Training and Conditioning for MMA
BookThe number of athletes training for and competing in mixed martial arts has skyrocketed to over 3.6 million, making it one of the world’s fastest-growing sports. To succeed, fighters need to not only master various martial arts disciplines but also develop the physical stamina and mental endurance to dominate their opponents.
Based on the latest science and research, Training and Conditioning for MMA details physical training, nutrition, and injury prevention for all martial arts disciplines. It uses actual training programs and showcases real examples recurring in the day-to-day preparation of countless elite MMA fighters from the American Top Team, UFC, Bellator, and Jiu-Jitsu World Championships. Collectively, the 21 contributors to this book have trained over 200 amateur, professional, national, and Olympic MMA champions, including Amanda Nunes, Junior Dos Santos, Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida, Mark Hunt, Yoel Romero, Héctor Lombard, and Glover Teixeira. The quality and extent of the knowledge they share in these pages is simply unmatched in the world of MMA training resources.
Developed for combat athletes and the trainers and coaches who work with them, Training and Conditioning for MMA is a complete manual for all training-related aspects of MMA, featuring the following:
- Methodology of sports training, including the periodization model used at American Top Team
- Principles for designing a fighter’s training program
- Physical assessment of a fighter, from body composition to flexibility
- Importance of nutrition for high-level training
- More than 45 proven training programs for a wide range of martial arts disciplines, athlete types, and levels, accompanied by photos of professional MMA fighters demonstrating exercises and techniques
- Prevention strategies for MMA-related injuries
CE exam available! For certified professionals, a companion continuing education exam can be completed after reading this book. Training and Conditioning for MMA Online CE Exam may be purchased separately or as part of the Training and Conditioning for MMA With CE Exam package that includes both the book and the exam.
AudienceStrength and conditioning professionals, personal trainers, or other related professionals who train athletes for mixed martial arts (MMA) or want to improve performance; also for MMA coaches and athletes who have an intermediate or advanced understanding of strength and conditioning concepts and applications.
Table of ContentsChapter 1. Concepts in the Methodology of Sports Training
Overload Principle Applied to Sports Training
Modes of Training
Traditional Periodization Methods
Periodization Model Used at American Top Team
Construction of a Training Session
Chapter 2. Program Design
Principles of Resistance Training
Resistance Training for Strength and Muscle Hypertrophy
Resistance Training for Power
High-Intensity Interval Training
New Russian Concept of Training
Methods of Training the Heart Muscle
Methods of Directing Adipose Tissue Activity
Chapter 3. Physical Assessment of the Fighter
Metabolic and Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Laboratory Testing
Metabolic and Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Field Testing
Tests Specific to Fighters
Chapter 4. The Importance of Nutrition in High-Level Training
Chapter 5. Methods of Training for MMA
Body Weight Training
Specific Power Training
Power Endurance Training
MMA-Specific Cross Training
Training for Adaptive MMA Athletes
Training to Improve MMA Takedowns
MMA, Muay Thai, and Jiu-Jitsu Preparation Training for Women
Training for Wrestlers and Grapplers
Training for Jiu-Jitsu
Outdoor Training for MMA
High-Intensity Interval Training for MMA
Circuits for Five-Round Matches
Resistance Band Training
Training Using the Isoton Method
Training to Increase Muscular Endurance and Number of Mitochondria in Type II Muscle Fibers
Training to Increase Strength and Power in Type II Muscle Fibers
Training to Increase Speed
Chapter 6. Prevention of MMA-Related Injuries
Injury Prevention in MMA Fighters
Head and Face Injuries
Elbow, Wrist, and Hand Injuries
Hip and Thigh Injuries
Ankle and Foot Injuries
The Science of Stretching and Flexibility
About the EditorStéfane Beloni Correa Dielle Dias, PhD, has a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the Federal University of Paraná (Universidade Federal do Paraná) in Brazil and a master's degree in sport and athlete preparation from Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth, and Tourism (SCOLIPE) in Moscow. In 2005, before starting his doctorate in sports training at the same university, Professor Victor Nikolaevich Seluianov became his advisor, and he received the honor award for the best scientific research of the year at the Young Scientists Conference.
Dias worked for seven years as the head strength and conditioning coach of the best MMA team in the world, American Top Team, where he has trained and still advises some UFC athletes. He served as first secretary and counselor of the Regional Council of Physical Education–State of Paraná and has also worked as a guest professor in postgraduate programs at Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná, Faculdade Estadual de Educação Física de Jacarezinho, and Instituto Aleixo Educacao e Desporto, giving seminars and instructing courses in Brazil, the United States, Canada, Russia, and Portugal. In 2015, he began a full-time professorship at Keiser University–Orlando in their exercise and sport science program.
