[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
I feel the need to say that i am a firm believer that generally speaking recovery ability takes a hit before the ceiling is reached on weights interfering with needed technical skill improvements. And in my experience most fighters that i have talkdd with do not understand the basics of how to improve recovery through nutrition and supplementation.
I firmly believe that although the ceiling definitely exists it is far higher than most people believe, and this is in large part because they do not understand how to use supplements and nutrition to help recover. I have literally seen night and day differences in how people feel recovering just doing basic common sense things. This is one of those areas fighters could lesrn from physique athletes IMVHO (or other strength and power based athletes)[/quote]
For the love of God, someone please sticky this shit. Fantastic post, that will influence what I am doing right away.
Man, this x100.
Here’s my take on the recovery ceiling
Short version- most guys are just doing too much. or they’re just doing the wrong shit. There’s an attitude of “to get more XYZ (let us say stronger legs), I need to do more or intensify my ABC (squats)” rather than just do less of abc and watch your current level of xyz get higher. This is the basis of 5/3/1. Don’t waste your brain & body resources trying to get a bigger squat if you’re making gains (albeit small) and you don’t even compete in the squat.
Most MMA fighters in general just have a shitty macro-level program. There’s NO periodization. If you put the microscope to any one item it might look good. Weight training might be dialed in. Diet might look good. Conditioning program is stellar. But step away and look at it altogether and it is a MESS:
- A full on kettlebell/crossfit program
- 1/2 marathon running schedule
- 3-4 day/week 5x5 lifting program
- 20hr/week mma practice
- Extreme weight loss diet to cut weight
In addition there is RARELY any consistency within the practice environment. They might blast themselves in the gym, then have their coach throw in 15min of conditioning into the last bit of practice and they don’t take that into account. Coaches often don’t have any fully mapped out program and just come in and drill you with what they think we should go over for this week without a (example) Hard/Medium/Light/Hard/Medium type set up. It’s not something you can really autoregulate because everyone is different, there’s a ton of fighters, it’s nearly impossible for one coach (unless you’re GSP, he has 1 coach that oversees everything- brilliant), and because of EGO.
Fighters could better organize their training if they knew what to expect going into the practice session. If I have to squat heavy tonight, my “easy” training session with my muay thai coach tonight shouldn’t finish with 15min of high rep ab work.
::Sidebar:: If you find yourself in the aforementioned situation, then (imo) be a man/woman and step up. JUST SAY “NO”. Saying no, or leaving early is often looked down upon (it’s not very macho) but remember you’re PAYING to be there. You’re the master of your destiny. Not all of us have a firas zhabi so you have to be that for yourself. Who’s the master? not sho’nuff… ME. If you’re a newb, suck it up. If you’re preparing for a fight then don’t run yourself into a wall for someone elses ego.
Also It’s rarely considered that learning new skill sets and drilling them repeatedly doesn’t just sap your metabolic recovery but also drains your CNS. Skill development has a very specific speed but still needs to be taken into consideration when it comes to valuation of your training hours per week.
You’re going to get a lot of the energy systems work and even strength work that you need directly from your skill sessions/MMA practice. You do NOT necessarily need to blast yourself with a whole program JUST for one area. Sometimes LESS actually is MORE. Lets call it Accumulated Marginal Benefit… I don’t know whether or not I’m making this term up, but sometimes you don’t need a FULL fucking program to still reap the same benefits. I’ll circle back to this point a couple times so lets call it AMB.
As far as lifting weights in order to get stronger specifically for MMA you need to recognize your weaknesses that need to be addressed, the various expressions of strength (isometric, plyometric, etc), and the methods that can be used aggressively or passively. You can approach things aggressively (for example, Westside ME/DE methods) during one training phase usually between fights, or in a slower progressive form that allows you to manage fatigue (5/3/1, Ripptoe’s stuff, etc) which is probably best used as you’re preparing for a fight just to keep your strength progressing not regressing.
