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A Program Minimum for MMA Fighters

January 23, 2007 06:15 AM

First the program:

Man Makers as described in Enter the Kettlebell! with some variations.
Start with 10-12 minutes, but your goal is 15 minutes non-stop.

The 15 minutes are equal to three five-minute rounds. This is not my idea, it is used by the UFC training center in Las Vegas, with various drills including heavy bag, sprints and the like. They call it the F-15 protocol.

At the end of the 15 minutes do a three-minute cool down.

Cool Down:
Walk for three minutes with a KB locked out in the overhead press position, switching hands every 30 seconds. This along with your get-ups will turn your shoulders into steel.

For frequency start with twice a week. From there it is an individual thing. If you need more stamina or need to lose body weight add one more session, but not more than three total. If you still need to cut weight go on a diet?. Remember, you cannot out condition the dinner table.

Start out just as it is described in Enter the Kettlebell! with one-five minute session, twice a week. When your form is perfect, it is time to increase volume and decrease intensity. Instead of 1-5 minute rounds, just grease the groove with get-ups and add crush curls.

For the "Grease the Grove" protocol see Pavel's book The Naked Warrior.

Alternate get up 1x1 with Crush Curls 3-5 reps per set. To perform crush curls?take a kettlebell and place your palms on the round sides of the bell without your fingers on the kettlebell ? and crushing the kettlebell between your palms begin to curl the kettlebell.

Why the crush curl? Two reasons. First I have not met an MMA fighter that does not suffer an elbow or shoulder problem, most have both. I have found the crush curls to help rehab these areas. I don't know the scientific reason for this and I don't care to know. This exercise also helps drive home the point of total body tension, if you don't think so try crush curling a 24kg bell. 24 Kg is not a lot of weight to curl with two arms, right? I will guarantee if you don't tense your body you will drop the bell on your feet, at that point 53lbs. Will feel like a ton. As a bonus you will cure the closet curler.

The closet curler is an otherwise normal fighter who when in the gym, Dojo, or school does everything he is suppose to do, he also does his road work, i.e. Man Makers. But when he is home alone and knows no one is watching, he rolls a preloaded easy curl bar out from under his bed and does high rep curls. Not just a couple of sets either. Like an alcoholic doing shots of whiskey he does rep after rep chasing the pump. The worse afflicted with this disorder will have a vintage 1979 Arnold Arm Blaster to help with the process. They do not think about how this will hinder the next days training, it is very hard to hold your hands in a fighting position let alone throw punches with sore biceps.

You can explain this to him all day? and he will say he is not going to do it anymore, BUT unless you give him a positive outlet for this affliction he will continue to chase the pump. By adding crush curls you will satisfy his craving in a productive way and your fighter will still get two tickets to the gun show!

Steve Baccari, RKC
  • Head boxing coach, Kimurra BJJ, Boston
  • 15 years boxing experience as a competitor, coach, corner man, sparring partner and strength & conditioning coach
  • Has coached all levels of boxers-Silver Mittens, Silver Gloves, & Golden Gloves at the local, regional, & national level as well as top professionals
  • Blue Belt in kimura Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Member of Kimura BJJ's Competiton team