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Time to Read: 4min
Training for combat sports is as intense as it gets. Over the course of a ten to twelve week training camp you will consistently tear yourself down and build yourself up gaining useful skills and abilities. Week to week you get better, expecting that you will physically peak on fight night and bring home the win.
However, peaking properly for athletic competition doesn’t happen by accident. What we will cover today are approaches and strategies to make sure you peak for a fight properly, while guaranteeing you will be physically and mentally prepared to win.
Your last two weeks of training before a fight will be lower intensity, with training volume staying the same or slightly decreasing. As far as weight training goes, maximal effort workouts will cease, and a switch to strength endurance main exercises followed by volume focused accessory workouts will be made.
For a main exercise, a fighter would work up to a top set of three or five reps, staying at or under 90%. For accessory exercises, reps would be kept between ten to fifteen, performed for three to five sets. General physical preparedness exercises should be included, using sled drags as the primary exercise.
Sports practice will be regulated, keeping sparring or rolling sessions light intensity for moderate time. The focus should be to drill technique and raise the heart rate, nothing more. When you reach two weeks out the physical training is mostly done, the goal becomes finishing the training cycle strong and healthy.
Once you have your physical training figured out it becomes necessary to focus on mentally preparing yourself to execute to the fullest extent of your ability. To be able to perform at such a level you must learn to use visualization correctly. This isn’t done by sitting around and thinking happy thoughts and wishing for the best.
Watch tape on your opponent, visualize scenarios you may find yourself in during the fight, and gameplan in your mind how you will conquer your opponent. Studying your opponent and learning what to expect will help remove any apprehension caused by fear of the unknown. Once you’re able to understand the basic habits and tendencies of your opponent, you will be prepared to execute your gameplan to the fullest.
The final piece to the fight preparation puzzle is recovery. All of your training will be wasted if you’re dealing with nagging injuries and training fatigue going into a fight. You may need physical therapy, cryotherapy, chiropractic treatment, or massage to take care of any aches and pains accumulated throughout the training cycle.
Depending on your weight class situation, a weight cut may be necessary. In this case, focus on eating the maximum amount of nutrient dense foods you can, while consuming proper amounts of fluid to stay hydrated. Avoid extreme weight cuts that will restrict your ability to properly fuel your body the final week of training.
The final two weeks of training are always the most crucial of any training cycle, no matter the sport. Given the fact combat sports are much more intense than your typical sport, correctly preparing for competition depends heavily on following the plan exactly.
If you sweat the small stuff you won’t have to worry about big problems when fight day rolls around. If you would like more information regarding how we train fighters at Westside Barbell, you can sign up for the Conjugate Club or visit us at westside-barbell.com.