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Training for Bodybuilding and Fighting?


I want to continue my bodybuilding routine but also add in some fighting orientated training? Would it be possible to do both if so how should i go about it? I also have no fighting training experience and would like to teach/train myself if at all possible since i cant afford proper training. Been interested in doing some combat training for a while now just havent really botherd.

I have been doing my 5 day split now for nearly 6 months. My squats going strong at 110kg at 5 sets 8-12reps up from 40kg lol. There is a MMA training place in my town but its really expensive and cant afford it with no job and studying :frowning: i would love to go there and learn. Having this strength and not really knowing how to fight/defend myself sucks :(.

  1. You'll only have the time and energy to take one of these seriously. They are both somewhat consuming lifestyles that don't lend themselves well to the other.

  2. Go learn from someone who knows how. "Teaching" yourself is only going to ingrain bad habits in your form that will have to be fixed later. Trust me.


Irish is of course spot on about teaching yourself. It's just not going to work. You can beat the crap out of a heavy bag on your own I guess, which might make you feel better.

As for mixing the two, while I agree with Irish that they are both full on, I think the answer actually depends on what level you are trying to reach and what you call bodybuilding. Are you trying to be a competitive bodybuilder, or do you just want to bulk up and be muscular? I mean you can lift weights three times a week and go down the boxing gym twice a week, as long as you are getting in enough calories and your lifestyle permits this intensity of training you might be fine.

Not brilliant at either, but fine. Essentially it's all about calorie intake and the possibility of over training. People over think this stuff way too much, if you're not trying to be elite then it's not that complicated.


as mentioned above caloric intake and sleep.the more you do the more you need.

the biggest barrier i see for you (and share with you) is the cost of training facilities. this is something i think is the greatest barrier to many aspiring fighters. I understand it may not be optimal but if you dedicate yourself to it and search for all the resources you can, as flamed as i may get books online videos anything! you can teach yourself quite well you just have to be twice as disciplined in your training. do not allow yourself to form habits. filming yourself and comparing it to instructional videos and books can be incredibly useful. getting your timing rythm will be probably the hardest thing a reflex bag and a double end bag can only go so far but will definitely help. finding a like minded partner or two will also pay off dividends for sparing (not back yard brawling) drills and 1/2 speed of gradually increasing complexity before free sparing

save your money even if you can only afford to pick up a month at a time in a gym you will learn alot that can help you in your efforts i always found great carry over from my training by myself to training in an establishment and vice versa

surely some of the more experienced people here have helpful input

also i fully support the decision to pursue both sports. if you eat and sleep right i think you will see a synergistic effect between them. kick boxing made me a better powerlifter powerlifting made me a better more confident kick boxer

sorry to rant


I strongly, strongly disagree. The amount of cardio and endurance you need to fight will absolutely get in the way of bodybuilding.

If you get a coach, he's going to tell you he wants you to run five miles in the morning, and do 150 pushups after you threw a thousand punches over 12 rounds. Guess what? He doesn't give a fuck if its "chest day" and you already hit yourself hard.

If you can learn to fight and "bodybuild" - I don't mean lift, I mean "bodybuild", the you're not hitting either one of them hard enough.


This is what I am trying to get at- you can lift and grow while training in a combat sport, it's simple energy balance, but you cannot "bodybuild" as you put it in a competitive, elie sense of the term.



You have already been given some good advice in this thread.

FightinIrish and Roundhead are spot on with regards to being elite at both bodybuilding AND MMA. However, the way I read your post, it seems you just want to try your hand at martial arts/MMA/combat sports. If that is the case I think you can absolutely do both.

I do not know how long you have been lifting. Your post says you are following a 5 day split for bodybuilding, I do not know if that is the total time you have been training or just your most recent regime. You have also mentioned that there is an MMA gym you would like to train at, but it is out of reach due to financial constraints.

Here is what I suggest. First, you must find a gym that you want to train at, can afford financially, and can fit training at into your schedule. Open the phone book/go online and look for martial arts schools, boxing/kickboxing gyms, and Judo/wrestling clubs. See if you can find a location near you. Visit/watch classes. Pick the one you think you fit best, that you can afford, and that you can attend a couple times a week with your school schedule.

You may need to get a part time job in order to finance this. That is fine. Do not pick a gym that costs a ton, and use this as an opportunity to practice time management. I do not know what level of education you are at, undergrad/university, post-grad/masters, doctorate, ect., but regardless time management is important. Working 12 hours a week or so shouldn't put you in a bad spot with your studies, especially if you can find a job that lets you get some studying done at work. For students I would recommend a job that falls into one of three categories:
A. Related to your future career. So future doctors/nurses may want a hospital job. Future reporters might want to do anything at a newspaper or magazine.
B. Pays well/tips-Tending bar, waiting tables, ect all do a good job of putting a high amount of cash in your pocket for minimal time. It is a financial bonus if you are stuck working shifts you would otherwise be out spending money.
C. Lets you combine work with study time. Some desk jobs/night time security jobs leave you with a decent part of every on the clock hour to study. Even though the pay might not be great, it is a time saver.

Finally, shoot for attending your martial arts/fight gym twice a week to start. While this will get shunned by the hardcore set, it is enough to get started. As for weight training, do both combat sports and lifting until one interferes with the other. Then, decrease the time spent doing whichever one you like less. I concede a 5 day a week lifting schedule sounds like it will interfere sooner, rather than later, but 3-4 days a week in the weight room is pretty standard for University athletes.

