I have been travelling extensively in India over the last few weeks. I was in Delhi, Gurgaon and Mumbai when I questioned the general public on who in their opinion are the fittest athletes in the world. some said Footballers, some said
Now why are athletes involved in MMA believed to be the fittest amongst all sportspersons? Its’ a valid question if you are unaware of the term MMA. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sports that uses combination of various fighting techniques like Karate, judo, Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Kickboxing, Boxing, Muay Thai and various others.
It’s a well known self defense art form which has become more popular since UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship] incorporated it into its various events organized all over the world.
Now coming back to our main question about the fittest athletes being found in MMA sports. If one merely looks closely at the exercise regime being followed by these MMA athletes, one would understand the rigorous as well intense workout regimes that are undertaken. These workouts not only strengthen their body but mind as well.
A circuit form of workout design for 5 X 5 min rounds utilizes strength, conditioning, agility, focus, technique resulting in the most dynamic and complete workout for the most complete athlete.
Following is a standard MMA workout followed by many trainers across the world. It is basically targeted to achieve strength, speed and conditioning. This workout is used my MMA athletes before their camp for their fight starts. When the fight camp (8 weeks prior to the fight) starts, the workout is very different, however this is a good starting point for anyone serious about thinking of entering an MMA ring or cage:
-Cardio Work – Squat jumps – Begin this exercise from the press up position.
– Compound Exercise – Chin up, wide grip and palms facing away from your body, targeting the back more. This is one of the most important exercises in this MMA training routine
– Cardio Work – Shuttle runs – 20 – 30 meters if you have the space.
– Compound Exercise – Standing dumbbell shoulder press, split your stance for a better stable position and is also protects the lower back.
– Cardio Work – Sprint on spot- Bring your knees up high and tap them off your hands.
– Compound Exercise – Press up, keep your elbows in tight to your torso as it target the triceps better.
– Cardio Work – Jumping jacks.
– Compound Exercise – Bent over row, palms facing away from the body. It targets the middle to upper back. Don’t forget to mix it up with the other method of bent over row.
– Cardio Work – Jump over step or jump over and back the line from side to side.
– Compound Exercise – Squat with heavy dumbbells. It completes the MMA training routine circuit.
All these exercises should be done back to back with no rest and the circuit should be repeated 3 times. The timing from the first set should be used as a benchmark for the next two circuits.
Besides this, MMA athletes are very spiritually inclined. They learn the pathos of practice, perseverance and anger management. The belief that one is responsible for their own actions makes them much more responsible and aware about their surroundings and lives. An MMA athlete is fit on all the three levels i.e. physical, mental and spiritual. No wonder MMA athletes are the fittest of all!