Three Things Combat Athletes Need To Stop Doing
In the year 2018, MMA is as popular as hover boards and twerking. With the explosion of combat sports popularity in the last decade there is an MMA, BJJ, or Boxing gym on virtually every street corner in every major city. Gone are the days of concrete floors with one duct taped heavy bag in the corner. Gone are the days of rolling on carpeted dojo floors. Gone are the days when you had to snail mail a magazine cut out with $9.95 shipping and handling to get your BJJ or Muay Thai DVD in the mail.
But With Information Comes Misinformation
With such a massive ocean of knowledge directly available at our fingertips, its only natural that a plethora of bad information and hogwash is also floating around out there as well. So rather than tell you what to do, here’s a few solid things NOT to do.
1. shadow boxing with weights
“B-b-b-but Floyd Mayweather d-“ Just stop. Floyd Mayweather also eats big macs from McDonald’s almost everyday. Floyd Mayweather also has a $1,000,000+ mansion in every major city in the United States. Floyd Mayweather also beat up one of his girlfriends. Notice a theme here? You are not Floyd Mayweather.
The point of shadow boxing is develop timing, rhythm, and footwork. It is not meant to be a workout for your arms. Shadow boxing with dumbbells of any size is akin to a MLB pitcher practicing pitching with a 5lb baseball. Not only are you teaching your body in an incorrect motor recruitment pattern for your sport and risking hyper extension, you look like a huge douche.
Bottom line, shadow boxing with weights is using a vertical resistance (gravity) for a horizontal movement (punching). Use resistance bands instead, they’re much more effective and conducive to your goals as an athlete.
2. Not lifting weights
“Lifting weights will make you slow” -a guy who should f*** off
You ever seen someone lift a heavy ass weight slowly? Me neither.
Wanna know the reason so many beginner and intermediate athletes are slow? Because they are unable to produce large amounts of force! Since they spend so much time jumping rope, jogging, sparring, rolling, wrestling etc. there is little issue with expressing the force their muscles are able to produce. Where the problem occurs however, is being able to produce LARGE amounts of force, and in a coordinated manner. A well-designed resistance training program helps athletes to coordinate the firing of their large muscle groups together more efficiently, as well as allowing each muscle to learn more efficient and effective force patterns. Over time, it helps the athlete add muscle mass to the prime movers of speed, but this must be done in a carefully planned pattern to help eliminate the compensation patterns that are so often present in advanced athletes who began heavy resistance training too early and in excess volume.
3. Trying to emulate other fighters
Don’t get me wrong. I love Conor McGregors counter-left, Jon Jones spinning back elbows and Alexey Oleinik’s ezekiel chokes, but none of those fighters are me and I am none of those fighters. There is nothing wrong with exploring what fighters with similar body types, athletic backgrounds and fighting styles as you do; but do not try to emulate another fighter completely. You are doing yourself a disservice and it is often a recipe for failure and unreached potential. DO YOU. If you just got into boxing at 20 years old you’re probably not going to develop footwork like Vasily Lomachenko that he’s been developing since he was 6. You’re probably not going to have a double leg like Jordan Burroughs. You’re probably not going to have a left hand like McGregor. And if you DO, it wont be on account of watching these guys and trying to emulate them, it will be from developing those things on your own with your own potential and ability.