Written by Grace Facer – UFC Gyms Australia
UFC athletes are some of the toughest athletes in the world. The mix of disciplines required to become a successful MMA fighter means that these athletes must uphold a certain level of fitness and skill that is rarely found in other sports. Most sports require their athletes to hone in on one skill – MMA requires the mastery of several. Apart from being a highly skilled, well-rounded mixed martial artist, MMA athletes must also have incredible strength, power, endurance and agility. Not to mention the mental strength, dedication and commitment these athletes need before they can even consider stepping foot in the infamous Octagon.
Even if you’re not planning to battle it out in the cage, there’s nothing stopping you from becoming a stronger, faster, leaner version of yourself by implementing MMA training into your regular fitness routine. No matter what discipline you choose to dabble in, whether it be Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitzu, Wrestling, Kickboxing or any other combination of almost endless possibilities, you’ll find that although the disciplines differ, one thing remains the same. Every fighters’ determination to get back up and be better tomorrow never wanes. It is this winning mentality that separates those worthy of a long-lusted championship belt and those who fall further down the ranks. In much the same way, this mentality also separates those who make serious gains in the gym and those who never completely tap into their full fitness potential.
How can training like a fighter help you reach your fitness goals faster? We ask coaches at UFC GYM Australia what MMA training has helped them achieve.
IMPROVE OVERALL FITNESS
Black belt martial artist turned Pro Men’s Fitness Model, Jordan Stewart, says combining martial arts with other sports helped increase his aerobic and cardiovascular fitness as well as improve his flexibility. A Kickboxer since the age of 7, Jordan juggled kickboxing and football, later incorporating resistance training into his fitness regime to go on and compete under the INBA (now ICN), receiving his PRO card and earning him the chance to compete overseas.
“Taking up different training styles and methods has improved my body image and helped me to improve my overall fitness and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Implementing the same training principles as UFC athletes helps cover all bases of fitness in a fun and dynamic way.”
Fitness Manager of UFC GYM Wetherill Park, Ray Micallef, says the great thing about the variety in mixed martial arts sports is it “allows individuals of all abilities to access a unique training method where they can reach their goals in a supportive team environment.”
Ray says incorporating fighter-style training has helped him endure brutal CrossFit sessions that have pushed him far beyond what he thought were his physical and mental capabilities.
“Participating in boxing, kickboxing & Fight Fit classes has dramatically improved my conditioning level when competing in Crossfit events. Nothing compares to the rush of adrenaline and the sense of achievement I get after such an intense form of training.”
ENCOURAGE DETERMINATION & DISCIPLINE
But perhaps far more important than any amount of strength and stamina, a person’s determination and passion are the most important qualities for anyone looking to take their training to the next level. Former World, South Pacific and Australian Pro Muay Thai Boxing Champion, Sandy Furner, knows all too well the amount of commitment and drive needed to excel in any form of training.
“Starting my martial arts career at the late age of 31 in a male dominated sport and training and fighting in Australia, Thailand and Japan was super tough on all levels. Without determination and passion I don’t think I would have been able to get to where I am today…I have 27 fights to my name.”
Sandy, who is currently a 4th Degree Muay Thai Certified Coach at UFC GYM believes that anyone can train like a fighter if they’re passionate enough about it – whether or not their end goal is to start professional fighting or simply just to keep their gym routine fresh and exciting.
“Train hard, do the hard yards, be consistent and most of all believe in your ability.”
Want to experience the train different difference at UFC GYM? Visit the UFC GYMS website.