With the rise in popularity of Mixed Martial Arts primarily via the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the question is getting asked more and more, how do these fighters get so fit and ripped?

Not forgetting that these fighters train really hard in skill-specific training techniques like kick boxing and wrestling which obviously develops a solid fitness base, they also do additional strength and conditioning workouts the likes of which are becoming more and more accessible for the average gym goer.

These types of workouts focus more on developing functional athletic type muscle which in turn has the added effect of making you leaner and stronger.

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1) Easily Done at Home

Best of all, you don’t need to be actually wanting to get into the ring to fight to get benefits from this type of training. It’s fun and functional.

For years before MMA became popular, plenty of people did straight boxing for fitness but these seemed to take a back seat in popularity, and machines like the treadmill and stationary bike took over. MMA training can be done easily at home with nothing more that a skipping rope and your bodyweight. Add some gloves and focus mitts and you’ve just doubled the workouts you can do.

2) Circuit Training

One aspect of MMA training involves circuit training. Normally these are timed to be in line with the number of rounds you would fight for.

For example, 5 rounds of 5 minutes with 60 seconds rest would become 5 x 5 minutes circuits with 60 seconds rest. The actual circuit training itself can be mixed up however you like. You could do rounds on the big bag, kicking and punching or you could run 800m each round of gym based exercises.

3) Plyometric Training

MMA also requires explosive power so plyometric training can be included as well. Plyometrics can easily be incorporated into a circuit.

Just remember to keep the appropriate rest between plyo workouts, warm up properly before doing them and if you're doing any jumping make sure you have some padding on the floor as plyo can be tough on the knees.

4) Core

Another aspect you need to work on is your core. The stronger your core, the better your punching and kicking will be so don’t neglect this area. Anything from simple plank to more advanced core work will work fine.

5) Move Away from Splits

If you are an intermediate or advanced trainer, be prepared to move away from your normal bodybuilding split.With MMA training the size of your biceps isn’t really going to help you much so we want to focus more on developing muscle for performance.

Therefore compound movements are going to benefit you more than isolation movements. So ditch the machines and start using the barbell more. There are any number of alternative tools to give you a great workout so don’t be afraid to try them.

6) Different Training Equipment

It’s the alternative training equipment that can make MMA training really fun. For example, one of the more popular pieces of equipment to helps to develop strength, power and endurance is the heavy rope, also called battle ropes.

This involves using a long heavy rope anchored at one end for your workout. Incorporated into your workouts, the benefits of the heavy rope are massive. Other non-mainstream equipment used include kettlebells, slam balls, clubbells, and sledge hammers - the list is huge and the list of exercises you can do with this equipment is also huge.