Rooted in the ancient Olympic wrestling and boxing hybrid Pankration, MMA’s combat training packs a one-two punch, providing participants with intense self-defense techniques, along with a level of overall endurance and athleticism that few other sports can muster.
MMA fighters hone a range of skills – from the agility of a soccer player and the brute strength of a football player, to the balance of a gymnast and the toughness of a boxer.
Even professional athletes are utilizing MMA as a tool for getting in game-ready shape. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, for example, implements MMA training in his off-time, attributing it to his ability to get into peak physical condition for the playing field.
“It’s awesome cross-training for me, a great high-intensity workout,” Fitzgerald told Loretta Hunt of SI.com. “I can implement it into some of my offseason training to change it up. I do some of the hand work, foot quickness, ladder drills, some of the in-ring work to make me quicker and more explosive with my feet and in the hand battles I have to get into on the line of scrimmage. The cardiovascular conditioning and core work is just fantastic. I don’t do much of the sparring with guys hitting me, but I do shadowboxing and legwork like that, so I’m always left hurting when I leave the ring.”
Pro football players and in-ring fighters aside, if you’re looking for a workout with the intensity of MMA in the privacy of your own living room, Les Mills COMBAT (another home workout program from the folks at Beachbody) lets you “work out like a warrior,” blending calorie-blasting interval training with explosive moves from a range of martial arts disciplines.
COMBAT pulls dynamic combinations from Karate/Kung Fu, Capoeira, Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai/Kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do and Boxing, focusing on fast-twitch muscle fibers – the ones with the greatest capacity for change.
Master trainers Dan Cohen, a former British Master Kickboxing Champion and runner-up for the World Kickboxing Championship, and Rach Newsham, a graduate of the world-renowned WMC Lamai Muaythai Camp in Thailand, teach in escalating sequences – moving from controlled moves to power moves before building to vigorous high-speed combinations.
The result? Stay tuned... I’m currently testing the program, so I’ll be posting an in-depth review of my experience with COMBAT shortly. In the meantime, visit Beachbody.com for more information on the program.