MMA Finishers

Mason By Mason, 21st Aug 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Exercise & Fitness

What do we mean when we say “finisher”? We are referring to a final push that finishes
up your routine before you start your cool down. It’s usually one last unique circuit or
exercise that pushes the guys to their absolute limit…it’s where they “empty the tank”
as I like to say. Why incorporate finishers? Here are a couple reasons…

MMA finishers

If you’ve ever witnessed or participated in a metabolic circuit designed for combat
athletes, you’ve seen hard core. You’ve seen guys pushed to their physical limits. You’ve probably seen tire flips, prowler pushes, and ground & pound drills. You may have even seen some guys on their knees reaching for the nearest bucket. There are many variations out there these days, but the majority consist of circuits that are 3-5 rounds (sets) that last up to 5 minutes long and include a variety of compound movements designed to improve the athlete’s strength, power, endurance, coordination, and overall physical and mental toughness.

The average individual would be completely exhausted and headed to the showers
after one of these training sessions. There couldn’t be any more to the day’s
workout…right? Wrong. Depending on where we are at with our training camp, we like
to implement “finishers” in at the end of the workouts from time to time.

What do we mean when we say “finisher”? We are referring to a final push that finishes
up your routine before you start your cool down. It’s usually one last unique circuit or
exercise that pushes the guys to their absolute limit…it’s where they “empty the tank”
as I like to say. Why incorporate finishers? Here are a couple reasons…

1. Mental Challenge
Mixed martial arts include such a large mental aspect, why not “train it” during our
conditioning sessions? We have a “session board” where I will write the days training
session and sometimes I will purposely exclude the finisher. After we complete are last
exercise and are ready to cool-down and stretch, I’ll throw it up there and tell them we aren’t quite done yet. Yes, I’m frequently threatened with chokes, takedowns, and high
knees, but we always get it in and they always give 100% effort. My goal here wasn’t to
get thrown in an arm-bar; it was to prepare them for the unexpected. You never know
exactly how a fight is going to unfold. Just because your opponent was an All-American
wrestler and has a history of taking matches to the mat, doesn’t mean you should
neglect training your stand-up game completely. Be prepared.

2. Metabolic Push
The combat athletes we work with will never be exposed as having poor cardio. Our
strength training and circuit training sessions will improve their metabolic conditioning.
These finishers will really challenge the pace, drive lactate threshold levels to new
heights, and push anaerobic conditioning like nothing else. We don’t use these every
session but instead incorporate them strategically throughout camp to avoid burn out
and overtraining.

3. Change
No MMA match is exactly the same and while I’m a firm believer in a well planned program, I do find it necessary to think outside the box and change things up on occasion. We execute our staple movements every week; plyometrics, deadlifts, vertical
and horizontal pulls, pushups, etc., but add in some Superband sprint work at the end of a session now and then to get 1% better and get to that next level in your conditioning.

4. Competition
These combat athletes, like most people, are extremely competitive. Any time we
add a “punishment” for the least amount of reps or the slowest time, the stakes are
increased and so is the focus and intensity. An example might be the loser of the “card
challenge” has to perform 25 burpees; something simple but tough after a challenging
workout. Make it a competition and watch the energy levels soar.

MOVEMENTS
1. Treadmill Sprint Work
2. Superband Series
3. Sand Sprints
4. “Carry” Variations

All of these movements have different benefits in their own right but when used with a structured workout plan they can add that little bit extra that will help a fighter inside the ring.

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