The term “martial arts conditioning” may seem confusing to some. We often hear about MMA fighters prioritizing regimens that include conditioning, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, martial arts conditioning is the training you get to stay in your best condition to compete in and perform martial arts. It is more than just cardio or strength training. Strength training focuses on building muscles to increase your power and strength. Conditioning on the other hand, focuses on increasing your overall muscle endurance and cardiovascular stamina. There are several tips that can help you improve your martial arts conditioning:
1. Prioritize Interval Training
Walk for one minute. Sprint for one minute. Repeat 20 times and you have a great example of interval training. Switching between moderately intensive and extremely fast training will result in an elevated heart rate for the entire training time despite the fact that you are only training at maximum capacity for half of that time. With interval training, you basically trick your body into working harder than usual.
2. Combine Cardio and Strength Training
You can combine aerobic training (e.g. rowing, elliptical, running, etc.) and anaerobic training (e.g. weight lifting) to create a synergetic effect. The workout you perform in this way will transform into fat-loss and stamina-building training session as your heart rate will stay at an elevated rate. In this way, you will reap greater benefits by challenging your cardiovascular system, muscles, and heart at the same time, and make better use of your training time.
3. Vary the Cardio
Using a treadmill is no doubt beneficial but your body will benefit most from using different types of cardio. Your goal should be to train your body to respond to all levels of demands. So, be sure to mix up your climbing, elliptical machine, running, and other movements to improve your martial arts conditioning.
4. Set Performance Goals
Set performance goals and make sure to keep track of the intensity/weight, how many minutes, and any other details regarding how you complete each workout in the gym. This is because without having clearly defined performance benchmarks, you won’t be able to push yourself to improve.
5. Shorten Rest Time Between Sets
Whether you are lifting weights, sprinting, or running drills, you can improve your martial arts conditioning and aerobic capacity by shortening the amount of time you rest between each set. Shortening rest time between sets, no matter how small, will go a long way in maximizing the benefits of your training sessions.
You can complete all the machine and gym training in the world, it is no substitute to sparring and drilling with another human being of equal strength and size. Hand to hand combat is one of the best ways to force your lungs to work harder. Be sure to mix it up a bit whenever possible to give your lungs the high challenging demands that always prove beneficial in real life.
7. Examine Your Diet
Without adequate fats, carbohydrates, and protein, your body will lack the tools needed for performance, function, and recovery. So, enjoy a healthy, well-balanced diet not just to improve your martial arts conditioning, but for overall vitality and health.
8. Stay Hydrated
When you are training your hardest, your muscles fatigue and you eventually cramp up. This point of failure is inevitable. What you can do is to make effort to ensure that it doesn’t happen much sooner – which is what happens when your body lacks adequate water while training. Consume a least a gallon of water every day to play it safe while you take steps to improve your martial arts conditioning through intensivetraining.
9. Mix it Up
Mix up exercises, rep ranges, and sets so you can constantly challenge your body to adjust and adapt to new and changing routines. If possible, it is also recommended that you changethe facilities in which you train from time to time. As long as you are training and challenged in a new way, your lungs (stamina, power, and strength) and your muscles will be constantly improving.
10. Take Good Care of Yourself to Improve Your Martial Arts Conditioning
You will see the improvement in your martial arts conditioning after you have managed to train consistently for quite a while. Don’t expect to achieve amazing results if you are only training 2-3 weeks every month. Stay in the game by sleeping regularly, avoiding alcohol, and taking good care of yourself so you are always in the best shape to return to the gym.
A great martial arts fighter prioritizes the balance between stamina, speed, and strength. A comprehensive martial arts conditioning program should include the above-listed practices in addition to various anaerobic and aerobic exercises. Not only will this improve your endurance and stamina, but it will also help to prevent injuries. “We hope you enjoyed it and learn something from this!”– The Black Sheep
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