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How to build a fighter’s physique

Fighters are some of the most well conditioned athletes around and as a by product of that many have impressive physiques, take Conor McGregor or Carl frampton as an example both guys are very lean with wirey musculature but not “muscle bound”.
To get into this kind of condition fighters will train all the body’s energy systems along with smart nutrition , they lift weights , do sprints & lactate training , low intensity aerobic runs and along with actually training for their sport, hitting pads /sparring / grappling ….
Obviously the average gym goer would not have the time or the drive that these guys have and that’s why they are at the top of their games but that doesn’t mean you can’t apply a similar strategy to your own training for a better physique ..
Nowadays every fitness model on the internet is telling you that you don’t have to do cardio to be in good shape ..what these no cardio zealots will always fail to mention is the “other stuff” they do to be in that condition and believe me anyone who has been in the ring or cage will tell you that when it gets tough you won’t be thinking ‘I wish I had done more bench pressing’, but anyway…

Fighters lift weights and use bodyweight movements because a stronger muscle can produce more force, their lifting will mainly be compound movements like the squat , deadlift , pushing and pulling with structural work thrown in to keep the joints healthy.
Sprint work for speed , which has a great metabolic fat burning effect .
Circuit training for their lactate threshold work, lifting lighter weights for higher reps for prolonged periods to get the heart rate up and get the body producing lactic acid , which again has a great metabolic fat burning effect ..
Low intensity aerobic runs or walks at a slower pace. a real simple indicator that your in the aerobic zone is that you should be able to maintain a conversation. use these as a recovery session after days of hard training. Scientific studies prove that doing these runs in a carb fasted state in the morning leads to greater fat burning effect (make sure you’ve eaten some protein to spare your muscle , a few boiled eggs will do the trick ).

Here’s a template of what your training week may look like.
Monday – bench press 5 x 5 , deadlift 5 x 3 , Lat pull down 3 x 10 , face pulls 3 x 10
Tuesday – 5 x 50m sprints with 90 secs rest , 5 sets of sled pulls with 1 min rest
Wednesday -low intensity run or walk
Thursday – push press 5 x 5 , front squat 5 x5 , trx body weight row 3 x 10 , chest supp rear delt flyes 3 x 10
Friday – 10 x 30m sprints 1 min rest , 5 sets of sled pushes 1 mins rest Saturday – low intensity run or walk
Sunday – Fff
Remember , Combining both smart nutrition and training,consistently. Is what will bring you results , good luck !

James Higgins

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