Now this is not a plan for becoming an elite bodybuilder, or champion fighter. Roundhead and Irish have explained why. This is a plan for getting to do both. If 8 months from now you realize that you would rather box than lift, then you can make that choice. If you would rather snatch, clean and jerk, and front squat than choke, arm-bar, and pummel than you can make that choice as well. Regardless, you will be able to make the choice based on your own experience.


Robert A

ADDENDUM: I glanced over this post before hitting submit and saw I had miss-spelled "doctorate." That is a bad sign. So...listen to Irish, or Roundhead, or Westdale, really anyone but me.


Yeah so basically wont be pro at either, that's cool but i dunno man, think of Brock Lesnar!? I really dont doubt that i could do both and be sick at them. Unless its scientifically proven you cant train size,strength and weight towards helping mma fighting? I don't want to be a pro bodybuilder, just reach my genetic limit and be ripped when not fighting :wink:. Couldn't be fukt with job.....call me lazy but id prefer to find a way to do Study, weight training and mma for the moment.


So you think that you can be like Brock Lesnar, and sick at fighting, and huge, while studying, and reach your genetic size limit while still maintaining a ripped figure?

Now I believe you're either a troll or a kid who doesn't know any better.



just a few things.

1 Picking an athlete like Brock Lesnar or anyone else at his level-
is a bad idea He is someone who has spent 20+ years both competing
and being in the weight room

Unless at your early 20's you already have 10+ solid. very solid years of training yourself
you should not really worry about stuff like that.
squatting 245 - for a few sets of 10 - doesn't put you there but that's ok.

2 Body building is great, I guess, If that is what you like.
doing that kind of training is fine, and taking some MA or MMA classes
as a hobby is fine too they need not be mutually exclusive.

3 however- BB style training is not very conducive for performance.
it does zero for athleticism- unless as you have mentioned your kind of a beginner
in which case ANY training will make you perform better.

BB training isnt going to help you :
move faster, generate more power quickly, or help you work at a high rate of output
I'm not going to mention anything about enhancing flexibility or muscle activation
cause it would be a big sidetrack.

But go ahead.
follow your one part a day split- with plenty of volume
take some mma classes and keep doing it til they interfere with one another.
Its kind of common sense.
keep doing both til one impacts the performance of the other.


Does this imply that Brock Lesnar is not sick at fighting? Because I am almost positive that doing so causes a red phone to ring next to ZEB's computer. I ask because I am down to half a 5th of whiskey and may need more if the thread derails.

I am thinking lack of experience.


Robert A



Read and re-read everything Irish and KMC wrote.

It is the truth.

I have a couple questions.

  1. In the OP you mention having done a 5 way split for 6 months. Is that the sum total of your weight room experience or does the "4life" imply that you have been lifting for quite a bit longer.

  2. More size, strength, and weight are assets in a fight, no doubt about it. It is just that pursuing them at the expense of actually practicing fighting is...counter productive. I think you can understand why. When you say you want to reach your genetic limit, are you stating in bodybuilding terms, fighting terms, humanist terms?

  3. And how big are you currently, height, weight, conditioning?


hes not trying to be a pro at both just competent.

i think hes getting some flak for being perceived as having to much ambition.

picking brock lesnar as an example is tempting but hes a genetic freak. and his training doesnt really fit under the category of body building

perhaps if you want to be able to fight and be big and strong you would considder switching your weight room training to more powerlifting and strongman methods that could be arguably more beneficial

when i think of fighters that train for body building and fighting phil baroney comes to mind but his muscle hasnt really done much for him aside from give him a little strength and a gastank the sizer of a thimble

just throwing it out their if you do want an example of some one who was professional at both (although not at the same time) look at franco columbu he was an itallian featherweight boxing champion and later mr olympia also a powerlifting champion in 3 countries and 5 placed fifth in strong man you see him hitting the bag in pumping iron even as a body builder i cant imagine how awful a few rounds in the ring with him would

he pretty much kicked ass all around heres his wiki


Bwhahahah. You are quickly becoming my favorite poster besides the super hot ninja chick that does savate.

I do believe I may be in love with her.


If it derails? This thread was never going anywhere. Any excuse to keep pouring though.

We are of one mind.


imo, you just want to do what most guys want, that is getting big, strong, and skilled at combat.

I agree with robert A. and also fightin irish
it is possible, but its not possible to go 100% all out on both. which means one thing, patience.

combat training is highly taxing on the body and you will be sore and fatigued alot of the time if you work hard, and depending on your genetics, bodybuilding will have the exact same effect on you if you want to get big.

it will take a long time and a large amount of research to even get something like this started, but it is perfectly possible. I train with boxing primarily but also lift

just remember:
you have to eat for two sports, to fuel your fighting, and to gain weight. thats alot of calories.
you dont have to train like a bodybuilder to get bigger. eat like one, lift like a powerlifter, fight like a warrior. im not going to tell you its not possible, the human body can adapt to an incredible amount of stress.

one thing that is for sure, is that the results be a measure of your determination.


He just stated ambitious goals, we all know he won't reach elite status in anything, less alone go pro in both.