Superhuman Physique

MMA Muscles: Strength and Conditioning

Strength and conditioning are two words that are tossed around frequently on the internet. You’ll often find them used an awful lot in adverts for supplements or paid-for-plans.

It’s a shame that the very words themselves are coming into disrepute as increasing your strength and conditioning is one of the best ways to improve your body, overall.

Not only will it do wonders to your body health-wise, but your appearance will obviously benefit as you’ll have much more solid muscle on you and well-shaped muscle at that.

Strength and condition training is almost an entirely different entity to a simple workout. It’s best to approach a session involving both of them as training, as opposed to a routine.


Envision a goal and work towards it until you hit it. This is more than a simple workout, this is a full-body experience, a lifestyle and a damn good way to get the body you deserve.

If you’re willing to put the effort in you’ll soon have a body like your MMA heroes.

Because of how intense a strength and conditioning session can be it’s best to rigorously stick to your routine and perform a well-planned out warm-up beforehand, every time.

By sticking to this mindset and routine you’ll not only limit (or eliminate) any potential injuries you may receive, you’ll also increase the effects of your training.

The Warm-Up

Warm-ups are so essential to a good strength and conditioning session. Perform your usual routine if you want, things such as lifting lighter sets before you start on the big bad boys, but ensure that you try out some of these fairly specialist warm-up methods as well.

Shape yourself a warm-up that works for you and stick to it if you’re seeing benefits.

Performing static stretches for the tonic muscles in your body is always a good way to begin your warm-up. Not everybody knows which are the tonic muscles in their body, so ensure you check with a physio specialist or doctor beforehand. As a general rule-of-thumb the pec minor and psoas muscles are usually tonic, though.

Flexibility and mobility are massively important to strength and conditioning, especially in a warm-up. Perform several dynamic mobility exercises to increase your bodies versatility.

In essence, dynamic mobility exercises are journeys that your muscles can take. You must perform a full range of movements so as to involve all parts of the muscle and strengthen it, as well as limbering it up for the training you’re about to undergo.

As always you should check all of your equipment beforehand, especially if you’re sparring. Ensure that everything is as it should be because an accident in an intense workout could lead to some big problems down the line.

The Work-Out

It’s fairly obvious just how much MMA fighters work out. You need only take one look at any of them to see that they follow a strict fitness and diet plan.

Strength and conditioning is just one of the many aspects they’ll focus on in their work-outs and training sessions, so don’t think of it as being the only thing you need to do to get a body like them

As every single person is different we won’t describe a strict plan that you have to stick to. The best routines are always organic and created by testing the waters. See what you can achieve and what you can put up with and you’ll find the perfect routine.

Follow these guidelines and tips, though, and you’ll be able to optimize your workout exponentially.

Dead-lifts are one of the most effective aspects of this work-out. You’re all probably aware of the benefits that can be gained from this type of lifting. If you’re a newcomer or just a weekend warrior in the gym you may only be aware of it in passing.

Dead-lifts are essential in building explosive power like that demonstrated by MMA fighters. Working your glutes and hamstrings is going to increase your strength a whole lot.

Squats are a good exercise to start on as well, if you’re not ready for the big dead-lifts.

Running is a massively beneficial exercise that should be considered when planning your routine. There’s various arguments that state that running can be bad for your muscles if done too often. Once or twice a week, running for a fairly long distance, though, can only do good.

Short-distance runs will be equally as good for you and are sure to help you out with the ‘explosive power’ discussed earlier. Interval training is something that you should think about intertwining with runs (whatever distance). Perhaps doing one or the other on-and-off.

Sparring during strength and conditioning work-outs is greatly encouraged. This can help with a number of things. It’ll improve your breathing ability and your general fitness, as well as increase your reaction time/speed.

Too make the most out of sparring just a few low intensity bouts each work-out session is a good idea, perhaps a higher intensity spar once or twice a week. You don’t want to jump in the deep end, so just play it safe for the first few sessions.

The Conclusion

Obviously this shouldn’t be treated as the go-to-bible of strength and conditioning. Think of it more as a general introduction to the concept.

We’ll cover various exercises in more detail at a later date and possible help you draw up a respectable and demanding work-out as more of you start to read our articles.

One last thing to consider. When training in strength and conditioning always stay hydrated. You don’t want to be that one guy who collapses at his first session!

About the author


I know a lot about health, but it didn't start out that way. For years I felt miserable; had a bad immune system, constant colds, headaches, gut problems, mucus, parasites, you name it - one of our writers probably had it. Read this page or stay unhealthy! I mean it!

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