Mixed martial arts is a full-time commitment. To stay in fighting shape, MMA fighters need to train whether they’re at home or on the road. Traveling from match to match in unfamiliar cities and living out of a hotel room makes staying in peak shape difficult, but not impossible.
With a little research and some smart planning, MMA fighters can maintain their fitness and be prepared for any challenge in or out of the ring. The three components of being battle ready on the fight circuit are going to the local MMA gym, making the most of your hotel and focusing on cardio and diet.
Go to the Local MMA Gym
Almost any city hosting an MMA match will have at least one and probably several MMA gyms. Before leaving home, go online and look at the local gyms. Their website will list the resident pros and their fighting specialties. You can also get an idea of the gym’s culture from the rest of the website and from reading reviews. You can use a truck route gps to find the gym.
Once you decide which gym is the best fit for your needs, send an email or make a phone call to the trainer you want to work with. Explain to him or her when you’ll be in town and that you would like to drop in for a day or two to train before your fight. Most gyms will welcome you and give you a free guest pass.
How intense you should train the day before a fight is up to you, but you should be able to find a sparing partner who will give you a good workout. If you would rather practice your strikes without someone punching back, spend time hitting the heavy bag or doing mittwork.
Make the Most of Your Hotel
Staying in a hotel far from home can easily interrupt your workout routine. Fortunately, there are simple solutions to this common traveler’s problem. The most convenient way to stay in shape on the road it to take advantage of the hotel gym. Here you will most likely have a much more limited range of machines and free weights than you are used to, but these tools still get the job done.
Another option is to bring the exercise equipment with you in the form of resistance bands. These gym substitutes are flexible, light weight and easy to pack. They are also easy to use. Simply put, you secure the bands by stepping on them or by using a door anchor.
Then you hold the handles and push or pull against their resistance to complete a rep. The bands are color coded for the amount of resistance they provide, which ranges from five to several hundred pounds.
A third choice for working out while traveling is to do bodyweight exercises. These tried-and-true methods of strength training include push-ups, squats and dips. Only the dips require something other than your body and can be safely done using the hotel chair or desk.
Focus on Diet and Cardio
The importance of diet and cardiovascular exercise are sometimes forgotten in MMA where martial arts training takes center stage. Being away from home makes sticking to a healthy diet problematic without a fridge full of lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables. You may bring some protein powder with you, but otherwise you will have to go to restaurants.
This is another reason to do research before departing for your trip. Look online for local cafes or markets where you can get healthful meals. You’re going to need optimum nutrition to win your matches, so make food a priority.
Finally, winning your fights requires enough endurance to match your fighting skills. Pack your running shoes and explore the city each morning with a brisk walk or HIIT in the park.
Training for your MMA matches while on the road can be a challenge. However, by going online to research gyms, hotels and restaurants, you can be as ready for a fight as if you had all the comforts of home.
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