MMA or Mixed Martial Arts is a full contact combat sport. MMA fighters have to be at an extraordinarily high level of fitness. It is no wonder that MMA fitness programs are also being used for weight loss. As these MMA fitness programs for weight loss are mushrooming everywhere, this article will give you the necessary information to make the right decisions when selecting such a program.
Table of Contents for Article
- 1 Mixed Martial Arts Background
- 2 MMA Fitness based on Plyometrics
- 3 MMA Fitness Program Typical Characteristics
- 4 MMA Fitness Program for Weight Loss – What are the advantages
- 5 MMA Fitness Program for Weight Loss – What are the disadvantages
- 6 What to look for in MMA Fitness Programs for Weight Loss
Mixed Martial Arts Background
MMA fighters use both striking moves as well as grappling. This can be done while standing or being on the ground. MMA fights can include elements of boxing, wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Karate, Muay Thai or a variety of other styles. The Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC is an American based company that promotes the MMA sport. It is the largest MMA promotion company in the world.
As Mixed Martial Arts organizations like the UFC are gaining more mainstream attention, people are realizing that MMA is more than just two fighters trying to destroy each other. In fact, it’s a display of some of the most intense physical fitness out there. Strength, power, stamina, technique – it’s fitness at it’s most primal. Only the strongest and most well trained body will survive.
With this motivation in mind, MMA fighters are becoming some of the best-trained athletes in the world. Not only do they have to be among the strongest and most powerful, but fighters in UFC and similar MMA leagues are known to jump up and down in weight class with only a few weeks notice.
MMA Fitness based on Plyometrics
MMA fighters use techniques such as plyometrics, which uses fast paced movements with smaller handweights. Plyometric exercises can be very demanding on the body. A typical example of a plyometric exercise is a squat jump. This is where you sit in a squat position and then thrust your self with all your might. You should be able to jump up as high as possible. Anyone who has done any of these squat jumps would very quickly realize the intensity and exertion required by such a simple workout.
In a series of rapid movements, the muscle is forced to contract with strength and elasticity. The further, higher and harder you jump, the better the workout. Plyometric exercises are used extensively by athletes. This is especially so for MMA fighters. This is one of the reason why these MMA fitness programs are now finding their way into the hands of the average dieter.
MMA Fitness Program Typical Characteristics
These types of workouts are extremely intense on the metabolism. It has a mix of cardio as well as strength training. There are two main variations in how these programs are structured. The first type of workout is where you would do an insane number of repetitions. This could be anywhere from 300 to 500 reps of mostly bodyweight exercises. If weights are necessary, only very light ones are used. You are usually required to time your workout. The subsequent workout should be done faster but at the same time not compromising form.
Another variation of these MMA fitness exercises are where you do as many repetitions as possible within a given time frame. As time goes by, you should be able to do more repetitions and yet maintain perfect form.
MMA Fitness Program for Weight Loss – What are the advantages
Here are some of the main advantages that you can expect from a MMA fitness type program for weight loss;
- Exercises can usually be completed within a half hour to 40 minutes
- Exercises give you a full boost in fitness. Complete fitness enhancement is when you improve strength, endurance, core stability, power, flexibility, agility and balance
- You can probably do the exercises at home with very light weights. Most of the exercises use your own bodyweight
- The exercises are simple to do and can be done even when you are traveling. This is ideal for people who frequently travel and cannot find time for exercise.
- An MMA fitness program will push you into the anaerobic zone. This facilitates the release of potent fat burning hormones such as the human growth hormone.
- You will get a strength as well as cardio workout at the same time
- The biggest advantage is that it gives you a massive metabolic boost. This ends up being a potent fat burner.
MMA Fitness Program for Weight Loss – What are the disadvantages
Here are some of the main disadvantages that you can expect from a MMA fitness type program for weight loss;
- The exercises are high intensity and thus may not be suitable for unfit individuals
- High repetitions and intensity may cause joint pains for some people
- Stretching and warm-up is essential before starting and cannot be neglected
- Exercises can push you well into the anaerobic range. This may require you to get a doctor’s clearance before starting
- The exercises are brutal and many may not be mentally prepared for it
What to look for in MMA Fitness Programs for Weight Loss
With so many MMA fitness programs available out there, here are the 4 main things that need to be looked at;
- MMA fitness type programs can be very intense. As such, you will probably need to get a doctor’s clearance before starting an MMA fitness program. But that goes without saying before starting any exercise program.
- Ensure that the MMA fitness program covers strength, endurance, core stability, power, flexibility, agility and balance. Very few programs out there can actually provide this full spectrum of benefits. Any MMA fitness program that fulfills these criteria would be worth looking at.
- A comprehensive weight loss program should also include nutritional guidelines. This is also something that you should look for in a solid MMA fitness program for weight loss.
- The program should emphasize on proper form. There should be clear exercise instructions.
MMA Fitness Programs – Is it For You?
MMA fitness programs are ideal for people looking for high intensity workouts. This allows you to finish the exercise in the shortest possible time. This is a very big advantage in these days where everyone is short of time. Bear in mind that these type of exercises require you to be at a reasonable fitness level. As such, someone who is very obese may not be able to do these type of exercises at all.
A typical MMA fitness program for weight loss is like the one by UFC champion Georges St-Pierre. Georges St-Pierre promotes his program via fitness DVDs.
In essence, very obese people may not be able to cope with the demands of a MMA fitness program for weight loss. This is not something that can be clearly defined and you will need to assess if your level of fitness is adequate. If you are able to jog, you should be able to do these types of exercises.
UFC champion Georges St-Pierre.