T Nation

DC Training and MMA

Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone uses DC training when training for MMA? I have been doing it for about a month now, and it seems pretty close to ideal for MMA since it is strength oriented. Also, if you do the stretching and eat enough, you are not too sore the day after a workout like you are with a lot of volume.

Another plus is that it only takes me about 40 min. to get done with my DC routine, and I can easily go spar and roll for another 40-60 minutes and be out of the gym in under two hours. Just wondering what everyone else thinks about it.

~If you dont want to look in my profile, I’m 19 yrs old, training for my first fight around December, and have been working out, and in sports since I was 14. Need to cut about 20 lbs for my dec. fight, and am thinking of training to an EDT style routine as they seem popular for fat loss.

Do you want to lose your fight?


By the way, what the fuck kind of DC training ar you doing that takes you 40 minutes and you arent sore? I feel like Iv been hit by a train the next day.

Here are reasons why you should not be dc’ing:

  1. you are inexperienced
  2. you are not a bodybuilder- you have other needs beyond size/strength
  3. you want to lose weight
  4. you havent done enough reading because you didnt realize that all of this was an issue and that Dante has said repeatedly that DC is not for non-bodybuilders.


stronghold wrapped that up,

nothing to see here,

move it along folks!


No offense but you really don’t seem to have read much more than the basic faq on DC training and made a bunch of assumptions. I’ve been reading the dc boards almost daily for about 3-4 months now and I’m still barely figuring that shit out. It’s simple in form but near infinite in its possible complexity. That shit is NOT for beginners and unless you’ve already gotten your self up to a fairly lean ~250 on your own don’t bother that shit is for the behemoths.

It is a great program but it’s NOT for the combat athlete. The only time I would even consider using DC training is if you want to get some size gains fast, but even then it’s not a “fast, quick solution” type program. It requires frequency through the YEAR and continual progression in the weight room. For a fighter you need to be concerned with ATHLETIC ATTRIBUTES. And while yes you will get stronger on your lifts… your rest pause hammer strength incline press won’t do dick to increase your motor unit contraction speed.

I could see using the rest-pause principle within a conjugate scheme for your assistance work but it’s not DC training anymore and its effectiveness (for building lean tissue anyway) is brought down. Also mixing it with ME or DE training would probably have quite the limiting effect on your recovery. Rest-Pause training is NOT easy to recover from.

DC is a great program, yes, but it’s emphasis is on building as much lean body tissue as possible.

BECOMING STRONGER is the best way to do that. Fuck every single weird bodybuilding trick you’ve ever heard of, the entire premise behind them is to get STRONGER. You need PROGRESSION. Thats why we STRENGTH TRAIN to build STRENGTH. Basically eat at what is maintenance for the bodyweight you want to be, and lift heavy shit.

You mentioned EDT, you know what makes it so effective? THE LOGBOOK. The fact that you have a recorded # to beat the next session.

Fact is you can (AND SHOULD) be doing this with all training. If you’re not beating your #'s in the gym CONSISTENTLY then you are doing something wrong.

Enough of the ranting though you should have enough information gathered to realize DC is NOT for you. To counterbalance what Stronghold said… and because I loooove making lists apparently… you did make several good observations:

1- You need short work sessions

2- You probably need to work with relatively low volume.

3- Stretching vigorously improves your ability to recover (you’re not as sore) the next day.

Great observation, your ability to recover from your strength sessions is very important. And these are key concepts in doing just that.

4- Gaining STRENGTH is your primary goal in your weight lifting.

Great, because whether you’re losing weight or bulking up, if you’re not putting some weight on the bar or more reps, then you’re fucking jazzercising.

Now on to what (imo) you are doing wrong.

YOU"RE TRYING TO FIT IN YOUR FIGHT TRAINING AFTER YOUR LIFTING!!! This speaks volumes about your priorities here. Unless you’re some Brazilian Phenom that has been training all his life and managed to keep identity private (and believe me if you had even BJJ tourney experience you’d probably pop up on my radar) then what you need to being is training the HELL out of your combat techniques. There’s not a damn thing that should come before that.

These are your training goals…

  1. Train your technique to technical perfection.

If you find a deficiency in your technique, correct it through more technical training. If your handspeed is slow your probably need to become more efficient with your technique and work your reaction time. Which comes with more padwork and shadowboxing. If you can’t get an armbar on someone because they’re “too strong” what you need to do is become more technically proficient with your arm bar and use your body’s whole leverage, as well as set it up better… NOT go deadlift more for better/stronger hip extension.

  1. In the weight room train the attributes you wish to increase.

For example, If you feel your overall speed (muscle contraction time) is low, then you can do strength work attuned to this. For which I recommend the conjugate method. Do NOT try to improve technical skill with weight training… in the weight room you improve general athletic attributes.

strength training is low priority to fighters. It becomes a separating point maybe at the upper echelons where the skill set is more even, but at that elite level as well its never necessarily the stronger guy (I’d venture to say Sherk is stronger than BJ Penn) the better conditioned, more proficient fighter usually wins.

