So you’re thinking about getting into MMA, or maybe you’ve already joined a gym. Before taking that first step on the mat though, here are a few tips to keep in mind…so you can become the ultimate warrior!
1) Always stretch before and after.
MMA isn’t just about strength; flexibility also plays a big role in this discipline. Stretching before and after your workout can help improve your flexibility and will eventually become the easiest part of your training. Skipping your stretching can quickly put you right back to where you started. Keep at it!
2) Be honest with yourself.
Whether you’re already an advanced athlete or you’re just starting out, you’ll need to be honest and open about your fitness levels. Tell your trainer exactly where you need to begin. Even if you believe you are advanced, the fitness-oriented MMA workouts at your gym can be completely different than where you previously trained. The last thing anyone wants is for you to end up hurting yourself. Everyone has to start somewhere.
3) Work on your core.
By training your core, you’ll be able to increase the power of your punches and kicks. This is because your core is the center of your being; it’s where all of your strength comes from in the first place. Try some core exercises to build up your strength such as: sit up punches, planks, and hanging leg raises.
4) Eat the right foods.
Do as much research as you can on clean, healthy eating to better understand what kind of nutrition will work best for your body type and fitness goals.
5) Be patient.
Accept that you won’t become an ultimate fighter overnight. The worst thing you can do is push yourself to doing exercises that are beyond your ability level (see number 3). Remember it takes time to build muscle, strength and flexibility.
6) Get some sleep.
Getting enough each night rest is key to building your strength and developing your stamina. Your body needs time to rejuvenate after high impact training.
MMA fighting can be difficult, especially if you have no idea where to start. You’ve taken the initial step in researching which gym is best for you. So get prepared by training smart and doing your homework. And have fun!
Staying active throughout the week is part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Easier said than done for those gym haters out there. But studies have shown that skipping out on strength training and cardio workouts can lead to heart disease, depression and osteoporosis.
Pretty scary, right?
You don’t need to make your exercises complicated. Life is already confusing enough; keep it simple when you head to the gym. CrossFit champ and elite athlete, Jason Khalipa, tweeted: “Sometimes the best workouts are when you are a bit rushed. Short and sweet. Intensity gives great results.”
Below are some super simple tips that even the most amateur gym dude/gal can use when heading to the gym:
1) Focus on intensity, not time. It’s not about how long you workout for, but how hard you push yourself. If you’re working out for over an hour and you’re not breaking a sweat, your heart isn’t pumping or your muscles aren’t aching, then you’re not working hard enough.
2) Push yourself harder. When you finish your workout, ask yourself “did I push myself as hard as I could without injuring myself?” If the answer is yes, then you’re doing something right.
3) Always keep your workouts fun. If you’re not having fun while doing it, while do it at all?! CrossFit and MMA trainers, for instance, should push you to new levels that you wouldn’t experience elsewhere. Their routines are typically always changing and they always try to encourage their clients to push themselves, while having a good time.
4) You can get fit in 30 minutes, 3 days a week. You don’t need much more time than that to stay in shape, if you push yourself. But you’ve got hit it hard. Listen to music on your iPhone to get you pumped up. You just need to move. Whatever it is: squats, sit ups, push ups, jumping jacks…when you feel your heart start to race, you’re on the right track.
If you’re toying with the idea of implementing high-intensity circuits with a short-time frame into your routine, then a CrossFit program may be for you. If you’re just not into pushing yourself to the max in a small period of time, and would rather learn practical skills for everyday use, then maybe try a Martial Arts program. A great gym, with a holistic approach to fitness, should offer a little something for everyone. Follow these tips, stay in shape, and your life should generally be happier…and longer.
Photo courtesy of Geek Philosopher
For those feeling motivated to get in shape, there are many types of workouts available, and those workouts yield a wide variety of results – from the slimming effects of regular long distance running to the notorious “bulking up” that comes from grueling, slow hours of repetitively pumping iron at the gym. Genetics and diet certainly play a key role as well, but there's no denying that paying attention to which muscle groups you're working – as well as to the intensity of the workout – will also have an enormous effect on the end results. Not everyone can be a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, but wouldn't it be great if there were a workout that in some way mimicked the unbeatable (no pun intended) fitness results of MMA battling? Luckily, there is; this is where CrossFit training comes in.
In fact, CrossFit's “FGB” (“Fight Gone Bad”) gets its origins from the world of MMA. The story goes that renowned UFC fighter B.J. Penn was in search of exactly such a conditioning workout and thus approached CrossFit founder Greg Glassman. The result was this series of three five-minute exercise rounds that work the same muscles that an MMA battle does (that is to say, all of them!) – and at the same level of intensity. According to Louisville, KY CrossFit coach Ryan Brown, CrossFit is exactly the type of “punishing” workout that combat sport athletes love, incorporating both the upper and lower body for a thorough challenge yielding body-wide results.
Not Heavier – Just Over and Over Again (and Again and Again...)
In addition to honing in on muscle conditioning of the entire body, another important aspect that CrossFit training and mixed martial arts share is the emphasis on movement as opposed to the use of heavy weights. An MMA battle involves fast and constant maneuvering, after all (not repeatedly lifting the opponent!) – and this is why it is important in CrossFit to take on high reps with weights that offer some resistance but not too much (as opposed to using the extremely heavy ones that a powerlifter might use).
Simplicity and Variety of Motion
During your CrossFit training class, you can expect a quick succession of many different exercises designed to replicate the simple pushing and pulling movements that come with martial arts training. This includes activities such as rowing, push presses, box jumps, and wall-ball shots – with short, one-minute rests between each five-minute round. Granted, these may in some ways feel like the longest five-minute time periods of your life – but hey, what would you do if your opponent kept getting up and coming back at you? The answer: try a few new moves – and, most importantly, keep going until you win the match! And that's exactly the point of CrossFit: this, too, is a battle – except, in this case, you're fighting the couch and the flab.
A YEAR AGO ADAM AND I NEVER COULD HAVE IMAGINED THE COMMUNITY OF LOVE AND SUPPORT THAT HAS BEEN CREATED THROUGH A4 CROSSFIT & MMA PROGRAMS. COMING BACK TO LA, WE HOPED WE COULD CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT THAT WAS WELCOMING AND SAFE. WE WANTED TO OFFER OUR MEMBERS A LEVEL OF COMFORT YET SHOW THEM THEY TRULY CAN ACCOMPLISH THINGS OUTSIDE OF THEIR DREAMS. WE HAVE RECEIVED ALL OF THAT AND SO MUCH MORE. WE LOVE WHAT WE DO BUT YOU HAVE MADE US LOVE IT THAT MUCH MORE! WE JUST WANTED TO EXTEND OUR GRATITUDE FOR EVERYONE'S PASSION, DETERMINATION, ENERGY, FOCUS AND MOST OF ALL YOUR LAUGHTER. WE ARE THRILLED TO HELP YOU ON ALL OF YOUR JOURNEYS AND SO LOOK FORWARD TO ALL THAT IS YET TO COME!
Adam & Amanda
We have spent most of our adult lives training and guiding hundreds of people toward better health & fitness. We have created this A4 Blog in order to better educate our friends & members. We will answer any of your health / fitness / nutrition questions as well as keeping you posted on what's new at A4.