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Loftearmen's MMA Log


#1

I am a powerlifter who is attempting to transition into MMA. I have some previous martial arts experience but it has been a LONG time so I'm basically starting from scratch. I'm also starting from a physique that is not conducive to fighting in a ring. At 6'1'' and 320lbs, I am very powerful; however, I have a lot of work to do before I can apply that power for 5, 5 minute rounds. Because of this, the main focus of my training will be conditioning and fighting skills while strength training will be put on maintenance. My split is as follows:

Sunday: Rest

Monday: MMA Class
(Add a LISS session in the AM after a month or two of training. Start small and work up in distance/intensity)

Tuesday: Deadlift/OHP/Accessory lifts and maybe a little heavy bag work or shadow boxing if I'm feeling good

Wednesday: MMA Class
(Add 400 meter sprints after a month or two of training. Start with lower volume and work up)

Thursday: MMA Class Calisthenics

Friday: Squat/Bench Press/Accessory lifts and maybe a little heavy bag work or shadow boxing if I'm feeling good

Saturday: MMA Class


#2

Deadlift…Superset…Log Clean and Press
315x5-90x5
405x3-140x3
495x3-190x3
585x3-210x3
455x5-190x5
455x5-190x5
455x5-190x5

I could really tell I had added in a lot more work earlier in the week. I took it a little easy today for recovery. I’ll slowly work back up when I am more accustomed to the high work load.


#3

Good luck big guy! Definitely interested to see where this goes!


#4

I went and checked out an MMA gym today. It’s right around the corner from my house and looks like a good place to train. They have bjj, judo, wrestling, muay thai and boxing classes and all at somewhat convenient times. I’ll sign up when I get paid next. Until then I’ll just be shadow boxing and hitting the heavy bag in my garage.

Walked a couple miles

Shadow Boxing
30 minutes

Stretching/Foam Rolling


#5

[quote]Loftearmen wrote:
I went and checked out an MMA gym today. It’s right around the corner from my house and looks like a good place to train. They have bjj, judo, wrestling, muay thai and boxing classes and all at somewhat convenient times. I’ll sign up when I get paid next. Until then I’ll just be shadow boxing and hitting the heavy bag in my garage.

Prelogged for tonight

Walked a couple miles

Shadow Boxing
30 minutes

Stretching/Foam Rolling[/quote]

I probably don’t have to tell you this, but don’t underestimate walking. It is the best. Especially when it’s really cold out … great for the mind and the body, and I think it provides valuable “cool down” time when you’re focusing so much on fucking people up.


#6

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:

[quote]Loftearmen wrote:
I went and checked out an MMA gym today. It’s right around the corner from my house and looks like a good place to train. They have bjj, judo, wrestling, muay thai and boxing classes and all at somewhat convenient times. I’ll sign up when I get paid next. Until then I’ll just be shadow boxing and hitting the heavy bag in my garage.

Prelogged for tonight

Walked a couple miles

Shadow Boxing
30 minutes

Stretching/Foam Rolling[/quote]

I probably don’t have to tell you this, but don’t underestimate walking. It is the best. Especially when it’s really cold out … great for the mind and the body, and I think it provides valuable “cool down” time when you’re focusing so much on fucking people up. [/quote]

I like walking a lot too, especially when it’s cold out. I feel like it is good for recovery since it gets your blood flowing without any real stress. I have big ass dogs and a small yard so I get plenty of opportunity to go for long walks.


#7

Shadow boxing-hands only
5 minutesx3

Push Ups
AMRAPx3x1 minute
1: 25
2: 15
3: 15

Sit Ups
AMRAPx3x1 minute
1: 28
2: 25
3: 25

Pull Ups
AMRAPx3x1 minute
1: 6
2: 6
3: 5

Well, I can move really heavy shit but I am not very good at moving myself. Although, training this way is something I am completely unadapted to so I imagine that I will make rapid pprogress. Weighed in at 317 today so I am already down 3lbs. I imagine this trend will continue. I took 1 min of rest between all sets.


#8

Front Squat
135x5
225x3
275x3
315x3
345x3
275x5
275x5

Bench Press
135x5
225x3
275x3
315x3
345x3
275x5
275x5

Barbell Row
225x5
275x5
275x5
275x5

Heavy Bag
1 min/1 min restx25 min


#9

[quote]Loftearmen wrote:
I went and checked out an MMA gym today. It’s right around the corner from my house and looks like a good place to train. They have bjj, judo, wrestling, muay thai and boxing classes and all at somewhat convenient times. I’ll sign up when I get paid next. Until then I’ll just be shadow boxing and hitting the heavy bag in my garage.

Walked a couple miles

Shadow Boxing
30 minutes

Stretching/Foam Rolling[/quote]

I’d also suggest perhaps using some circuits, either as finishers after your lifting, or as separate conditioning sessions. I didn’t realise originally that there would be a hiatus before you were able to start at the MMA gym. I’d be cautious about doing too much shadow boxing/bag work before getting your technique down with a coach. You can get in some quality work in the time in between, without the risk of ingraining bad habits (eg dropping your rear hand - you do not want to build that in as a bad habit from day one), particularly if you are playing with little gloves.

