Mens Fitness magazine seems to have an entire section dedicated to interval training circuits employed by UFC fighters. Interestingly, one of these is an abridged clip of one Thiago Alves has used. Designed by Carlos Santana, famous trainer to the stars from the IHP (Institute of Human Performance). The circuit does look tough and comprises of a variety of exercises to be performed for a minute with 15 seconds gap between each. The idea appears to do as many reps as possible in the working minute, an alternative to the Tabata method perhaps.
On the surface that sounds like a pretty tough workout and I bet it is. However, the question of how effective it is remains. If the goal is to develop explosiveness, which incidentally is one of the qualities Alves has in abundance, is the minute effort to 15 seconds work:effort ratio optimal for this goal?
If we are to believe the abridged video of someone else performing at Alves’s is usual workout tempo then it is clear that he is not working as explosively as he could be. The first exercise is burpees, which are a great all round exercise, in the video the bloke is not blasting these out as explosively as he could. While the form is ‘picture perfect’ there is no real urgency, no real blasting through to bash out that extra rep or two. Sure he has a long way to go to complete the circuit but just getting through it is not the aim, building explosive muscular contractions which can be transferred to the octagon IS.
Considering the roundhouse kick exercise, again there is a lack of urgency, the kicks are good and the methodology chosen allows the ‘switch’ part of the kick to also be trained but the manner in which the reps are performed are somewhat broken down, or stilted, and are not at the intensity Alves would want to be throwing them in the cage.
In my opinion, it would be better to have set up a drill more like how Thai boxers practice the round kick. Full power repeated kicks on the thai pads, blasted out. The switch portion of the kick could be accommodated easily enough by getting Alves to switch legs after five kicks or so. As such there would be five repeaters on the right, switch, five with the left. That would make more sense to me.
There are other exercises in there that could also be fine tuned to further emphasise the explosive nature of the workout. While the attempt to blend sport specific exercises with purely conditioning ones has to be applauded, however, these seem to be adopted at the cost to the main goal of the workout – explosive conditioning. It could be that the aim was for explosive endurance, but the problem is that Alves, or the person in this video at least, is not working as explosively as he could or as he fights.
Personally, I would have employed the Tabata method which could have incorporated the exercises easily enough. To progress toward anaerobic and explosive endurance the number of exercises included could be extended as could the effort duration, i.e. 30 seconds effort with 10 seconds rest. I’m sure Alves’s conditioning is excellent, it always looks to be, but to further develop his explosiveness the chosen circuit may not be the best choice, although he may work at a much higher intensity than the bloke in the workout video. Whatever, the intensity shown in the workout video is not at a level that UFC fighters wanting really push their explosiveness up a notch, should be working at.
Originally posted 2010-12-25 08:05:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter