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By Marcus Fisher
©2009, All Rights Reserved.
Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009, All Rights Reserved. www.marcusfisher.com
Important Disclaimer: Readers are strongly cautioned to consult with a physician or other health care professional before using any information contained in this book. No book can substitute for professional care or advice. The author and publisher of this book are not responsible in any manner whatsoever for any liability, loss, damage, injury or other adverse outcome of applying the instructions herein.
Copyright © April 2009 All right reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009, All Rights Reserved. www.marcusfisher.com
grappling and other forms of combat and combat sports. I put this guide together in response to the huge number of requests I’ve had from people wondering how they too can get started with fighter workouts.Introduction Back in 2004. strength and endurance that translate to better performance on the mat. military personnel. fighters. Instead. No equipment required. real world things that you can start using right now to see noticeable increases in your conditioning . People just like you and me. This means increases in conditioning. That’s what this Conditioning for Combat . And also for those people wanting to know what the best workouts for combat are. it will give you some simple.Quick Start Guide is for. mixed martial artists.com . All Rights Reserved. in the ring or wherever else your battlefield may be. Grapplers. www.in a way that is geared towards combat. law enforcement and many “average Joes” who want the physique and well-rounded fitness levels that so many fighters have. That newsletter has grown beyond what I ever thought it would and now has thousands of subscribers. I started a newsletter to help people improve their physical conditioning for mixed martial arts. It’s not going to introduce a bunch of new exercises or super advanced workouts.marcusfisher. Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009.
After watching him wrestle for a bit. but it wasn’t getting serious mainstream attention. athletic ability. The sport was small at the time and he wasn’t the MMA icon that he is today. Even when my athletic activities didn’t involve combat. I wanted a fighter’s workout. I thought he was a professional wrestler because the gym I trained at had a ring that professional wrestlers would come in and use sometimes. No one really knew about them. people were catching glimpses of NHB fighting on some new payper-view thing called ultimate fighting.Before we get started. www. But. I would like to share with you where these fighter workouts came from. EARLY PROBLEMS WITH CONDITIONING … I’ve always admired fighters for having some of the best fitness levels in the world. it didn’t take long to find out that my conditioning.marcusfisher. the sports were underground. strength and everything else was not very good. I fell in love right away. one of the trainers told me that he fought in the UFC. When I was introduced to Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts. It was fun to be around the sport when not many people knew about it. But this was Randy Couture before he fought guys like Tito Ortiz and had his battles with Chuck Liddell. Any level of fitness I Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. At the time. Sure. I didn’t fully comprehend how great of shape fighters were in until I started doing grappling and combat arts myself. However. Turns out it was Randy Couture. All Rights Reserved. I remember walking into the gym one afternoon and there was a pretty big guy training in the ring.com .
I started talking to everyone I could about how to get in shape for combat. if any. I was lifting heavier weights in the gym. Sure. And I was finding out how quickly combat training exposes your conditioning (or in my case. my luck changed. www. All Rights Reserved. HAD TO FIND SOMETHING BETTER… Finally. In a fairly short amount of time. I was making some serious progress and was happy with it. This was all new to me. Things were looking good. In fact.com . I just wasn’t seeing the positive changes in my conditioning that I was expecting. but that extra strength had little. So of course. carry over onto the mat. I put on a solid 20 lbs and grew stronger in all my exercises. my conditioning during combat wasn’t any better.thought I had.marcusfisher. During my search for a better exercise program. was thrown right out the window when I got on the mat and began sparring. I thought for sure this progress was going to help my sparring by leaps and bounds. He explained that fighters need several different Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. I bought a gym membership and started lifting weights regularly. I was shocked to find that. I was fortunate enough to hear one of the greatest fighters on the planet talk about proper exercise for combat. Everywhere I turned. I was told I had to start lifting weights to get in shape. I was still getting winded way too fast. Overall. a lack thereof). it may have been slightly worse. And on top of that. despite the progress I had made and the work I was putting in. FRUSTRATED AND DISAPPOINTED… But.
