I recall my _2047a818_ Sensei being shocked at my performance in the dojo. He looked at me and said, “It’s like you’ve…changed.” My change was due to performing circuit-style bodyweight exercises at home, separate from my dojo sessions.
I’ve always been a chubby and slow kid. Before that moment at the dojo, I had tried many different forms of training including running, weight training, and yoga to try and improve my athleticperformance.
I believe it was learning about Matt Furey’s Combat Conditioning program that I finally began implementing fully bodyweight routines into my program. Now, I actually don’t recommend Furey’s program because his hindu squats performed at high reps as he recommends can actually be quite dangerous for your knees.
What I do recommend, however, is a logical systematic approach to help both your cardioendurance and overall performance on the mat, the ring, or the dojo. The reason I recommend a systematic approach as opposed to a random “workout of the day” approach where you push the intensity as much as possible is…well for a few reasons:
- Your Sensei doesn’t even train you in this manner. Traditional Martial Arts practice is all about skill. Sure, you should be able to throw a punch at a high intensity level, but if you’re too gassed to throw that punch due to lack of recovery, you’ll end up becoming a weakling when it’s time to actually perform.
- All athletes train at a high frequency level. There are many things to work on, especially when it comes to MMA training. Conditioning isn’t the end all be all. But if you injure yourself with excessive conditioning workouts or make yourself too tired, then you won’t be able to clearly focus on your skills training.
I found that this was starting to happen to me. Although I could survive my dojo workouts, over time I found myself burning out. I was overtraining, and I saw that in a few ways: 1) weight loss, which was most likely muscle atrophy, 2) decrease in technique performance, and 3) aches and pains.
MMA Strength Coach Eric Wong observed the same thing in the athletes he trained. As a coach, he cares about a balanced approach to training. Winning a bout is about technique, conditioning,mental strength, endurance, overall power, flexibility, core strength, and much more.
Therefore, Eric developed certain elements of strength and conditioning, which I’ll list below and which Eric goes into detail in his manual:
- #1 – Do the least amount of work to get the desired result.
- #2 – What gets measured and tracked, improves.
- #3 – Follow a progressive program, aka don’t wing it.
- #4 – Proper technique is crucial.
- #5 – Avoid training dogma.
- #6 – Health is your foundation for peak performance.
- #7 – Manage your “adaptation energy.”
- #8 – Set goals and work towards them.
Cage Cardio is based upon training all three energy systems:
- Aerobic Energy System – very efficient with the focus of time. Marathoners have a greataerobic system, but not much in the way of strength or power.
- Anaerobic Lactic Energy System – focus is on power and strength, but that energy does not last very long.
- Anaerobic Alactic Energy System – extremely fast and powerful, but lasts only a few seconds.
Most conditioning programs spend a lot of time on fast, intense and randomized workouts – but few target all three energy systems. Cage Cardio is different, which is why it’s the ideal program for MMA athletes interested in improving their conditioning levels.
Pros of Cage Cardio:
#1 – The program is written in simple language and easy to follow. Eric Wong’s videos are clear and to the point.
#2 – The program does not recommend any supplements or any equipment. You can boost your conditioning simply through Eric’s intense workouts.
#3 – The purpose is to improve your conditioning which will have tremendous carry over into your work and sports life.
#4 – Train at an adequate intensity level focusing on all three energy systems without overtraining and injuring your body.
Cons of Cage Cardio:
I would say, the biggest drawback is that this is program is not available in print. It is a completely online program with PDF manuals and online videos.
Who should use Cage Cardio: Bodyweight Edition?
If any one of the following describes you, then you should absolutely definitely order Cage Cardio now:
- You want to a more effective way to increase your conditioning for your sport.
- You’re super busy and need to find a better way to work all three energy systems.
- You feel that your current endurance plan is not working for you.
- Previous programs have led to overtraining.
- You’ve been struggling to improve your conditioning for years.