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Hello and welcome to my first article for Faultless Fitness. My names Rob and I’m a full time Pro Kickboxer, Strength Coach and Personal Trainer. Here is my run down on the basics of strength and conditioning for fighters, check back in the coming weeks for a more detailed explanation of each of the key elements that I feel are essential for any fighter.

After 2 ½ years away from competitive fighting to focus on my career as a full time strength coach and personal trainer, I have just won the ISKA Lightweight World Kickboxing Title. Here is a little insight into my training for the last 10 weeks.

Gone are the days of 5-10 mile runs at 6am in the morning, working all day in a factory then training hard for 3 hours plus on the night, hormones all over the place, calories restricted to almost nothing and adrenal glands close to giving up. This is not to say I don’t train hard these days but now I train smart!

Days are a little more relaxed now and early morning clients replace my early morning runs, then depending on my training phase it’s off to the gym for a strength and conditioning session, lifting as heavy as possible with big compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts, bench press or overhead press  (remember strength plus speed equals power.)

Following this I would move into some assistive exercises to help improve my strength in the main lifts then maybe a metabolic conditioning or strongman session. Strongman training is an awesome tool for fighters with a busy training schedule due to the sole use of concentric contractions, this means it can be used on days when muscles are fatigued as it’s the eccentric (lowering of weights) contraction that causes most muscle damage which means major DOMS! Examples include farmer’s walks, variations of tyre drags, tyre flips and med ball slams. Check back for some examples of killer strongman circuits that can be used by any athlete.

Running is limited to 45 minutes at a slow pace, maximum of 3 times a week, in the countryside listening to nice music and visualizing my victory. I find running to be relaxing and good thinking time but you can also get the benefits from meditation if you need the rest. Closer to the fight kickboxing and boxing training take priority and my strength training moves towards power training and plyometrics; depth jumps, plyo push ups and jump squats make up the bulk of the training and still sticking with the max effort compound lifts.

Now just because this training method works for me doesn’t mean it will necessarily work for you. I’ve had years of tweaking my training to suit my body and work commitments, you need to do the same, if your body is screaming out for a rest then listen to it, take a day off, get a massage, go for a walk, meditate, SLEEP! The truth is if your head is not in the right place your training programme isn’t going to work anyway and if you’re fatigued and stressed then I can guarantee your head isn’t in the right place. Every athlete is different and if you’re working full time and trying to train like a pro fighter without assessing recovery and regeneration then you’re risking overtraining and you there is no way you want to be entering the ring overtrained.

Remember to check back for updates where I will post my thoughts on the importance of health, nutrition and hormones, the power of the mind, use of kettlebells for fighters, strongman training for fighters, fitness testing and anything else that may be of interest to you.

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