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R. Alan Hester
08-30-2007, 05:05 PM
Do they exist? Is it too broad of a group to say?

Do you think there is a requisite base to allow power production measured against a point of diminishing returns?

Ross Enamait quoted a study that stated, “Excessive maximum strength training can impair speed-strength and technical skill in boxers.”

So what would be excessive?

Alan

Robb Wolf
08-31-2007, 06:40 AM
This would be a great article topic. I think someone over at T-nation cooked something up on this topic a few years ago and the strength standards were pretty high IMO.

This will vary depending upon the size of the athlete but if you can get a 2xBW squat, 2.5 BW DL, BW standing press and or 1.5-1.75BW bench you will have about all the foundational strength you will need to crush. All that without compromising skill training and sport specific power development.

Keep in mind that once a strength base is established (off season) it can be maintained with a relatively small maintenance volume (in season).

Ross is just a fucking stud coach...that guy really knows his stuff. I futzed around on this topic a lot and he really clarified some things for me. People cite Siff and Super training regarding the inferiority of concurrent training methods for athletes. Ross made the point that this is true for elite strength athletes but it is sufficient for elite strength levels for OTHER athletes...such as fighters, runners etc.

Simple distinction but it eluded me for a very long time. I think that was due in part to a desire to produce an athlete with a top tier PL/OL strength level with crushing levels of metabolic conditioning. VERY tough to do.

Leo Soubbotine
08-31-2007, 04:09 PM
Chad Waterbury wrote the Hammer Down series but never finished the series.

Here's a couple links
HD Strength
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1034530

HD Endurance:
http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=1083869

HD Mobility never came out. May be due to their promotion of Magnificient Mobility by Robertson and Cressey.

Daniel Myers
08-31-2007, 04:10 PM
I think someone over at T-nation cooked something up on this topic a few years ago and the strength standards were pretty high IMO.

IIRC, that was Chad Waterbury. He advocated a 2xBW bench and 2.5-3xBW on the squat and deadlift. So a 180 pounder would need to bench 360 and squat/DL 450-540. Theoretically possible, but clearly impractical, even without the need to do a bunch of other training.


EDIT: Leo beat me on bringing up Waterbury.

Daniel Myers
08-31-2007, 04:45 PM
I'm like the only 25 year-old guy in America who's not currently training for MMA, so I may not know what I'm talking about -- but I'm feeling frisky, so I'll take a shot from the hip.

Being stronger will never hurt you, so the weasel answer is, "Get strong as possible, until getting stronger would mess up other stuff." Basically, train up to the point of diminishing returns, where you can only make progress on strength by limiting something else.

That being said, I'll put an alternate view out so I can get your feedback.

As I see it, here's the real question: Is there a level of strength that is well below that point of diminishing returns, but still sufficient for high level MMA competition? I think the answer is surely yes.

Second question: How much of a real competitive advantage will more strength give you? Of course, you need "enough" strength to be competitive, but I don't get the impression fights ever turn purely on who's stronger. I haven't watched as many fights as some (only what I see on Spike when I'm flipping channels), so correct me on this if I'm wrong.

Since most of us have a weight training background, I think we might be tempted to overstate the value of strength. I propose the following totally uninformed standards:

-- BW bench press for a few reps
-- 2xBW deadlift without killing yourself
-- 10 or so strict pullups
-- Power clean somewhere around BW
-- Proportional strength on other lifts

Any non-retarded lifting program will get you these pretty quickly. After that, you're definitely strong enough to fight most people and win, provided you don't suck at fighting people. Then focus on bringing up your strength gradually during off-season periods, or if you get beat because somebody truly overpowers you.

Greg Everett
08-31-2007, 05:29 PM
Good responses thus far. I would add that MMA certainly demands a greater level of strength than boxing or any other pure striking discipline. When the only reason to be strong is to increase striking power, the aforementioned point of diminishing returns will appear much sooner because when moving only a fraction of bodyweight, e.g. an arm or leg, very little strength can even be utilized--the power relies more on the speed.

With the grappling element of MMA, however, there are obviously a lot more applications for absolute strength and power. Being able to manhandle your opponent with submaximal effort is a serious advantage, both physically and psychologically.

