WSBB Blog: Strength Endurance for MMA

WSBB Education
Tue Mar 23, 2021

Tags: MMA, Conjugate Method, Absolute Strength

Time to Read: 3.5 min 

Mixed martial arts is a sport that requires an athlete to possess high levels of cardiovascular capability as well as high levels of strength, and the strength endurance to be able to exert control and attack your opponent. Strength endurance training is used to develop muscular stabilization and endurance, while also having the ability to increase work capacity and limit strength for the muscle groups specifically trained. Whether you are striking or grappling, having the ability to consistently throw strong strikes, shoot strong takedowns, and be able to do so over and over throughout a match can brutalize and demoralize your opponent.

Below, we will cover a few ways to use the Westside Barbell Conjugate Method to increase your strength endurance for mixed martial arts.

Max Effort Day

On max effort day, whether it is upper or lower, a MMA fighter will perform a main exercise working up to a top set of one, three, or five repetitions. When strength endurance is the goal, main exercises will typically have an increased amount of max effort sessions that work up to a top set of three or five opposed to the traditional Westside Barbell Method that calls for max effort singles week in and week out. Continuing the strength endurance goal throughout the training session, accessory work will be higher volume, utilizing supersets and an overall increased training pace to keep the heart rate elevated properly.

Dynamic Effort Day

This is the day that strength endurance can be heavily focused on and easily programmed into main exercise work. Whether it is dynamic effort upper or lower, both exercises will be done for multiple sets of doubles, triples, or sets of five. A typical three week wave would be five by five at 75% for week one, ten by two at 80% week two, followed by six to eight sets of two at 85% for the final week of the wave.

Once a three week wave is finished, the squat or bench workout will be changed. It is recommended that short breaks are taken between sets to keep the heart rate elevated to proper training ranges. When executed properly, dynamic effort training days are some of the greatest contributors to the development of strength endurance.

GPP Work

After you’ve finished with your main and accessory training, it is time to finish up with some general physical preparation work. At Westside, this typically means having fighters take trips dragging the sled, pushing the wheelbarrow, or walking in the belt squat for time. The breaks between sets should be short, the intensity should be moderate, and the volume should be high.

Don’t just go through the motions with GPP work, it is an extremely valuable contributor to strength endurance and overall recovery when taken seriously and done correctly.

When searching for the best method to develop your athletic ability as a fighter, choosing the conjugate method allows you to have an unprecedented amount of options and control over your training. When properly organized and executed, a conjugate method program will take your athletic performance to the next level. With the information above, you have some general guidelines to follow when writing a conjugate program focusing on strength endurance.

Sign up for the Conjugate Club for a more in depth look into how we train fighters within the walls of Westside Barbell. As always, stay strong and stay dangerous.


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