Kind of a complicated question for you veterans

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justsaygo
9/29/08 8:18:52PM
I have only been training mma for a year on and off now and nowadays im gettin pretty into it. I was a competitive powerlifter for 6 years and my strength is my advantage but im finding it to be more and more useless as time goes by. I can muscle my way out of a lot of submissions and slam ppl pretty well. But as I grapple and/or get caught in a clinch battle with more and more advanced fighters they just seem to be made of steal and have this strength that doesnt end.

I'm not trying to brag but im struggling to figure out as to why a guy (me) that has squatted 800+ and benched 600+ in competition can ever feel what it feels like to be over powered. I know that must sound incredibly ignorant but please bare with me. I have always training for strength and find that after a few desperate bursts of what I thought would be overwhelming power to get my opponent into a position only to find myself exhausted after it doesnt work. Its hard to break their grip, its hard to do anything. How do they keep this strength so constant and how do they get it?

Is it the hours of non stop conditioning drills and high rep exercises, or is it just plain experience from grappling for hours? or am i just a sissy?

Thanks alot to anyone that takes the time to read this and put in any input
Jackelope
9/29/08 11:03:25PM
I think you pretty much answered your own question, man.

It's like that stuff Rogan is always talking about. These high level athletes who have put in amazing amount of training build strength very specific to the activity they usually participate in. There's no way to match it with gym strength because straight up the only way to do that is by putting in the gym hours. I remember making a post previous to the Mir vs. Lesnar fight that asked if Lesnar was really that much stronger than Mir. Most everyone disagreed with me based on Lesnar's physical strength, but lo and behold despite how powerful Lesnar's legs are he was still unable to just simply push out of the knee bar. That's because Mir's grip strength, leverage (with the x-guard sweep) and jiu jitsu strength was more than sufficient to match Lesnar's lack of jiu jitsu strength.

Another thing to consider is (especially when talking wrestling/judo/bjj) the use of leverage. You'll find as you get a lot better that tiny, tiny nuances like having your hips here or your arms there will seem to improve your strength over your opponent tenfold.

As I started training MMA much more seriously I completely cut out weight lifting. The first few weeks after doing this I felt weak as hell when wrestling, but as I weakened and couldn't overpower my opponents I started focusing more on these things like technique and the others I've talked about above. Soon I wasted much less energy trying to over power dudes and my technique improved a TON.

Hope that answered some questions! (Sorry for the long post lol)
justsaygo
9/29/08 11:08:42PM
good answer i appreciate it, maybe ill do the same (stop lifting for a bit)

thanks again
Svartorm
9/29/08 11:12:23PM
Jackalope nailed it. Thats why theres not as much emphasis on weights anymore, and more people are using kettlebells, hammers, tire flips, and traditional strongman stuff, because strongmen have more functional strength than powerlifters. Just keep grappling and you'll develop that same kind of strength.
Jackelope
9/29/08 11:21:20PM

Posted by Svartorm

Jackalope nailed it. Thats why theres not as much emphasis on weights anymore, and more people are using kettlebells, hammers, tire flips, and traditional strongman stuff, because strongmen have more functional strength than powerlifters. Just keep grappling and you'll develop that same kind of strength.



Exactly... you don't have to stop working out, but it's better to build strength using exercises like these ones mentioned here. Obviously they are chain exercises which will help train oxygen efficiency to the muscles, but more importantly they are just useful strength exercises. I don't know if you ever watched strongman competitions but the guys like Magnus ver Magnusson always did better than the big weight lifter types because they had functional strength from working out in an activity focused manner.

I just got a couple tires, some rope and a sledge hammer in my backyard last week, actually. Just go to a local farm and ask them if they've got any big tractor tires they want to get rid of. Usually they'll give em to you for free because they have to pay to have someone dispose of them anyway. You can pick up a 16 lb. sledge at home depot for like $35 bucks, too.

Also, if you're a heavyweight you may want to still do gym workouts to keep size. Just do the big 3 since they will help your body with size the most.
justsaygo
9/29/08 11:28:13PM
very good stuff guys thank you..i just need some reassurance that i was thinkin in the right direction..one guy in particular that i train with is a construction worker that is known for busting his ass at work and i know thats where he gets alot of his strength from cuz of the fact that he has only started wrestling with me whever he has free time a couple weeks ago its that kind of constant exercise that helps him..other then actually grappling or doing stand up training to improve the skills i need is there drills or exercises that stand out to build the strength we are talking about...would u recommend doing the big 3 for time instead of reps on seperate days..amoung other grip and core work
justsaygo
9/29/08 11:31:54PM
what kind of chain exercises would u recommend- we call them super sets (powerlifters) is that what your talking about?

I would do a set of rows front raises and shrugs..what are some exercises that train what i need...should i focus more on grip and core like i said?

thanks for answering all my questions by the way
Jackelope
9/29/08 11:42:34PM
Well, actually when I said chain I meant exercises that require a chain of movements. For example if you watch Fedor's training you'll see him slamming the tire with the sledge hammer... it's a chain exercise because it requires strength to be transferred throughout almost the entire body and then down onto the tire. Or tire flipping is a good posterior chain exercise because it involves a deadlift, squat, clean and then finally an explosion to push the tire forward. So when I said chain I meant a chain in that regard.

Tire flips are good for wrestling takedowns while swinging the sledge on the tire is good for GnP strength and throws.