we would be better fighters. For example. The problem with this approach is that all combat athletes. cardio and flexibility – just to name a few. You need to be fast and explosive. not separately. You need a strong core while also having good balance and body control.attributes in order to have supreme conditioning. the common mistake we make is trying to train for all of these elements separately. All combat athletes need strength. Most of us already know that if we were stronger. His quick demonstration was enough to permanently change my perspective on what it meant to exercise for combat. but I had never seen them before and was immediately impressed. yet have the endurance to perform your techniques over and over again. I was working hard in the weight room. but my workout had nothing to do with fighting or conditioning. we find a stretching routine for flexibility. This highly decorated fighter and grappler hammered the point home even more by demonstrating a couple of exercises that tie all of these elements together. All Rights Reserved. you need to be strong from all angles and flexible at the same time. then run long distances for cardio and endurance. and so on.marcusfisher. The exercises were simple and required no equipment. During a fight or grappling match. lift weights for strength. endurance. And it certainly wasn’t going to give me flexibility. endurance. But.com . martial artists and grapplers use these elements simultaneously. I realized I was falling into the same trap that most other people were. The routine I was using was simply unrealistic and one-dimensional. www. balance or any of the other physical tools I needed. more flexible and in better shape. Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009.
and buying all the programs I could find. www. finding out the best exercises that other high level fighters and grapplers were using in their own routines…and finally testing and refining what I had learned to come up with a system that WORKS. I found that nothing that was available seemed to actually WORK on a consistent basis. followed by a simple routine that you can start using right away…at home…and without any equipment. Let’s begin… Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. getting information from guys who were EXPERTS. In response to these inquiries. reading all kinds of books. As I mentioned earlier.com . By talking with these people. This led me down a several-year-long path of learning.A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL… Trying to dig deeper into what I had learned. I put together this free guide to show you some of the most important things you need to know about fighting workouts.marcusfisher. All Rights Reserved. martial artists and fighters from all different backgrounds. I then started a newsletter to share this information with other grapplers. I found that the majority of them want to know what the best workouts for fighters are and how to get started.
www. I’ll quickly mention that in all of the programs and books I’ve come across. this piece of information will still benefit you right away. sparring and any other training you do. All Rights Reserved. Getting tired and not recovering quickly are a fighter’s worst nightmare.marcusfisher. it’s used by some of the highest level fighters in the world. So I hope you’ll take advantage of it as well. Even if you decide not to use the workout that follows. one of the most critical functions happening in your body is the delivery of fresh oxygen to your blood and muscles. I’ve only seen one other trainer write or talk about this technique. you’re shooting yourself in the foot. I want to give you a technique that will be incredibly valuable.A Very Important Bonus Technique Before we go any further. the faster your performance deteriorates and the longer it takes your muscles to recover. Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. and instead opt for something else. The less oxygen you have coming in. the faster you get tired. How to get more oxygen into your body: Any time you’re involved in a physical activity. And yet. You know a piece of information is a real gem when guys at the very top are using it yet no one else is talking about it. if you’re not breathing correctly. fighting. Many people have written and told me what a huge difference this one piece of information makes.com . It can improve your performance and conditioning during workouts. And no matter how much time you spend working out.
marcusfisher. people expand their chest when breathing in and keep the abdomen tight. When you breathe using the diaphragm. Part 2: Another incredibly important part of this is knowing how to empty your lungs. remains stale and is not replenished very often. All Rights Reserved. especially during intense exercise and athletic activities to breathe into the bottom of your lungs using your diaphragm. it’s important to understand that oxygen is more readily transferred to your bloodstream from the bottom of your lungs than the top. allow your abdomen to expand. If you try to pour fresh water into the glass. the air at the bottom of the lungs. One of main reasons for this is your lungs have more blood at the bottom. However. Chest breathing is therefore not efficient at bringing fresh oxygen into the body and to the muscles.com . Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. it just spills over the top. Think of your lungs as a glass that is full of dirty water. Most of the time. This means the most important air. Keeping the abdomen tight stops you from using the bottom of the lungs. you allow the bottom of your lungs to fill with fresh oxygen. which makes room for the bottom of the lungs to expand and fill with air. most people typically use only the top half of their lungs when breathing. Here’s how to do it: When you breathe in. www. Thus.Part 1: First. it’s important. This relaxes the diaphragm.