One of my favourite finishers for building endurance in the key muscles (including the mind) is to set the timer for 20 mins no breaks and do the following:

10 DB snatches/hand
10 DB swings
50 BW squats
20 pressups
20 jumping lunges
2 sb clean, press, then full getup (1 each side)

I really like this circuit, as the first five exercises are very taxing on the legs and shoulders, so that the sb clean, press, and full get up is as much a mental test as anything. It forces you to do a small complex that makes you exert a more ‘max effort’ effort, at a point where all the muscles that are involved are already burning. Once you’ve torn through 3 or 4 rounds, the next 3 or 4 rounds get quite tough. I find that (bearing in mind everything I’ve said previously about the importance of sport specific work), it comes quite close to mimicking the physical and mental fatigue of a fight or spar.


#10

LondonBoxer:

I actually wasn’t incorporated bodyweight/barbell circuits because everyone recommended that I keep the gym work to a minimum and just focus on fighting skills. My punching/kicking form is sound (I’m sure it’s not perfect) but I don’t think I’ll be engraining any particularly bad habits. I have to remind myself with some ques when I get tired because I have a tendency to let my front hand lower and let my elbows drift outward before I kick but I’m aware of it and am focusing on repairing it.

I do like the idea of circuits and utilized them a lot when preparing for a strongman competition since conditioning is so important. I would normally do something like:

Farmers Walk: 520lbs for 50 feet
Sled Drag: 405lbs for 50 feet
Log Clean and Press: 250lbs for 5 reps
Sandbag Carry: 250lbs for 50 feet
Keg Toss: 120lb keg x 2

I’m sure this would be a little too on the strength side of things for a fighter but do you think any of these movements would be appropriate to incorporate into a circuit when combined with bodyweight/agility drills?


#11

Ye absolutely, and I’d probably scale them back once you’re signed up, but for now I’d stick a few in if you fancy them.

As far as the movements you listed go, I’m no expert, and someone like Sento, who I believe is both a seasoned fighter and a big strong bloke, would have much more useful advice for you.

My instinct is that most of those are too static/ do not mimic closely enough the lactic build up in the legs and shoulders that you’d experience in a fight. Also, I’m approaching this from the point that I’d be lucky to hit 50% of the weight on any of those lifts, other than the sandbag, which randomly I’m pretty confident I would be close to. Because of that, it’s not how I’ve ever trained to try to mimic the demands of a fight. Again, I just don’t know enough about what it is like to move those weights across that distance at your level of strength. For me, most of those exercises would be working the wrong muscle groups, or rather taxing muscles that were only partially relevant - eg, farmers walk, my grip and traps would limit me far more than shoulders and legs. I wish I could be more help.


#12

That’s okay, I appreciate your input. You’re right about lactic build up in the shoulders. I can standing strict press 300 lbs but my delts get tired just from shadow boxing for 20 minutes, especially my jab hand. It is a completely different metabolic system that I have not developed very well as a lifter.

You got me worried about reinforcing bad habits so I took a video of me working the bag a bit. It looked a lot worse than I thought it would :confused: This was my last set on the bag after lifting so I am fairly fatigued at this point. Is this form decent enough that I can continue drilling it? Or should I still wait until I have proper instruction?


#13

[quote]Loftearmen wrote:
That’s okay, I appreciate your input. You’re right about lactic build up in the shoulders. I can standing strict press 300 lbs but my delts get tired just from shadow boxing for 20 minutes, especially my jab hand. It is a completely different metabolic system that I have not developed very well as a lifter.

You got me worried about reinforcing bad habits so I took a video of me working the bag a bit. It looked a lot worse than I thought it would :confused: This was my last set on the bag after lifting so I am fairly fatigued at this point. Is this form decent enough that I can continue drilling it? Or should I still wait until I have proper instruction?

That’s actually not bad. You do a lot of some rookie mistakes - dropping your hands before and after punches, not turning them over quite enough, not turning your body into punches as much as you should be - and you don’t particularly have a left hook as much as an up-jab kinda thing.

But you don’t push the bag, you seem to understand the concept of turning into your shoulders, and your footwork isn’t terribly awkward.

So while I would still say that you should definitely get professional instruction if you ever want to take boxing seriously, I wouldn’t say that you’re harming yourself by continuing on. Just don’t start doing any crazy shit - work your basic shots, and concentrate on keeping your hands up, elbows in, and chin down. Drill the fuck out of that. I also wouldn’t work that hook as much until you get someone to show you how to really throw it - it will be hard to go backwards once that movement pattern is ingrained in you, and that punch is hard enough to learn all on its own.

One piece of advice - hang your bag higher. You don’t want to be punching that soft part at the top of the bag, it’s shitty. You want the meatier part, so you can actually feel your shots landing.

Also, you might want to get an actual pair of 16 oz. boxing gloves. If the MMA gloves work for you then go for it; everybody is different. But a guy your size beating on the bag for a prolonged period of time could beat your hands up pretty good.


