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MMA Workouts for the Local and Systemic
Anaerobic Lactic Energy Systems

By Eric Wong, BSc, CSCS

If you're goal is to develop never-ending cardio, then you need to be specifically targeting your anaerobic alactic system in your MMA workouts. The anaerobic lactic energy system gives you what many people describe as 'strength-endurance'. It's also known as the glycolytic system.

To fully develop this system for MMA, you need to be doing 2 different styles of workouts: systemic and local.

Systemic workouts tap into this energy system using muscles all over the body, and create a large amount of lactate, which is the by-product of anaerobic lactic energy production, that must be processed by the liver. An example of a systemic workout would be the following:

Systemic Anaerobic Lactic MMA Workout

Do the following in circuit style, moving as quickly as possible between exercises. Remember to breathe throughout each movement. Good form is key!

Reps: 10
Tempo: 401 (4 seconds eccentric, no pause, 1 second concentric)
Intensity: -2 RM (pick a weight you could do 12 reps for in perfect form and do (-2) 10 reps)
Rest: No rest between exercises, 1-2 min after a set of each exercise is complete
Sets: 2-4

Exercises: Squats, Pullups, Reverse lunges, Flat dumbbell presses


If you're closesly following the prescribed tempo and you've picked the right weight, you'll feel the power of this workout!

Local workouts tap into this energy system specifically targeting a small group of muscles, such as the muscles around the shoulder. Lactate is produced, but on a much smaller scale compared to the systemic workouts.

One of my favourite anaerobic lactic local workouts if for the shoulders. These muscles need great strength endurance to be able to battle in the clinch, grappling, and for throwing combos for 3 full rounds. Here's one of the workouts I use with my athletes to develop their anaerobic lactic energy system for the shoulders:


Local Anaerobic Lactic MMA Workout

Again, this is circuit style, pay close attention to form throughout the complex.

Reps: 10
Tempo: Control
Intensity: -3 RM for Dumbbell lateral raise (pick a weight you can do about 13 reps for)
Rest: No rest between exercises, 1-2 min after a set of each exercise is complete
Sets: 2-4

Add these two killer workouts into your training scheme and you'll never have to worry about running out of gas again.

If you want to be completely confident that the plan you're following will elevate your strength and conditioning for MMA so that you are as explosive in the first as you are in the third, be sure to check out one of the top MMA Workouts on the internet.


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