This technique is highly counterintuitive and highly effective. The trainee will be giving you a look of ‘Are you serious, this is too easy’…… but, don’t be mistaken. Over the space of 5-10 workouts, continually adding weight in 1-2kg increments to the workout above, total work capacity for the sport will improve. I measure this by having them test at the beginning of the training block and at the completion. The test I use involves doing a sprawl/burpee, and then up to a chin up, then repeat. 75 reps for time is the target and over the period of the 5-10 workouts, they will reduce they’re time by 10-30%.
You can also use this type of structure with other, relevant movements/activates. For fighters that use wrestling as a big part of their game plan, I do a similar thing but with the Med Ball Shoulder Clean as the exercise (Rope accents are also good). Whilst it doesn’t strictly qualify as a plyometric movement, I like the movement for other reasons. There is no eccentric phase (lowering phase), which will spare the joints at a time when the athlete will be feeling the effects of the training camp. This lack of eccentric loading is also consistent with a lot of moves in wrestling and will also reduce the accumulation of neural fatigue. The testing/KPI is to Clean the Med Ball off the ground, and then powerfully throw it over the shoulder. Turn, repeat and go again until 50 are complete. This is done with a 45kg ball, and will really test you.
The nature of the ‘drop ball’ is such that you have good variation to the training stimulus of traditional bend/pull patterns, as the grip is very difficult and the implement lower to the ground. We then develop the endurance capacity for the test in a similar fashion using 2-3 workouts per week. By only doing two reps, we can execute with high contraction speed, ensuring that the anaerobic endurance qualities are developed and we have the required power to ‘rag-doll’ our opponent. As the great Al Vermeil (The only Strength Coach in history to win both an NBA and NFL championship) used to say, ‘Train slow and you’ll be slow’
|MB Shoulder Clean
||Session 1 – 45kg
Session 2 – 45kg
Session 3 – 50kg
Session 4 – 50kg
Session 5 – 55kg
Session 6 – 55kg
Session 7 – 60kg
Session 8 – 60kg
|Complete two reps then rest for the remainder of the minute.
MMA is a sport that requires a unique blend of aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. To get the best out of an athlete, you need to plan accordingly for both. By far the most challenging part of this is the organization and bringing together of all the required training variables. Never forget, skills come first. If the athlete only has a limited amount of time (due to work or a limited capacity for training volume), you need to be smart and incorporate as much of the fitness work into specific skills training and sparring.
Conditioning also needs to be complementary, supplementary and objective. Test and retest. Always be sure that what you are doing is taking them towards better sporting performance, not just training for the sake of training.Aim to elicit the most training adaptations with the least amount of gym time. These workouts are also great for those that just want to improve their fitness. If you doubt me, give one of the MAS workouts a go and let me know what you think.