By Al Alvir
The science behind fight training is jumbled with fitness experts who know all about the body and have weeded-out the poor philosophies form the elite ones that make up the fitness world. Every fitness trainer has his methods for conditioning that he favors (maximal effort, repeated effort, dynamic, post activation potentiation, resistance, repetition, etc.) But fitness trainers, as I’ve expounded on before, may not be allowing their trainees to meet their needs for fighting. For all the linking (fight specific situational conditioning) that they incorporate into a program, they may not apply workouts that address fight specific goals. One shouldn’t care about developing upper-body muscle strength that links “whizzers” if that person has a very strong upper-body already; perhaps that person just needs to practice doing whizzers more itself.
There has to be real evidence that certain methods work more efficiently in calculating every training cycle and at every change, and whenever necessary (perpetual training cycle = needs (immediate and long-term goals)àevaluate individual and needsàdevelop programàtrainàassess training efficiency). Trainers must separate the types of conditioning: maintaining strength, building-up from deficiencies, linking to match strategy, linking to match “just-in-case” scenarios (what is not likely, but may happen in a fight), and individual learning curves. When a fighter goes from doing bench presses to butterflies with chains to suspension pull-ups and Python Striker™ shadowboxing, I question why he is doing so much conditioning for that basic one movement. Time management is a primary focus. But the trainer should maximize gains by the sequence of the work-outs in order to be efficient in the ultimate goal of peak fighting. Do you jump rope at the beginning of training or at the end? And although fitness trainers can bulk-up, cut weight, and achieve strength goals in the most efficient ways, they may not be aware of the needs as applied to the fight game strategy and individual fighters’ deficiencies in a fight. Professional trainers to the stars have whole teams to manage fighters’ programs, but I suspect that even successful, top-ranked fighters are over-training, keeping them from reaching potentials and peaks – as applied to fighting – in the most efficient ways possible.
In consideration to that, no fighter can ever over-train education. Fighters should always cycle their fight education – strategies and alternate strategies. This includes fitness education. Every fighter should know all about therapies, how his own body works, and why certain movements are made so he can always communicate with fitness coaches who may not know what is going on. A suggestion to all fighters is to use the workout that allows you to last the longest in a given day’s training and perform all drills to the relative highest possible level. This is generally the best design for a training regimen (and why I always separate sparring days or start a training session with sparring). Fighters should keep as much control over their programs as possible and must be self-advocates instead of blindly following fitness coaches and burning-out mid-training. If you’re burning-out, it does not mean you’re getting the hardest work-out, so don’t let that fool you. In time, trust develops between coaches, and training cycles are tweaked perfectly, but time is the only thing that matters. And in time, it can end up being too late.