Sam Cannons
09-01-2007, 06:59 AM
Look at Matt Hughes. Strong dude, very dominant.

Chuck Kechter
09-01-2007, 03:08 PM
I have been training a small group of amateur MMA fighters for a couple of years, and am no guru, so please take this with a grain of salt...

But it's not how much you can lift. It's how much time and resources does it take away from skill/conditioning training; how does it effect recovery, metabolism, et cetera...

If you blast away at your "specs," (listed above) can you move the next day, or are you going to shear in half when your partner has you in a gogoplata? :)

On another note Chad Waterbury doesn't know how to train fighters... I was a part of those threads. I had a couple of conversations with Adam Singer (during and after the threads mentioned) about how rediculous the intensity and volume CW was presenting. He would grind his fighters to dust.

R. Alan Hester
09-02-2007, 01:31 PM
The latest Crossfit Journal addressd this issue. If I am reading it correctly, strength is VERY important, but Rippetoe still failed to give numbers. I like Robb's percentages, especially since they speak to the weight-class in which one participates.

Thanks for all the replies. I look forward to more.

Jason Lopez-Ota
09-03-2007, 08:38 PM
Strength is important, but not everything. A world champion doesn't win by outlifting his opponents. Use strength to supplement your training, it shouldn't be the main focus.

Mark Joseph Limbaga
09-06-2007, 08:58 AM
A strength foundation is definitely important to a fighter. however, let us also consider another factor that we must address: Work capacity

It would be very beneficial to a fighter if you can increase his work capacity since this will make him a stronger and more conditioned fighter.

For the off-season, a starting strength type program would do great and for the pre-fight roughyl 16 weeks away, ME black box type training and for roughly 12 weeks till a few days to a fight, a density training type program may work really well.

I've used this on a couple of fighters, swimmers a triathlete and a whole collegiate basketball team, so far its been working wonders.

The one thing I have noticed is that if you do it right, you can increase the conditioning of the fighters while increasing their strength at the same time. A big plus for any fighter since this would just mean more and harder strikes, more ground control and stronger slams.

Robb Wolf
09-07-2007, 06:54 AM
Mark-
Do you track training volume any specific way? how do you vary the workloads...just by feel or any planning?

I found Glen's training to necessitate a day to day approach. A general plan but he might be so torched from the previous evenings sparring we had to completely shift gears for today's training.

Mark Joseph Limbaga
09-08-2007, 10:15 PM
Mark-
Do you track training volume any specific way? how do you vary the workloads...just by feel or any planning?


two ways that I track training volume, more specifically amoutn of work done...

total tonnage and total work done over a specific time.

Jason Lopez-Ota
09-18-2007, 02:42 AM
Would improving work capacity improve how long and how hard you can train? If so how do I do that?

Anton Emery
09-19-2007, 10:02 AM
Hi Everyone,

Just joined this forum. This is a topic i have thought about alot, and i can't say i have come up with any sort of definitive answer. I have been doing brazillian juijitsu for a few years. I have not really done much of the striking part of MMA though.

From my own experience I can say that i didnt really notice an improvement on the mat until i started doing Ross Enamait's workouts. Before that i had been lifting weights for several years, mostly body building routines in the beginning and then more full body compound lifts type of workouts. At 5'10" 155 lbs i was never that strong, but i wasnt overly weak. To my knowledge not many of my grappling partners never trained with weights, but i never felt i had a significant strength edge.

A few months after doing some of the various strength and conditioning routines out of Ross's Infinite Intensity i had people commenting that i felt super strong on the mat, and asking what i had been doing. I find it funny that the Ross stuff had made a big difference, while a few years of weight training had not. With Ross i was maybe doing one day a week of maximal effort strength training. I think perhaps my body learned to function better as a unit due to the new stimulus of the various bodyweight exercises and drills.

That was back in Florida and now i live in Portland Oregon and train at Straight Blast Gym. I have been here about a year and love it.

Matt Thorton, who runs Straight Blast, used to train with Randy Couture and has said that Randy doesnt have an especially big bench press. Like someone said above i think alot of grappling is about being to display sub maximal strength for a period of time. If i am taking someones back i need to be able to establish my grips with my arms, get my legs in, and control them. This is very taxing, especially when someone is trying their best to escape.

