Fight Tempo Training

If you are looking to develop functional fighting fitness, then your days of long breaks between sets where you can gaze longingly at the spandex scenery may become increasingly infrequent. Extended downtime between exercises can be beneficial when you are building base, limit, strength. However, once you have spent the time to lay down your functional strength, you can now shift gears into functional training for grappling, MMA, or any combat sport.

When preparing for competitive fighting, you will want a program that mimics the pace of grappling, MMA, or any other form of martial combat. Through an extended observation of fighting sports, you notice that the tempo is one of extended moderate output interspersed with moments of brief explosive activity.

With this in mind, a training method that mimics a fighting pace has little room for rest. When designing your fighting tempo program, choose movements that are similar to those found in martial combat. These could include lunges (an action that is similar to a wrestling takedown) and burpees (an activity that mimics the motion of the sprawl and the explosive process of transitioning between fighting on your feet and on the mat). In consideration that a lunge (when done with proper form) is a slower movement than a burpee, structure your workout so that more time is spent on the lunge.

In the following workout model we use the standard MMA round structure of three, five-minute rounds divided with one minute rest periods:

Round one (five minutes):
50 seconds: lunge
10 seconds: burpee

Round two (five minutes):
45 seconds: lunge
15 seconds: burpee

Round three (five minutes):
40 seconds: lunge
20 seconds: burpee


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