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Part One of this series focused on building a strength base for the combat athlete while he was in his first part of the off-season. And hopefully along the way, I was able to dispel some of the myths about the sport sciences, as well. Now, it’s time to get to the second part.

Your next off-season cycle needs to focus on power. We’re talking pure, unadulterated explosiveness. Here, there are two big players you’ll want to bring into the game:

First are plyometrics. The big key with these is to perform them with speed, or what we like to call Load and Explode. You will not get any benefit from them trying to do anything less. Ever heard of the expression “You can’t jump slowly?” Sadly enough, I’ve seen it tried.

The next weapon in your arsenal to bring in is the Olympic lifts. That is, the Clean and the Snatch. I’m a big believer in teaching these. Just about every one of my athletes learns at least one and uses it, and it improves all of their performance variables. Think of it this way: in almost every sport, especially MMA, has a major point where the feet are touching the ground. And if you can push away from the ground with more power, who is going to win the match?

With the other compound movements I mentioned in Part One, you’ll want to be more dynamic with them. Decrease your amount of weight and increase the speed of the movement. Remember from my last article that the other part of the Power formula is speed. When you make your muscles contract faster, your power also increases. What I’m not saying, however, is to throw form out the window. Keep the form impeccable, tight, and spot-on.

As far as conditioning goes, start implementing more coordinated and specific movements, such as ladders, cone drills, ropes, and med balls. Go for three or four bouts of 10 to 30 seconds, with about 45 seconds to a minute rest in between. This will help increase your power production while at the same time develop better muscle endurance for lasting multiple rounds.

So, basically, your resistance training routine should have an outline like this:
  • Plyometrics
  • Olympic lifts
  • Compound Movements
Part Three of this article will focus on your pre-season/pre-event. If you have any questions in the mean time, get a hold of me here through Xyience. Until then, remember: Somebody has to lose….

- Michael Palmieri

Click here to read Dominating Your Opposition: Strength & Conditioning for the Combat Athlete Part One
Click here for more articles by Michael.