I do think some level of maximal strength is necessary, for example if someone can only bench or squat half their BW then obviously brining up their level of strength would help.

I ran this by Ross at some point, because whenever i see a chart of strength standards i always am curious where i measure up, even though my goal is improved juijitsu performance, not gym numbers. Here is what he said.

"I have not seen the numbers or tests that you are referring to, but I will offer a few thoughts about the general premise. I have worked with some WORLD class fighters who are weak in almost every sense of the word when put up against most "strength athletes", but who punch like mules with devastating power and literally man-handle their opponents. They are not competing for fitness events, so will likely never accomplish many of the elite fitness tasks. Sure, some guys will do very well (eventually), but the general fitness work is never the primary goal. These men get paid to knock people out and win fights, not to become the next pull-up champion.

Keep your eyes focused on the real goal which is victory as an athlete. The other accomplishments are great, but for a competitive athlete, do not expect extra points with the judges with a high number at the gym."

Link to the thread:

http://www.rosstraining.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17656&start=15

I am currently working through Ross's 50 day program and i like it alot so far. I feel strong, and my conditioning on the mat is great. Against guys my own weight i very rarely feel like i am being overpowered due to strength. With guys 20-30 lbs heavier i do feel a difference. When i lose its usually to technical superiority or conditioning.

So that is just my experience. I'll see how i feel after finishing Ross's 50 day program.

I think it would be interesting to take a bunch of high level MMA fighters and test their max lifts.


Anton

Jason Lopez-Ota
09-21-2007, 12:37 AM
I agree with Anton. Grappling and striking first, s & c second.

Mark Joseph Limbaga
09-23-2007, 07:19 PM
Would improving work capacity improve how long and how hard you can train? If so how do I do that?

It definitely should.

A density-type program should be in the works. EDT by Charles Staley, The Russian bear, and Some of Chad Waterbury's new programs are samples of density-type training.

In fact, some CF WODs are work capacity assessment tests.

To leave you with something to think about, if it takes you 1 minute to throw 25 kicks, when you improve by 10 seconds and the improvement also means that after the 25 kicks, you are still fresh, what would that mean when you can train in a very high level of intensity and stay relatively fresh when you fight or do your sport?

here's a conversation between our head coach and one of the basketball players we trained

coach: now imagine what your condition would be if you can already squat over 200 for a total of 100 reps in 15 minutes

athlete: that would mean doing a full-court press would be a cakewalk

coach: exactly.

Jason Lopez-Ota
09-27-2007, 06:29 PM
Thanks a lot! I'll definently google that stuff.

Jason Lopez-Ota
09-27-2007, 06:37 PM
It definitely should.

A density-type program should be in the works. EDT by Charles Staley, The Russian bear, and Some of Chad Waterbury's new programs are samples of density-type training.

In fact, some CF WODs are work capacity assessment tests.

To leave you with something to think about, if it takes you 1 minute to throw 25 kicks, when you improve by 10 seconds and the improvement also means that after the 25 kicks, you are still fresh, what would that mean when you can train in a very high level of intensity and stay relatively fresh when you fight or do your sport?

here's a conversation between our head coach and one of the basketball players we trained

coach: now imagine what your condition would be if you can already squat over 200 for a total of 100 reps in 15 minutes

athlete: that would mean doing a full-court press would be a cakewalk

coach: exactly.

All of the stuff you mentioned looks like bodybuilding. What I've seen on the internet anyways. Do you have an example of a program or an outline of what density training is?

Mark Joseph Limbaga
09-27-2007, 09:26 PM
All of the stuff you mentioned looks like bodybuilding. What I've seen on the internet anyways. Do you have an example of a program or an outline of what density training is?

How can you say what you see is bodybuilding? Bodybuilding is more often semantics than anything. You cannot call a person a bodybuilder until he has competed in a meet.

Try going to eclipsegym.com the forums there have a good discussion on the 5x5.. at the tailend of the workout it describes a detailed manner of a GVT workout.

Most of Chad Waterbury's new stuff are generic programs patterned after the old Soviet density type training programs. You might wanna check those out as well.

Jason Lopez-Ota
09-28-2007, 02:05 AM
Thanks a lot! Here's an article from t-nation.

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459765