMA Training, not aerobic capacity!) in coordination with the proper work/rest ratio. Goal is to reach a 5-1 Work/Rest ratio
  • 5. Sharpen sports specific skills in relation to the proper work/rest ratio. Goal is also to reach a 5-1 Work/Rest ratio
  • 6. Maintain previous skill base, and improve on weaknesses
fighters must be able to maintain

Static Balance - Maintaining balance while holding a stationary position

Dynamic Balance - Maintaining balance while moving

Positive Angles - Proper positioning of the ankles, knees and hips in relation to the torso.

Coordination – Synergistic muscle’s effects on various muscle groups for the production of a specific movement.

importance of proprioception
Importance of Proprioception

Proprioception: the ability to sense the position, location, orientation and movement of the body and its parts.

MMA: Proprioception is needed in MMA at all times. Fighters must be 100% aware of there bodily position in relation to their opponent and the octagon.

Proprioception is necessary for the purpose of producing maximum power while striking by utilizing the kinetic chain , and also for knowing your body’s position while on the ground in guard

importance of flexibility
Importance of Flexibility
  • Flexibility/ROM :The ability to move a joint through its complete range of motion.
  • MMA: Fighters need flexibility to efficiently perform routine attacks such as kicking, punching, and grappling.
  • Flexibility may also assist a fighter in countering ground attacks and submission holds
  • Non-fatiguing tests – anthropometry, vertical jump
  • Agility tests – T-test, Hexagon-test
  • Max power and strength tests – 3RM power clean/or squat/bench
  • Sprint tests – 10 & 40 yd sprint tests
  • Local muscular endurance tests – sit up test, upper/lower ergometry tests
  • Fatiguing anaerobic capacity tests – 300 or 400 yard shuttle runs
  • Aerobic capacity tests – 1.5 mile run, 12 minute run
factors that influence training
Factors That Influence Training
  • Fight date
  • Time span between fights
  • Recovery time
  • Injuries
  • Natural Ability
  • Mental/Physical distress
periodization of training one year

Periodization of Training One Year

1. Off-season - no fight in the foreseeable future

2. Preseason - your thinking about fighting

3. Early season- your going to fight

4. Peak season- you have a fight scheduled in four months

ufc program design phase 1
UFC Program Design Phase 1
  • Hypertrophy/Strength Phase – This phase will last about 12 weeks. The main focus of this phase is to increase our athlete’s muscular size, lean body mass and strength. The first microcycle will last about 6 weeks, utilizing moderate volume and moderate intensity (75% of 1RM for 3-6 sets of 10-20 reps with about 1-2 minutes of rest between sets) . The latter 6 weeks will shift towards strength training rather than hypertrophy, utilizing high intensity and moderate volume (80-85 of 1RM for 4-8 reps while maintaining HR ( Circuit Training, Supersets, Complexes) to imitate actual demands of sport . Workouts should be performed 3X a week in conjunction with sports specific drills on days the athlete is off. Emphasize compound movements rather than isolation movements.
phase 1 strength training complex example
Phase 1 Strength training complex example
  • Complex One
  • Incline DB Bench Press– 6 reps
  • Romanian Deadlift – 6 reps
  • Bent Over Row – 6 reps
  • Military Press – 6 reps
  • Front Squat – 6 reps
  • Weighted Dip – 6 reps
  • Back Squat – 6 reps
  • Good Morning – 6 reps
  • Complex Two
  • Sumo Style Deadlift – 6 reps
  • Weighted Chin up – 6 reps
  • Upright Row – 6 reps
  • DB Pullovers – 6 reps
  • Reverse Lunge – 6 reps each leg
  • 1 Arm DB Military Press – 6 reps each arm
  • Hack Squat – 6 reps
  • Exercises done repeatedly with a 90 sec rest interval, performed 4-5 X
Illustrations of Strength exercisesRomanian Deadlift, Standing DB Military Press, Pullups (wide grip), Front Squat
ufc program design phase 2
UFC Program Design Phase 2
  • Power (Speed Strength) Phase/Peaking Phase- Phase 2 lasts about 12 weeks. This phase is geared towards utilizing Strength and Hypertrophy gains from Phase 1, and incorporating a time factor to produce explosive power. The main focus of this phase is to develop explosive power, maintain that explosive power throughout the macrocycle and into the fight. The first microcycle will last about 6 weeks consisting of high intensity movements with a lower volume and longer rest (90-95% of 1RM 3-5 sets of 2-5 reps with a 3-4 min break between sets. The second microcycle incorporates a peaking phase. Intensity increases (95-100% of 1RM 1-3 sets per exercise of 1-3 reps. Sports Specific Training must also be done in conjunction with this phase. Power workouts should be performed at least 3X a wk.
phase 2 exercise selection
Phase 2 Exercise selection
  • Plyometric- Box Jumps, Lunge Jumps, Cone Hops, Single Leg Box Jumps, Step Up Jumps, Shuffle Box Jumps
  • Weighted Exercises - Hang Cleans, Hang Snatch, Block Cleans, Block Snatch, Squat Push Press, One arm DB Snatch
  • Medicine ball/Throwing exercises - Overhead Step Throws, Overhead Scoop Toss, Kneeling Scoop Toss, Kneeling Chest Pass, Wood Chopper Throws, Shovel Throws
Illustrations of Power ExercisesMedicine ball wood choppers, Kettle bell 1 arm Cleans, Weighted Box Jumps
ufc program design phase 3
UFC Program Design Phase 3
  • GPP (General Physical Preparedness)/ HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) – This phase is geared towards improving over conditioning of the athlete in relation to the strength/power gains of the previous 2 phases. The phase lasts 12 weeks and is split up into 2 microcycles, HIIT and GPP. Now it is time to train our athlete to maintain explosive power throughout specific work-rest intervals. The goal is to progress onward with training the energy systems until the athletes output meets the work- rest ratio of 5-1. Intensity must remain constant while volume is increased and/or rest is decreased. Sports Specific Training should be incorporated into this phase.
phase 3 exercise selection
Phase 3 Exercise selection

