How Much MMA?

I really like bodybuilding. but i also like MMA.

Given all this “over training” hype, i kinda feel that if i walk for longer then 20 minutes im “over doing it”.

Ive cut my weight training down to 3 times a week.
Providing im consuming enough calories, can i do as much MMA as i want with out the risk of over training? since it isnt strength training?.

For example instead of doing HIT cardio 3 times a week i can do weights 3x a week and MMA 3xs a week. providing i eat enough cals for the MMA can i still grow, or will the MMA itself cause me to “over train?”.

thanks if anyone has any knowledge.

also, how do all the pros do it in MMA / football / olympics.
i find it hard to believe that all these sports can only do 3 hours of strength training and for the rest of the time they just mess around?
how they get so big and have incredible CV health at the same time?

Number one, I’d say just just pay attention to how you feel. If you are feeling real worn down (usually I notice it most if I’m sleeping 8 hrs and still feeling drained when I get up) then back it off some. I think it’s diff for everyone, so start kinda easy, see how it goes, and move up accordingly. Number two, it depends somewhat on what you are doing in training. If you are going in there and conditioning like all hell constantly (i.e. double leg pickups, firemen’s carries, etc) then that’s different than if you go to a class that focuses more on drilling technique.

The way I avoid overtraining is…sleep 8 hrs every night (well, as many nights as I possibly can), eat the proper amount and type of foods, take lots of fish oil, do soft tissue work and MOST importantly…drumroll…I train at my level. I’ve been doing martial arts for almost 20 years. I’ve been training and doing MMA for about a year and a half now, and I started out training with much less volume than I do now. If you start out doing GSP’s training program, you’ll overtrain and get hurt. Progression is a major key in training, be it strength or otherwise. Start out doing an hour a day a couple days/week and see how that feels. If you feel good, move up a little. As your body adapts, you’ll be able to do more and more.

Good luck!

“It’s important not to overtrain, but it’s even more important not to let yourself THINK that you’re overtraining.”

-Joe Stevenson

High intensity interval cardio is really overrated IMO, and doing MMA instead will probably give you similar benefits if you have a good coach that works you hard, apart from the obvious benefits of the sport specific training.

I can tell you that when I do thai boxing, I end up a lot more worked than I would doing a few sprints, although I do like sprinting and plyometrics/HIIT stuff, I just think they are overhyped for bodybuilding composition and for sports specific performance.

I had been doing it before I knew what it is.

Its one of the back bones for the Westside training method.
and many many other disciplines as well.

And it works. give ample rest/food bewtween
workouts and you can do allot.

In college wrestling (in season) and post college- we only strenght trained 3 times a week-
For about an hour.
the other 20 to 30 hours was split between conditioning and work on the matt.
I guess that is what you meant by messing arround?

Post college I went to the Olympic Training
Center in colorado and basically they do the same thing.
And they are plenty strong, big athletic there.

2x and 3x workouts a day variying in activity and intensity, and duration with recovery in between.

Xen Nova has a great thread called conjugate MMA, check it out.

Now if you think your “over doing it”
walking more than 20 minutes, how are going to
do an mma class for an hour, and attemtp HIT?

that is what confuses me over anything else.


what i ment by “over doing it”. is that loads of people say that if you do too much you over train. i.e doing weights more then 3x a week can cause over training. im like wtf thats 3 hours a week of exercise can cause you to overtrain!?!?

As for the MMA i do alot of BJJ fights, if i had the chance id do MMA 7 days a week and 3x weight training and just consume more if i thought it wouldnt cause me to overtrain and stop my bodybuilding goals.
so im limiting it to 3x week mma and 3x a week weight training, i walk around an hour a day too. rest of the day im spent infront of my pc.

i just really want to accomplish my goals and dont want MMA to stop it.
i.e once i reached my bodybuilding goals i then concentrate on another hobby while maintaining my desired size.
thanks for all the posts!

Either pursue MMA or pursue bodybuilding. By trying to do both, you’ll accomplish neither.

[quote]redeyemikey wrote:
i just really want to accomplish my goals and dont want MMA to stop it.
i.e once i reached my bodybuilding goals i then concentrate on another hobby while maintaining my desired size.
thanks for all the posts![/quote]

What exactly are your bodybuilding goals?

If your talking about bodybuilding for just personal reasons, such as gain 20lbs and achieve a single digit body fat level, then MMA would slow the process but not stop you from reaching your goals. But if you plan to place in the top 5 at the NPC Nationals within the next few years…forget any other sports.

[quote]redeyemikey wrote:

i just really want to accomplish my goals and dont want MMA to stop it.
i.e once i reached my bodybuilding goals i then concentrate on another hobby while maintaining my desired size.
thanks for all the posts![/quote]

What are your bodybuilding goals?

Danew, KMC, FightinIrish, KBC, & Nikiforos just gave you amazing advice. I suggest you take it.

I concur with your assessment that the whole overtraining dogma goes a little far. I’ve seen only a handful of people in my entire training life train with enough intensity for me to believe that they’re going to overtrain if they hit the weights more than 3x a week.

That said, it’s like Danew pointed out. If you have EVERYTHING dialed in. Nutrition, sleep, soft tissue work, mobility work, staying injury free… then rest of it is just properly building your work capacity and slow, steady progression.


I’m not saying this to discourage you. Quite the opposite… I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED. FightinIrish is making an amazing point that it took me years to realize, and I think a lot of people never do.


One of these you want to be your JOB the other is just going to be a hobby. So While MMA could benefit you, be a cool way to get in your cardio rather than just walking on the treadmill… Imo thats a great way to keep your bodyfat down…but if bodybuilding is your primary goal, and martial arts training negates your primary goal in ANY WAY, you need to drop it like first year English.

MMA training is a great way to keep your BF down but it’s hard to quantify what you’re doing… And in bodybuilding you need to be able to keep as detailed progress as possible (at least initially, when you’re a pro you can be more intuitive).

If right now your primary concern is size gain, then too much other activity may interfere with your recovery ability if you haven’t properly built up your work capacity. ESPECIALLY if you’re inactive most of the day- then your body isn’t used to stress. So research your recovery shit and learn how to keep your cortisol levels down and what not.

On top of this if you’re after BODYBUILDER type size then depending on your height (if you’re above 5’10) to look like one of the fucking behemoths then you need to be ~300-350lbs. So your primary concern is going to be lifting. And getting in as many calories as possible every hour for the rest of the week that you’re not eating.

If you need size, the quickest way is to forego ALL extra work except your lifting sessions and get in as many calories a day as you can… 10,000 whatever… fuck your health (lol)… Get as big and huge AND STRONG as possible BODYFAT BE DAMNED then diet down. And I guarantee that you’ll destroy 90% of people you stand with on the platform.

But of course no one wants to sacrifice not being ~12-15% bodyfat, or you don’t want to give up doing MMA, etc.

You’ve really got to prioritize.

What people don’t get is that lifting is the easy part. Really easy. Like you said, it’s what 3-6hrs a week… TOPS 12 if you’re on some steroid induced scheduling…

The hard part is the other ~162 hours a week that you have to be on the ball… eating, getting in rest, not burning unnecessary calories, knowing the effects of anything that goes into your body, etc.

Bodybuilding is not easy shit man… just as hard as MMA imo (you could argue its harder) and both have HUGE mental aspects to their game, and require a lot of sacrifice.

While I’m not sure if you have professional aspirations for either it sounds like MMA/BJJ is just a HOBBY to you at this point. Treat it as such, and treat bodybuilding like it is your primary means of feeding your family and you’ll succeed.