It can be tough to juggle college, job, and life with MMA training and you need to be really good at time management to be able to make all of that happen. So how do you do it without losing your mind?
Today I’ll show you how to best organize your MMA training schedule, keep your sanity, your health and social life.
TIP #1: YOU CAN’T TRAIN ALL OF THE ARTS
This means that if MMA is not your full-time job, and for most fighters it is not, it’s going to be difficult training everything. Meaning BJJ, Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling and MMA classes in one week’s typical mma training schedule. Something’s gotta give.
I suggest having 2-3 MMA classes per week and a few other arts to supplement your MMA training. For example 2 x week BJJ and 1-2 x week Muay Thai. Stick to that regimen that for a couple of months.
Would it be good to train boxing and wrestling also? Of course it would, but you don’t have the time since maybe you’re going to college or you’re working. So be realistic and train as much as you can but no more.
You might not be doing pure boxing, but you will still be learning how to use your hands in MMA and Muay Thai classes. You might not be training pure wrestling, but you will be learning takedowns in BJJ and MMA classes. So you will cover all aspects, and it will be a good mma training schedule for beginners, but also for more experienced athletes.
You could change your regimen up in a couple of months.
TIP #2: GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Many think they can do more in a day if they sleep less. If you’re one of these people, then you will quickly learn that is not the case. Lack of sleep can cost you a lot, and it’s one of the things I talked about in this video.
Sure, there are people that need a lot less sleep than most of us, but they are few and far in between, and they are like that genetically. One of the problems is that we live in a culture that often treats sleep as weakness, and people who forgo sleep as tough go-getters, while the rest of us are labeled as lazy.
Most of us need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. When we train hard, we need even more.
When I trained hard several times per day, I slept 7-8 hours during the night and had a one-hour nap in the afternoon. And if I had 6 hours of sleep per night for a couple of days, I either got sick on the third day or I had a herpes outbreak which is a sign of a compromised immunity. That happened without fail.
And that is the least that can happen.
TIP #3: IT WILL TAKE TIME SO BE PATIENT
This is a short one but it is important. Even if you have the best MMA training schedule, the progress will not happen overnight so be patient and give it time.
Today, when everything is just one click away, and when young people are used to getting instant access to anything, patience is a scarce commodity. Everything that is worth something will require patience and time. MMA is no different.
TIP #4: EVALUATE IF YOU’RE TRAINING WITH THE WRONG PEOPLE
There are so many factors that determine if you are going to be successful in MMA or not. Your training regimen is just one of them. Another is whether you’re training with the right people.
Did you find the best coaches in your area? Are you in a friendly environment that fosters learning and progress or is it a kill or be killed gym? Does the coach pay attention to you or are you being neglected?
If the answer to all of these questions is no, you might want to change gyms.
TIP #5: TRAVEL TO FIND BETTER TRAINING
This will tie in nicely with the previous tip. If you cannot find an adequate gym in your hometown, be prepared to travel if possible. Yes, it is a hassle but it will be worth it.
I use to travel 90 km 2 x week to a nearby town in order to get Muay Thai lessons because my hometown didn’t have a proper Muay Thai academy at the time.
Even if you cannot travel frequently, it is much better to have 1 training per week in a stimulating environment and trained by an expert, then multiple times per week with a mediocre coach.
And you can use the time that would otherwise be wasted in travel by reading or listening to an audiobook.
TIP #6: HAVE A DAY OFF
Make sure you have at least one day off if possible. No training that day and no work. You need to recharge the batteries. This doesn’t mean lying in bed all day and binge-watching Netflix.
I recommend going out for walks or doing something fun like riding a bicycle, hiking, swimming or meet up with friends. Resting doesn’t mean rusting in bed or on the couch.
My day off was Sunday and whenever I stayed in bed too much, Monday trainings didn’t feel good and I needed a day or two to get back into the groove. If I had an active rest then Mondays were much easier.
TIP #7: SKIP ON WORKOUTS IF NECESSARY
If you feel you’re going to get sick or you’re extremely tired, skip one of two training sessions. It might sound like I talking you into being a slacker, but it’s not like that.
I’ve trained sick, with fever, injured and with a herpes outbreak (which was both selfish and stupid). And I highly advise against training in any of those states.
Your goal is the success in competition, mastery of your art or both. That sometimes means that you need to regroup and allow your body and immunity to recover.
So don’t think short-term but long-term. So skip one training or train extremely lightly. Maybe stretch only or do 1-2 rounds of light bag work. Help your body. Don’t be like me and destroy it.
The trick is to recognize when your body really needs rest and when you’re just feeling sore. There are methods like using Polar watches to measure the morning heart rate to determine how should you train that day. But most people never used them and rely on their feeling. I never used them but maybe I should have. This might be an interesting subject for another video.
How does your MMA training schedule look like?
Do you get enough sleep and how do you handle your obligations with training?
Let me know in the youtube comments.