Your priorities should be:

*Technical Training (90%)
*Conditioning (90%)
*Flexibility, Mobility (2%)
*Recovery, Injury Prevention, Pre/Rehabilitation(3%)
*Strength training (1%)

…yea i know that doesn’t add up. :-p

Everyone wants to fix their problems through strength training when in reality they just need to put the fucking reps in with their actual technique training.

As much as I LOVE lifting weights, heavy weights doesn’t make you a fighter. AT ALL.

We recognize the technical prowess required to achieve an olympic snatch but think that a big deadlift will help our striking or grappling? Movements that are INFINITELY more complex when it comes to kinetic linking? Fighting is more akin to ballet than it is to strength training.

In thailand those 100lb kids can destroy the bones of your body and they rarely do any kind of weight training except maybe for their neck.

Don’t forget the underlying principal in almost all martial arts. They’re created so the little guy can beat the big guy! They are a means to decrease the advantage that size/strength garners someone in a fight!

But guess what… we have weight classes!!! So unless you have olympic gymnast levels of relative strength you won’t have enough strength to overcome your technical deficiency! Very little outside of grip training and some isometric stuff is going to make you better at BJJ in the weight room. And even then it won’t mean fuck-all if you can’t apply it.

Technical proficiency is king.

I know you don’t plan on doing DC right now but for you personally all you need to worry about is

training your technique
staying un-injured
losing weight
getting enough strength training in that you stay at your current strength level, with maybe a slight increase while you’re losing weight AND so that you do not impede your ability to train your technique the next day.

EDT? Ya sure, great program… but hell you can just deadlift, front squat and press 2x a week. Most of your weight loss is going to come through your diet and conditioning anyway.

I might do something like Front squat/pullps 15min edt one day and deadlift/overhead press 15min edt the next day. And just do that for strength training.

The rest of the time I’d spend conditioning, fighting, and dieting properly.

The one thing I promise is that you’ll say “shit I should have ran more” at the end of your fight not “shit I should have hit some more pullups”.

Hell dude, Fedor stopped lifting weights because he said he wanted to spend more time on his technique…despite his lack of aesthetic appeal he just conditions and fights, and look where that has gotten him.

^^^ damn, look at all that… i really don’t when to shut the fuck up

Damn, Xen, that’s a long post given that guy didn’t even read DC. LOL. Maybe someone else will read it, at least.

Man, I could read Xen’s stuff all day. The conjugate MMA thread should be stickied and required reading I think. (Actually, there’s alot of intelligent posters in this combat forum giving excellent advice regarding training, we’re pretty lucky here.)

The best advice is right here, courtesy of Xen, and it’s so true,

*Technical Training (90%)
*Conditioning (90%)
*Flexibility, Mobility (2%)
*Recovery, Injury Prevention, Pre/Rehabilitation(3%)
*Strength training (1%)

If you’re going to fight, and you truly love it, then really all you’re going to want to do is fight anyway.

The only reason I started lifting weights in the first place was because my coaches told me to. If it had been up to me, I would’ve done judo all day every day. Yes, I think weightlifting made me better as a fighter, and I truly enjoy it, but really all of my heart’s devotion was to judo. Maybe I was a little obsessive, but whatever, judo makes me happy.


Thank you Xen. Dante just posted about this on intensemuscle(MMA and DC) and the most important part is this…

“Im sorry you dont like it but I will not stand for this stuff to be watered down by people who are weekend quarterbacks or have fly by night dreams…its for one person and one person only…the guy whose 100% aspiration is to turn himself into the best bodybuilder he can.”

sorry, i have been busy training and working all week. Thanks for the input xen. Today I hit some front squats and did some push presses and called it a day. I’m trying to get my training schedule worked out so I don’t have to lift/train back to back but right now life is crazy so I just try to get them both in.

I read quite a few DC logs before deciding to try it out,but I’m sure I could have read up more on it. I just thought since Strength was my top priority and the fact that DC is all strength oriented would be a good fit. I always keep a log book, so thats not really an issue. And I have been trying to stick to big lifts, front squats/leg presses, DB/BB bench, OH Presses, and other things that would help my fighting.

All of your posts make sense, so I am glad that I posted I guess. Making weight and Cardio are my top priority right now, so I am getting my diet dialed in and have been trying to increase the frequency/duration of my training.

Thanks for all the help.

Best of luck to you dude… keep us up to date with your progress. When you intend to put some muscle on just keep progressing with your lifts (keep the logbook!) and eat BIG and you’ll grow. Throw in some deadlifts into your training too :slight_smile:

so far since I’ve buckled down and decided to make fighting a priority I have dropped about 15 pounds and my weight is around 210 right now and not the 225 that is listed in my profile. Unfortunately I’m of the make that my midsection holds fat the longest, so I dont have great abs or anything, but lots of definition in my back and legs.

Just trying to be consistent with my diet. It’s hard considering I’m a college student but its been going well. I’m also planning on being a personal trainer when I complete school (2 years left) so I figured dropping down to 185 and sporting some abs can only be good for business.

Planning to fight my first MMA bout in December. Planning an amateur boxing match for sept. 6th at a local bar, weight classes are under 170, 170-195, 195 and up. So that works almost perfect with where I want to be around that time, my coach thinks it will be good to work on the standup as well as good practice on making weight and fighting in front of a crowd.