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MMA Guys, Strength/Mass Training?

Hey boys and girls, what max strength/mass training do you do while training MMA. I am starting MMA 1x2 hour session and 2x1 hour sessions a week but I still want to work on my max strength and gaining mass (though I am happy for mass gains to be very slow but steady, plan on eating a shitload as well).
I was thinking of alternating these two trainings 3 times a week:
Warmup with light OH squats & jump shrugs.
Workout A
Clean and Push press 5x3
Squat 5x5
Pullups 5x5
Suitcase style wrist curl 5x5

Workout B
Clean and M. Press 5x5
Health Lift 5x5
Turkish get up 5x5 (each arm)
What do you all think?
3-5minute rest between sets. light, medium, heavy, medium, heavy (5x5)
Any suggested changes? Most of the MMA advice is geared towards conditioning, but right now I seem to get enough of that in class.

I’d probably add a bench press there but you got good exercise selection.

I train mma 2-3 times a week, (about the same as yourself) and am also focusing on strength and hypertrophy for my extra-curricular training at the mo. Currently I am doing Chad Waterbury’s ABBH programme, which is proving to be pretty effective. Prior to that I did some westside variations.

To be honest, I think just about any decent programme will work alongside your training providing you stick to the tried and tested compound movements and heavy weights formula. Just make sure you eat enough to support both of your training pursuits.

Personally, I’d suggest Part Time Beast from CT. Since, I’m an olympic lifter, this may be of second nature, but I think olympic lifts are of great value in wrestling, therefore in MMA.

If you can handle it, anything will do. What most people don’t know is how demanding the MMA training is by itself. So I’d say you hit the nail on the head. Keep it simple. The biggest change I’d make is instead of having Workout A & B, put together C, D, E, F… As many as you need to keep adapting.

Fight well,

Thanks boys. Good to see some guys who are doing similar things. I am pretty conscious of the overtraining risk. I successfully lifted last year 3x per week whilst doing bjj/judo 3x per week but I had to be real careful with the total volume. I managed to put on about 5kg of muscle, which is a lot for me. Unfortunately I went backpacking through Asia for 2-3months and lost it all. For some reason eating shit food, sinking a lot of beer and partying all night was not conducive for muscle maintenance.

Konstantine, I would bench if I had one but I train in my basement so its barbell, pullups and a homemade bottom position squat rack (saw horses+car tiedowns=safety).

skullcowboy. That part time beast program looks great, but I find the fewer lifts I do the better my strength gains. I may give it a go after doing 4 weeks on my program to try and add some more meat. Cheers bro.

[quote]gotaknife wrote:
Konstantine, I would bench if I had one but I train in my basement so its barbell, pullups and a homemade bottom position squat rack (saw horses+car tiedowns=safety).


Who needs a bench? Try floor presses.

What’s a health lift?

[quote]endgamer711 wrote:
gotaknife wrote:
Konstantine, I would bench if I had one but I train in my basement so its barbell, pullups and a homemade bottom position squat rack (saw horses+car tiedowns=safety).

Who needs a bench? Try floor presses.[/quote]


I have tried “guard bottom” KB alternate floor press (i.e. legs wrap around partner/punching bag while pressing) in a conditioning phase. Seems to transfer well to real guard bottom punches. And of course you don’t need to use KB, DB will do.

Not sure about barbell floor press for strength so I might not be answering your question.

geek boy

looks good.

If i were you i’d personally build some parallettes and work on some gymnastic strength.

add in some pistols and one arm pushups.

Badabing you’re pretty damn well rounded.

Also I like Charles Staley’s recent compound EDT article. I think that would work great for the mma’er

Ramo, A health lift is a deadlift from about knee hight (I think it is also called a rack pull???) I dont go too heavy with these since I am pulling all my plates + a sandbag. Great back and grip exercise.

endgamer711, I have dabbled with the floor press before (only for about 3 weeks though) and at the end of the day I dont think I have space for all three presses each week without burning out. Once I begin to cope better with the volume of work I would love to include a horizontal press of some sort, either the barbell or sandbag floorpress, methinks.

Xen Nova, I agree that pistols would be great as well as one handed pushups (if I could do them). But I am looking to gain size and strength, not simply maximise my MMA ability, so I reckn’ big heavy basics are going to do a better job. Compound EDT looks awsome but probably too much volume for a nubie like me doing MA three times a week. If I were only lifting, this type of program would be perfect for me. Oh well.

most of the top guys dont, fedor doesnt use barbells, nogeira doesnt,elvis sinosic, Quinton Jackson doesnt use weights, cro cop uses very little in the way of weights and arlovski doesnt use them either, these guys get their strength through daily grappling and boxing training, throwing, doing takedowns, pushing against their opponents etc for example fedor will often spend a whole session just throwing or slaming his training partner, its much more specific than pulling a bar with 2 weights on up and down, try slamming a barbell then try slamming a person, totally different muscles and the barbell doesnt move or try to pound your face.

In the real world you wont have access to training partners 7 days a week twice a day so use things like vinyl heavy bags, sandbags and grappling dummys and do lots of pushing and pulling movementswith bungee cords, excellent workout. Grappling dummys cn be made cheaply, just type in - fightraining grappling dummy 2 - into google and go to the fightraining home page.

My experience is that most people will become better fighters by spending more time on the matt. For most fighters their strength exceeds their technique. I’ve got nothing against lifting. I lift. I think most fighters would do better with a stronger grip, a stronger mid section, and more time on the mat. If you’re going to lift move the weight fast.

where did you here arlovski doesn’t lift. I have read interviews where he said lifting made the single largest difference in his life.

barbells is going to be the easiest way to generate the most force, although I agree skills training is the most important. I think alot of fighters could be even better if they increased their power output and trained smarter, not harder.

A simple 3x week full body lift if you had the equipment would be a good start.

Something like 5x3,2x3 on 3-4 major lifts each day. Monday Cleans, High pulls, squats, bench…wed Deads or front squats, incline, good mornings or deadlift, friday cleans, squats,overhead press…supplement some snatches and pulls and you are good to go…

DBs will never be as efficient at force production, a good supplemental tool but if they were so good you would see more olympic lifters using them…back in the 80s they did tests on olympic athletes from all sports in the 10 yard dash and standing vertical, the olympic lifters had the best stats! even at the bigger sizes! imagine what you could do with a person in a brawl with the explosive power it takes to hit a heavy clean, squat, dead, snatch?


You might find the above useful, its an article by Alwyn Cosgrove on conditioning for MMA. It mentions stregth training too.