Dias taught Muay Thai for seven years at the legendary Noguchi Team in Curitiba, Brazil; earned his second degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu; and since 2012 has been a regular columnist for Tatame magazine, where he writes about training programs and elite physical preparation. He has published six books in Brazil and Russia, and in 2019 he received the 15-Year Commemorative Medal from the Regional Council of Physical Education–State of Paraná for his contributions to the growth and strengthening of sport in the Brazilian state of Paraná.
Everton Bittar Oliveira graduated in physical education from Universidade Positivo in Brazil. He completed his specialization courses in sports training from Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná and is trained as a resistance training specialist (RST) and practitioner in neurolinguistic programming (NLP). In 2007, he earned his black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu after training with master Alexandre Penão.
With more than 15 years of experience in the field, Everton has trained several athletes and coached in several gyms in Brazil and the United States and has also worked as a guest speaker for several courses in sports training and personal training. In 2012, he moved to the United States, where he began working as a strength and conditioning coach for the best MMA team in the world, American Top Team, where he coached many champions, including Amanda Nunes (PFL champion in 2018), Philipe Lins (PFL champion in 2018 and 2019), Natan Schulte (FC flyweight champion), Adriano Moraes (Rizin champion in 2020), Kyoji Horiguchi (Titan FC champion), Rudson Caliocane (Titan FC champion), Raush Manfio (Titan FC champion), Victor Dias (WSOF champion), Jessica Aguilar (LFA champion), Thiago Moisés (LFA champion in two divisions), Josh da Silveira (Bare Knuckle champion), and Thiago Alves (PFL champion in 2021). Everton is also responsible for preparation of many professional racing car drivers and tennis players.
André Geraldo Brauer Júnior, PhD, holds a degree in physical education from Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná and has complemented his training with courses at the Brazilian Institute of Research and Extension; Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth, and Tourism (SCOLIPE); and Federal University of Paraná (Universidade Federal do Paraná). Since 2006, he has been teaching undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the discipline of sports training methodology. He works as a research professor at UniBrasil Centro Universitário and teaches courses in physical preparation for various sports. In addition to his academic work, he provides sports consultation for athletes of different modalities and various fitness facilities. Dr. Brauer is the author of books and scientific articles in specialized journals.
Pavel Vladimirovich Pashkin was born in Orenburg in the USSR. Pavel currently lives in Moscow, Russia. He started doing sports at the age of 10, in the same kind of sports as his father and first coach, Vladimir Alexandrovich Pashkin, who held the title of Master of Sports of the USSR in sambo wrestling and judo, and his uncle Valeriy Alexandrovich Pashkin, who was an honored Master of Sports of the USSR in sambo wrestling. At the age of 17, Pavel Pashkin became world champion in Russian wrestling.
In 1998 Pavel entered Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth, and Tourism (SCOLIPE) in Moscow, where he continued his sambo wrestling classes under the guidance of Sergey Evgenyevich Tabakov and Sergey Vladimirovich Yeliseyev. Pavel took first prize in the Moscow Sambo Wrestling Students Games in 2000 and second prize in the Sambo Russian Championship in 2001. He fulfilled the standard for a Master of Sports of Russia in sambo wrestling, earned a diploma as a specialist in physical education and sports, and in 2006 defended his thesis to earn a master of physical education and sports degree. While studying for his master’s degree, he studied under the guidance of the prominent Russian scientist and academician Lev Pavlovich Matveyev, who instilled in him a love of science and gave real understanding of the essence of physical education and sports.
Since 2006 he has been working as a personal sambo and strength and conditioning coach with amateurs and with professional sportsmen. He was the organizer of fitness sambo and physical education tours for FitSambo Tour in Russia, Europe, Africa, and the United States. In 2009 Pavel held a seminar on sambo for professional MMA fighters.
In 2016 Pavel together with his wife Olga Sergeyevna Pashkina, Master of Sports of Russia in rhythmic gymnastics, opened FitSambo LLS, a company providing personal coaching in the field of physical education and sports. In 2018 the FitSambo physical education and sports club opened in Moscow, with an emphasis on children’s sports and fitness in the field of martial arts and rhythmic gymnastics.
Quotes"This book covers everything about strength and conditioning, nutrition, periodization, injury and prevention, and, more importantly, it shows real training models that could be used to get you in the best shape and performance mode. I highly recommend Training and Conditioning for MMA."
—Junior Dos Santos, Brazilian Professional Wrestler and Mixed Martial Artist, Former Heavyweight Champion of UFC
“After training with professor and scientist Stéfane Dias (in Melbourne, Florida), I can assure you he knows everything about the training and physical preparation of fighters. He shares that knowledge with you in Training and Conditioning for MMA.”
—Anderson Silva, MMA Legend and Former UFC Middleweight Champion