GJS Tries Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Training

After the pleasurable pain of last week’s “Bag Blast” class I’ve been back to Fighting Fit City Gym this week for more torture. Oops typo – that should have read fun. 

First I had a free 121 personal training session with one of the apprentice trainers (Neil the manager has taken on a number of apprentices who are learning their craft at the club).  Don’t be fooled by the word apprentice.  My trainer Nico has competed in over 80 bouts and he really put me through my paces.

We started off with pad work, first focusing on technique (much more complex than it looks), then on to power (fantastic stress relief) and lastly on to speed (my arms had given up by then so I wouldn’t describe it as fast).  Then we moved onto the heavy bags for three 2- minute rounds of constant punching.  By this point I was starting to flag but there was still a short functional training circuit to go.  With a 10kg powerbag I had two minutes to complete the following:

 8X Upright Rows

8X Clean & Press

8X Plyometric Squats

8X Good Mornings

8X Dead Rows

8X Bicep Curls

I just about managed it and felt pretty smug….until Nico asked me to do another round.  Needless to say, I slept well that night.

Less than 12 hours later I was back at the club (as I write this I realise that I am nuts) for a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) class.  Most of the kit I was familiar with but I don’t know all the technical names for some of the stations in the circuit so I will describe them for you as best I can:

 1. Kettlebell punches

2. Powerbag clean and press                               

3. TRX chest presses

4. Punches & Kicks to the Heavy Bag

5. Slamming a long, squidgy punchbag-style thing to the ground, jumping on it and punching it till my arms fell off

6. Punches to Lighter Bag

7. Grabbing a spongy thing (weighted to the floor) and attacking it with my knees

8. Medicine ball abs crunch

9. Lunch & Twist with powerbag

Now I realise that I may not have used the technical terms for some of the stations but you get the idea.  I switched my BEAST MODE to ‘on’ and got stuck in.  I have no idea how many times we went round the circuit. I vaguely remember stopping for 2 water breaks. I loosely recall Neil using the F-Word in the context of telling me to get a move on.  There was sweat.   This was intense, tough and some of the best fun I’ve had in ages.  By the time I’d showered and changed I was buzzing and was full of energy for the rest of the day.

I really recommend it – try for yourself.  If this style of training isn’t available in your area, you can easily set up your own circuit in a quiet space at your gym with a few bits of functional equipment (kettlebells are really versatile).  Alternatively have a go at home using your body weight and no kit (you can shadow box).  Let me know how you get on by tweeting me @gymjunkieshell

*With thanks to Neil for his offer of a free PT session*

Fighting Fit City Gym is located on Livery Street,Birmingham.  For information call 0121 212 9461

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