When it comes to training, few athletes face the myriad of challenges that are placed in front of a UFC competitor.
Whether they are a favorite or an underdog in the UFC Vegas odds, before they step inside the octagon to face the punishing physical, mental and emotional roller coaster ride that a five-round UFC match contains, they must hone their body to be able to deliver and absorb absurd levels of punishment.
They need to develop strength, flexibility, and agility, all while ensuring that their food intake provides them enough nutrients to perform to their utmost physically but doesn’t add so much bulk that they can’t make weight pre-fight weigh-in.
It’s certainly a lot to ask of any person, but for the elite UFC performer, long before they attempt to master an opponent on fight night, these fighters must master a battle with their own self-discipline to succeed.
Let’s look at how some of these lean, mean fighting machines get their bodies and minds into trim and listen to some sound workout advice that they have to offer.
Hit The Gymnastics
As much as mixed martial arts is about strength and stamina, it’s also much to do with flexibility. That’s where a steady routine of gymnastics can play a significant role in their overall match fitness.
And anyone who doesn’t think gymnastics develops strength has never looked at the abs of an Olympic gymnast. A session on the rings is the ultimate workout for building core strength.
Everyone Into The Pool
Even the absolute best in UFC are going to take a beating. The winner doesn’t come out of the cage scot-free of wounds. And that’s just on fight night.
Every day they are training, these fighters are pushing their bodies to the utmost. The
Saying no pain, no gain was uttered with them in mind. Whether they are coming off a long session on the heavy bag, working with the medicine ball, or following a sparring bout with a training opponent, it’s a sure thing that their bodies are going to be hurting.
“As a fighter, you’ve always got knocks,” UFC light-heavyweight Jon Gustafsson told menshealth.com.
Their muscles will scream and ache. But on those days when it’s necessary to train through the pain, that’s when they head for the pool. Swimming is the ideal conditioning activity because it doesn’t damage your muscles while you are working out. As well, it’s an ideal method for eliminating lactic acid.
Here’s a regular pool regimen you can follow. Set out by swimming four lengths of the pool at a pace that is comfortable without causing a sensation of over exertion.
Staying in the water, follow the swimming with a 30-second stretch of each hamstring. Next, jog in the pool for 1-2 minutes. That’s followed by 30 seconds of quad stretches. Finish off with high knees and heel flicks, each for one minute.
Do two to three sets of this routine, and you’ll get a workout in and rejuvenate your body at the same time.
Forget The Equipment
Here’s some advice that really hits home at the moment, considering that the COVID-19 pandemic has shut down or at the very least limited the operation of gyms. You can do a very intense workout without the need for a single piece of expensive exercise equipment.
There are plenty of full-body workouts that don’t require a single piece of equipment, instead of using your own body to provide the resistance.
Try a regiment of squats, push-ups, leg lifts, and sit-ups, for instance. Start with a comfortable amount of reps, between 10-20, depending upon your condition.
As you gain core strength, begin to add five reps to each routine. When that gets easy to do, add another five, and so on. Before you know it, you’ll be getting ripped, and it didn’t require any heavy lifting or even a gym membership, for that matter.
Most of all, find an exercise regimen that you enjoy doing. You’re more likely to stay with it if you find the workout to be pleasing. If it feels like drudgery, let’s face it – your heart won’t be in it, and giving up will be easy to do.