T Nation

Losing Mass During MMA Training


I've recently started training in mma and we train 5 days a week, 90 minutes each day. Some days consist of intense conditioning and others grappling and striking. I was using a TBT style workout for a few months before this and made some good gains in size and strength but i've noticed that now I am losing some size, the strength is still there. I have just started wsfsb III and am curious as to how I can still gain size while doing mma. Guessing it's all in the diet?
My current weight is 185lbs with roughly 8% BF.


What's your height? And yes, if you wanna keep that weight, you gotta eat.


Yeah, I lost mass when training mma. I lost a lot of strength as well (in the gym).

I also had to eat a lot more when I was trying to go from LHW to HW.


Yep. It's all of the caloric expenditure. You will have to eat a lot more to keep your mass. You are going to have to decide which is more important to you in the long run. Are you an MMAist who lifts or a lifter that does MMA?




Eat until you want to throw up, and even then you might just break even.


I don't think it's as simple as eating more. Of course, I'm no expert (having just done jujutsu for 25 years)....

You will look like whatever training protocol you follow. A standard powerlifting one will get you bulk mostly in the form of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. Doing lots of striking and grappling (especially grappling) will lead to strength gains for those movements but at it's heart induces sarcoplasmic atrophy i.e. it is a protocol that reduces sarcoplasm, a bit like a gymnast. Gymnasts lean down to virtually nothing but their myofibrils which is why they are small, ripped and very strong.

So, you will get smaller since most of your training is there. Yes eat enough calories to keep your weight up (it's easy to lose weight training like you are). I've trained a lot of people over time to know you are heading in two opposing directions at once. Your body won't be able to bulk if your protocol is making it reduce. Simple as that. Again, you won't lose much actual muscle, you'll just lose the goop that makes you look bigger.

Also, another practical bit of thinking is if you want to compete. MMA training usually centers on that so you have to contend with weight classes. You want to be the biggest guy in the next lowest class, not the smallest guy in any class, so losing a bit won't hurt anything.

And I could be wrong...

-- jj


Thanks for the advice.
I've been doing alot of reading on here for programs that compliment mma training, the main one has been Waterbury's hammer down series which looks good except for the lack weight training, I don't like to be away from the weights that often, that's why i've decided to give wsfsb a shot.

Has anybody else had experience mixing mma training with weight lifting and what programs have you tried?
My height btw is 5'9"
There is a pic in my profile but it's a couple years old now.


Trust me, if you're doing MMA training 5 days a week, you'll be very happy with yourself if you can make it through 2 weight training sessions. The amount of energy you'll expend in each class will leave you wiped and you'll need to make sure you're getting enough rest to recover from those workouts.

I did Waterbury's Hammer Down Series when I first started MMA training myself, and I found it to be a very good program. It was difficult at first to adjust to lifting just twice a week, but in the long run the benefits definitely outweighed the negatives.


Truth. They way I look at it is that I am going to train 6 days a week, if I do MMA that day then I don't lift, except on a pure technique day or something.


PL gives you lots of myofibrilar hypertrophy, not sarcoplasmic. You can't grow the sarcoplasm much in PL programs because the metabolic demand is low.


That's exactly what I was going to say.

And I don't know whether jj-dude has some inside info or not, but I can't really say I agree with his concept of gymnasts "losing" sarcoplasmic mass (sarcoplasts?)...I think they are small and defined because they eat and train to be that way, not because of the nature of their training, volume-wise.