T Nation

Training Routine to Prepare for MMA?


I'm thinking about starting MMA sometime next semester and wanted to gain some size and strength before going in. I was thinking about using WS4SB or 5x5 until then and was wondering wat you guys think.

I weight 192, 5 foot 9, >10% bodyfat, and I want to weight anywhere over 200 pounds.


What is WS4SB?




That is a very strange first post. Especially for someone with such an exquisite avatar.

Can I suggest the OP has a read through the How to Train thread, as well as the MMA training hub if you can stomach it. The last few pages have proved especially interesting to me, and address some of your question as regards the need to do strength training.

I asked a similar question to you about training in the run up to starting serious combat sport training, and was told to focus more on conditioning than strength and size. But if these are your main goals, then I can only tell you that I had great success with Stronglifts 5x5 before I started to focus on combat sport training.

I now yield the floor to the experts!


You didnt give us much info to go on but either way I'd recommend that Westside for skinny bastards is pretty much exactly what you want...


Once I started MMA what would be a good lifting program to do to maintain my strength? 5x5?

  1. Read the 'How to Train' sticky.

  2. You haven't even started MMA yet, why are you worried about what training routine to follow?

  3. Train, train, and train some more.

  4. Once you get an idea of how beat up your body will be on a weekly basis, devise training routine.


You're in a great position right now to just worry about busting ass and getting your lifts up. get your basic 3 power lifts up and the rest can pretty much follow. Though personally I'd drilling my weighted pullups like a motherfucker as well.

That said when you start actually training MMA you can do a large variety of programs to keep your strength and improve upon it greatly. depending how serious you are about MMA imo the large majority of programs are going to have a bit too much volume if you're training mma seriously (meaning 6+ times a week, upwards to 12x).

There's 2 threads on how to train once you're into MMA one i believe is a sticky the other is called "conjugate MMA" so search for those.

But the basic gist of it is this:

  • Focus on your mobility. Get flexibile. It's going to prevent injuries, help you recover faster, and give you a wider range of options for techniques. You build strength upon mobility. A healthy joint is a strong one. Tight hips, inactive glutes, wrecked shoulders, elbow tendonitis, tight achilles tendons, kyphotic posture. These are things that fighters have to deal with on a daily basis.... Get yourself ahead of the game and start to work on them NOW.

  • These aren't complete definitions but ... Striking is the utilizing the human body as efficiently as possible to produce as much FORCE as possible, while exposing the weakness of the human form by pinpointing areas to strike. Wrestling and Jiujitsu are similar, the techniques are designed to utilize the human body as efficiently as possible except this time leverage is used to exploit the natural weaknesses of the human body.

Both depend on you being able to create FORCE with your body. As much force as possible.

There are a lot of ways to develop force (JUST MY OPINION) but one of the most efficient is the conjugate (or perhaps more accurately, concurrent) method... Known to most people as westside training. But imo, unless you're training at westside gym, then you're not training westside :slight_smile:

what makes it unique is that it takes advantage of both sides of the force equation f=ma... so while yes you're moving heavy objects (mass or ME-maximal effort work) you also improve your ability to accelerate (DE- dynamic effort work).

Ok thats saying a lot of bullshit to say this... It's a game of FORCE...

But unlike powerlifting not just ONCE are you producing force. It's not like testing your vertical jump where you jump a couple times and take the highest one.


  • MMA is about power endurance.

so its more like how many times you can jump over 3 rounds of 5 min each... to continue the analogy... the frequency of your jumps and the avg of how high you jump would basically be your "usable power" in the mma world.

If you're smart you'll figure out how to attack your conditioning from both ends as well. Conditioning in the MMA environment isn't just going to be 10 sprints and shit like that. It has to be VERY specific as far as timing and frequency of motion. Most conditioning circuits (surprisingly) aren't enough (scary huh). Tabata squats are hard and shit but the fact that you have rest is laughable. People knock things like distance running but if you can run for 25min straight , HARD, you're teaching your body a LOT of things it will need in the cage.

two guys who have great shit are


  • For MMA you also need something that comes from specifically training MMA and odd implement training. Louis Simmons called it "weird" strength. You'll need a "Squeeze" or isometric ability for chokes. Grip strength. various other things. You can train with grippers, atlas stones, farmer walks, etc... multiple things. This isn't a big focus but something you should be aware of.

Anyway I go into a lot of that shit in the threads i reference previously. so knock yourself out... feel free to PM me or make another thread to ask questions and shit if I confuse you... i tend to rant.


actually ignore my post... do this ^^


I know I haven't started MMA yet, but I'm looking for something to make me a bit bigger and stronger before I do start


we answered that.

westside for skinny bastards is perfect.

i'd recommend you work on getting pretty fucking flexible too.


how can I go about doing that?


how can I go about doing that?


Really? It's not that complicated, if you want to get more flexible: stretch. Often.


lol thats the simple version :wink:

honestly thought thats like telling someone who say they want to bulk up "lift and eat more". It's true but its not nearly "enough"

read around on www.Stadion.com

get "relax into stretching" and "super joints" by Pavel Tsatouline (sp?).

If you can get it "The Grapplers Toolbox" is a SUPERB program

the mobility articles by eric cressy and mike robertson on this site are fucking gold as well.


If you search T-Nation there is a link to the PDF of Relax into Stretching. I won't post it myself in case Pavel comes and finds me, capitalist pig that I am.