FIGHTERS have long been known for their toughness. They need to condition themselves to punish their opponent and be able to absorb the punishment inflicted upon them. The great champions understand their bodies and how to prepare themselves to go the distance in a fight. They also understand that fighting in peak physical and mental condition doesn’t start when they walk in the ring on fight night or even on day one of training camp. Success starts in the off-months when they are in between fights and camps.
Boxing and MMA fighters need to look at their sport as a year-round commitment. When I condition fighters, I want them to walk into camp already in basic shape minus acquiring timing. That means they come in at a good weight for them, their endurance and stamina is at an appropriate level and that they have consistently worked on building functional strength. Walking in to training camp out of shape means we have to waste important training time. Every day we need to spend getting them into shape is a day that we could have spent on refining skills and strategy.
Most fighters, depending on their experience and age, can fight three or four times a year. Using a typical training camp schedule that lasts about six-to-eight weeks prior to a fight, that translates to roughly 20-to-32 weeks of actual training camp per calendar year. That means fighters can easily have over six months of incremental off-time. It is during this off-time where fighters need to be diligent in maintaining their conditioning.