But sometimes you just need to chill the fuck out. That’s why people often improved so much on those “one lift a day” programs. They’re throwing so much at themselves they either needed to A) rest B) work on the skill of the actual lift itself.
In 5/3/1 e-book wendler comments on how his overhead press has helped his bench. Or how westside influenced guys will rotate lifts that they know aid their main lift (ie, if I can Safety Squat xyz, I can squat xyz raw, and perhaps xyz in my suit). This doesn’t occur much in the maximal strength world as strength is VERY specific but between similar enough lifts you get a surprising amount of AMB as well. And as far as the wendler example, stronger shoulders is strong shoulders. A lot of us, especially being on a lifting forum and having a love for the iron will want to throw in that extra assistance work to “bring up” our weaknesses when instead we need to actually RECOVER. The whole point behind a program like 5/3/1 is to use bare basics and less work to reap MORE benefits. Don’t waste your brain & body resources trying to get a bigger squat if you’re making gains (albeit small) and you don’t even compete in the squat.
Lets move into energy systems work and skill work because the way that you bridge the gap between your strength work and your fighting skills is through proper management of your drilling & conditioning time. This how you transform your strength to devastating grace.
Your conditioning is going to be an expression of how often you can present your maximal level of strength at varying percentages. In the book “Science and Practice of Strength Training” Vladimir Zatsiorsky states that “unless the required load is less than 30% of an athletes maximum then gains in maximal strength are still the best way to improve endurance”. So you’re going to need maximal strength to influence your conditioning.
The movements of the Martial artist are more akin to the complex movements of a dancer. A proper mid level thai kick is several orders of magnitude more complex than an olympic snatch. Don’t let people fool you into thinking it’s some savage movement that takes little skill, you perfect these movements over a lifetime. Dancers train motions thousands of times. Your 20 kicks in 5min of heavy bag work isn’t going to be enough to translate your 300lb squat into a vicious kick in sparring. Granted you’ll have some carryover, some AMB but you’ll never get enough ‘juice’ out of it unless you use your conditioning and skill. THAT is the transformation.
No one wants to fucking hear this and the regulars of the Combat Sports Forum discuss it all the fucking time to the point of nausea… but drilling and skill work is where it’s at. That said, I think it (AMB) applies more to energy system work than necessarily maximal strength work. Yet you can develop tremendous power, speed, and of course technique utilizing your skill development time properly.
Technique/Drilling/Skill Training… Whatever you want to call it… can be done for whatever energy system that you need to work on. Aerobic, alatic, anaerobic. MMA has a pretty general formula but everyone has different needs depending on your weak areas in your current condition and your personal style of fighting. Working on your weak areas is obvious enough, but regarding personal steez someone like Frankie Edgar might need more running than someone like Shane Carwin or closer in size lets say Gray Maynard might benefit more from aggressive drilling than he would more running mileage.
Let us use the heavy bag for an example-
You can train on it for quality “skill” work that eventually layers itself into conditioning. Cus did this with Tyson pretty often. Just work one combo for explosiveness and flawless technique, recover enough between combinations to do it again. That’s skill development and where he credited his power coming from (the heavy bag, which is EXTREMELY plyometric work). Eventually layering more and more combinations into this time (for example going from 100 combos/round to 150 combos/round) would be considered an increase in your general physical preparedness and your conditioning (probably anaerobic)…AMB. Tyson didn’t need much time between combos to recover because he had a huge aerobic base to work with (which is why it’s bad to knock roadwork), if you need to improve your aerobic base you need to take what steps are necessary. So some roadwork is in order, but how much do you need?
There’s a video out there of Adrien Broner working the bag for around 25min straight. He isn’t throwing hard combos the entire time but he’s moving enough for it to be an aerobic workout with the occasional hard shot thrown in from time to time. If you do this, do you need to go run 30-40mi/ week? Or have you already worked your aerobic system? Which manner is more specific for your sport? You might only need to run 2x a week… AMB. That said, can you work up to 4x/wk?
