MMA Strength Training

Reading time: 3 – 4 minutes

MMA Strength Training

As you've probably already discovered by now, MMA strength training can be quite a complex topic. Here I will break down the basics of what you need to know when training your strength specifically for mixed martial arts.

I will assume that you are training for a fight or competition, and I will address the best way to train in regards to, let's say a 3 to 5 five minute round scenario.

First, let's define what type of “strength” you need for MMA when we talk about MMA strength training.

There are many different types of strength, but the most important types of strength for MMA are strength endurance and power endurance. Keep in mind that strength endurance is different then muscle endurance. Strength endurance implies how long you can exert maximum force, whereas muscle endurance is how long you can exert your muscles regardless of how much force you are producing.

Here's an example of the two. Let's say you can bench press for a 1 rep maximum (RM) of 225 lbs. This is an example of your absolute strength. Strength endurance means how many times you can continue to do single reps with short rest periods (10-30 seconds) before you can no longer perform a rep with that weight. Muscle endurance, however, would be more like how many push-ups you can do. In other words, muscle endurance doesn't really have the strength component to it.

As you can see, it is not enough to just have a lot of relative strength, simply because if you don't have strength endurance then your strength will be rendered useless after you tire. Furthermore, it's also not enough just to have a lot of muscle endurance, because even if your muscles don't tire if you can't move an opponent because of lack of strength, well, that won't be much good either.

The key, as you can see, is to be able to be as strong as you can and to be able to continuously use that level of strength throughout the fight.

The other main factor in MMA strength training is power endurance. Power is similar to strength except there is a time or speed component to it. So if bench pressing 225 for a 1RM is your level of absolute strength, then power would be how fast you can perform that rep. An example of an increase in power then would be if it took you 2.5 seconds to lift the weight, then later on it took you 1.5 seconds to lift the weight, that would be an increase in power. However, if you increase your bench 10 pounds, but it took you longer then 2.5 seconds to lift the weight, that wouldn't be an increase in power, only strength. You follow me so far?

So power endurance, as you can probably figure out now, is the ability to continuously be able to move a certain weight at a certain speed throughout the fight.

Always keep these two forms of strength in mind for your MMA strength training workouts. Increase your relative strength, and then increase your strength endurance. Then increase your power, and then increase your power endurance. Continue to cycle through this and you will be right on track to develop MMA specific strength.

Derek Manuel has been involved in MMA and physical fitness for over 12 years. He is in the process of becoming certified as NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) to train professional fighters and athletes. When he is not training he is discovering the fastest way to both efficiently and effectively improve physical strength, conditioning, and overall performance as an MMA fighter. To see Derek's reviews of the top MMA strength and conditioning programs on the market, visit:

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According to recent studies, caffeine helps improve strength and boosts your performance by stimulating neuromuscular excitability throughout your body. It actually promotes calcium release into your muscles that also increases your strength.

Your neuromuscular peformance is very important to pay attention to for optimal peak performance training. Your energy and performance most often decrease in the early morning as well as late afternoon.

Recent studies have found that compared to afternoons and evenings our performance actually decreases most often in the early morning and late evenings.

Accoring to Spanish researchers, injesting caffeine supplements helped prevent early morning decreases in performance in strength training with weight in men by increasing muscle recruitment levels.

Caffeine is still restricted from the NCAA, but it was taken off the banned list back in 2004.

So if you want to improve strength levels and performance especially in the early morning hours, a cup of coffee is certainly going to help get you past any possible slumps.


Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Improving Finger Strength is Essential for Peak Performance

Developing finger strength is essential to incorporate into your strength training programs if you want to achieve true peak performance in any sport or artistic discipline.

As strange as it may seem, I found that most athletes even neglect to put grip exercises into their strength training. Yet, it's when you incorporate grip exercises with fingertip strength that you truly start leapfrogging over your competition to become a peak performance athlete.

“It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
John Wooden 

Finger Strength Will Improve Your Overall Power

Whether you’re holding a football, basketball, or grappling with an opponent in combat sports like MMA, having finger strength all the way down to your fingernails will vastly improve your game.

If you neglect to develop finger strength, you're much more susceptible to getting debilitating finger injuries, especially in serious competitive sports.

Strengthening your fingers properly makes you less apt to incur serious injuries that could quite possibly put you out of your game for some time.

Grip Exercises Don't Always Improve Finger Strength

Those that do just grip exercises most often neglect to strengthen the full range of finger motion. Because of this, they seldom have fully develop finger strength all the way down to the fingernail tips

Games are won and lost by millimeters and fractions of a second. When you seriouslyfinger exercises for finger strength develop finger strength and put it into your strength training, remember it’s the last flanges of your fingers that can snatch an almost out of reach football out of the air to make the winning touchdown.

Importance To Develop Finger Strength All Way Down To Your Fingernails

No amount of grip exercises are really going to help the very tip of your fingers unless you focus on improving full finger strength with specific exercises that target them.

Being able to hold onto the ball with unstoppable finger strength while an opponent is doing their best to take it from you, could be one of the very things that will help you keep from losing those winning points.

Having said that, I probably don’t have to tell you how important fingertip strength is for a mountaineer. If a mountain climber doesn’t exercise the very tip of his fingers regularly, their finger strength could mean the difference between life and death.

Find out more about fully developing your finger strength whether you're an athlete, musician, martial artist, MMA fighter, or mountaineer. I've created a powerful finger strengthening program and please check it out here.