December 01, 2006
Photo courtesy of Team Quest.
Becca Borawski talks with a trainer who's been working with MMA fighters and world class wrestlers for decades, about how he incorporates strength and conditioning work with skills training and how he peaks and tapers training leading up to a fight.
Ideally, when preparing for a mixed martial arts (MMA) fight, an individual would like to have eight to ten weeks of preparation, a period known as a "fight camp." Frequently, however, for younger competitors fighting in smaller organizations, or even a fighter the level of current Pride Welterweight champion Dan Henderson, fights can come up with as little as three to six weeks notice.
A fight camp, regardless of length, consists of three elements of training: skill, strength, and conditioning. How often do you see skilled fighters "gassed" halfway through a fight and left unable to execute their well-honed techniques? Or see fighters with great muscular and cardiovascular endurance but only rudimentary skills to pair with it? All three elements must be trained, but this must be done in such a way that the athlete is not overtrained by the time of the fight.