Training the Combat Athlete

In recent months we have been asked to train many wrestlers, Jiu-Jitsu players and a few Mixed Martial Artist. All of these athletes fall under the category of combat athletes. In this post, I will go over a few points to consider when it comes to training the combat athlete.

1. Avoid “Bodybuilder” type training. There are a few things to consider here! The main goal of bodybuilders is add muscle mass, since most combat athletes have to consider weight-class and strength:weight ratios, bodybuilder-style training is not the way to go.

2. Metabolic Considerations. Have you ever tried to wrestle for 3 rounds of 2 minutes each? Have you ever tried to box for 12 rounds? These guys are in shape but they are in shape as it pertains to their sport. Many of these athletes will run for long distances (which is still needed in the program) but it is not the only way to get in shape for these sports. Metabolic circuits using kettlebells, gymnastic-type exercises and medicine ball exercises are great tool to use.

3. Grip Training. After my first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament, I could not grip a pencil for 2 days! Fortunately, we happen to work with Richard Sorin, who is famous for his grip. His recommendation were to focus on my supporting grip and grip endurance. At Athlete’s Arena, we have many ways to train the athlete’s grip.

4. Range of Motion. One of the main aspects we focus on when training combat athletes is to promote strength throughout full range of motion. Many of these athletes get themselves into strange positions. Enable to get out of these position without getting hurt, they need to be strong in that position. This is not done by training only on bench press and bicep curls!!