The MMA Conditioning Formula

In today’s article, you’re going to discover the formula I use to ensure my fighter’s go into their fights with 100% confidence in their MMA conditioning, strength and power.

But first, a quick story…

UFC 115 was the first time I’ve cornered an athlete that I’ve trained for the big show.

Claude Patrick asked me if I wanted to be in the corner for his UFC debut and it took me about a millisecond before I said “HELL YEAH!”

Trust me when I tell you that the ear-to-ear smile that you see on my face inside the octagon in the pic below was on my face all day.

MMA conditioning Coach Eric Wong inside the Octagon at UFC 115

The event was held in Vancouver, BC and I arrived on the Thursday morning before the fight.

Claude won in the second round via guillotine, but that’s not what we’re going to talk about here…

As a fan, it was an awesome experience bumping into guys like Rich Franklin and Chuck Liddell in the hotel elevator, and as a strength and conditioning coach, I seized the opportunity to talk to fighters and strength coaches about what else: MMA conditioning.

I asked specific questions like, “What are your favourite methods for enhancing explosive power?” as well as more general questions like, “What do you see most fighters screwing up with respect to their MMA conditioning workouts?”

The second question fueled some interesting discussion but the general consensus was the same, although we had different ways of approaching it.

But before we get to the specific methods, here’s the general consensus shared by many of the top coaches of where most fighters are preventing themselves from getting top MMA condtioning:

Most Fighters Simply Workout, Instead Of Following
A Specific MMA Conditioning Program

Here’s a simple example to clearly outline the difference between working out and following a program…

Imagine you’re trying to lose fat through diet.

Working out is like coming home from work, opening the fridge, then asking yourself, “So, what am I gonna have for dinner tonight?”

Following a program is like coming home from work, opening the fridge, grabbing the steaks, broccoli, sweet potatoes, herbs and spices and starting to prepare your dinner without delay because you knew before hand what you were going to make.

Now, ask yourself, who’s going to lose more fat, the guy ‘working out’ or the guy following the program?

That’s the difference (and power) of following a program.

So if up until now, all you’ve been doing is working out, if you’re fighting, it’s time to follow an MMA conditioning program to drastically boost your fitness so you can win more fights and I’m going to show you how you can get started right now.

Even if you’re just training MMA for fun, you might as well get the most of the training time you invest by being in top shape, don’t you think?

If your MMA conditioning is top notch, you’ll be able to handle more training vs. sitting on the sidelines watching, you’ll be more relaxed when you’re learning and be able to pickup skills faster, not to mention the fact that your coaches will definitely notice and see you’re more serious and take you more seriously.

Now, let me share the formula I’ve used with UFC fighters like Claude Patrick, Jeff Joslin and pro mixed martial artists around the world…

Eric’s MMA Conditioning Formula

Having two Chinese parents and thus being Chinese myself, naturally makes me pretty good at math.

That’s why I like concepts in formulas – it helps me remember and understand them better.

For example, I recently got married, and the advice that I got from friends and family that I remember best is “Happy Wife = Happy Life”. If you’re a married man, you might agree. 🙂

Anyway, here’s the base formula that I use for developing top-notch MMA conditioning:

The MMA Conditioning Formula

Now, let me break it all down for you so you can develop Peak MMA Conditioning…

First, the order is important: Strength comes before Power, which comes before Power Endurance (PE).

These are the different methods of Resistance Training (RT), which can mean anything from lifting weights to bodyweight training.

A high level of MMA conditioning means having a high level of PE, because it’s one thing to have knockout power, it’s another thing to have knockout power that lasts for 2 minutes then is gone for the rest of the fight.

And to be powerful, you first have to be strong.

The vertical jump is one of the purest examples of power and Kelly Baggett, the foremost coach when it comes to increasing your vert, recommends you have a max Back Squat of 1.5 times your bodyweight before even thinking about doing plyometrics.

I couldn’t agree more.

So first, your goal is to get your Strength up, then you work on your Power and only then do you work on PE.

Now Cardio is what I use to specifically target the heart and lungs vs. the muscles.

Typically, Cardio is some type of cyclic movement, so I define riding a bike and running as Cardio and bodyweight circuits as PE.

