MMA fighters train brutally hard to compete in their sport. Their workouts vary widely between working on skill-sets, extreme conditioning, and strength training. Some fighters also learn the hard way that it is possible to over-train for a fight, if you can believe it. Fighting might come from some of the earliest most instinctual place of human evolution, but modern fighters have taken training and preparation to whole new levels.
Because all combat sports require a great deal of aerobic horsepower, improving your VO2 max can make a big difference in your conditioning. Quite simply, more oxygen delivered to working muscles means their endurance will improve because they’ll have to rely less on anaerobic processes for the ATP fuel the need to contract. A stronger heart will deliver more oxygen than a weaker one and developing this type of cardiac strength is an absolute must to have a good VO2 max and good conditioning.
MMA is a complex sport that involves many different art forms. Fighters are forced to balance all aspects of their fight training, including boxing, Muay Thai, kickboxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu, drilling, technique, sparring and more. On top of this, they also need to fit some type of strength and conditioning plan, pay their bills, eat, sleep, and manage to squeeze in a personal life (family, friends, kids, etc).
Mixed martial arts promotions typically require that male fighters wear shorts in addition to being barechested, thus precluding the use of gi or fighting kimono to inhibit or assist submission holds. Male fighters are required by most athletic commissions to wear groin protectors underneath their trunks. Female fighters wear short shorts and sports bras or other similarly snug-fitting tops. Both male and female fighters are required to wear a mouthguard.
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