As for striking I'm not personally a fan of training "strength" for striking. It is my opinion after years of being a striking enthusiast that one can have much more devastating punches and kicks by training technique. Not everyone will agree with me here, and certainly once your technique is there it can help to improve strength, but above all things first I suggest technique when training striking. Heavy bag work is great for improving striking conditioning and seeing the effectiveness of your strikes.
justsaygo
9/30/08 12:17:26AM
i see i see..i have always been a good stand up guy even before my 2 years of boxing..one thing i have always had a problem with is getting in range..i am stuck on the boxing stance with my left leg forward and the small step with my left followed by the right leg doesnt seem to be enough to get in there..so ive been trying to stand square on with my feet side by side and switch my jab from my left to my right hand as i step. Do you think this would be effective? havent tried it yet..and if not what do you think would help?
loller90278
9/30/08 1:18:41AM
not really, the power from a jab or comes from your legs, and the traditional boxing stance provides more leverage and angle for your punch. with standing side to side you're not going to be able to provide effectiveness of the jab, or any punch.
Jackelope
9/30/08 12:26:43PM

Posted by justsaygo

i see i see..i have always been a good stand up guy even before my 2 years of boxing..one thing i have always had a problem with is getting in range..i am stuck on the boxing stance with my left leg forward and the small step with my left followed by the right leg doesnt seem to be enough to get in there..so ive been trying to stand square on with my feet side by side and switch my jab from my left to my right hand as i step. Do you think this would be effective? havent tried it yet..and if not what do you think would help?



Range is one of the hardest things to learn to develop IMO. There are a ton of things that go into it like your reach vs. your opponent's reach, your specific style, and obviously what you feel comfortable with.

As a general rule most trainers will have you close the range with a jab because it basically provides cover for your movement forward and sets up the strikes you will follow with. That's not always what a jab is used for, but it sounds like so far that's what you have been taught. It's a good way to start, too.

One of the things we go over where I train is getting used to being in the pocket and staying in the pocket. A lot of times you have to overcome the fear of catching a big shot in close, but the good thing for guys who are shorter is that they can usually generate more power in close because they can go through their full range of motion while taller guys have to choke up a bit on it. You can accomplish getting over this fear by doing drills with a partner just duking it out in close. It's painful, but it's kind of fun and definitely beneficial. Especially for learning how to throw body shots.

I could go into many things about closing the distance (it's a huge topic) but the best thing for a powerful puncher who doesn't have much range is to use the ring or cage to their advantage. Work on your footwork and pressuring guys to and fro throughout the forum you're fighting in be it ring or cage. Once you trap them in a corner you can let loose and you won't have to worry about range because you'll be able to cut off their escape routes. This is a question best reserved for your own trainer, though, because he may know things about you that I have absolutely 0 clue about. Just ask him straight up "Hey, I'm having problems getting in range on guys... can you give me some pointers?"

The-Don
9/30/08 2:05:01PM
wow nothing like coming to the party late with Jack and Svartorm around.. All I can do is stress what they basicly said.. Technique espically on the ground can almost always over come strength... I am finding that out as my ground skills are more tradational Jujitsu and now learning BJJ.. Alot of the same moves but are done differnetly .. they seem to have more steps but once the steps become natural I can see the big advantages as You do not have to work as hard to acheivve the same goal so it conserves strength and energy.. as for standing.. prime example.. was the Brock Herring Fight... That first shot was fairly sloppy by brock.. true it conntected and even herring said it took him out of his game the rest of the fight... if brock had proper technique... chances are the fight was over at that point and herring would have been KO'ed more likely..

Now all things being equal, having more strength then your opponent can give you the edge.. but you want to train... again as they said... in ways that benifit the motions your going to be doing in the ring.... not just straight lifting.. and yea expect to feel off for awhile as your body adjusts... but if your in good shape it should not last long... Good luck
justsaygo
9/30/08 8:46:41PM
So basically ur sayin stick with my boxing stance more or less and use my jab to get inside like I have been (and utilize the ring or cage) and as i get more experienced it will get easier yea? While keeping my mind open to other techniques to find whats comfortable? I see forrest griffin run at his opponents at times while throwing punches..is that only when the other guy is dazed?

Also is the standing with my feet side by side just a bad idea all together?
Jackelope
9/30/08 9:15:53PM

Posted by justsaygo

So basically ur sayin stick with my boxing stance more or less and use my jab to get inside like I have been (and utilize the ring or cage) and as i get more experienced it will get easier yea? While keeping my mind open to other techniques to find whats comfortable? I see forrest griffin run at his opponents at times while throwing punches..is that only when the other guy is dazed?

Also is the standing with my feet side by side just a bad idea all together?



When throwing your kicks it's a good idea to slightly square off toward your opponent, but not really when throwing punches. Even when you throw those kicks it should be immediately before the kick is thrown and never before. It presents a bigger target for your opponent since your mass is directed straight at them.

You can actually lead with a straight right hand instead of a jab if you want. You have to be careful when doing so to keep your head off line, though because you can step right into something awful. It's gotta be combined with proper footwork, too. This is a technique a trainer should be showing you though. There are also other techniques like feathering the jab and stepping in with a hook (Same hand) but again, these are more advanced techniques that simply can't be talked through over the internet. A trainer should be guiding a fighter through it to ensure proper habits are developed.

Also watch a lot of fights both boxing and MMA to get an idea of some techniques used. Another FYI- I would never run in on a person with all hands (especially if they're a wrestler) last week's TUF showed something like that going down and Mir even commented on it. It was the Ryan Bader vs Kyle Kingsbury fight
justsaygo
9/30/08 10:20:08PM
alright cool..they are working with me i just thought id try and get a better understanding by asking around..ill be trying everything we've been talking about i appreciate all ur help as well as everyone elses
The-Don
10/1/08 9:21:19AM

Posted by justsaygo

alright cool..they are working with me i just thought id try and get a better understanding by asking around..ill be trying everything we've been talking about i appreciate all ur help as well as everyone elses




sometimes trainers when working with you show you how to do things but get so caught up in the how to do... they forget the why to do...
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