You’ll notice that Cardio is underneath Strength, Power and PE in my MMA conditioning formula…

This is because you can develop it at the same time as the other elements. [There are different Cardio training goals and methods such as aerobic power intervals, anaeorbic threshold training, etc that work in synergy with each other, but that’s beyond the scope of this article and for another day]

For guys a little out of shape or fighters who have only been doing mainly circuit training and not too much RT, if you’re training MMA 3+ days per week, they can serve as your Cardio workouts while you focus on RT.

When to bring specific Cardio training into the mix depends on the individual, how much training time you have, how good your nutrition is, etc, but simply know that eventually, you’ll get to the point where you’re training Cardio and RT in the same cycle of your MMA conditioning program.

Now do you see the difference between going to the gym for a workout and following a program designed specifically to boost your MMA conditioning?

“So What Do I Do Next?”

If the only thing you get from reading this article is that you’ve got to start following an MMA conditioning program, then I’ve done my job and you’ll get in better shape than before, I guarantee it.

The reality is that ANY program, even one that’s poorly designed, will outperform simply going to the gym to workout, so even if you put it together yourself, you’ll be ahead of most of the guys out there.

The important thing is to have something in place that you follow and progress instead of doing whatever you feel like doing.

Eric Wong's MMA Conditioning ProgramBUT if you’re a fighter or you train MMA for fun and you want to be in top shape, I’ve put together the Ultimate MMA Strength and Conditioning program based around the MMA conditioning formula I’ve shared with you in this article AND best of all, it’s been PROVEN the only place it counts – inside the octagon. Find out more here.

Thousands of other fighters have followed this program with tremendous results (that you can read about here), but when you follow the program and it doesn’t work for you, email me and you’ll get your money back. I don’t want your money if the program doesn’t work, but because I know it will, I can offer you this guarantee.

If you keep working out instead of training and following a program designed specifically for MMA , you’re stopping yourself from reaching your potential as a fighter and athlete.

Every day is a chance to get better or get worse, you’re never maintaining because if others are getting better, you’re getting worse.

So start training on a specific MMA conditioning program that’s proven to work and you’ll win more fights and have way more fun  training mixed martial arts than ever before.

 

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James
James

Hi Eric do you train is a specific gym/ dojo in Vancouver

Ashi
Ashi

My son is having mma.He is extra weak please tell me what can I do for him.

david P
david P

Hello, Mr.Wong ….. Im David , 21 years old and i am an obese person (242 lbs)…. i have a dream becoming a ‘Fighter’ …. well, Despite my weight issues, there is no boxing class, wrestling class or another classes that has to do with MMA (expect Karate and a GYM)….. i know i gotta shed a HUGE AMOUNT of weight but i tear myself into pieces if i have to get in shape, i more than ready to give complete devotion to MMA…. but there isn’t anyone in my locality to offer me help and moving out of town isn’t an option for me, cuz my mom isn’t so well, i gotta take care of her and she cant travel too… I am from India , pls any word of advice would be great!.

david P
david P

HI, Mr.Wong….I’m a 21 yrs old obese , i mean really obese(242 lbs) guy and 5.10′ in height….. i have a dream of becoming a ‘Fighter’ but despite my weight issues , i can’t find any fight clubs, boxing classes or any classes,training centers associated with MMA (well expect Kung-Fu and Karate) in my logicality (I’m from India)….i dont want my dream to die!! …. Is there any way i can be a ‘Fighter; too??
Regards,
David

david P
david P

HI, Mr.Wong….I’m a 21 yrs old obese , i mean really obese(242 lbs) guy and 5.10′ in height….. i have a dream of becoming a ‘Fighter’ but despite my weight issues , i can’t find any fight clubs, boxing classes or any classes,training centers associated with MMA (well expect Kung-Fu and Karate) in my logicality (I’m from India)….i dont want my dream to die!! …. Is there any way i can be a ‘Fighter; too??

dan
dan

you realize that your forumla says that the more cardio you have, the less conditioned you are. I find it pretty hard to believe that you trained a ufc fighter bro

Eric
Eric

LOL shit when looking at it from a math perspective that is true. Fucking embarrassing is what that is… What I meant by having cardio under there is written below the formula: “You’ll notice that Cardio is underneath Strength, Power and PE in my MMA conditioning formula… This is because you can develop it at the same time as the other elements. [There are different Cardio training goals and methods such as aerobic power intervals, anaeorbic threshold training, etc that work in synergy with each other, but that’s beyond the scope of this article and for another day] For guys a little out of shape or fighters who have only been doing mainly circuit training and not too much RT, if you’re training MMA 3+ days per week, they can serve as your Cardio workouts while you focus on RT.” It’s not meant to be a scientific thing and looking… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff

Eric,

I’m following the program but have noticed that there is no running for conditioning. I train MMA 3 days a week and do your program on my off days. Is there any running involved?

