When you try to find info on Power Training for MMA, you usually end up finding variations of ‘Power Endurance Circuits’.
These circuits are often touted as the only means necessary to develop MMA specific strength, power, and endurance.
But if you’ve never trained and developed your power exclusively before, how can you develop endurance of something you don’t have?
So first, you need to focus on developing your power.
Now, the equation for calculating power is:
Power = Force x Velocity
Basically, what this means is that Power is your ability to generate a lot of force, fast.
So you can work on both components – increasing your maximum strength (force), and increasing the velocity of your movement.
The problem with only using circuits is that once you reach a certain level, you won’t be able to improve any further.
This is because circuits generally involve short rest times between exercises, not to mention random choices of exercises.
Developing maximal force and/or velocity requires use of your highest energy system, the ATP-PC system, also known as the anaerobic alactic system.
It’s called anaerobic alactic because it doesn’t require oxygen (giving you instant energy), and it doesn’t generate lactic acid (which means it doesn’t burn).
The problem with this energy system is that it only gives you about 10-15 seconds of energy until it’s exhausted.
That’s why if you really want to work to develop your power, your set lasts 10-15 seconds of work and NO LONGER.
You would then rest until the system is completely recovered so that each set and rep is at full force and velocity.
This follows the principle of overload – a muscle (or movement) can only adapt if the demands placed on it are above what it is used to
Without enough rest, you won’t train your muscles and nervous system at the highest level possible since the anaerobic alactic system won’t be recovered fully.
Without full recovery of the anaerobic alactic system, the amount of force and/or the velocity that you can generate will be limited, which means you’re not taking your body over and above what it’s used to.
So to rest fully, you need anywhere from 1.5 – 4 minutes, depending on the exercise and weight used.
To choose the proper amount of rest, take more rest for exercises closer to your 1 rep-max, such as a 2-3 rep set, and take more rest the more muscle groups you use (squats vs. bicep curls) in the exercise.
To summarize, training power properly would look like this:
Sets: 4 – 8
Reps: 10 – 15 seconds worth
Rest: 1.5 – 4 minutes
Once you’ve worked to develop your power, then you can do your favourite circuits to develop power endurance.
If you want explosive power and never-ending cardio, check out the Ultimate MMA Strength and Conditioning Program