While it might not be for everyone, there’s a certain allure to sports like boxing and MMA. Getting into these sports is easier said than done, though, because they demand peak physical fitness and plenty of practice. Creating the perfect physique for a fighter boils down to following best practices when it comes to your diet and your workout routine. Here’s what you need to know.
These days, many people struggle with creating a nutritionally complete diet thanks to the widespread proliferation of fast food and junk food. However, even accounting for the problem of processed foods, any athlete needs a diet specially tailored to their higher than average activity and the extra demands that exertion places on the body. Primarily, your concerns will be carbohydrates, protein, hydration, and electrolytes.
Carbs are the body’s preferred energy source. Protein will do in a pinch, but getting plenty of carbs is a necessity for fighters and other athletes who need both in high quantities. Your body needs protein to repair and maintain your muscles, so it stands to reason that you’ll need that much more before a fight or a training session. Hydration is more or less just as important to everyone, but exercise causes the body to heat up, at which point sweat is produced for cooling purposes, and sweat contains vital water and electrolytes, so staying hydrated during activity is even more important than it is throughout the day. Electrolytes are an important part of keeping the body moving, and depleting them during physical activity is a real risk with real consequences.
Taking care of all of your dietary needs is important, but subsisting on food often requires accepting access baggage. Looking into Thrive side effects, for example, you can find dietary supplements that can help you get what you need without accepting more of what you could do without. Protein powder has become a staple for fitness diets, because it gives you the protein in dairy, but isolates it from the high fat content of dairy itself.
Achieving a basic level of fitness can be difficult these days, and that can make training to be an MMA contender seem like an impossibility. However, proper discipline, in addition to a well thought out workout routine, can help you achieve that lofty goal. After you’ve achieved a basic level of fitness, you can begin to give extra attention to the specific needs of a fighter. This starts with strength training of the arms and/or legs. Weight lifting is typically a great way to build up the necessary strength for grappling or throwing punches. On the other hand, squats are a reliable way of building leg strength. A good combination of the two is deadlifting, something that also strengthens the back, leading to the next major qualification for fighters, core strength. Crunches are another excellent means of building core strength, something you’ll need to take hits without getting taken down. Cardio is also important, not only in general, but especially for athletes, because cardio exercises increase the efficiency of the heart and lungs. Swimming is a great way to build up your cardio, and it also provides a full body workout.
It’s important to note that muscle mass is not an all important quality for a fighter. Bodybuilding is largely cosmetic, and it can be actively detrimental to athletes of all kinds, because too much muscle mass can limit range of movement without adding much in the way of strength, in addition to other problems. Bodybuilding is the result of deliberately and strategically damaging muscles, however, so it can easily be avoided. Training to be a fighter is no easy feat. On the brightside, this is what makes professional fighting so compelling to audiences and competitors. Honing your body for combat will take discipline, and it will test your limits, but following these tips can ensure that you meet your goals.
Mikkie is a freelance writer from Chicago. She is also a mother of two who loves sharing her ideas on interior design, budgeting hacks, and DIY. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing the little ones or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.