General Physical Preparation for MMA
There is a lot of general physical preparation that is required for MMA before you actually get started in mixed martial arts. Before learning technique and movements, speed and agility, you need to be in good physical condition. This includes being healthy as well as strong. While diet and nutrition play a large part in the preparation for MMA, physical preparation is paramount.
There are many things you can do to prepare physically for MMA. You need to focus on shedding fat, building lean muscle, and getting into good general physical shape. This can be done easily through dedication and hard work. You will need to develop a fitness plan such as CrossFit that will get your body conditioned and ready for MMA training. Then stick to that plan, and watch your goals become reality.
Besides technique, which you will learn later, strength and speed are the two most important aspects of an MMA fighter. Both can be developed at the same time as you get into physical shape. The key is to work in anaerobic and aerobic exercise into your workouts daily. Anaerobic exercise builds muscle, while aerobic exercise builds endurance, speed and improves the respiratory and circulatory systems. Running and swimming are good overall conditioning aerobic exercises. Weight lifting is the most common anaerobic exercise.
You can, of course, combine aerobic and anaerobic exercise in circuit training. Circuit training is a great way to condition your body to handle high levels of stress in short periods of time. This is essential for being able to stick it out in the octagon once you begin your MMA training in earnest. Develop a set of exercises for each of the core muscle groups in your body. Move from one set of exercises to the next, not stopping for at least five minutes. After a one-minute break, run the circuit again. Do this until you have done the number of sets you wish to do for the day on each exercise. This builds strength while also building speed and endurance.
When making your strength training plan for physical preparation for MMA you will want to be sure to include exercises for all of the major muscle groups. Do not focus on just the upper or lower body strength. You need to focus on both of these, as well as core conditioning. Core conditioning is perhaps the most important physical preparation you can engage in for MMA fighting. In core conditioning you work the muscles of the upper thighs, hips, torso, abs, back, shoulders and neck. This increases your center of gravity and the power of your extremities when you start your MMA training.
Of course, the entire goal here is to burn fat and create lean muscle. Once you are in good physical condition you can focus on starting your MMA training to learn technique. If you are unsure how to begin, talking to a personal trainer can help. Even if you choose not to work with a trainer long term, talking to one at the beginning of your conditioning can help you create a training program that will get you started on your way to physical conditioning for MMA.