Complete MMA training Program - A Definite Guide
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Complete MMA Training – A Definite Guide

Complete MMA Training – A Definite Guide


Today I’ll show you what a complete MMA training program needs to have and what you have to take into account when designing one. Here is what we’ll explore today:

1. Are you an MMA fighter or an enthusiast?
2. Training separate martial arts for MMA
3. Learning MMA-specific techniques
4. Strength and conditioning for MMA
5. Recovery for MMA
6. Mental training for MMA
7. Training intensity

MMA training encompasses all of the physical, mental, and technical aspects necessary to compete in the sport. While there are many different styles and schools of thought when it comes to training, a complete MMA training program should address all of the key elements necessary for success in the cage.

1. Are you an MMA fighter or an enthusiast?

The intensity and volume of your MMA training will differ depending on whether you’re a pro-MMA fighter or an enthusiast looking to get in shape and learn some fighting techniques. If you’re a fighter, your training will be much more intense and your skill set needs to be much broader for success in competition.

You will train 2-3 times a day at least 5 days a week. You will spar a lot and sometimes that sparring will be quite intense, although I don’t recommend hard strikes to the head, even if you’re a pro fighter. Save that for competition.

On the other hand, if you’re an enthusiast who just wants to get in shape and learn how to fight, your training will be less intense but should still cover all of the key elements necessary for MMA. And If you think you’re too old for MMA, click here.

2. Training separate martial arts for MMA

You may have noticed that many MMA fighters come from backgrounds in various martial arts. Whatever your base art is, you will need to train in several different stand-alone combat sports to have success in MMA.

This is because learning multiple martial arts can give you a significant advantage in MMA competition. Each martial art has its own strengths and weaknesses, and by training in multiple disciplines, you can learn to exploit the strengths of each while offsetting the weaknesses.

For example, a striker who has trained in boxing may have difficulty defending a takedown from a wrestler, but if he also trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu he will be able to not only defend himself on the ground if taken down but also finish the fight with a submission. I’ve seen it many times.

3. Learning MMA-specific techniques

In addition to training in separate martial arts, it is also important to learn techniques and methodologies that are specific to MMA. This includes things like how to set up takedowns with punches, how to defend the takedown, how to use the fence for standing up, how to use punches on the ground AKA ground & pound, and many other elements.

It is not enough to be good at individual arts. It is certainly necessary but the best MMA fighters are the ones that have mastered the transitions which can only be done by doing MMA-specific training.

4. Strength and conditioning for MMA

Mixed martial arts is an intense and grueling sport. To be successful, it is important to have a good strength and conditioning program. This will help you to be in peak physical condition for your fights.

There are many different ways to train for MMA but some basic things that all fighters should do are lifting weights, running, and doing plyometrics. These exercises will help to build the explosive power, strength, and endurance that you need to be successful in the cage.

Remember, this is only a supplement to your fighting training and should not be overdone. You can be in great shape by mostly doing fighting training. Check out the video where I discuss this topic. And also the interview with a strength & conditioning coach Mladen Jovanović.

5. Recovery after MMA training

Rest and recovery in MMA

Recovery is just as important as the training itself. Here are a few tips:

a) Get plenty of sleep. This will help your body recover from the physical stress of training and prepare you for the next day. If possible, get a nap in the afternoon. But not longer than 1.5 hours as that will disturb your night’s sleep.

b) Eat healthy foods. A nutritious diet will help your body repair itself and rebuild muscle tissue. Avoid junk food and especially alcohol which will lower your testosterone.

c) Drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated. Drink approximately 5 liters of water per day. I used to drink two liters during a grueling 1.5-hour session.

d) Stretch and foam roll. Stretching and using a foam roller will help release built-up tension in your muscles and improve your range of motion. This will help prevent injuries and speed up recovery time.

e) Use supplements wisely. Supplements can be helpful, but they are not a substitute for a good diet and training program. Use them wisely and don’t overdo them. Learn about which ones actually work.

f) Don’t spend the entire day in bed on your rest day. That will mess up your muscles and you won’t be able to get into the groove for a few days. Instead, go for long walks and maybe do a light stretch.

I have a separate article/video on recovery which you can find here.

6. Mental Training for MMA

Mental training is just as important as physical training when it comes to MMA. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

You need to be mentally strong to withstand the physical punishment that comes with training and fighting. I’ve seen people quit because they can’t handle the pain of everyday training. Like John Danaher says: the toughest fighters mentally are the ones that show up day after day, year after year, and keep training.

There will be days when you will not feel like going to practice. You will not feel like going out for a run or sparring “that guy” that always dominates you. We all have one. But you will still have to in order to improve.

Training every day is not the only thing that will test your mental resolve. You also need to have a strong mindset going into a competition. If you don’t believe you can win, then you’ve already lost.

There are various things that you can do to improve your mental game that are beyond the scope of this video. Here are a few videos on mental game for MMA so you explore this subject more.

7. Training intensity

It can make or break your progress. If you go too easy on yourself, you won’t make any gains. But if you train too hard, you’ll risk injury or burnout. So how do you find a happy medium and stick to it?

I used to have no more than 2 very intense training sessions per week. I learned that like I learned most things – the hard way.

During my Judo days, I destroyed my body with two intense trainings per day. It made me mentally tough but my body paid a heavy price. When I switched to MMA, I knew how to train properly and avoided training intensely all the time.

Sometimes I even trained 3 times a day, but with medium to high intensity. I went very intense only 1-2 times per week. Usually on Saturdays when we had MMA sparring. When I say very intense I don’t mean trying to rip my training partner’s head off. No, we were careful not to injure each other. I meant how tired we used to get.


This was an overview of what a complete MMA training program must contain. For a complete guide, check out my MMA Mastery Course where I go into minute detail and teach you how to train MMA properly. Check it out by clicking the link in the description or in the cards.

If you’re an enthusiast, you will not have to do all of the things that a fighter does, but you can still follow these recommendations in order to make the best of your training experience. A fighter’s training program will of course be more intense, but following these tips can significantly increase your chance of success and reduce the probability of injury.

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