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To follow up from last week’s article here is an awesome fighters conditioning session that can be used by anyone from elite athlete to someone who is just returning to exercise.

Fighters are known for being in top condition when they fight and this can be attributed to the brutal training camp they usually put themselves through. We can learn many lessons from fighters when it comes to our own training, from their hard training ethic, their desire to win and the fact that they let nobody get in the way of their goals.

In order to make sure we are at peak condition come fight night we first need to understand a little bit about the energy systems used when fighting and ensure that we train the correct one(s). To keep it simple in fighting arts we tend to use mainly explosive power in short bursts when attacking followed by random rest periods when we’re moving around the ring or cage. Ideally we would like to be able to hit as hard as we can, as often as we can with minimal rest periods so our training needs to mimic this. The conventional conditioning tool for fighters i.e. road work just isn’t functional for beating up on someone for 5 rounds as well as wasting hard earned muscle, decreasing power, increasing stress hormone levels and having a negative effect on testosterone

So now you know how not to train I’m guessing you’d like to know the best way to train for peak performance, fitness, power and minimal body fat. HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training is the way forward for optimal fat loss and maximum fitness in the shortest time period. There are many ways you can do this but here are 2 workouts designed for fighters and non-fighters that will obliterate body fat and get you in peak condition whatever your goals.

NB elite fighters should be getting enough punches and kicks in during their skills/technical sessions to the point that extra bag work used for conditioning wouldn’t really benefit them so please consider your whole training plan before choosing which workout suits you best. Amateur fighters or people looking to use fight conditioning as a tool then feel free to use either workout for conditioning and fat loss.

Fighters Conditioning Workout

Work:Rest Ratio 40secs:20secs

Kettlebell Swings

Battle Ropes


Medicine Ball Slams

Bike Sprint

Rest 1-2 minutes

Repeat for 3-5 rounds

Non-Fighters Conditioning Workout

Work:Rest Ratio 10secs:10secs

Heavy Bag

Straight Punches for 10 seconds

Rest 10 seconds

Hook Punches 10 seconds

Rest 10 seconds

Front Kicks 10 seconds

Rest 1 minute

Repeat 5-10 rounds

For both workouts make sure you warm up sufficiently for 5-10 minutes and mobilise all joints. Depending on your fitness level you may want to change the work:rest ratio starting out at 15:45 moving to 30:30 before moving on to 40:20 or even 50:10. You can also apply the same principle and timings with different exercises maybe incorporating sprawls, knees, elbows, presses, push-ups, jump squats and anything else that’s going to challenge your whole body. It’s important to give 100% in every set in order to get the desired training effect from these workouts, if you’re not close to passing out after each set then go harder, if you can’t go hard for 40 seconds then cut the time down to 30 seconds and go harder!

This training method is an excellent way to get lean for anybody whether you fight or not or whether you just want to be ripped for the summer. Don’t forget to address recovery and nutrition because putting your body under this level of stress requires clever strategies, remember train HARD but train SMART!

Hope you enjoy the article and please feel free to comment, share and by all means hit me up with any questions….

Rob Stevens

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