NOTE: I don't intend for this to be the new FAQ but rather a place to discuss changes and additions to the FAQ. Once this is done the info from the first few posts in this thread can be copied into a new FAQ. I'm going to paste the old FAQ into the first few posts of this thread so they can be discussed, edited, removed etc. -------------------------------------------- Sherdog Strength & Power FAQ This thread is designed to point new lifters towards the information they need to get themselves started. It is not supposed to be an exhaustive list of everything you need to know, but should instead point you in the right direction. The best thing you could do to start with is to read Carnal's Treatise on The Lifting of Heavy Iron and then http://www.sherdog.net/forums/f13/read-886282/ Please PM me with and errors, omissions or general abuse (if I’m no longer here then just PM a mod). Q: How do I get stronger for bjj/judo/mma/tha boxing? A: You get strong. Too many people fall into the trap of thinking there's some magical exercise that will make their training somehow more applicable to their art, bollocks. Strength is strength, go train heavy and hard and you'll find you get stronger on the mat or in the ring. One leg squats on a gym ball while avoiding a stick swung by an old man with a Fu Manchu moustache won't help. Q: Why did my thread get closed? A: Check the forbidden threads sticky, the chances are that it contravened these rules and that’s why it was shut down. http://www.sherdog.net/forums/f13/forbidden-topics-243478/ Q: Why are you anti-bodybuilding in this forum? A: Most of the members are not actually anti-bodybuilding but instead believe that it has nothing to do with athletic ability and therefore does not belong in the strength and power forum of an MMA website. There are plenty of places to go and discuss bodybuilding, so we would appreciate it if you didn’t do it here. Q: Why do you guys hate machines? A: Machines require no stabilization of the weight and will often force an unnatural path of motion, that can lead to injuries. This doesn't apply to machines without a fixed path (e.g. cable machines). Compound freeweight movements are infinitely superior to machines, especially those that are used for isolation movements. A select few machines can be useful due to their specific function, like the reverse hyper or the glute-ham raise. Isolation machines do have uses for rehabilitation and correcting some imbalances, but the majority of your routine should be done on freeweights. Q: I thought technique was more important than strength. Is lifting heavy weights really important for MMA? A: Technique and skill is the most important things if you want to be successful as a martial artist, however to completely ignore S&P would be very foolish, when skill levels are equal it is often the stronger and better conditioned fighter that will win, otherwise there would be no point in weight categories. Q: Won’t lifting heavy things make me really slow and inflexible? A: NO! This is an ancient piece of nonsense that seems to never die, weights will actually make you quicker and if allied with a good stretching program will actually make you more flexible. However, if you lift slowly, through a shortened ROM and don't stretch then yeah they will make you slow and inflexible. This is powerlifter turned olympic weightlifter Shane Hammon. He is 360 lbs, and is an expert at lifting heavy things. Watch him squat 925 lb: YouTube - Shane Hammon Squatting 925 Now watch him perform a box jump: YouTube - Shane Hamman box jump Does he look slow and inflexible? Q: Can I just do 200 reps with the pink, 2lb, foo-foo dumbbells? After all that gives me a wicked awesome pump and my arms feel really tired. A: NO! You have to lift heavy if you want to be strong. Read this article - Why You Should Lift Heavy Things Q: Why do so many of your links seem to be aimed at powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters, surely this isn’t what I want to help my MMA training? A: Powerlifters and weightlifters are experts at being strong; these guys know an amazing amount about how to train for an incredible level of relative strength. We don’t advise you follow the training routine of a powerlifter, as you have to also complete hours of technique training, sparring and conditioning work each week, but you can learn a lot on how to train for strength from these people. You look to bjj and boxing for elements of your training, yet neither of these arts will make a complete mma fighter, pretty much the same principle. Q: Do I have to do Squats/Deadlifts? A:YES, These are the two most important lifts in terms of overall body strength and development. No amount of benching and curling will make up for not doing them; any routine that does not include them is inherently flawed. Q: How do I get more explosive/powerful? A: First, understand that being explosive/powerful is about being able to produce large amounts of force quickly. For the majority of us, especially for those who have no or limited strength training experience, the limiting factor is the amount of force that can be produce (I.e. Strength). So start by building a solid base of strength, and after several months, you can add a small amount of explosive work, for example 5x3 box jumps once a week. Once you're at the point where haven't improved at this small amount of explosive work, despite getting stronger, you may benefit from the addition of more explosive/power work. Plyometrics refers specifically to exercises where an additional force exaggerates the stretch reflex. For example, just jumping onto a box is not plyometric. Jump off a box, and immediately jumping onto another box is plyometric, because the force from jumping off the box assists the exercise. Plyometric exercises are best used sparingly, because (1) They are especially high impact, and (2) Using them more frequently, or in greater amounts doesn't significantly increase results. Q: When should I deload? How should I deload? A: You should deload if you've been experiencing symptoms of overtraining, or have been consistently feeling especially "beat up" from your training. Also you may benefit from having a regular deload week, every 4-8 weeks. There are many different ways to deload. Options include: Taking the week off entirely, Just doing a combination of active recovery, light conditioning, mobility work, a corrective exercises, Lifting similarly to what you'd do regularly, but with less intensity(lower weight) and/or volume(lower total reps), or doing different, less intense exercises, for a week (I.e. lunges instead of squats). Some routines will tell you specifically how to deload when following them (I.e. Starting Strength, the Wendler 5/3/1, Smolov), if that's the case, follow those instructions unless you have a convincing reason not to.