#14

Thanks for the advice. Right now I have been focusing on pretty basic stuff but I admit I have never been taught to throw hooks or upper cuts since my previous training was in karate. I will just work the stuff I am confident with then (jab, cross, elbows, front kicks and round kicks) until I get into a studio.

Should I turn into my punches a lot more or just a little?

Also, I ordered some 16oz boxing gloves yesterday. I like the MMA gloves fine but I have to tape my 2nd knuckles or the bag rips my skin off.

I had the bag up higher before but I couldn’t train my leg kicks that way. I should have bought a thai bag. This bag is 125lbs though which I really like. If I hit a 70lb bag it’ll practically hit the ceiling.


#15

I agree with Irish that you actually look decent for a guy with little to no formal training, shows you are a good athlete and probably a visual learner.

The main things I see from your video are:

The good-
-you are staying busy while in the pocket (you are either hitting, moving your head, or clearing)
-you are throwing punches in bunches/combinations instead of just a single punch at a time
-you are for the most part keeping your hands up
-you aren’t telephraphing too bad

What you should work on:
-don’t turn your head away from the bag when you rotate to punch, this may be partly due to tight neck muscles (since you are a big dude), but nonetheless doing this not only turns your eyes away from your target/opponent but also puts your neck in a compromised position which can increase the likelihood of you getting KO’d
-like Irish said, work on your hook mechanics, they aren’t that bad but could use refinement
-try to get in the habit of not setting up “in the pocket”, in other words, if you don’t have to step in to hit the bag with your lead off punch (unless you are throwing a counter punch combination), then you are too close and a good opponent would have already backed up, hit you, or engaged you with clinching/grappling
-work on using kicks, bumps, and jabs to “close the door” at the end of your combinations; not only will this make you less likely to get hit with return fire after you have finished your combinations, but will make it much less likely that your kicks will get blocked (and thus less likelihood of breaking your leg on a kick); watch Nate Quarry vs Kalib Starnes (UFC match) for a great example of the use of kicks to close the door at the end of combos


#16

Sentoguy: I do have a really stiff neck. I have a tendency to be really tense all the time and it manifests in my traps and sternocleidomastoids being contracted.

I will work on stepping into my combos to close the distance on my target and throwing a couple strikes on my way out to reestablish the distance. It seems like straight kicks would be an effective way to do this so I will try to work more of those in. I will post a video of some kicks as well to make sure I am doing them correctly as well.

I appreciate yall’s advice a lot.


#17

[quote]Loftearmen wrote:
Thanks for the advice. Right now I have been focusing on pretty basic stuff but I admit I have never been taught to throw hooks or upper cuts since my previous training was in karate. I will just work the stuff I am confident with then (jab, cross, elbows, front kicks and round kicks) until I get into a studio.
[/quote]

I would agree with that. You want to be shown how to do a hook … uppercuts are a little more self-explanatory, but still, having someone show you the correct way right off the bat is of immeasurable value.

Turn into your right hand much more - a guy like you, with the size you have, will have brutal KO power if you learn to, as we say, “sit down on your punches.”

[quote]
Also, I ordered some 16oz boxing gloves yesterday. I like the MMA gloves fine but I have to tape my 2nd knuckles or the bag rips my skin off.

I had the bag up higher before but I couldn’t train my leg kicks that way. I should have bought a thai bag. This bag is 125lbs though which I really like. If I hit a 70lb bag it’ll practically hit the ceiling.[/quote]

Oh yea. I can move a 70 like crazy, and I’m only 165 lbs. Typically, you want the bag to be about half your bodyweight … so you, at nearly 300 lbs., really can barely get by with anything less than 125 lbs.

I understand what you’re saying with the leg kicks. If it’s a necessary evil to have it at the height, then go for it. I always forget about kicks and shit.


#18

One other thing I noticed - don’t switch to southpaw. If you’re orthodox, stick with that, and if you’re a natural left, roll with that. But you want to get very good at one, instead of being mediocre at both.


#19

It would be really hard to not switch to southpaw. In karate there is a lot of emphasis on not having a weak side so I have been doing that since I was 4 years old! I am virtually the same both ways so I wouldn’t know which one to choose. Since I can, wouldn’t it be better to stick to southpaw?

What exactly do you mean by “sitting into my punches”?


#20

[quote]Loftearmen wrote:
Sentoguy: I do have a really stiff neck. I have a tendency to be really tense all the time and it manifests in my traps and sternocleidomastoids being contracted.

I will work on stepping into my combos to close the distance on my target and throwing a couple strikes on my way out to reestablish the distance. It seems like straight kicks would be an effective way to do this so I will try to work more of those in. I will post a video of some kicks as well to make sure I am doing them correctly as well.

I appreciate yall’s advice a lot. [/quote]

Straight kicks can be great for clearing, I especially like lead leg side kicks for that purpose as they create a “poling/wedging” effect while also turning your vital targets out of harm’s way and providing lots of reach. Push-kicks/Teeps will work too, but I personally don’t like them as much for this purpose. Round/Cut/Thai kicks to the legs work well too though, especially if you know how to turn people with them or use them as kick sweeps to break their balance.