Pablo S.
Pablo S.

Running doesn’t really benefit an MMA fighter. Mostly all running for an MMA fighter is done when cutting weight, or so it is in wrestling. Im in wrestling on a high school team and Muay Thai off season. We only run during inseason for wrestling when maintaining our weight class and in Muay Thai I haven’t had to run at all for anything. For conditioning I have done alot of gassers, sprints, suicides, footwork drills followed by short sprints, and TONS of bodyweight work done in short circuits. Im sorry for getting so off topic, but my point is that running is not the most beneficial way to go about your conditioning. If you feel you get good cardio off of running though, itd be great to keep on doing it.

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[…] In short, the course was amazing and I learned a ton of great info that will help me help you effectively integrate the Olympic lifts into your MMA strength and conditioning program. […]

tumeke22
tumeke22

Hi Eric I followed your Ultimate MMA program in preparation for my debut MMA fight which I won by KO 49 seconds in the first round. I credit your program as the main reason why I was so prepared for my fight, I used to be overweight but I lost 13kg (29 pounds) over 3 months. My cardio strength and stamina were supreme and everybody at my gym complements me on my increased level of fitness. I also used your no sweat weight cutting and cut 5kg (11 pounds) from the Sunday until weigh in on Friday and I used the Fight prep warm-up which had me loose and fluid. Another program that you recommended the Renegade mindset was another tool in my arsenal that prepared me so when I stepped into the cage I already knew how I would win, I was able to psyche my opponent out from… Read more »

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[…] 3 of the last 4 articles I posted on my blog talked about the power of following an organized, periodized training program to get the best […]

Josemm
Josemm

Eric im following the program already and i was just wondering some exercises like the supported external rotation exercise is there only during corrective phase so what happen to that muscle later on i mean we work on it in corrective phase and wich other exercise in the program keep building strength on it i guess you need to keep working on that muscle to keep all that you have gained in the corrective phase isnt it? or you just need to work it once? this would help me to understand further more the way the program is put togheter and as we are talking about progression would be great to know.

thanks.

Happy wife = happy life a good one 🙂

Eric

For the external rotators, the Arnold Press and Sword target that muscle…

They are progressions of the Supported External Rot.

And yeah, I heard the marriage formula of success from various friends and family, so it must be true. 🙂

John
John

Welcome back and congrats!! Great article to come back with – keep ’em coming.

Cork-boi
Cork-boi

Yo Eric,
welcome back, glad to hear that you’re still married!
I can definately vouch for following a programe. I was trying to lose weight and gain MMA specific strenght. After 3 months of “working out” on my own (basically the same workout 3 times a week) I lost 2kg.
I tried your MMA Ripped programe and I lost 7kg of fat (thats 15.5lbs to all you “New Worlders”) and gained 2 kg of muscle ( 4.5lbs).
I’m doing the Ultimate MMA Strength and Conditioning program now, looking forward to the results.

thanks

Eric

Nice, thanks for sharing the results… Don’t forget the awesome fitness increases ie. Pushups from 60’s to 80’s, Deadlift 1RM increased by 30kg, etc…

Rocci
Rocci

Eric I said it before – Congrats to you both! hope your time away was as relaxing as it should be. Everytime you post up about MMA conditioning I have to say my piece about it, the best thing I done was invest in the MMA S&C you designed, the second best thing was winning the comp you set out which won me the ultimate strength and conditioning program 🙂 following the workouts gives me more time to focus on other areas such as skills, techniques and drills within wrestling, Muay Thai and mma, as well as having the material from the guys at http://www.renegademindsetmma.com/ for my visulisation. I invested in the work of the Wong-meister and I have just been getting better and better with regard to specific conditioning, nutrition and weight cutting, I dont just follow what is written I like to have an understanding of why and… Read more »

Eric

Thanks for the props brother! Just got your fight DVD in the mail – I’ll check it out today and let you know my thoughts.

Kris
Kris

Congrats ERIC!!!! Glad your back and great article! Thanks.

Eric

Thanks man… as awesome as the H-Moon was, it’s good to be back. 🙂