Do you ever wonder why some fighters seem to be able to go for days and yet others gas themselves out in within just a few minutes? Every fighter knows how important conditioning is, so are all conditioning problems really just the result of not training hard enough?

What if I told you that there is something missing in your conditioning program that is holding you back and keeping you from being a cardio machine?

Most fighters hate doing cardio because they think they’ll get the best results just by training as hard as possible and that they have to run themselves into the ground. I’m going to show you a better way.

I’m going to share with you the missing link in almost every fighter’s conditioning program and more importantly, I’m going to tell you what to do about it. Once you understand this simple yet powerful principle, you’ll be able to step in the ring or cage each and every time knowing you can outpace, outlast, and overpower your opponent no matter how long the fight goes.

Make no mistake about it, there is a secret to MMA conditioning and I’m about to let you in on it. Many so-called MMA conditioning gurus won’t like what I have to say, but it’s time you were told the truth.

First, let’s look at why most conditioning programs fail…

The problem with MMA Conditioning today

As the sport of MMA has exploded the last few years, more and more Strength & Conditioning Coaches have jumped in the fight game and written articles about how to train for MMA. They all seem to have some new exercise, interval training program, or circuit training routine that’s supposed to improve your strength and/or conditioning.

The problem is that almost all of these programs aren’t based on real science and none of them were designed specifically for you.

If you want to have cardio for days and blast through the later rounds following any generic conditioning program will not get the job done. The reason these programs don’t work is simple when you understand how your body works

What conditioning really is

Conditioning has to be one of the most misunderstood topics in all of MMA training. What most people don’t understand is that conditioning is the sum of many different parts – and to drastically improve it is about much more than just picking a certain exercise, interval, or circuit.

To produce energy for a fight, your lungs take in oxygen, your cardiovascular system pumps oxygenated blood to your working muscles, your nervous system coordinates which muscles work, your hormonal system regulate everything, and your muscles all work together to produce the energy you need to pummel your opponent into submission or knock him out.

How well you’re able to do that depends on how well each of those systems are developed and how well they are working together. When you hit the wall, it is inevitably because one of those systems isn’t able to do its job anymore and the whole energy production chain falls apart.

The real question is which of those systems is going to fail first?

The secret is to eliminate the weakest link in the conditioning chain.

Just as some fighters are better standing than they are on the ground or vice versa, everybody is different in terms of how their body produces energy and where their weak links in the energy production chain are. To be the best, you have to train to improve your specific weaknesses and turn them into your strengths.

Some fighters have great muscular abilities but they lack the cardiovascular system development that’s necessary to supply their muscles with enough oxygen. Other fighters may have a great cardiovascular system but lack the specific muscular development needed to use all the oxygen their heart is capable of delivering. And there are also plenty of fighters who simply lack the neural development needed to be powerful and explosive

The point I’m making is that just as every fighter has specific areas of their MMA game that they need to improve to become a well rounded fighter, the same rule applies to conditioning.

It’s all about your heart rate

Your conditioning program needs to be designed to improve your specific metabolic weak links and this can only be accomplished by training at specific heart rates based on your own specific systems of energy production. This is what the gurus don’t want you to know because they want you to buy their generic conditioning programs.

When you train at the right heart rates based on your own physiology you can target the weak links in your chain and dramatically improve your conditioning like you never thought possible.

The plain truth is that Conditioning for MMA is about much more than just following some one size fits all approach. If you really want to push the limits of performance, you have stop following the generic cookie cutter approach to conditioning that so many strength coaches are putting out there.

Becoming a great fighter requires great conditioning and is a process of developing all the systems of energy production (cardiovascular, neuromuscular, hormonal, etc.) and training them to work together as efficiently and effectively as possible. If you want to become a champion and see fear in the eyes of your opponents in the later rounds as they gas, you have to learn how to train smarter, not just harder, and follow a conditioning program designed not for everybody, but for you.