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Top 3 Circuit Training Workout Routines

Top 3 Circuit Training Workout Routines

MMA fighters look good. They can even look better than some bodybuilders, which is pretty extreme. Not bigger, but better, ripped and with amazing well-rounded strength and conditioning. Circuit training routines are usually credited for those physical features, but you should understand that MMA training involves a lot more than circuit training, and that a circuit training routine will not transform you into an MMA fighter, and probably not even into an MMA fighter look-alike. Not even if it’s a circuit used by Brock Lesnar, or the famous Sean Sherk Caveman training. And if you try to use it too often and without proper supervision, it can lead to overtraining and injuries.

In MMA, circuit training usually complements strength training and specific sports training, coupled with a healthy nutrition and a good amount of rest. You can’t fight in MMA if you don’t follow all of the above, and if you can, you’ll probably enter a losing streak that will end your career before it began.

Another thing is that a circuit training that works for a fighter might work for another one. People have different bodies, different abilities, and respond to stress in a different way. Besides, some of the fighters constantly change their routine in order to keep their body from adapting to it.

MMA fighters don’t usually disclose information regarding their specific training methods, despite all of the above. Even if you see a video of Wanderlei Silva running on a treadmill with a snorkel and then jumping into an ice bath, you don’t know how much time he spends on the treadmill, at what speed, why, how often, and you definitely won’t find out the results of the blood tests that Rafael Alejarra does before and after every workout. If you try to imitate Silva, you’ll probably pass out from the lack of oxygen or worse.

There are, however, a few circuit training routines that famous MMA fighters successfully used, and that can be found.

1. Ryan Bader’s routine is one of the best, and the young undefeated fighter has always been in a terrific shape. He follows a 45-60 minute workout three times a week, changing the exercises each session. A good circuit routine that his conditioning coach, Ryan Johnson, recommends has the following exercises: one arm dumbbell snatch, one-legged squat, side-to-side pull-up, diagonal medicine ball slam, physioball push-up, windmill. All of the exercises should be done without taking any break between them. At the end of every set, rest for 60-90 seconds, and then do it again. You should aim for 3-4 sets, no more than three times a week.

2. Another famous routine belongs to Randy Couture, who does it with a single barbell that he holds in his hands through the entire circuit. The workout has seven exercises, and Randy recommends six sets of each, with one minute breaks between the rounds: bent over rows, upright rows, military presses, good mornings, split squats, squat push presses and stiff-legged dead lifts.

3. Rich Franklyn used to do a circuit routine three times per week, using 10 exercises for each session. Unlike Randy Couture, he uses both free wieghts and machines, and the total workout time does not exceed 45 minutes.

As we were saying at the beginning, if you look for a circuit routine that you can use for your own body, you’re doing something wrong. With only one exercise, you can train your body in a lot of different ways, just by modifying the intensity, duration and the rest period between the sets. But you have to be very careful in doing so, as it is very easy to get it wrong. Begin by knowing your body and how it responds to physical exercise, in order to find exactly what to improve and how.

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