Can You Train MMA and Body Building?


Because MMA is such a specialized form of fighting that requires so much speed and endurance, you might be wondering if you can also do bodybuilding at the same time. Many people seem to feel that building too much muscle will compromise their ability to move with agility while engaging in an MMA fight. 

Can You Train MMA and Body Building?

The reality is that MMA and bodybuilding can be done together. Bodybuilding and working on strength conditioning can actually increase your endurance and make you even more proficient at MMA. The key is to develop a proper balance between building muscle and enhancing your fighting skills. 

Since bodybuilders need to lift weights in order to accomplish their purposes, it is important to know how much is acceptable. You will also want to learn how to build the type of muscle that will actually increase your endurance and make you a better MMA fighter. Continue reading to learn more about combining MMA with bodybuilding. 

Is Lifting Weights Bad for MMA?

There are many benefits to be gained by lifting weights when you are also participating in MMA. Some people believe that lifting weights can slow down MMA fighters, while bigger muscles will only serve to increase exhaustion levels. That is not necessarily the case unless your only focus is on building the biggest muscle mass that you can possibly have. 

The key is balance. It would be best to lift weights correctly and in direct proportion with your role as an MMA fighter. If you do that, then lifting weights can actually be considered good for MMA. When you are engaging in martial arts, you put a great deal of strain and pressure on your body. This is why you need to schedule in your weight lifting activities appropriately. 

You will want to consider five things if you want to lift weights while also doing MMA. 

  • Schedule in rest days – You will want to make sure that you schedule in plenty of rest time between your weight lifting sessions and your martial arts class. Keep in mind that it is also no recommended that you lift more than three days in any given week. 
  • There is no need for maximum repetitions – When you are weight lifting and doing MMA at the same time, your goal should not be to build the biggest muscles that you can. This means that you do not want to wear your muscles out. Focus on moderate weights that you can lift consistently as opposed to try to do one maximum rep. It is better to do more total sets than it is to overdo it with lifting weights that are too heavy for you. 
  • Lift after your MMA session – You may have some days when you lift weights and do MMA at the same time. If that is the case, you will want to lift weights after your MMA session so that you can focus on your technique and fighting endurance. 
  • Vary your training routines – You do not have to do the same MMA training or lifting regime every time. It is important to change it up with every workout. You will want to have shorter, more intense sessions thrown in every once in a while so that you can practice simulated fighting techniques. This goes for your lifting sessions as well. 
  • Focus on explosive strength in your MMA training – When you are in your MMA sessions, you should not focus on how you look. This is a sport where explosive strength matters. That is where your weight lifting is going to benefit you. Use this strength to your advantage and make it a focus of your training sessions. 

If you follow this advice, you will discover that your body grows stronger while your MMA skills improve at the same time. You can do both, but it just takes a bit of planning to get there. 

Is MMA Good for Building Muscle?

While MMA is not designed specifically for building muscle, fighters do tend to get rather ripped quite quickly with consistent training. Many people find that muscle will build faster when doing MMA and weightlifting at the same time when compared to someone who is only focused on bodybuilding or lifting weights. 

This means that MMA and the building of muscle are complementary to one another. The key is the intensity with which you approach each training session. If you are focused on what MMA involves, you will end up using just about every muscle in your body throughout the average training session. 

When you combine this with lifting weights, muscles will grow much faster than someone who only focuses on the weight training component. Bodybuilders will tend to only work on the muscles that need to lift or push the weights that are in their path. However, MMA will make you stronger and help you work on your endurance at the same time. 

As your heart and lungs grow stronger, you will be able to intensify your training sessions even further. This means that you will notice even more gains in terms of your muscle growth the longer you train MMA. Even the hardest of training sessions will leave your muscles working and strengthening for a day or two after the fighting ends. This is what you are looking for. 

How Often Should MMA Fighters Lift Weights?

The answer to this question is largely going to depend on the goals of the fighter. Some fighters will lift weights to one degree or another virtually every day, while others will have a more intense lifting session only two times per week. This is up to the training routine and where the fighter is in his development. 

If a person is actively fighting MMA, then lifting weights may be seen as more of a maintenance exercise. The focus will be more on actual MMA training, which involves:

  • Speed
  • Strength
  • Endurance

However, fighters first starting out with MMA may lift weights more often in order to build up the strength that they need to be highly effective in the sport. 

The key is not to lift so much that the body becomes too tired to focus on the MMA aspect of the sport. A healthy balance is needed. This is why it is so important to lift moderate weights and not focus on maximum reps. 

Why Are MMA Fighters So Ripped? 

MMA fighters tend to be so ripped because they are more focused on muscle endurance than they are on muscle growth. This makes them stronger and leaner, both of which make them more effective as an MMA fighter. Big muscles are not the goal for someone doing MMA. Strength is a much more valuable commodity. 

When an MMA fighter is ripped, that means their body is toned and well defined to the point that it can withstand the abuse that another fighter will throw at it. MMA fighters tend to engage in high repetition workouts that will give them the endurance that they need to go the distance. This minimizes the risk of muscle fatigue, which is what the average MMA fighter is looking for. 

Both bodybuilding and MMA can provide you with a great form of exercise that can contribute to your own health and wellbeing. You can perfect both disciplines at the same time if you know how to balance the two. This is what this post has been designed to demonstrate to you, so take these principles to hear as you continue perfecting your MMA skills. 

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