Training in the sport of mixed martial arts is a labor of love and dedication. A lot of hard work is needed along the long stretch to success. Almost every professional athlete has trainers and coaches while also being a part of more than one team training center or gym.
Despite the diversity of equipment this brings, many prefer to start their MMA training in the comfort of their own home. After all, a home gym provides far more flexibility in training hours and does not always cost an arm and a leg to set up.
Here are the basic forms of training gear that you need for each form of exercise. From cardio to strength and competition gear, we have covered everything you need to get started.
MMA Cardio Equipment
Cardio endurance MMA training is essential for any fighter. Your equipment needs to include just a few basic items to ensure that you have everything needed to develop the ability to grapple and fight at peak performance through every last round of the fight.
Here are the primary pieces of equipment recommended for any MMA fighter’s cardio:
- Jump Rope
- Speed Bag
- Heavy Bag
- Kicking Shield
- Striking Pads
- Heart Monitor
In addition to having this basic equipment at your disposal, make sure that you have multiple sets of sparring gear as well. Sparring is invaluable to all training. A kicking shield and striking pads can be omitted for a home gym when a partner is lacking, of course.
This is only possible at the very start of your MMA training. A heart monitor and stopwatch should not be ignored as tracking and measuring your cardio endurance helps immensely in motivating and better planning your circuit.
MMA Strength Equipment
Strength training for MMA as a sport can make use of both traditional and unconventional methods of training techniques and equipment. Many fighters include a weightlifting training routine in their schedule.
Make sure that you have a good set of free weights. Resistance tools are just as essential to strength development. Never overlook the utility value of equipment such as elastic bands. Here is what we recommend that you have:
- Varying Free Weights
- Elastic Resistance Bands
- Medicine Balls
- Heavy and Light Boxing Gloves
- Shin Pads
- Foot Protection
Less conventional means of training include exercises using tools such as massive tractor tires, pulling vehicles, tossing log-like constructs, and plyometric boxes. Strength training exercises are very versatile, and every martial art has unique methods recommended. Be sure to diversify your routine and adopt exercises that target the muscles you use uniquely as a fighter.
Mental Preparation for All Fighters
MMA training tests both your physical and mental fortitude. The sport requires a great amount of focus, intelligence, and discipline to succeed. Confidence is your primary asset, but it is a double-edged sword.
Mental training involves understanding yourself, defining your strengths and weaknesses, and constantly self-evaluating. This will give you the edge. Mastering your mind in the world of MMA presents a range of hurdles, but overcoming these hurdles brings a multitude of benefits that extend to all areas of life.
Overcoming Physical Fears
Mixed martial arts are one of the most brutal fighting sports in the world. You will get hit and hit hard. The fear of being struck and the shock that accompanies a blow to an unseasoned fighter need to become motivation and fervor rather than anger, confusion, or outright fear at its core.
Sparring is essential for getting used to the impact of blows, submission moves, and the fatigue that sets in during a long fight. Training without the resistance of an opponent has only limited benefits.
Extending Your Limits
You need to constantly push yourself and your sparring partner beyond your comfort limits in order to grow individually. Being choked is no joke, and the chaos that fills the mind of a new fighter is often the only factor that sacrifices their superior training, resulting in a loss.
Together, you and your sparring partner need to thrive on the excitement that comes with pushing and testing your boundaries and skills. Once you have managed to stay calm during pain, your determination, perseverance, and tactics come into play.
The Core of a Fighter
As a warrior, you need to adopt a strong mindset that can carry you through MMA training to a professional career. At the heart of all your training, these characteristics need to be developed and improved:
Every combatant needs to calm their body while clearing their mind. This will put you in the optimal state to face any challenge with enthusiasm and peak performance.
A fighter cannot let themselves be distracted by anything other than the fight at the moment it is happening. No thoughts of previous rounds, no remembering training routines. Your fighting ability needs to become second nature, leaving your mind free to focus on the finer strategic details of the bout.
Solo MMA Training
Similarly, training needs to be done with complete devotion and concentration on nothing other than the MMA training itself. Distraction detracts from your workout and makes it difficult to develop the muscle memory needed to fight with a complete lack of thought and explosive power.
Even if you are training for the fitness aspect alone, you need full focus and an unwavering will to push yourself as hard, but as safely as you can.
Patience and Persistence
Mixed martial arts is not a sport you can rush into. MMA training takes years of skill development with devotion to multiple fighting styles. The strength, agility, cardiovascular endurance, and technical skill needed to successfully take years of growth and dedication to the lifestyle of a warrior. All martial arts bring one to a deep understanding of self, a process that knows no limit.
As you continue to grow, so will your fighting evolve. The persevering athlete will raise their limits to new horizons time and time again, learning skills, strategies, and lessons that translate to practical benefits in all areas of life.