Developing Explosive Power For MMA by Joel Jamieson

  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.



In almost every sport, the ability to be explosive and powerful often goes hand in hand with success, and this is especially true in mixed martial arts (MMA). Being a faster and more explosive fighter gives you the ability to overpower, outwork, and outgun your opponent from start to finish. Almost every athlete can dramatically improve their power with the right program, but very few programs get it right.

In this article, I will teach you the keys to doing it right. I will show you how to dramatically improve your explosive power, and most importantly, how to develop it specifically for MMA. I will also do much more than just give you a few exercises to throw together, as many coaches often do. I will lay out the foundation, specific methods, and science behind explosive power development for MMA and show you why my program is different.

If you have no interest in the real science and philosophy of explosive power training, feel free to skip to the end. However, for those who want to know the how and the why of strength and conditioning, read on…

What is power?

In the cage or octagon, power is more than just a physics equation. It’s your chance to knock your opponent out, ground and pound until the referee stops it, or grind out a punishing decision. In MMA, power doesn’t just depend on how strong or how fast you are. It also depends on how well conditioned your specific energy systems are to allow you to produce power when it counts.

This type of power isn’t just a measure of muscular strength and/or speed but rather a measure of the power of your energy systems. Think of how high your vertical jump is or how hard you can punch or kick as a measure of external power. Your energy system power can be thought of as internal power.

Understanding how to develop the power of your energy systems and how to apply this power to MMA is the result of intelligent planning and specific training. It’s also how you can succeed where other programs often fail.

Energy system power

The body has three principle systems that it uses in an overlapping fashion to produce the energy your body needs to survive, move around, and punch, kick, or elbow people in the face. These systems are known as the anaerobic-alactic, anaerobic-lactic, and aerobic systems. The three systems vary both in terms of how fast they are able to produce energy and how long they are able to sustain that energy production. This means that each energy system has a power component as well as a capacity component.

Think of the power component as the size of the engine. The bigger the engine, the more horsepower it can create. Think of the capacity as the size of the gas tank. The larger the gas tank, the longer the system can produce energy.

The system I’m going to discuss in depth is the alactic energy system. When trained properly, it is the key to devastating striking and brutal ground and pound. I’ll lay out for you the specific periodization plan needed to maximally develop your alactic power, and I’ll give you the principles and methods that I’ve used to prepare some of today’s most explosive top fighters.

Alactic system 101

Before I get into the details of how to improve your explosive power, it’s important to understand more about how the system works. The alactic energy system is also known as the creatine system or the ATC-PC system. It’s the most powerful of the three energy systems, though this also means that it has the shortest duration as well. The alactic system fuels the most explosive efforts—those few crushing seconds that result in your opponent getting knocked out, tapped out, or the fight stopped by the referee.

All three energy systems ultimately produce the body’s energy currency known as ATP, but the alactic system can produce extremely high levels of power because it requires very few chemical reactions to generate the ATP needed for muscular contractions. Fewer chemical steps mean that ATP can be generated very quickly. However, it also means that it’s capable of using all of its energy producing capacity very quickly and generally only lasts 10–12 seconds at max power.

Training properly improves just how explosive you can be in those 10–12 seconds, and it can extend how long you can maintain that power. In a fight, this can mean the difference between a knockdown and a knockout or the difference between getting the takedown and taking a knee to the face on the way in.

How much power you’re able to generate using the alactic system is the result of a few different components. Once you understand these components and how to improve them, putting together a program is just a matter of piecing together the puzzle.

Pieces of the puzzle

How much power you’re able to generate using the alactic system can be broken down into mechanical and metabolic components of the neuromuscular system. This probably sounds more complicated than it really is, but it’s important to understand. The mechanical side of the equation simply means how much force the muscle is able to generate and how fast it’s able to generate it. This primarily depends on the nervous system’s ability to rapidly contract as much muscle as possible at once and on how well the supporting connective tissues (tendons, fascia, etc.) can use elastic energy to produce force.

The second half of the alactic power equation stems from the metabolic properties of the muscle, or in other words, how efficiently they produce the ATP that they need to contract. The faster the chemical reactions of the alactic system can take place and the more of the raw materials the muscles are able to store in them, the more power you’ll be able to generate. The speed of the chemical reactions can be thought of as the horsepower of the system while the storage capacity can be thought of as the size of the gas tank.

Training to improve alactic power means that both sides of the equation need to be developed. The nervous system must be developed to contract the maximum amount of muscle as rapidly as possible, and the connective tissues must be trained to use elastic energy effectively. This will result in stronger, more explosive muscular contractions. In addition, the energy producing properties of the neuromuscular system must be developed to fuel these explosive contractions using the alactic energy system to the maximum of its ability.

The programmed progression

Now that the scientific part is out of the way, it’s time to get down to business and tell you just how it’s done. Applied correctly, the training progression will dramatically improve your explosive conditioning specific to MMA and help give you that fight ending knockout power that every fighter wants.

Alactic power development should take place over three separate but overlapping blocks or phases of training. Each of these phases is designed to develop the mechanical and metabolic properties of the neuromuscular system that we just discussed. The three blocks are sequenced specifically to develop these properties in the correct order for their maximal development. In other words, the properties that are developed in one block form the basis for the development of the properties that will be targeted in the next block. This is exactly what periodization is all about—or at least what it should be about. Keep in mind, the final stage is designed to take place in the final stages prior to a fight because this is when your explosive power should reach its peak.

Block A: Max explosive strength

The purpose of the first block is to increase the mechanical potential of the muscles (i.e., their max effort power) by raising the abilities of the nervous system. This motor ability is also known as starting strength. You want to start by improving your maximum one repetition power and rate of force development because this will provide the foundation for training your ability to maintain this explosive power in the later blocks.

