Basic Fighter Strength Training Program

Basic Fighter Strength Training Program

As a follow up to the article we posted a few weeks ago about why you should be strength training as a fighter, we’re going to provide you with a basic training program to help improve your strength without adding mass (assuming it’s accompanied by correct nutrition) and so increase your power to weight ratio, the ‘golden number’ as it were for a fighter.

It should be noted that any exercise if done incorrectly can be dangerous – if you don’t have your form correct for each movement you’re going to;

A) Not get the right benefit from the exercise.
B) Risk injuring yourself and being unable to train for a while, or worse, forever.

Always make sure to seek advice from a professional if you’re unsure of any exercise.

The program will be 3 sessions a week, with at least a day gap between each session, and if you are training twice a day try not to do strength and technique training on the same day, as you don’t want fatigue from the weight training to affect your technique sessions. We’re going to divide the body into three main areas and work them all on separate days. Each day will include 3 major exercises for each body part, followed by some accessory movements to work an area linked to the main one, such as abs, biceps and triceps. We’re going to stick to a simple 3 sets of 3 reps program for the really heavy lifting to avoid entering hypertrophy (building muscle mass), and higher reps for the accessory movements – even if these muscles do grow, they’re smaller and won’t result in a dramatic weight increase. All sets should be completed with a weight heavy enough that you struggle with the last repetition, which means for certain exercises such as bench press you may want to get a train partner to spot you.

The workout will split into: legs/abs, chest/biceps and back/triceps, and is divided as follows:

Leg/abs day:

Back Squat – 3 sets of 3
Deadlift – 3 sets of 3
Front Squat – 3 sets of 3
Hanging leg raises – 3 sets of 10
Russian twists – 3 sets of 10
Barbell Rollouts – 3 sets of 10

Chest day:

10% Incline Bench Press – 3 sets of 3*
10% Incline Dumbbell Press – 3 sets of 3*
Weighted Dips- 3 sets of 3
Standing Barbell Curl – 3 sets of 10
Spyder Curl – 3 sets of 10
Preacher Curl or Concentration Curl – 3 sets of 10

*Studies have shown that a 10% incline matches the angle of the shoulder when throwing a punch.

Back Day:

Bent Over Row – 3 sets of 3
Pull ups/Lat Pulldowns – 3 sets of 3
Overhead Press – 3 sets of 3
Tricep Dips – 3 sets of 10
Overhead Tricep Extensions – 3 sets of 10
Rope Pulldowns – 3 sets of 10

Over the course of the week this workout will cover the entire body, helping you gain overall strength. Make sure you continually push yourself, try and increase the weight by a couple of kilos each week and make sure that the final rep of each set is always a struggle.

In terms of fitting this program into a week of technical training and cardiovascular training let’s assume you’re training twice a day (morning and afternoon). An example structure would look something like this:

Basic Fighter Strength Training Program

Leave us a comment to let us know what you think of these workouts, or if you’re going to try them yourself! Train hard.

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