Fast twitch vs. Slow twitch
- 08-20-2010, 06:58 PM
Fast twitch vs. Slow twitch
I just started MMA and I want to get faster. My trainer told me not to do any weight training because it will develop slow twitch muscle fibers, but I don't think that sounds right. Everything I've researched says the opposite:
Aerobic activity and high rep lifting builds slow twitch fibers
Plyometrics and Lifting heavy (2-5 reps) builds fast twitch fibers
Sprinting builds "super-fast" twitch fibers
So, should I keep doing only the plyometrics with my trainer and sprinting? Or can I throw in some heavy lifting along side.
Keep in mind I'm only going for speed right now.
- 08-20-2010, 07:31 PM
Refer to guys like Roy Jones or even Wladimir Klitschko, most of their weight training consists of functional training/fast twitch development, not bodybuilding type training. I've personally witnessed top rated MMA guys get in the boxing ring to spar with boxers, in order to improve their technique, and the guys they spar with are half their size/age (mostly kids training for states/Olympics), and let's just say it isn't pretty.
MMA athletes are horrid from a boxers perspective in terms of their technique. They throw wide looping punches, that you can see coming 4 miles away. The kids they sparred with landed on them about 10-1 just to put it into perspective. Work on your legs and functional core training. MMA requires upper body strength for grappling, but in terms of enhancing speed, it's a catch 22.
08-20-2010, 08:02 PM
In terms of muscle fiber type conversions, all types of exercise (aerobic, resistance training, or sprinting) will cause conversion of IId fibers to IIa fibers. The IIa fibers are generally more fatigue resistant than IId, but the twitch times are nearly identical so it's unlikely you will actually lose any speed. If you do excessive aerobic type training the IIa fibers may start behaving more like type I fibers (slow twitch) which wouldn't facilitate speed or power, but it's hard to say if the primary culprit is the actual muscle fibers or neural adaptations (and obviously these two are greatly intertwined as well).
In terms of MMA and heavy resistance training just remember you will get better at doing whatever it is you do the most. If you do so much resistance training that you neglect other aspects of training, of course it's a problem. If you gain too much weight and mess up your strength to bodyweight ratios, that could be a problem too. I would find someone who has successfully coached MMA athletes who incorporated resistance exercise and get some feedback from them.
08-22-2010, 05:07 PM
The bottom line for you is that you'll want to do a few compounds lifts somewhat like a powerlifter, but the remainder of your workout heavily biased towards conditioning, since that's super important for your goals. For the most part you'll want to stay away from bodybuilding type movements.
BTW, your coach is echoing an opinion that used to be in the majority. Most modern day coaches realize the importance of training for strength/explosiveness.
08-22-2010, 10:44 PM
If strength training during training for fighting is so bad, then ask your trainer why Mike Tyson is one of the greatest all time. He strength trained. Your best bet is to mix BOTH types of training.
Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
08-26-2010, 10:34 AM
Striking movements yes u want low weight high explosiveness but at 6'3 190 u should have some wrestling ability which calls for high strength in your core back and hips.
Basically u need both
08-26-2010, 10:48 AM
The idea that weight training inhibits speed, agility, and/or endurance is an extremely archaic notion that, for some reason, just will not die. You can only modify your muscle fibers to an extent as it is primarily a genetic attribute.
M.Ed. Ex Phys
08-26-2010, 11:15 AM
For example if you take a look at most successful boxing trainers(Steward,Roach and Atlas), they tend stray away from heavy lifting and if they do incorporate resistance training, much of it will focus on core training and legs, rather than upper body, Alex Ariza being a prime example of this type conditioning. I'm not saying that resistance training shouldn't be incorporated into boxing/MMA training, but it shouldn't be done so at the expense of speed.
08-26-2010, 11:18 AM
08-26-2010, 11:20 AM
What is your current MMA training regimen, just the mma portion?
Most ppl have their own training regimen they do or are told to do, and then there are workouts they do with their "team" or similar.
As far as stopping heavy resistance, probably not the best suggestion on your coaches part, hopefully you trust this person. I would break things up into 3 different full body sessions. Strength/Power&Plyo/Hypertrophy&Timed Resistance.
STRETCH LIKE CRAZY, as the limited motion comes from lack of stretching properly to maintain proper ROM. Unless you intend to become a pro bb-er and mma fighter, your muscles shouldn't grow to the point of limited ROM.
08-26-2010, 11:34 AM
It really all comes down to the principals of specificity. A typical bodybuilding program will result in muscular imbalances and a loss of mobility, especially if flexibility issues are not adressed.
Sport specific training, on the other hand, can be used to increase power output, strength, or anaerobic capacity, if correctly programmed. Energy systems, movements and musculature used, and outcome objectives must all be taken into consideration.
As an example of ancillary muscles that must be adressed via weight training in the fighter:
Many boxers and MMA fighters (and bodybuilders) tend to have a protracted shoulder girdle, due to overuse of the serratus and pec minor in punching and grappling. Any time the shoulders are protracted, a loss of ROM will ensue, and the subsequent risk of injury will increase. Thus, this nessessitates the need to train the rhomboids, traps, and external rotators in order to reduce the risk of injuries to the shoulder.
One of my clients is a Judo athlete, and immediately following resistance movements I have him performing 3 or 4 take downs or throws. The same is often used with sprinters or jumpers. Following a set of squats, cleans, etc. a 30 yard sprint will be ran, or a lo volume set of concentric box jumps will be performed. Its the carry over effect, and it pretty well documented in the research. IE.,
BrThe Effect of Sprinting After Each Set of Heavy Resistance Training on the Running Speed and Jumping Performance of Young Basketball Players
Tsimahidis et al.
