If you are looking for a guide to strength training specifically to help you with mixed martial arts training and competition, look no further. Delavier’s Mixed Martial Arts Anatomy by Frederic Delavier and Michael Gundill is an excellent guide book with more than 120 exercises and 20 training programs aimed at helping mixed martial artist strengthen up for their sport. And while all martial artists are not mixed martial art competitors, I feel this book would be a good resource for anyone in the fight game, and that includes boxers, judo competitors, wrestlers, and traditional martial artists that want to keep in shape and train to supplement their art.
After a brief introduction explaining why strength training is indispensable for mixed martial arts, part one of this book focuses on principles of strength training. Chapters include: Developing Your Program, Techniques for Increasing Strength and Power, Techniques for Improving Conditioning and Endurance, Techniques for Increasing Flexibility, and Techniques for Recovery and Injury Prevention. There was a larger focus on the strength training principles than the others, and a person will want additional resources if they want as much in depth on endurance, flexibility training, and injury prevention. However, the brief chapters here do contain good information to get one started.
Part two of the book focuses on strength training exercises for fighting. The chapters are divided into these sections: Neck, Trapezius, and Jaw; Abdominal Wall; Punches and Elbow Strikes; Kicks and Knee Strikes; Grabs, Pulls, and Chokes; Chokes and Countermoves; and Lifts and Throws. For each of these sections, different exercises are explained and illustrated. There are the excellent illustrations showing the muscles used, as well as photographs illustrating how to do the movements. Besides explaining how to do each exercise, there are paragraphs telling why fighters should do it, helpful tips, variations, advantages, and disadvantages for each. (There are also sidebars that point out risks associated with some movements.) For an “exercise book” the authors really did a great job of explaining, illustrating, and providing specific information for the target audience of mixed martial artists.
The final part of the book, part three, contains sample training programs. This part of the book is very short with the programs basically being a list of certain exercises to perform for that program’s goals. For instance, the Boxing Circuit list these six exercises: punch with pulley, partial squat, medicine ball throw, wrist extension, and lying rib cage expansion. It tells how many reps one should do and what page to find the exercise. Pretty basic.
While I found what the book contains to be excellent, I wish there would have been some exercises included that were absent. But then, it would depend on what a person was doing in their mixed martial art training, because maybe some of the things I’m thinking of would be included in that portion of a person’s workout. (Different body weight exercises, etc. And I already mentioned that you will need a different resource to include flexibility training into your program.) I’d also liked to have seen more on grip strength as I feel that is very important to martial artists.
Overall, I think this is an excellent guide for martial artists that need to include strength training into their programs. The information in this book will help the MMA practitioner design a program to meet both needs and goals. Additional study and exercises can be added to further improve strength, conditioning and flexibility. Very good resource to have on the MMA bookshelf.
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