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Click Here For The Top MMA Strength And Conditioning Workout Around!Choosing the Right Tempo for
Ultimate MMA Conditioning
By Eric Wong, BSc, CSCS
Reading stuff on the net - I've seen a lot of coaches say
something to the effect of, "Tempo doesn't matter, just try to lift the
weight as fast as possible."
Unfortunately, this type of blanket statement always leaves
out some critical info, and can diminish the results you get from
training. Now in my training manuals and most others you'll come across,
tempo is written with 3 digits, eg. 213. Here's what this means (we'll
use the Bench press as our example exercise):
2 - 2 second eccentric, meaning you lower the weight to your chest for 2 seconds.
1 - 1 second pause, meaning you pause the weight at your chest for 1 second.
X - explosive concentric, meaning you push the bar up as quickly as possible.
Now that you know exactly what tempo is and how it's
prescribed, here are 3 secrets to choosing the proper exercise tempo for
Tip #1 - Minimize the eccentric tempo to minimize soreness (eg. 101)
Muscular damage happens mainly due to micro-trauma that
occurs during the eccentric phase of the muscular contraction. So if you
minimize the amount of time you're doing the eccentric, you're going to
minimize your soreness.
Now regardless of your tempo, whenever you introduce a new
exercise that you're not used to into your routine, you're probably
going to get a little sore. But once you've become adapated, slow
eccentrics will result in more soreness, while faster eccentrics will
reduce soreness - which is great for fighters.
Tip #2 - Lift explosively to stimulate the high threshold fast twitch muscle fibres (eg. 10X)
Lifting explosively will develop your fast twitch muscle
fibres and improve your power. This is where most coaches say, "Just
lift as fast as possible, regardless of how fast the bar is moving."
When you've got a heavy load on the bar, you're going to be working
hard, but the bar won't be moving too fast. This is OK, you're still
stimulating the fast twitch fibres.
But you also want to train with lighter weights at a fast
tempo, so you develop the velocity component more, helping you build
both your strength and explosiveness.
Tip #3 - Lift slower to stimulate the slow twitch muscle fibres (eg. 202)
Slower tempos are often ignored by many coaches and
athletes alike. The benefit to slow tempo training is hypertrophy of
your slow twitch muscle fibres.
You may be thinking "Why would I want bigger slow twitch muscle fibres?"
The bottom line is that if you neglect slow twitch fibre
development, you will have to use your fast twitch fibres for most of
your movements. These fibres tend to rely more on the anaerobic energy
systems, resulting in fatigue.
In a fight, you're working for 5 minutes. So the more you
can work using the aerobic energy system, the less you'll fatigue, since
the aerobic energy system doesn't run out of energy.
Then when you need to tap into the lactic system, you can,
and you can recover faster, since the aerobic system contributes to
recovery of the lactic system.
So there you have 3 tempo tips to learn about and implement
into your training to make you a better conditionined, stronger, and
more powerful fighter.
You must integrate these concepts into your training to realize your full potential as a mixed-martial artist.
To learn more secrets about developing your strength and conditioning for MMA, read my other Click Here For The Top MMA Strength And Conditioning Workout Around!.