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 24(8):2102-2108, August 2010.
08-26-2010, 11:37 AM
08-26-2010, 11:38 AM
I defer to conditioning experts like Alex Ariza, who echo the same sentiments, and has been proven successful. I'm not making a point, simply just to make a point. Emmanuel Steward, Freddy Roach, Teddy Atlas and Alex Ariza follow the same principles and they've been successful. Now if you're moving up through various weight divisions, then mass training may prove beneficial. But again based on practicality, guys like Juan Manuel Marquez, who strength trained in order to jump up two weight divisions to face Mayweather, looked as if he couldn't get out of first gear all night and was incredibly slow and cumbersome.
My general statements are only relative to boxing, based on feedback from boxing trainers who have been successful, not merely my own opinion. If you can cite some real world examples, actual fighters who've incorporated mass training routines in the sport and have been successful, in terms of increasing or maintaining speed, I'm all ears?
08-26-2010, 11:46 AM
My main problem with all things boxing is the dogma. There are so few innovations that have been implemented into boxing from an S&C perspective.
M.Ed. Ex Phys
08-26-2010, 11:55 AM
I can't speak intelligently with respect to some of the principles you've mentioned, nor would I attempt to, since it's not my primary area of expertise. I can, however, speak intelligently with respect to boxing training methods, because I've followed fighters during their training camps, including all the way up to fight night.
08-26-2010, 12:15 PM
M.Ed. Ex Phys
08-26-2010, 12:28 PM
In any event, the issue of PEDs is irrelevant, since it's not been proven, furthermore it's not remotely relevant to any of my previous comments, of which I stated that whatever principles/methods Alex has implemented, while training these world class athletes, have all produced successful outcomes, moreover in real world applications.
08-26-2010, 12:39 PM
The PED issue is very relevant as there is a huge cloud hanging over Pacquiao. You can't use him as your primary example of the efficacy of his programs when he's under suspicion of PED usage due to moving up in weight and, somehow, retaining, and possibly improving, his KO power.
Also, you're trying to argue a completely different sport with a completely different set of conditioning standards. As a sport, MMA is evolving at a much faster pace due to the necessity of blending the amalgam of arts to the attributes of each athlete. There is a much higher demand for power as well as adaptations to the environment (cage vs ring) compared to boxing.
M.Ed. Ex Phys
08-26-2010, 12:54 PM
Whether or not you agree with those comments are irrelevant. Those gentleman although lacking an educational background in exercise science, make up for it by way of possessing "actual experience", which have produced "actual" positive results for world class athletes. I'm referring to the training of professional athletes, where money, television dates and championships are at stake, not a guy who is a personal trainer at his local gym.
As for arguing the conditioning needs between boxing and MMA, you must have inferred that all on your own, since I made sure to preface my comments, by stating they are specific to "boxing".
A trainer is only as good as the outcome that they can produce for their clients, whether or not they can explain various theories regarding exercise science is irrelevant, producing real world results is what they are ultimately judged on. The OP stated "Keep in mind I'm only going for speed right now". I've drawn a direct correlation between that statement and my own responses.
08-26-2010, 01:08 PM
Almost everything that was considered to be correct 20-30 years ago has been disproven through extensive research. The key example of this is that it was once thought that lactic acid was the cause of muscle soreness. However, this is only believed by the uneducated and ignorant because it has been shown that this soreness (aka DOMS) is due to the microtrauma to the actual muscle cell which results in slight tearing and bleeding.
M.Ed. Ex Phys
08-26-2010, 01:25 PM
Please reread the ultimate goal of the OP, which was to enhance punching speed, all of my comments have been focused towards that end. MMA athletes and boxers require different training methods, since MMA incorporates multiple modes of physicality in a given bout.
In terms of striking/punching, which is the primary focus of the OP, MMA athletes in comparison to boxers are night and day, as it relates to speed.
MMA athletes strike wide and looping, using improper technique. I've also watched MMA athletes train on a professional level, enhancement of punching speed and technique are rare focuses.
MMA is growing at a rapid rate for many reasons, many of which are not even apparent to the fans of the sport. I've gotten the opportunity to cover some of these events live, understandably this next comment puts me in the minority, but I don't get the appeal. Watching them throw punches is cringe worthy, although the ground game seems to be one of skill and technique.
08-26-2010, 01:41 PM
M.Ed. Ex Phys
08-26-2010, 01:50 PM
However, my eyes didn't deceive me when I witnessed MMA athletes, getting into the ring to spar with amateur boxers (kids), and getting there .... handed to them. That unorthodox approach might work in MMA, simply because it's easier to get away with making those mistakes in that sport, counter punching is not an emphasis.
You can take the best MMA striker and put him in the ring with the worst professional boxer on the planet, where they could only exchange punches, and I present to you the sequel to the movie Dinner for Schmucks.
08-26-2010, 01:55 PM
08-26-2010, 01:57 PM
Which part? lol
In all seriousness, there was no specific intent on my part, with respect to those comments.
08-26-2010, 01:58 PM
08-26-2010, 02:18 PM
You have a point of view, which you're predicating on theory and I have no issue with that, I respect your opinion. My opinion is based on real world application and the end result of those applications. We can simply agree to disagree.
08-26-2010, 02:25 PM
08-26-2010, 02:30 PM
Many people in life are sleazy, however, it's not my role in life to judge them. I can think of more useful ways to invest my time, like internet porn.
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