Block A should come just after a maximal strength block in your yearly training cycle and will generally last 3–6 weeks. The focus should be on 100 percent quality and maximal acceleration on each and every repetition. Be sure to strictly follow the guidelines for rest.

For Block A, the following principles should be used to improve maximum explosive strength:

Reps: 1–8 per exercise

Sets: 3–5 per exercise

Rest: 2–4 minutes between sets, 6–10 minutes between exercises (active rest)

Tempo: Max acceleration, 1–2-second pause between reps

Volume: 2–6 exercises per workout

Exercise selection: squats, Olympic lift variations, jump squats, jump lunges, presses, explosive jumps, and heavy medicine ball throws

The complex method is extremely effective at improving maximum explosive strength and can be used for a period of 2–3 weeks in the middle of the block.

Exercise A (max strength exercise): 2–3 sets of 2–3 reps at 90–95 percent resistance

Exercise B (jumping or ballistic upper body exercise): 3 sets of 6–8 reps at 30 percent

3–4 minutes active rest between sets

4–5 minutes active rest between exercise A and B

8–10 minutes active rest between groups of exercises (series)

2–3 series per workout

Block B: Max alactic power

After you’ve improved you max explosive strength in Block A, it’s time to develop the ability to maintain this power output by focusing on the max power of the alactic system. The elastic properties of the neuromuscular system (also known as reactive strength) will also be developed during this phase and will serve to further improve your overall explosive power and build upon the previous block. In order to improve max alactic power, specific exercises will be selected that allow for maximum power output for 10–12 seconds.

The transition from general to specific exercise selection will also begin, and the principles of this phase should also be utilized specifically in your MMA skill development. By the end of the block, the exercises used should consist of explosive MMA drills (i.e., bag and pad work along with grappling and ground drills). The focus should be on maximum intensity of effort for each 10–12-second set.

You should begin monitoring your heart rate in between sets to gauge heart rate recovery. Use this to set rest intervals. You will notice that your heart rate decreases faster during intervals between sets as your explosive conditioning improves. Block B should last 2–4 weeks.

For Block B, the following principles should be used to improve maximum alactic power:

Time: 10–12 seconds per set

Reps: 8–15 per set

Sets: 6–10 sets per exercise

Rest between sets: rest until heart rate drops to 130–140 beats per minute

Rest between exercises: 8–10 minutes active rest

Tempo: approximately one second per repetition

Load: 30–50 percent

Exercise selection: jump squats with kettlebells, explosive jump exercises, uphill running, stair jump, explosive push-ups/pull-ups, medicine ball throws, explosive wrestling drills, and pad and bag work

Volume: 2–4 exercises per workout

Block C: Alactic capacity

Now that you’ve significantly increased your maximum explosive strength and alactic power in the first two blocks, it’s necessary to finalize these improvements by maximizing how long you can maintain your explosive power and ensuring that it’s specific to MMA. This is the final stage. At the end of the block, your explosive power will reach its peak.

In order to develop your alactic capacity, slightly longer work intervals will be used along with shorter rest intervals. By doing this, a maximal demand is placed on the alactic system’s capacity. Thus, it will adapt by improving. Keep in mind, there is a strong genetic component to this capacity, and there is only so much it can possibly improve. You can improve your alactic capacity by 10–20 percent with intelligent training, but your alactic system is ultimately limited by the amount of creatine phosphate and ATP that can be stored in the muscle. So, there will always be an upper limit to its capacity.

An important part of Block C is the finalized transition from general to specific exercises. This means you should only use exercises and drills that are specific to your sport. In MMA, that gives you the option of doing pad and bag work, wrestling drills, and ground and pound drills. The focus should be on maintaining proper technique in the drill at the highest rate of speed possible.

You should continue monitoring your heart rate in between sets to gauge heart rate recovery. As your conditioning and power endurance improve, decrease the rest intervals over the course of the block until they are only 10–20 seconds long. You will continue to notice that your heart rate decreases more quickly during intervals between sets as your explosive conditioning improves. By the end of this block, you should be able to keep your average heart rate under your anaerobic threshold.

Block C should last 2–3 weeks. For Block C, the following principles should be used to improve maximum alactic capacity:

Time: 12–20 seconds per set

Reps: 10–20 per set

Sets: 4–8 sets per exercise

Volume: 2–3 exercises per workout

Rest between sets: start with 30–45 seconds and decrease to 10–20 seconds

Rest between exercises: 10–12 minutes of active rest

Tempo: max speed

Exercise selection: explosive drills specific to MMA disciplines

Joel Jamieson is one of mixed martial arts’ top strength and conditioning coaches and has worked with six world champions and more than 20 of today’s top MMA professionals from every major MMA organization including the UFC, Pride, Dream, EliteXC, Shooto, WEC, K-1, and more. His client list includes top stars and legends such as Rich Franklin, Chris Leben, Hayato Sakurai, Jens Pulver, Spencer Fisher, Maurice Smith, KJ Noons, and many more. For the latest in cutting edge MMA training and more articles featuring training methods that you won’t find anywhere else, visit www.8weeksout.com.

Elite Fitness Systems strives to be a recognized leader in the strength training industry by providing the highest quality strength training products and services while providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. For the best training equipment, information, and accessories, visit us at www.EliteFTS.com.

 







Copyright© 1998-2008 Elite Fitness Systems. All rights reserved.
You may reproduce this article by including this copyright
and, if reproducing it electronically, including a link to
www.Elitefts.com

Submitted by DMorgan on Fri, 11/21/2008 - 3:53pm.

| Related Articles