Non-weighted GPP - Jumping Jacks, Split Shuffles, Burpees, Mountain Climbers

Weighted GPP – Sandbag Overhead Lifts, Wheel barrel pushing, Tire Flips, Sledgehammer Swings, Sled Pulling, Car pushing (yeah I’m serious lol)

Non sports specific HIIT – treadmill intervals, exercise bike intervals, Elliptical intervals

Sports Specific HIIT- Heavy bag drills, Speed bag drills, Jump rope, Sparring, Shadow-boxing

Goal- 5-1 work/rest ratio at end of phase

ufc program design phase 4
UFC Program Design Phase 4
  • Sports Specific Skills Sharpening/ Maintenance Phase (Peaking Phase from Phase 2 – This final phase of the UFC training program lowers down the overall volume of training prior to the fight. These microcycles will be combined into one cycle of 12 weeks due to the volume decrease. The phase will be devoted to maintaining Power gains by trailing off into a peaking phase (maintenance phase) (95-100% of 1RM 1-3 sets per exercise of 1-3 reps). Performed 2-3X a week
  • Sports Specific drills will be focused on for 30-60 min. a day about 2-3 days of the week up until the fight maintaining intensity, but lowering volume to counteract overtraining for the remaining 6 weeks until the fight.
mma specific drills positions
MMA Specific Drills/Positions
  • Guard/mount position - Top Guard Position, Side Mount Position, Mount Position, Rear Mount Position, Bottom Guard Position, Half Guard, Open Guard, Closed Guard
  • Clinching – Thai Clinch, Collar and arm clinch, incorporate elbow blows
  • Submissions- Leg Triangle, Arm Triangle, Arm Bar, Knee Bar, Hammer Lock, Rear Naked Choke
  • Punches- Jab, Hook, Cross, Uppercut
  • Kicks- Roundhouse Kick, Inside Leg Kick, Front kick, Side Kick, Spinning Leg Kick
mma specific drills positions cont
MMA Specific Drills/Positions cont.
  • Knees- Knees, Running Flying Knee, Inside Knee, Outside Knee
  • Takedowns- Single-Leg Takedowns, Double Leg Takedowns, Ankle Pick Takedowns, Leg Sweeps
  • What is the work to rest ratio for MMA ?
  • A. 1-1
  • B. 2-1
  • C. 5-1
  • D. 15-30
  • How is the Preseason for MMA described ?
  • A. You’re going to fight
  • B. No fight in the foreseeable future
  • C. You’re thinking about fighting
  • An Example of a takedown is a ….?
  • A. Leg sweep
  • B. Thai Clinch
  • C. Rear Mount Position
questions cont
Questions Cont. ?
  • A “Complex” should be incorporated into which training phase ?
  • A. General Physical Preparation (GPP)
  • B. Sports Specific
  • C. Strength/Hypertrophy
  • Sports Specific Training should be included in which of the following Phases ?
  • A. Strength/Hypertrophy
  • B. Power
  • C. GPP/HIIT Phase
  • D. Maintenance Phase/Sports Specific
  • E. All of the above