Life doesn’t happen in slow motion. Neither do these high-octane fights. So why train that way? Whether you’re lifting weights, running intervals or working the heavy bag, do it fast. “And skew your workouts in favour of explosive movements like cleans, push presses and anything with kettlebells,” says Couture. All of these target your fast-twitch muscle fibres.
By definition, MMA training requires an opponent. But you don’t have to swap punches to benefit from sweating with a partner. A buddy can help motivate you: “I may not be as big as the guys I train with,” says Couture. “But when we do our workouts together, they realise they might not be as tough as they think they are – and that knowledge makes them work that much harder.”
“We’ve come a long way from isolation training,” says Couture, who notes that muscles rarely work alone in the real world. Every movement – from swinging your toddler to lugging your groceries home – is a team effort. If you want to build strength that translates beyond the gym, work your entire body every time.
Workouts are like anything else: Keep doing the same thing every day and your regime will become stale. Worse, your gains will grind to a halt. “Whether we’re talking hand-eye coordination, flexibility and mobility, or even a better understanding of body mechanics, new exercises and activities strengthen weaknesses and fill the gap in your game,” says Couture.