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Strength & Power Training Discussion of strength training as part of your MMA conditioning program.

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Old 08-02-2009, 02:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Useless or not?

Hey again everyone.

Not so long ago I read that alot of people were saing there were alot of pointless excersises in peoples weight training programs. Mainly isolation excersises.

Now I was discussing with one of the guys from my bjj club about if they really were useless.

And it turns out they are not.

Nearly every "useless" excersise can be translated to a movement in grappling.

For example
Bicep curls: Arm bar defence, Rear choke, underhooks (along with upper back) and so on.

Leg Curls: tightening guard possitions, Rubber guard (i found it gelped) and so on.

Upright Rows: i found these helped in gi work mainly in sombo and judo. Like for lifting the cloth up for a trip or to pull the opponent off balance.

Now these are things I have personally found and these were just a couple of examples.

What do you think?
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Isolation exercises do have their places, but not in the way that this thread suggests.
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think useless is a strong word for isolation lifts but not that far off. If you are training for sport you are almost never using just the muscles trained in isolation lifts for any of the movement patterns you use in that sport but rather using many different muscle groups in unison. Like for example you say that curling would help rear chokes but when your doing that I'd imagine your using your forearms, shoulders and back struggling too lock it in, and thats not too mention what your doing with the rest of your body trying too keep him from escaping. So, in my opinion chins, pull ups and rows would work a lot better. You use the leg curl as an example for helping to maintain your guard but I'm sure when you are doing this you're not just squeezing your legs straight down like on a leg curl but are shifting them side too side, squeezing the shit out of your hips, using all your leg and core muscles. So in my opinion squats, glute/ham raises, Romanian deadlifts and hyper extensions would be better choices. If you wanted too tag a couple of sets of curls on too yor push day, fill your boots man but they will only improve you performance minimally.
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Old 08-02-2009, 05:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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yes i agree with you but im not suggetsing that its a good idea to concetrate on isolation lifts. But I was once told just to do the compound lifts and thats it.
So bench, squat, deadlift and power cleans. I felt absolutely no gains sticking with compound only.
So i went back to my powerlifting routine from when i was competing in that.

Its basicly a 5/5 for the compound lift then support isolation lifts for reps

So on a monday il do

bench press 5/5 as my compound then
Incline bench
Chest fly's 3x10 reps
Then ticeps
Skull crushers
Tri pulldowns and narrow bench press

Thats what i mean. Not relying on isolation but also not relying on compound.
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Man, if you did'nt make gains on a strict compound lift only program you were doing something really wrong and it was'nt the fact that you did'nt include isolation lifts. That Chest/Tri day looks pretty bodybuilderish to me imho. Why did'nt you just label thr thread "isolation exercises are kick ass and I want too argue about it!"?
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Man, if you did'nt make gains on a strict compound lift only program you were doing something really wrong and it was'nt the fact that you did'nt include isolation lifts. That Chest/Tri day looks pretty bodybuilderish to me imho. Why did'nt you just label thr thread "isolation exercises are kick ass and I want too argue about it!"?
its not that i didnt make gains its that i felt stronger doing isolation as well.
Im not arguing about it either just sharing that i felt stronger with it thats all.

I appreciate everyones opinions and if people feel stronger doing compound only then thats fine. different things work for different people.

The routine i use isnt a bodybuilding one its a powerlifting routine i used a few years back when i was a power lifter.

I just prefer it thats all.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Useless in what context?

Isolation exercises have significant benefits for muscular hypertrophy, rehab, and in addressing some forms of muscular imbalance.

In the context of MMA the usefulness of isolation exercises is going to be a highly personal question. Unless you are rehabing an injury I suspect the primary benefit to isolation training is that you might look better than your opponent when your gi top comes off half way through the match.

I, for one, have never missed a rear naked choke because I could not complete a biceps curl. I've missed them because I couldn't keep my opponent stretched out and I've missed because my opponent was able to push to one side and drive his shoulders to the mat. Both of those are multi-muscle failures: My pull chain not being trained enough to maintain heal to hand tension long enough for me to finished the choke and leg, my core/pectoral girdle tension not being strong enough to fight his drive to the side and back.

The way my body fails when I roll leads me to train a lot of compound movements that require me to connect my leg strength with my pectoral girdle through my core. But that's me trying to address the points of failure that I see when I roll.

So you may need bicep curls, but i suspect that most people training in mma do not. Certainly no one training mma needs an arm day or a shoulder day. Okay, actually, 95% of the population would be better off skipping arm and shoulder day and doing more squats and power cleans. Most people need more systemic strength and will benefit more from the the system wide response that complex exercises provoke (increase heart rate, O2 consumption, neuro-muscular linkage, etc) than they will from a good bicep pump.

Unfortunately most of the population thinks strength training is body building. To those of us who don't think this way, the whole "Isolation Isolation. Isolation. 3 sets or 10. Should I have a separate day for arms or should I train them on leg day? By the way has anyone seen the foam pad for the squat bar so my neck won't hurt? Can I get a spot dude?" tends to makes a bit crazy and we get all grumpy and rude when the subject of bicep curls comes up. Hence, even thought you did not ask if you should do preacher curls on the machine before or after you do dumbell curls I've gone of on you like you have... I feel like such an a-hole for that - really.

Anyway, do your isolation stuff if it helps you, but for most people I suspect the points of failure in their games that could be addressed by strength training are not going to be helped by isolation training.
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Old 08-04-2009, 04:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think for training for any sports you should follow the theroy "Train movements not muscles". Since most of the movements you perform during MMA are multi joint and in all planes of motion (i.e forwards, sideways, rotational etc)then exercises that mimic this are the best. I also think using equipment that challenges your core and stabilizing muscles are very beneficial such as sandbags, powerbags, gym balls, heavy bags, beer kegs filled with water and slosh pipes. As you lift these the weight will constently move giving you a similar effect to dealing with an opponent.
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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...heavy bags, beer kegs filled with water and slosh pipes.
what's a slosh pipe??
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Old 08-04-2009, 05:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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