Do Not Confuse Strength With Conditioning

By Ross Enamait – Published in 2004

One recent trend in the fitness industry is a newfound interest in developing maximal strength. While improved strength is surely beneficial and encouraged, I caution you (as a fighter) against devoting too much energy towards strength training.

Strength training is not the same as conditioning. As a fighter, you will need superhuman work capacity to succeed. Strength is useless if you are out of gas after one round of action.

Consider the Ferrari that runs out of gas. The powerful engine is useless without the fuel necessary for travel. A fighter’s strength is equally useless without proper conditioning.

Conditioning drills such as burpees and interval running are far from enjoyable. These activities will challenge you physically and mentally. It is these activities however, that are essential to an aspiring fighter.

You must experience fatigue while training, and then learn to fight through the fatigue. Many conditioning drills are not popular for one simple reason, they are extremely difficult. As fatigue sets in, your mind begs you to stop. Unfortunately, when an aggressive opponent is throwing punches in your direction, you do not have this option.

You must prepare yourself for battle by raising the bar on your conditioning routine. Target each energy system with high speed conditioning drills.

A few examples include:

  • Hill sprints
  • Interval training
  • Burpee conditioning drills
  • Sledgehammer training
  • Punch out drills on the heavy bag

Make time for conditioning or make time for losing.

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