The concepts can be a little hard to explain.com . instead of just using the top half.which in turn pushes the air out of the bottom of your lungs. You can only inhale as much air as you previously exhaled. Let’s summarize it quickly: 1. thus making more room for the clean air to fill your lungs. Again.The same is true of your lungs. but it’s actually quite simple once you understand it. when you breathe using your chest instead of your diaphragm. 2. you make sure to remove all the dirty air. Summary: Sorry if that got a little confusing. forces your diaphragm to expand . Tightening your abdomen during the exhale. Breathing with your diaphragm allows you to take advantage of your entire lungs. you don’t empty the bottom of the lungs completely. Once you exhale deeply.marcusfisher. You breathe with your diaphragm by using your abdomen instead of your chest. www. You cannot breathe in clean oxygen if your lungs are already full of dirty air. This draws the new air in and refills the bottom of your lungs with clean oxygen. (Expand the abs to breathe in. contract them to breathe out) Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. the inhale takes care of itself. Now that your lungs are empty. Here’s what you need to know: By focusing on exhaling instead of inhaling. you simply relax and let your abdomen expand. All Rights Reserved.
Again. Start with this one. But. and then we can add even more powerful stuff to your toolbox very soon.com .3. using the three things outlined above. it improves your performance because you get much more oxygen into your body. Intro to Fighter Workouts Fighter workouts are appealing for many different reasons.marcusfisher. www. Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. I think what makes them really popular is the fact that the workouts get you in great allaround shape without spending hours and hours lifting weights and doing other boring workouts . For now. Focus on exhaling completely and the inhale will happen automatically. Once you have this down. practice this technique during your workouts. you allow yourself to breathe much deeper than normal.such as running on a treadmill. By. many people have told me this one technique alone has been very helpful and it is a tool you can start applying immediately. This not only helps you stay calm and emotionally stable. They will also be slower to recover. there are many other powerful ways to use your breathing to improve your performance. sparring and/or competitions until it becomes second nature. delay fatigue and speed up your recovery. This gives you an immediate advantage over your opponents who are getting tired faster by only taking half breaths. All Rights Reserved.
flexibility and they are the perfect way to build an athletic physique. www. Many people prefer the athletic physique of a fighter over the huge muscles of a bodybuilder. Improved Conditioning Heart – You want your heart to efficiently pump blood throughout the body during intense physical activities. coordination. like most of the workouts you are used to. This gives you truly well-rounded fitness. I know I do. Here are two main things a great fighter workout should give you: 1.marcusfisher.Fighter workouts get you in great shape by simultaneously improving your conditioning. Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. All Rights Reserved. Instead. strength.com . workouts for fighters focus on overall conditioning and training all the systems of your body. Lungs – You want your lungs to efficiently transport oxygen to your body during intense physical activities. So here are some things you should know to get started: • Fighting is not bodybuilding • Fighting is not a marathon • Fighting is not strength training • Fighting is not power lifting • Fighting workouts don’t have to be complicated • Fighting workouts don’t require a bunch of expensive equipment Training for combat is not one-dimensional.
With circuit training. It would look something like this: Push-ups x 15 Sit-ups x 15 Push-ups x 15 Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009.2.marcusfisher. www. Circuit training is so beneficial that it’s used by nearly every high-level combat athlete in the world. All Rights Reserved. you can combine functional exercises and combat specific drills to mimic the type of conditioning you need for combat. So let’s say you want to do a five-minute circuit of push-ups and sit-ups. This is typically done for a set period of time. For fighters. So what exactly is circuit training and how can you use it? Circuit training simply means performing a series of exercises or training drills continuously without any rest in-between. five-minute circuits work great because that is the normal length of one round in an MMA fight. Boxers can use three-minute circuits to mimic one round in a boxing match. Improved Muscle Performance • Strength • Endurance • Flexibility • Speed • Explosiveness • Balance One of the best ways to reap these benefits is through circuit training workouts.com .
marcusfisher. and then repeat the circuit or perform a new circuit. www. Keeping your heart rate elevated makes circuit training not only great for sport-specific conditioning.com . you rest for a certain amount of time. can be done quickly. and keeps your heart rate elevated for the entire workout. but also for fat-loss and toning. Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009.Sit-ups x 15 … Repeat for a total of five minutes After each circuit. an entire workout would look something like this: Circuit #1 – 5 minutes Rest – 1 minute Circuit #2 – 5 minutes Rest – 1 minute Circuit #3 – 5 minutes Rest – 1 minute Circuit #4 – 5 minutes Rest – 1 minute This workout lasts 25 minutes total and includes 20 minutes of circuit training and 5 minutes of rest. All Rights Reserved. Circuit training works so well for your conditioning because it mimics a fight (if you use the right exercises). If you are training for MMA. combines a lot of different elements into one workout.
