You could be an MMA pro preparing for a fight in the octagon. Or…you just want to look like one.
Whatever the case, don’t worry. The popularity of mixed martial arts in recent years hasn’t gone unnoticed. I mean, take fighters, Georges St. Pierre and Gina Carano—the former having fought with Captain America himself and the latter played a hitman-for-hire opposite Channing Tatum.
Let’s be honest. The goal is to look as badass as these two—and the rest of their fight crew. And it isn’t the easiest thing to do. It needs effort, hard work, dedication and all attendant clichés required to produce even the most basic of six-pack abs—and that’s just scratching the surface of it all. You need to have endurance, strong aerobic and anaerobic systems, basically taking your fitness regime to the next level.
Here are a few tips on how to get started:
- Try it all
Inside the octagon, speed, flexibility and strength all matter in equal parts. Which means if you want to look like a fighter or be a fighter, you have to know and be a master of your technique. While, at the same time, still have the agility and endurance to go on 5 minute rounds with an opponent that essentially wants to pummel you death.
Your instincts have to be pretty spot on and you can hone these by trying out exercises that are designed to hone these. Try exercises that require a lot of coordination, especially ones that mimic striking, grappling and kicking.
- Pace yourself
You pretty much to be ready to train 24/7 when you’re a fighter. But you also have to know how to pace yourself when you’re building strength and endurance to prepare yourself for the octagon.
The best way to do this is via high intensity interval training, designed to improve your endurance, power and speed. In the simplest terms, this helps your metabolism stay jacked up longer, which means you burn fat faster and more consistently.
Exercises that help you achieve this are sprints, weightlifting and going rounds fighting.
- Don’t forget to stretch
Octagon fighters are more flexible than you would expect. Between the round-house kicks, high kicks, grappling and all around jiu jitsu, wrestling or any other martial art technique, being able to move precisely and do so with strength will be based a lot on how prepared your muscles are to take on your opponent. It will help lengthen your muscle tissue and improve your mobility as well as your power.
- Eat smart
Just because you’re training intensively means you can pile on the junk. You have to be smart about what you eat. Whole foods are preferred. Fast food, processed food and junk food, including soda, are not advisable. It will make you feel sluggish and slow—not exactly what you want when you’re in the octagon fighting for your title (or life).