Does MMA Get You In Shape? What To Know

Are you looking for a less conventional way to tone up? Some people work out to sculpt their physique, while others exercise for their physical and mental health. Many MMA fighters train for these reasons, as well as to stay competitive in the octagon. 

Does MMA Get You In Shape? 

MMA requires training and exercise, which gets the fighters in good shape. On average, a successful MMA fighter will be skilled in many martial art disciplines as they must be well-conditioned and capable of withstanding several rounds of fighting. 

MMA fighting and training may be an effective workout routine; however, other known benefits come with serious MMA training. Keep reading to learn how MMA can get you in shape and which forms would fit you best, depending on your circumstances.

Getting in Shape with MMA Training

Training to be a fighter is rigorous, but this creates a wonderful opportunity for creative exercise routines. There are nearly endless varieties and disciplines of training for MMA, so you can choose one that best suits the type of exercise you prefer.

Mixed Martial Arts allows competitors to utilize any method of fighting they wish. These include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu 
  • Boxing / Kickboxing 
  • Wrestling 
  • Muay Thai

There are many other disciplines of martial arts, but those listed are among the more popular. Anyone interested in MMA can begin training by choosing which style they believe is right for them, taking it up with a teacher, and implementing the routines at your house or the gym. 

At-Home MMA Training 

MMA training may sound daunting; however, there are numerous ways to train at home without equipment. There are plenty of recommended workouts for home training: 

  • Push-ups 
  • Planks 
  • Crunches 
  • Shadow-boxing 
  • Jogging
  • Sprinting 

These workouts can be done anywhere, and they are a great way to begin conditioning yourself for MMA fighting. 

Coached MMA Training

At-home workouts are a great way to prepare yourself for the next step: training with a teacher at an MMA gym. A teacher will be able to show you the real techniques of MMA fighting, and they can introduce you to the sport in a safe manner.

MMA Training vs. Gym Workouts

Because martial arts training teaches technique, the workouts can be vastly different from traditional gym visits and weight training. While lifting weights can help someone build muscle quickly, martial arts is more focused on the methods of fighting.

The Benefits of MMA Training

If you are already a gym-goer, there are benefits you can glean from MMA training that might be harder to achieve in traditional gyms: 

  • Endurance 
  • Discipline 
  • Focus 
  • Cardio 
  • Agility
  • Self-Defence 

Gaining these attributes from MMA training can help you stay afloat when getting in shape, but how do you know if martial arts or traditional gym workouts are right for you?. 

Is MMA Training Better Than A Traditional Gym?

The complex strategies involved in combat sports double as a rigorous workout, so you might say that it’s just as good as working out in a traditional gym.

However, if simply lifting weights and jogging doesn’t interest you, MMA training might be a great way to keep you engaged in the exercise. Plus, it will teach you to better defend yourself.

Whether or not MMA training is better than a traditional gym routine depends on what type of workout experience you want.

In martial arts training, you can frequently work with a teacher, or you can fight with other MMA athletes. If you want to burn fat and learn to fight at the same time, MMA training might be for you.

On the other hand, numerous traditional workouts do not involve fighting. If you want to get fit but don’t want to fight, then going to the gym might be best for you. 

Can You Do MMA if You Are Overweight?

Out of shape and overweight individuals can certainly do MMA. The variety of martial art disciplines included in MMA fighting allows people of any body type to participate. 

If you are seeking to burn fat and become a disciplined fighter, you can search for different martial arts that target various parts of the body.

Most martial arts should be manageable for someone who is overweight, but Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu would be best because of its technique-driven method.

If you don’t feel comfortable or well-balanced enough to perform tricky kicking maneuvers, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) offers a different style of fighting that is more focused on grappling and ground-fighting.

This MMA style can be helpful for someone still reaching fitness goals, as it provides a good workout and an effective self-defense method. 

Which Martial Art Burns the Most Calories?

MMA fighting in any capacity can be an effective calorie cutter, but there are some styles that offer better opportunities to break a serious sweat. The form of martial arts that burns the most calories is Muay Thai.

Muay Thai utilizes your arms and legs for a vast array of challenging moves. Training in this discipline is an effective way of reaching weight loss goals because of how many muscle groups it targets.

An hour of Muay Thai can burn approximately 1000 calories for a person who weighs 150 pounds, according to Evolve Daily. However, the calorie-burning potential is not at all limited to people of this weight. 

Which Martial Art is a Good Cardio Workout?

Whether you are in the ring or using a punching bag, boxing is great for cardio training. Focused footwork and constant sparring helps develop breathing techniques, hand-eye coordination, and endurance. 

Shadow-boxing is also an effective workout, and it requires no equipment. You can burn 400 calories in an hour of training, according to Muscle And Fitness. Shadow-boxing is a great way to introduce yourself to the movements and patterns of the sport. 

In a fight, your heart rate is going to fluctuate greatly. So, as you train, it is important to acclimate yourself to that by doing quick and intense sets.

  • Do each workout intensely for two minutes 
  • Repeat the cycle of exercises multiple times 
  • Try not to rest until you have gone through a complete cycle of exercises 

Now that you know how good mixed martial arts training can be for you, you might be wondering if you can get your kids involved in these activities as well.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Do MMA?

The age at which a child should begin training depends on numerous factors, but some schools accept kids as young as 3. Their training can effectively teach them self-defense and discipline, and it keeps them active. Any good teacher will train children safely; however, there are disciplines best suited to young learners. 

Tae Kwon Do

A common martial art for children, Tae Kwon Do can be especially beneficial for children with attention deficit disorders. This is because of the focus and development of motor skills inherent to martial arts. 


Another common martial art for children, Karate is effective in developing coordination and strength, and it also is beneficial for mental and emotional stability. This is because of the physiological effects of exercise, discipline, and structured training. 

The Psychological Benefits of MAA 

MMA advocates also claim that martial arts training is psychologically beneficial as well. In fact, Martial Arts Mental Health provides programs to help people overcome life’s obstacles such as: 

  • Addiction 
  • Poor self-image 
  • Chronic stress
  • Gambling 
  • Hoarding

MMA training can help you improve your physical health by getting you into shape and strengthening your mental health so you can bounce back from any obstacles that may come your way.  

MMA Training Can Help You Get in Shape

Mixed Martial Arts are beneficial for anyone looking to get in shape and be more active. There are so many variations of technique and training that no matter what your goal is, you can enjoy and benefit from the sport. 

Intense training can be beneficial for all types of people, to those losing weight, kids needing active sports, and those learning effective methods of self-defense. 

Interested in MMA? Check Out My Recommendations

Looking For Gear To Use When You Train?
If you are interested in training MMA, here is some of the gear I recommend:
Best Mouth Guard
Best MMA Gloves
Best Groin Protection
Best Rashguard
Want To Learn To Fight, But Don’t Want To Go In Person?
CoachTube has online training videos for Wrestling, Boxing, MMA and more. And best part is you can do it all from your home allowing you to go at your own pace. Check them out here.
Interested In Training Other MMA Fighters?
Click here to check out the MMA Conditioning Association and see what you need to become an MMA conditioning coach and begin training fighters.

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