This is a lot shorter version of something that I had already typed... accidentally pressed the back button and poof it disappeared tear.
I'm just bouncing ideas around but tell me what you think.
An mma athlete has different needs than other sports. For example, volleyball, basketball, a wideout need a high vertical. Thats unnecessary for a fighter as cool as that may be. Sprinting speed? well he shouldn't be running. 1 rep maxes really dont mean much at all. Especially since weight classes exist (and even if there is a discrepancy tables can turn easily cause of a variety of other factors.)
I'm going to generalize a lot but hopefully you'll see the point in doing so.
rep ranges between 1-3 (except with the advent of a large number of sets) stimulate the CNS rather than develop muscles. You're teaching your CNS how to fire off your muscle fibers in the correct manner to lift the weight. You then hypertrophy the muscle when it reaches its maximum potential and you need more fibers to fire off. For some people 4-5 reps still stimulates this response.
In these ranges you're basically teaching yourself the lift. Does this strength transfer to anywhere except to the movement you're practicing? (Bench squat clean snatch whatever) Hardly in the fighting arena, if you move 2x and need 4min to recover to do it again that doesnt have shit to do with combat.
I think that a combat athlete needs a few things that are a bit different than other athletes.
1- Hypertrophy/conditioning in specific muscle groups. Areas that are problems as far as fatigue or that are prone to injury. Prehabilitation and developing the muscles in that area is important. Identifying weakness and ovecoming them. general rep range being between 10-20. (still can add weight to this improving strength) There are other ranges to develope hypertrophy but 5 sets of 10 is a lot more time efficient than 10 sets of 3.
2- Variety of conditioning methods. Training specifically for assigned rounds, training for intervals, training to teach your system to deal with lactic acid, etc. There are so many ways to train this and different implements to use its a seperate post. It can be very specific (sprawls and bagwork) or arbitrary (1 arm snatches, sledgehammer and burpees) but there are a ton of effective methods.
3- Total body strengthening, best method is to use complexes because you can use near max rep ranges (6-8) but still have a cardiovasular proponent as long as replicating fight type environment (everything getting work) and hypertrophy in important muscle groups. Another favorite would be strong man medley's. If you dont know the benefit of these get off my thread now. (its not 1-3 rep ranges but you can see that you still can add weight)
4- the BULK of time should be spent actually practicing the sport, do as many bench presses as you want but very few things teach you to hit harder than practicing your striking on progressively heavier bags. Efficiency of movement, accurracy, and all important attributes to the fight game are developed through actually training.
If you want to hit harder, master the movment, get your biomechanics right and all that shit falls in place. Get better on the ground? its ALL technique... there is a large strength component but again for all the weight room work nothing developes that better than wrestling with heavier opponents or simply rotating in fresh partners.
If you do your hypertrophy work you will have developed more muscle fibers to fire off and instead of them being wired to lift weight, they're wired to HIT or hip heist or perform whatever movement is necessary for the fight itself.
Now, it depends on whether the fighter has an emphasis on standup or ground fighting.But for example someone that depends on their standup game a workout could look like.
.Total body strength complex/medley
....Same session, or earlier session spend bulk of your time working technique and developing power through actually practicing your sport.
I think that if you can clean & jerk your bodyweight then you're ok and can raise your work capacity and even your strength through other means...IF the athlete truly does need to raise their strength then I would use gymnastic type exercises which tend to use 3 sets of 6-8 reps or utilize isometric holds along with pistols and perhaps back squats you can develope tremendous strength that transfers EASILY to the ground. If you use thick paralletes you improve your grip strength as well.