by Bart de Winter (DEWINTER Personal Training) August 07, 2020 3 min read
With interest in mixed martial arts growing globally, there are more and more people either interested in training in MMA for fitness, or to compete at an amateur and/or professional level.
HERE ARE THE TOP 5 THINGS TO AVOID:
1. DOING TO MUCH IN A SHORT TIME SPAN
For example: from only 1-2 training sessions a week to 6
training sessions a week and extra cardiovascular work outside of training; or
from eating fast food two to three times a week to a fully clean and high-quality
diet and eating in a deficit. By doing this, you can lose a lot of body fat in
a short amount of time, but this is not the best for your body and not
necessarily the most efficient way to get results.
INSTEAD: Make small changes during the timespan you have.
When you have 12 weeks to lose weight for a fight, gradually increase training
sessions. You can most definitely change your diet right away, but don’t create
a calorie deficit at the same time. Generally a gradual lifestyle change is
better in the long run.
2. NOT WILLING TO GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Training sessions should be hard. Sparring sessions should be hard. That’s the only way you will create significant progress. If you leave the gym with the feeling and thoughts ‘I could have done more’, you’re doing it wrong! Get comfortable being uncomfortable!
INSTEAD: Ask your coach to push you to the limits, of course consider context. Don’t expect to train the same as a pro MMA fighter if you are preparing for your amateur debut. Know your level of capabilities, but always push yourself to your limits. Also, when training solo, try to increase the amount of time training every week or increase the intensity/work volume.
3. JUSTIFICATION OF BAD HABITS
Something people tend to do when things get hard. Cheating on the diet and saying to themselves: ‘It’s just this once, eating burgers and French fries for once won’t matter’. Okay, balance is key. You CAN have your treats, just make sure you do it when you (or your dietitian) PLAN it, and don’t justify it when you do it before the planned date. By justifying it, you tend to do it again more regularly. The same goes for training, don’t just skip training because you are tired or are not in the mood.
4. ONLY FOCUSING ON THE PHYSICAL ASPECT AND NOT YOUR HEALTH
The healthier your body, the better it will function. FACTS! So make sure you don’t follow any fad diets that concentrates on losing body fat fast. Make sure you get in all yourmicronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc) and don’t only focus on macro’s (proteins, carbohydrates and fats). This will ensure you will function better, perform better and as a side effect have a faster change in your physical appearance. A WIN-WIN situation!
INSTEAD: Read labels, read more about high quality foods. Hire a credible, qualified nutrition coach or dietitian to help you with your diet.
5. HIRING A COACH SOLELY BASED ON HIS PHYSIQUE OR FIGHTING EXPERIENCE
Just because someone has fought a few times, it doesn’t make them a good coach. Just because someone has a great physique, it doesn’t make them a good coach. These things do not make them a bad coach either, but there are more aspects to consider; are they knowledgeable, are they a clear communicator so they can pass on their knowledge, are they goal orientated, respectful and supportive. There are a lot of good coaches and trainers out there, do some research and find one that is the right fit for you
INSTEAD: Write down your thoughts and emotions when you tend to justify a bad habit. Most of the time it can give you perspective on how, when or why you might be feeling this way, or hold you accountable to try and break these habits.