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Old 09-12-2013, 01:09 PM   #1
Andros Clark
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Reasons why Crossfit is good training for MMA

Please contribute, Lets get a huge list going

1. Raw Strength – Crossfit involves lifting heavy weight usually at low reps. The benefit of this is that you develop incredibly strong muscles and tendons (which hold muscle to bone) without packing on more mass than your genetics allow. The lower the rep range, the more you begin working on pure strength and power. This is different to body building where you execute slow movements engaging as many muscle fibres as possible and experience the ‘pump’ and ultimately build a lot of bulky muscle – not useful for MMA.



2. Anaerobic Endurance – Do to the intense and relatively short exercise duration in Crossfit, your body has to work in its anaerobic zone. This means the body is working too hard to get enough oxygen to a) create energy and b) to remove lactic acid. Therefore Crossfit style training makes the MMA athlete accustomed to working with low amounts of oxygen in their system and helps build up a tolerance to lactic acid.



3. Muscular Endurance – Like with anaerobic endurance, the Crossfit athlete is required to perform high repetitions of athletic exercises making the heart work hard in order to get oxygen to those muscles to produce energy and remove lactic acid.



4. Mental Determination – Workouts often involve completing seemingly impossible repetitions of an exercise. This forces the athlete to push themselves far beyond what they believe they are capable of. This helps develop mental fortitude similar to competing in MMA and other combat sports.
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:16 PM   #2
Omar Omar
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Re: Reasons why Crossfit is good training for MMA

Crossfit is not a good training program for MMA...

This sport includes 3 different dimensions of fighting (striking, wrestling and grappling) each of which takes many years to master....

The athletes in MMA or even wrestling for that matter train so hard that it becomes somewhat unrealistic to do Crossfit...

Strength and conditioning coaches in MMA are all about finding the least amount of work to do that which yields the desired results. Doing Crossfit will take away from the learning in all the martial arts and keep the athletes tired and under recovered.

Raw strength is result of weightlifting (Not Crossfit)
endurance is that cardio, again, not CrossFit...
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:36 PM   #3
David Meverden
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Re: Reasons why Crossfit is good training for MMA

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Crossfit is not a good training program for MMA...
I disagree. I think CrossFit (in most of it's incarnations) is good for MMA, just not IDEAL.

The anerobic endurance, muscle endurance, and explosive power built by a good CF program is very appropriate for a fighting sport. And many fighting athletes do high intensity circuits that look a lot like CF workouts anyway, adding additional evidence that these kinds of workouts are efficacious for fighting.

Is it too taxing? Well that depends on how it's setup around other training and how well the workouts are programmed.

Would a custom tailored program built by an experienced MMA strength and conditioning coach be better? Sure. But unless your a pro fighter you're probably SOL on that.
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:36 AM   #4
Pearse Shields
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Re: Reasons why Crossfit is good training for MMA

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Omar View Post
Crossfit is not a good training program for MMA...

This sport includes 3 different dimensions of fighting (striking, wrestling and grappling) each of which takes many years to master....

The athletes in MMA or even wrestling for that matter train so hard that it becomes somewhat unrealistic to do Crossfit...

Strength and conditioning coaches in MMA are all about finding the least amount of work to do that which yields the desired results. Doing Crossfit will take away from the learning in all the martial arts and keep the athletes tired and under recovered.

Raw strength is result of weightlifting (Not Crossfit)
endurance is that cardio, again, not CrossFit...
Terrible argument, with a lack of understanding of energy system development.

Having said that, what David said. There are better ways to train for a sport with specific demands and time domains than a completely generalist approach.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:48 PM   #5
Dakota Base
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Re: Reasons why Crossfit is good training for MMA

The problem with Crossfitting for MMA is that it is time that could have been spent practicing a particular discipline, potentially getting a similar metabolic conditioning workout.

For most amateur fighters, the hours per week training has not saturated the necessary time to perform maximally, so these fighters will benefit from FIGHTING more, rather than "training" like crossfit. In a nutshell, these guys need to spend every available second they have on a mat, in a ring, or in a cage. The metabolic conditioning will come with the territory of fighting, but good head movement and a huge seoi nage won't come from Crossfit.

Once a fighter reaches the appropriate skill level, then Crossfit is a fantastic method for maintaining as well as improving physical condition.

Is it better to Crossfit than to grapple for conditioning? Debatable. Risk for injury during active sparring is always there, but live rolling will always improve your technique, whereas crossfitting only benefits one aspect.

So a fighter has to evaluate what they need in their training program, and develop a training strategy accordingly.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:04 PM   #6
Pearse Shields
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Re: Reasons why Crossfit is good training for MMA

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The problem with Crossfitting for MMA is that it is time that could have been spent practicing a particular discipline, potentially getting a similar metabolic conditioning workout.
Keeping a varied stimulus is important in preventing CNS fatigue. In addition to this, if you are continually focusing on intensity during pads, it becomes easy to be sloppy. During sports-specific work, you want to enforce good technique, which translates to good performance during live sparring and competition. It's important to slow down the pace and focus on technical drills.

