Today I’ll tell you about the 10 benefits of MMA training, and some of them might be surprising.
1. Fat loss
Unlike some other sports, MMA is a full-body workout that can help you build strength, endurance, and flexibility. This type of training can also help you burn calories and fat. If you want to lose weight you of course must regulate your diet to achieve a caloric deficit.
MMA training can make this process easier as it burns up to 700 calories per hour, according to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
2. Improved strength and endurance
MMA training can also help you improve your strength and endurance. A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that MMA training can help you increase your muscular strength and endurance.
The study found that participants who trained for 12 weeks had a significant increase in their upper- and lower-body strength, as well as their VO2 max (a measure of cardiorespiratory fitness).
This is not surprising since many MMA techniques require explosive movements, and the drills and sparrings will develop your endurance.
3. Better flexibility
MMA training can also help you improve your flexibility. This is because many of the moves, like the high kick, for example, require a great deal of range of motion. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that MMA training can help you increase your flexibility by up to 28%!
This is an important benefit, as increased flexibility can help you reduce your risk of injuries.
4. Self-defense skills
In addition to the physical benefits, MMA training can also help you learn self-defense skills. This is because many of the moves and techniques used in MMA can be used for self-defense purposes.
A study published in the Journal of Combative Sport found that participants who took part in an MMA training program had significantly higher levels of self-efficacy (confidence in one’s ability to defend oneself) than those who did not participate in the program.
One part of MMA is especially good for self-defense on the street. That is boxing and it is your best bet against multiple attackers.
5. Increased confidence
The benefits of MMA training extend beyond the physical and self-defense realms. MMA training can also help you increase your confidence. This is likely due to the fact that MMA requires you to face your fears and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. The more abilities you gain as a result of your training, the more confident you will start to feel.
It is not uncommon that many of my students to report not feeling insecure anymore if they get into an argument in the street or in traffic. Before they might have either retreated from an argument in fear, or they might have over-reacted and almost started a fight.
Both scenarios happen because of fear and insecurity. After they’ve spent some months in training these situations usually do not happen anymore as they start to react appropriately. Either by being confidently assertive or by defusing the situation.
6. Stress relief
The benefits of MMA training extend to your mental health as well. Participation in any physical activity can help relieve stress, and MMA is no exception.
Endorphins, also known as feel-good hormones, are released during physical activity, which can help improve your mood. MMA training can also help you develop a more positive outlook on life. This is because the sport requires you to set goals and work hard to achieve them.
The sense of accomplishment that comes with reaching your goals can help boost your self-confidence and improve your overall mental well-being.
One of the benefits of MMA training that is often overlooked is the introspection it can provide. This self-awareness can help you better understand your thoughts and emotions, which can lead to improved mental well-being. MMA training requires you to face your fears and push yourself outside of your comfort zone. This can be a daunting task, but it is also an opportunity to grow as a person.
You will start to notice when your mind is giving you excuses not to do something. For example, you might not feel like going running today or sparring “that guy” that always dominates you. We all have one. So you might find a way to avoid him or whatever it is you don’t feel like doing, but is necessary for your improvement.
If you are honest with yourself, you will realize that your mind is playing tricks on you. It requires effort and persistence to continuously defeat your coward voice.
To learn more about this subject, check out my video titled Do What You Don’t Feel Like Doing.
8. Making your body intelligent
Unlike strength training or running, where you move in one plane like an industrial machine, and thus stupify your body, MMA makes your body intelligent as it teaches you to use it in various scenarios.
While strength training and running are beneficial and should be done, there is no comparison to MMA training which is absolutely superior when it comes to developing body awareness and instincts in relation to combat.
In MMA you move your body in a three-dimensional space. This is because many of the moves and techniques used in MMA require you to move in all directions. This can help improve your coordination and balance, as well as your overall physical fitness. MMA training can also help you develop better spatial awareness.
This is because you will need to be aware of your opponent’s movements and position in relation to your own. Improving your spatial awareness can have benefits in all areas of life, from driving a car to playing sports.
One of the great benefits of MMA training is the camaraderie that it fosters. The sport requires a great deal of discipline and commitment, which can help you develop strong bonds with your fellow training partners since you are sharing this experience together.
These relationships can provide support both inside and outside of the gym and that can be the difference between quitting and staying the course.
10. Mindfulness and return to our bodies
Modern life has created a two-fold problem: we are disembodied and unconcentrated most of the time.
We sit all day at work staring at the screen, our consciousness being out there somewhere online and our bodies are withering away from inactivity. We also get distracted by smartphones, social media, and the quick pace of life. So we don’t really inhabit our bodies properly and are rarely fully concentrated or mindful of the task at hand.
Hence the popularity of the mindfulness concept in the West for quite some time now. There are many forms of meditation and yoga that promise to make you more mindful.
While those can definitely help, I’m here to tell you that nothing puts you in the present moment, and in your body, as MMA does. You will find it very difficult to be distracted and not be in the moment while your opponent’s fist is flying to your face. It forces you to be present and mindful.
On top of that, you will get to use your body in different regimes in MMA: in the stand-up, clinch, and on the ground.
You will feel more alive and awake than ever before.
As you can see, there are many benefits of MMA training. This unique sport can help you improve your physical fitness, learn self-defense skills, and increase your confidence. If you are looking for a way to improve your life, consider giving MMA a try!
MMA has something to offer everyone – whether you’re looking to get fit, learn self-defense, become a fighter or just relieve some stress. So don’t wait any longer. Give MMA a try today!
You might just be surprised at how much it can improve your life.