Fighter Fit Training Series – Part 4

Strength & Conditioning Program

In our last three issues, we’ve covered different aspects of fitness for fighters and how to get that coveted fighter physique. In this month’s issue of the Fighter Fit Training Series, we’re going to cover how we can put it all together in a program using some of the exercises we covered in the last issues. In this program, we will mix these elements into one workout, so we are training in all the areas that would be specific and beneficial to combat sport athletes and people looking to build lean, functional muscle.

WARM-UP: (dynamic)

When warming up for a strength and conditioning workout, it’s important to warm up and stretch with motion as opposed to holding a stretch for a period of time, also known as static stretching. This will allow you to effectively hit different layers of tissue while your body is warm, thus helping you to prevent injury and improve your overall training performance. Try warming up by doing arm circles, leg swings, jumping jacks, jogging on the spot – anything that gets your blood flowing and your body warmed up! You can also try rolling out with the use of a foam roller before getting started to help get some myofascial release, a technique that helps to improve blood and lymphatic circulation!

STRENGTH & POWER:

Perform 3 to 4 sets of each exercise before moving on to the next. Complete all strength and power exercises before moving on to the conditioning portion of the workout.

Exercise 1: Box Jumps, 5-6 reps

  1. Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, at an arm’s length distance from the box.
  2. Use your arms to provide momentum by swinging them back as you drop quickly into a quarter squat, then fully extend by exploding your hips and throwing your arms up towards the sky while pushing your feet through the floor to propel yourself onto the box. You want to land softly in a squat position, then fully extend your body to an erect standing position before safely stepping down one foot at a time.
Box Jumps

Exercise 2: Barbell Clean and Press, 5 reps

  1. With a barbell in front of you, stand with your feet shoulder width-apart under the bar.
  2. Your toes should be pointing forward and angled slightly outwards with shoulders over and slightly passed the bar.
  3. Your shins should almost be touching the barbell.
  4. Squat down and grip the bar with a slightly-wider-than-shoulder-width grip while keeping your back and arms straight and your chest pointing up. Make sure you have an overhand grip.
Clean & Jerk
  1. Deadlift the bar upwards by extending your hips and knees. Your back should remain the same as you lift the weight. As the bar reaches knee height, explode by extending your hips, knees and ankles to a fully extended position to move the bar upwards in a straight line as fast as possible. The bar should make contact with your thigh after it passes your knees and you drive your hips forward. Execute this while simultaneously curling in your wrists towards your body.
  2. Pull the bar up towards your chest and drop down underneath the bar, catching it in a front half squat position with the bar resting on your clavicle and shoulders.
  3. Stand straight up by pushing the weight through your feet while maintaining the barbell at the rack position (resting on your clavicle and shoulders).
  4. Slightly bend your knees, then explode by extending your leg straight and pressing the barbell completely overhead, like a military shoulder press. Slowly lower the bar down to your chest again, and then let the barbell drop down to the floor if using bumper plates.

Exercise 3: Dumbbell Walking Lunges, 12 reps (6 reps per side)

  1. Start standing with dumbbells held down by your sides.
  2. Take a step forward with your first leg landing on your heel with about a 90-degree bend in your foot.
  3. Lower your body by flexing your front knee and hip until the knee of rear leg is almost in contact with floor. Keep your torso upright during this movement. At this point, lunge forward with opposite leg, making sure that the knee stays aligned with the ankle. Repeat by alternating lunges with opposite legs.
Dumbbell walking lunges

Exercise 4: Weighted Chin-Ups, 6-8 reps

  1. Step up and grasp the bar with an underhand and shoulder-width grip.
  2. Pull your body up until your chin is above the bar.
  3. Lower your body until your arms and shoulders are fully extended. Attach weight by using a weight belt or holding a dumbbell between your legs. Repeat.
Weighted Chin-up

Exercise 5: Flat Dumbbell Bilateral Chest Press, 8-10 reps

  1. Lie down on your back, flat on the floor, holding a dumbbell in one hand.
  2. Keep both legs and feet flat on the floor. Begin with the dumbbell over your chest with your arm fully extended.
  3. Place the non-working hand flat on the floor with your palm down with a 45-degree angle, with your fingers pointing towards your toes. Lower the weight until your elbow is at 90 degrees. Focus on engaging your pecs, triceps and core to press it up. Do 8 to 10 reps, then repeat movement with opposite arm.
Bilateral chest press

Exercise 6: Landmine Core Rotations, 12-16 reps

  1. Place a barbell into a landmine attachment or make sure it’s securely in a corner. Once you have selected the appropriate weight for yourself, bend your knees, pick up the bar and raise it to shoulder height with both hands, then press overhead with both arms extended.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. This will be your starting position.
  3. Perform the movement by rotating the trunk and hips to one side and pivoting the opposite foot in that direction.
  4. Keep your arms extended throughout the exercise and keep your chest up by bringing your shoulder blades back and down. Continue alternating this movement from side to side maintaining good posture and a neutral alignment in the spine.
Landmine core rotations

CARDIO/CONDITIONING:

Treadmill Tabatas:

On a treadmill, set the speed at a level that you would consider just less than that of a sprint. Run for 20 seconds, then safely use the hand rails to get both of your feet off to the sides. Rest for 10 second, then repeat for 8 minutes.

In this workout you have effectively trained in all the elements that would help in making you stronger, faster and more conditioned for better performance and to get that lean, mean fighter physique you want! Feel free to sub in some of the other exercises we discussed in the previous issues in place of the exercises in this program in about 8 to 12 weeks. This will help to give your body a new stimulus to adapt to, so you can continue making progress to achieving that fighter fit physique!

4-Part Series

  • By Will Romero
    By Will Romero Six Star Ambassador, Professional MMA Athlete & Trainer

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