Athletes will always need some form of GPP external from their sport.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:37 PM   #7
David Meverden
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Re: Reasons why Crossfit is good training for MMA

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For most amateur fighters, the hours per week training has not saturated the necessary time to perform maximally, so these fighters will benefit from FIGHTING more, rather than "training" like crossfit. In a nutshell, these guys need to spend every available second they have on a mat, in a ring, or in a cage. The metabolic conditioning will come with the territory of fighting, but good head movement and a huge seoi nage won't come from Crossfit.
Disagree with that for anyone experienced enough to be preparing for an official fight.

Football players don't get ideally physically prepared for football by playing football, marathoners don't get ideally physically prepared for marathons by just running marathons, and fighters don't get ideally physically prepared for fights by just fighting.

Dedicated conditioning work and (IMO even more important) dedicated strength work will pay dividends.

I also agree with what Pearse was saying.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:35 PM   #8
Dakota Base
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Re: Reasons why Crossfit is good training for MMA

Don't confuse what I said to be a blanket statement for all fighters at all levels. My intention was, and is, to comment on the importance of training VOLUME before adding in a GPP focus.

My business takes me all over the country, so I take the opportunity to hit up fights, local fight gyms/dojo's, etc wherever I can. In the last decade, I've seen, fought against, spoken with, trained with, watched, etc literally DOZENS of amateur fighters that either or both of 1) took their first fight with less than a year of training, and 2) trained less than 5-6hrs per week.

I understand and agree with the potential benefits of GPP programming for properly trained fighters, but it is my 100% honest opinion, that "the average amateur MMA fighter" is FAR from properly trained. I can't imagine being a coach, or producer, that thinks it's a good idea to bring guys onto their card with less than a year of training, or with an embarrassingly low volume training program.

So if a guy has a choice, 3hrs a week technical training and 3hrs of GPP, versus 6hrs a week of fight work, I'll stand by it every day that they'll be better off to fight off their calories, rather than crossfit. It's like pee-wee football in that sense, NOT like collegiate or pro ball. The technical ability is so low, they need all of the time training to fight they can get.

In line with this, if a guy is training enough that he's a legitimate contender as an amateur, with potential to be a pro (not a hugely high bar in some states), he knows better than to ask "should I be doing GPP work to get better at MMA?". These guys might ask "is Crossfit better than XXX for MMA supplement?", or "can crossfit be adapted to suit MMA training?"

Recognizing that it's a d*ckhead statement, but my honest belief is that if someone is asking whether they should be doing GPP or not, then my 100% brutally honest answer would be "You're not ready for that answer. Go train more." By the time a football player is at a collegiate level, or even at an elite high school level, he has realized he needs supplemental GPP work. He doesn't ask "should I be doing GPP?"

And for the record, yes, the vast majority of competitive marathoners DO only run. There are a lot of CFE and Crossfit guys that brag up their 3-5hr marathon times, but when it comes down to the guys that win endurance events like triathlons, ultra trails, and marathons, their training programs are RUNNING (or SBR in the case of triathletes), not GPP supplements.

Last edited by Dakota Base : 12-22-2013 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:34 AM   #9
David Meverden
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Re: Reasons why Crossfit is good training for MMA

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Originally Posted by Dakota Base View Post
In the last decade, I've seen, fought against, spoken with, trained with, watched, etc literally DOZENS of amateur fighters that either or both of 1) took their first fight with less than a year of training, and 2) trained less than 5-6hrs per week . . .

So if a guy has a choice, 3hrs a week technical training and 3hrs of GPP, versus 6hrs a week of fight work, I'll stand by it every day that they'll be better off to fight off their calories, rather than crossfit.
Fair enough. I still think dedicated strength work, at least, would be a good idea, but I see where you're coming from; if I guy doesn't know how to throw a punch or prevent a takedown he's got bigger problems than being a little out of breath.

Quote:
And for the record, yes, the vast majority of competitive marathoners DO only run.
I said they don't only run marathons. As in, they don't run 26.2 miles monday, 26.2 miles wednesday, 26.2 miles friday and saturday. They do shorter runs, tempo runs, speed work, etc.
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Old 12-23-2013, 05:16 PM   #10
Pearse Shields
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Re: Reasons why Crossfit is good training for MMA

I took my first fight with less than a year of Muay Thai training. I was training at a university club at the time. We had only about 3 or 4 days a week that I could get in and train, and usually only between an hour or two at a time. Because a lot of that training was focused towards technique, drills, and sparring, the need for GPP training outside of those hours was pretty big.

Now, when I build up for a fight I'm usually doing 2-3 hours each day of Muay Thai, plus an hour or two of other strength and conditioning work.
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