Training Ingredients For Combat Athletes

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Let's now take a look at each of the "ingredients" that I have listed above. These recommendations are not set in stone, but will point you in the right direction when constructing your unique training program.

Flexibility - You should always include a brief stretching session as part of your warm-up. Stretching should be conducted on a daily basis.

Balance training - Balance training is perhaps the most neglected ingredient among athletes today. An easy way to fulfill your balance training need is by including a few minutes of balance work in your pre-workout warm-up session. You can dedicate 5 minutes of your warm-up towards balance work. I recommend this on a daily basis.

Strength training - Strength training refers to any form of resistance training. This includes bodyweight exercise, weight training, kettlebell training, or any other form of resistance work. This form of training is commonly performed 2-4 days per week. If you exceed 4 days of strength work, there is a good chance that you will take away from your conditioning and skill training objectives.

Plyometrics - Plyometrics include explosive movements such as Depth Jumps and Squat Jumps. This form of training is very intense on the muscles. You should include explosive training movements 2-3 days per week. Do not exceed 3 days of plyometric training per week.

Skill training - If you participate in competitive athletics, skill training will be very important to your success. All of the conditioning in the world is useless if you lack the skills necessary to deliver your technique. Boxers, wrestlers, and mixed martial artists often dedicate 5 or more days per week to skill training. Bodyweight exercise is very useful to these athletes. You can perform a strength or conditioning routine either before or after your skill training session. Many of the routines that I have created do not take long to complete. I designed these routines to be intense, without taking up too much of your valuable training time. I did this to accommodate those athletes who spend considerable amounts of time in the boxing gym and dojo. These routines will maximize your strength and endurance as quickly as possible.

Anaerobic conditioning - Combative sports are anaerobic in nature. A good portion of your conditioning should be focused on high intensity, anaerobic training. This includes interval work, minute drills, and any other form of "balls to the wall" conditioning. This form of training should be conducted 2-4 days per week. If you exceed 4 days of anaerobic conditioning, you may not have adequate time to recover between training sessions.

Do not neglect your anaerobic training sessions. This form of training is intense and painful, but will pay huge dividends in competition. If you have limited time to train, you can quickly achieve your anaerobic requirements with Burpee Intervals, Tabata Intervals, Minute Drills, Warrior Madness Training, or interval sprints. Burpee Intervals and Tabata Intervals are particularly convenient because you can perform these routines anywhere. A few rounds of Burpee Intervals will leave most athletes gasping for air. If Tabata Intervals float your boat, you can start with one session of Tabata style jump rope and finish with one session of Tabata style squats. Total training time will be around 8 minutes, but you can expect those 8 minutes to be intense.

Aerobic training - Aerobic training is not as critical for combat sports, but a solid aerobic foundation is always helpful. You can achieve this goal through moderate paced running or extended jump rope sessions. The jump rope is also useful to improve agility, coordination, and strength.

Core training - The core is very important for combative athletes. All of your power either originates or is transferred through the core. The core circuits from The Underground Guide are excellent for your core training needs. I recommend this form of training 3-4 days per week. On off days, you can work on less intense abdominal movements.

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