More on Training the MMA Athlete
While most sports have a pre-season, in-season, and off-season; MMA does not. Yes you do have training camps before fights where training ramps up and becomes a bit more intense, for the most part you are basically in-season all year round. This often brings up the question “how often should an MMA athlete strength train”? There are several variables to consider here but I would not recommend an MMA athlete strength training more than 3 days per week. Any more than that I would guarantee over training and not only would you sacrifice strength gains but your skill training would diminish also. For most, a three day total body program is going to lend itself the best training results. For some athletes that need more recovery or we need to back of on intensity we will do an upper body/lower body/total body split. This offers more recovery as it is less stressful on the CNS.
The thing I can never relay to coaches about training MMA is the ability to adapt to these athletes at any specific moment. This is the artist part of coaching these athletes and I believe only comes from time and/or actually participating in the sport. What I mean is, you can have a great plan for the day but if that athlete has taken too many leg kicks, is exhausted from 5 straight days of skill training, has a sore back from being stacked up in guard bottom over and over again, etc., your plan can quickly go to the garbage can. These are serious considerations to take into account and require good communication between the coach and the athlete.