you can start using some of the more dynamic exercises and drills that really improve your conditioning for combat.marcusfisher. Keep your back and neck as straight as possible. Lower your body until your face nearly touches the floor. core muscles and quickly build a solid foundation of conditioning. Once you get a base level of conditioning and your body is used to these basic exercises.com . None of them require any equipment to perform. Exhale and push back to the starting position. you can start with some basic bodyweight exercises and limit the number of circuits to about three per workout. especially if your body is not used to this style of conditioning. All Rights Reserved. Keep your feet together and your arms about shoulder width apart with your elbows tucked in close to your body. www. we can add a ton of fight specific movements and more advanced drills that will give you a ton of workout variety and really crank up your conditioning to the next level. Push-ups: Assume a standard push-up position. Then. these are some very simple bodyweight exercises that you are probably familiar with. Starter Exercises The intention here is not to introduce a bunch of exercises you have never seen before. lower body.At first. Using these simple exercises. Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. a high intensity circuit may be difficult. Instead. So. you can train your upper body.
Reset your feet and repeat. push your butt back while lowing towards to the floor until your thighs are parallel to the ground. This completes one repetition. Lunges: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. Jump Squats: Just like regular squats but only lower your body about three-quarters of the way. You can place your feet on a milk crate. Squats: Stand with your arms relaxed at your side. Exhale and push with your legs to return to the starting position. The higher your feet are raised. Elevating your feet changes the angle of the muscles being worked. the more difficult the push-up becomes.Elevated Push-ups: Same as regular push-ups but elevate your feet approximately 12 inches. Land as soft as you can. Keep your back straight and your eyes looking forward. Step forward with your right foot about two and a half to three feet. chair or other stable object. Keeping your feet planted on the floor. All Rights Reserved. Exhale as your legs drive your body back to the standing position. Then. Next. Try to keep your back straight up with your shoulders square and try to keep your right knee from moving in front of your right foot. Your legs should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart. alternate to have the left leg lunging forward. www. Lower your back knee to the floor to complete the forward lunging movement.com . Try to keep your knees from bending out in front of your feet. exhale and drive with your legs jumping as high as you can off the floor. workout bench.marcusfisher.
www. Supermans: Supermans target the muscles in your lower back. Keeping your legs straight and together. your legs should point straight up in the air (perpendicular to the floor).Sit-ups: Lay comfortably with your back on the floor and your knees bent. The bottoms of your feet should be planted on the floor a few inches from your butt and a few inches apart from each other. Keep them in the raised position until the entire set is finished. Raise both feet off the floor as high as you can.marcusfisher. All Rights Reserved. Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. Exhale and contract your abdominal muscles and use them to sit up towards your knees. You can see that this movement is almost the opposite of a sit-up.com . Fold your hands across your abdomen (this helps you monitor how much your abdominal muscles are contracting). exhale and use your lower back muscles to raise your torso as high off the ground as possible. Ideally. Lower your face back to the floor while your feet remain in the raised position. You don’t have to come all the way up. Let both hands gently rest on the back of your head. approximately 8-10 inches. Leg Lifts: Lay flat with your back on the floor and your legs straight out. Sit up about half the distance between the floor and your knees. Lay face down on the floor. approximately 8-12 inches. This completes one repetition. Again. Look straight down to the floor. raise them as high as you can. Keep your back and neck straight with your eyes toward the ceiling. fold your hands across your abdomen.
at home. You can perform this workout almost anywhere . depending on your current level of conditioning. it can remain a part of you arsenal no matter how good your conditioning becomes. Even though this workout is simple.The Circuit Routine Here is a simple bodyweight routine you can use to get your body used to circuit training. Another benefit is that you don’t need a training partner. This circuit of eight exercises should take you about three and a half minutes or less. lower body and core for combat training. If you do need to rest. at a school yard or you can bring it with you on vacation and perform the exercises in a hotel room. try only to rest at five-minute intervals and keep your rest period to one minute or less. You don’t need any equipment and the workout can be done in a very small space. Here’s what to do: Perform the following exercises one right after the other in a continuous circuit. The workout is performed in a circuit style fashion to keep your heart rate elevated for 5 to 15 minutes. This simple workout uses the exercises listed above to prepare your upper body. This starts to build your fitness and conditioning foundation and simulates a few rounds of a fight or grappling match. When you complete the entire circuit. It will be perfect for those days when you don’t have any equipment with you and you have very little time for training. If you can’t Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009.marcusfisher. immediately start back at the beginning. www. Your initial goal is to get through as many rounds of the circuit as possible in 15 minutes without stopping to rest. All Rights Reserved.com .
Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. rest for one minute or less. www.com . It also sets the stage for more explosive. highintensity workouts.marcusfisher. If you need a rest at that point. In just 15 minutes. that’s fine. and continue right where you left off for another five minutes. Rest as long as you need to and slowly begin reducing your rest periods as your conditioning improves. you perform somewhere around: • 80 push-ups • 120 lower body repetitions • 145 core repetitions This is a great workout to jump start your conditioning and to begin to prepare your body for combat.do this at first. All Rights Reserved. Here’s the circuit: Push-ups x 12 Squat Jumps x 10 Squats x 10 Sit-ups x 12 Leg Lifts x 12 Supermans x 12 Elevated Push-ups x 8 Lunges x 10 You can set a stop watch or timer for five-minute intervals. Continue cycling through these exercises in a continuous loop until the five minutes is up.
performing 50 push-ups in a oneminute period is a lot more intense than performing 50 push-ups in five-minute period. Obviously. The harder you train. These circuits only need to be performed three or four times a week.If this workout is too easy. Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. An example would be: Circuit Version 2: Push-ups x 22 Squat Jumps x 20 Squats x 20 Sit-ups x 22 Leg Lifts x 22 Supermans x 22 Elevated Push-ups x 18 Lunges x 20 You can also increase the intensity of the workout by increasing the speed at which you perform each exercise. Once you get to the higher intensity circuits. All Rights Reserved.com . the workouts will typically last 20-30 minutes and will be done three times per week. www. you can increase the number of repetitions for each exercise so that each muscle group gets fatigued faster.marcusfisher. the more rest you require. depending on how intense they are for you.
which means they won’t become stale and boring. Basic bodyweight exercises are a great tool for combat athletes. getting motivated or staying consistent. get started with them right away because the next steps are where it gets really exciting. This definitely makes it easier to stay motivated. This additional stuff hardly costs anything but gives you a ton of workout variety and many conditioning options.The Next Step I know these simple workouts we just covered will be a welcome change from the stagnant workouts of your past and will quickly improve your conditioning. These fighter workouts are quicker and more exciting than the workouts you are probably used to. challenging workouts that greatly improve your conditioning for combat. Plus.com . Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009.marcusfisher. don’t worry . the use of resistance bands. So. I’m going to send you you some of the best practices I’ve ever found that help you sustain super levels of motivation. You’re able to change them constantly and easily add variety to your workouts.it happens to everyone. www. But. no expensive equipment. no partner. just you at home doing fun. and probably a medicine ball and a few other simple and inexpensive pieces of equipment to your home workouts. All Rights Reserved. No gym. if you are having any problems with your mindset. but eventually you’ll want to add more advanced and fight specific bodyweight conditioning drills.
make sure you stay tuned in and watch your inbox. I will try to address your question in a future newsletter and/or download. So. All Rights Reserved.com . And if you haven’t already done so. Thanks for taking the time to read this. The spam filters are getting crazier by the day and tend to send everything to the spam folder. I hope it was helpful for you. And I want you to know that I understand what it’s like to struggle with your conditioning. With the thousands of people downloading this guide and reading the newsletter. If I can’t respond individually.marcusfisher. www.I’ll send you these “mental conditioning” methods as a free download in one of the upcoming newsletters. so if you have any questions about this stuff feel free to email me any time. My address is email@example.com. make sure you add me to your white list or address book. And I don’t want you to miss out on anything. It’s completely free. You just need a valid email address so I can send the newsletter to you. Conditioning For Combat – Quick Start Guide ©2009. my inbox gets flooded sometimes so please be patient with me. you can go to marcusfisher. Note: If you’re reading this and you’re not getting the “Conditioning for Fighters” email newsletter.com and sign up right now.
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