Get Fit By Training Like a Fighter

Some of the fittest athletes in the world are professional fighters. They train hard for strength and stamina but their efforts also reward them with incredible physiques. Workouts that mimic boxing and martial arts are very popular and new classes are opening every day. To get the best possible results and build yourself a fighter’s physique, focus on these techniques straight from the training arsenal of professional fighters.

Explosive Power
Many fighters use Olympic lifting to build explosive power and speed. Lifts like the clean and jerk and the snatch build power from the ground up. A fighter needs to have total body power and be able to coordinate muscles to transfer power from the legs up through the upper body.

If you aren’t used to these lifts, start light. It can take some time to build good form but it’s worth the wait. Once you get good at performing these explosive Olympic style lifts, you will be able to handle more weight and build great power.

Another fight training tool for building power is plyometric exercises. Also known as jump training, plyometric exercises include tuck jumps and box jumps. These explosive drills don’t require weights, which makes them an easy addition to home or outdoor workouts.

Make sure to work plyometric in early and stop after you get tired. There’s an increased risk of injury of you continue jump training when you’re fatigued. Also, the primary benefits come while you still have the energy to move explosively and quickly.

Functional Strength
Fighters need a very specific kind of strength. In order to succeed in the ring, they need functional strength and the ability to apply it from any angle. Many fighters use circuit training to build strength and stamina at the same time. Exercises like the squat and deadlift are great for raw strength. Mix these with a variety of body weight exercises to help develop good body control.

Training with awkward objects, like sandbags, also helps mimic the strength needed to control another fighter. You can build a sandbag at home, or use a heavy punching bag that you’ve taken off of its mounts. If you have a training partner, you can find a variety of exercises to do together, using your partner as resistance.

Calisthenics are a very traditional form of exercise and they’re still a favorite with fighters for a couple of reasons. Being able to train with no equipment is very practical as you train for a fight. You can throw in a mini workout in the middle of a run or between skill drills in an empty ring. They also improve your sense and ability for moving your own body, which is what fighters need to do every time they step in the ring.

One of the most important qualities that a fighter can have is stamina. As a fighter, I always got a boost of confidence from knowing that I would still be strong when my opponent was starting to get tired. More importantly, you need to build stamina that allows you to still be strong and explosive, not just slowly moving for a long time.

The best way to build this stamina is to work on fighting skills for long periods. Working a heavy bag allows you to build your skills and stamina simultaneously. Take a look at how long your fight rounds will last and try to work up to intense bag work rounds that last at least a minute longer. By doing this, you’ll always know that you have gas left in the tank at the end of the round. No matter what you’re training for, you can use this technique. Any sports movements can be used to build stamina and it also guarantees that you are training the correct muscles for your activity.

Many fighters still do some type of roadwork. Long runs and slow endurance training can help build a base for your stamina and also give you that confidence in your endurance. Road work is more about mental endurance than it is about physical. Knowing that you have the ability to continue on long after you get tired can be very important as you get further into a fight.