MMA UK’s Strength and Conditioning Guru, Ian Frood Brings us More Wise Words

Conditioning For MMA


By Ian Frood CSC Dip


Strength and Conditioning coaches are divided about the optimum way to condition for an MMA fight, some believe that you should just do pure strength and power work, whilst others believe in doing only metabolic circuits.

I am in both camps, both are important to the combat athlete. As I covered in my last article power is important for throwing the knock-out punch or delivering a devastating slam. But on the other hand being able to go non-stop for 3-5  5 minute rounds is equally important.

As a coach I believe that an athlete should aim to do both strength sessions and metabolic circuits, you should aim to at least 2 strength and power sessions and 1 metabolic circuit, the reason I only recommend 1 circuit is because the rest of your training e.g. boxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu should take care of your conditioning as well.

In the strength and power sessions you want to focus on compound moves such as cleans, squats and dead lifts etc. Focus on heavy weight low reps for example 3-5 sets of 1-6 reps.

Sample Program:


Squats with Box Jumps

Bench Press with Plyo Push ups

Pull Ups

Push Press

Bent over row

Dead lift

For the Metabolic Circuit you want to aim to do 3-5 5 minute rounds with a minute rest between rounds to mimic fight situations (depends on how many rounds your fight is.) Metabolic Circuits is a form of what Robert Dos Remedious, CSCS calls Cardio Strength Training or high intensity interval training. It is also great at shedding fat and getting lean during the weight cut.

Sample circuit





Round 1


  • 1 Min Spin Bike/Aerodyne
  • 1 Min Suspension trainer (30 secs chest press/30 secs incline row)
  • 1 Min Rower
  • 1 Min Squats
  • 1 Min Step ups


Round 2


  • 1 Min Spin Bike/Aerodyne
  • 1 Min Suspension Trainer (Balance lunge 30 sec each leg)
  • 1min Rower
  • 1 Min Chest and back (30 sec Bench press/30 sec 1 arm row)
  • 1 Min Burpees


The possibilities are endless with regards to choices of exercises used.

Hope this helps

For more information I can be found at


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