Certain drills lend themselves more to different energy systems, and that is why you supplement your training with outside conditioning. You might not be able to punch out anaerobically on the bag without sacrificing your form too quickly. So a session of aerobic running (to help you recover between rounds faster) and perhaps tabata sledgehammer strikes + running in place (20s strikes, 10s hold above head and run in place) might help bring it up. But you don’t need to implement the aforementioned drills 4x a week to reap benefits from them. 1x each will probably suffice. AMB.
For an example closer to MMA, you can shadow wrestle and do bag drills at a speed appropriate for aerobic work or alactic work or aerobic work. Same with shadowboxing or bagdrills (knee on belly, spin to mount, back to knee on belly, side control, etc). If you do that for time rather than just 20 reps “oh ok I got it now”. You’ll be surprised by how smooth you are once you’ve been doing it for 20min straight with a HR monitor on keeping up enough speed to stay in your aerobic level. And I guarantee that you’re doing something much more specific with your CNS than wasting the resources necessary for the neural adaptations necessary to make you a more efficient runner. AMB.
And herein lies the problem when it comes to our forum and the general idea of lifting for mixed martial arts. You’re not a lifter. Getting in an extra session of technique work for your power snatch is NOT going to make you hit harder. It will make you better at the snatch. Doing extra prowler work will probably help bring up your glutes, or train your anaerobic energy system, but will it be any better than drilling your takedowns more aggressively? Not necessarily. Why waste your conditioning time? Why waste your metabolic and CNS resources?
Sometimes a guy will post something here and everyone jump all over him, “just fucking train more” is the general response. The guy goes away bummed because he expected some magic pill. When frankly some guys just need to reach an intermediate level of skill before they even get anything useful (while they fight) out of being able to squat 405. Being able to squat 3x your BW will help you jump higher, but if you have an inefficient jump then you’re just going to blunt the effect of your big ass squat. Multiply this by like 20 for a kick or a punch, the kinetic linking comparatively is staggering… it “ain’t the same fuckin’ ballpark, it ain’t the same league, it ain’t even the same fuckin’ sport.” You want the transfer to be higher than governor Chris Christie’s cholesterol… 10lbs on my squat = 20 POUNDS ON MY KICK.
All that is to say, most guys are doing so much dumb shit. Most of us can probably recover just fine from a properly designed weight training program that takes into account all the shit we need. Not just what we want to be doing. I doubt you need to be doing Smolov. But I bet some of us would benefit from it. Most of us that keep logs and post about them on this forum usually find the sweet spot to be lifting about 2-3x per week, and if you cut out conditioning it can reach 3-4x. I’d venture to say that some of us could lift 4x/week (short sessions) and still have solid conditioning if we utilized more ‘sport specific’ energy systems work based on our skill training. Then, later, in a different period go back to 2x/week of lifting still continue making gains but emphasize more work on your conditioning if you so desire it.
A note on diet… most smart fellas eat enough, they understand calories in/out and are pretty good at manipulating their metabolism. I think the biggest problem is that they don’t understand how incredibly draining training these complex techniques are on their CNS. So IMO the area with the biggest potential for improvement is learning how to use your diet to get your nervous system prepared for another go. Bulgarian style lifters encounter this, where you don’t feel sore, you’re ok especially after a warmup, but your body just isn’t putting up the numbers. Or vice versa, your body feels like SHIT but your nervous system is PRIMED and you hit a PR.
Learn how to manipulate your carbs around training time to use the serotonin increase as a salve for your nervous system, using L-tyrosine & L-theanine to help repair your nervous system faster, and utilizing short naps/meditation for recovery. Brain chemicals are eaten up as well so any choline supplementation is going to be key as well (alpha GPC is pretty powerful in this regard), any -racetams, or vinpocetine are going to be things I think in 2 years or so will be extremely popular with combat sport athletes.
As Aragorn pointed out, I think bodybuilders and weightlifters have a lot to teach combat sport athletes in this regard. [/quote]