In an MMA fight, there are a multitude of different rep ranges and types of punches thrown. You have jabs which are probably thrown more than any other punch and one off power shots such as straight rights and hooks. To train for these types of punches you need a mix of compound and isolation moves. Why? Take the hook. This could be trained using isolation movements such as standing cable flyes, or one arm dumbbell flyes. A straight right could be trained using the bench press, or dumbbell presses, as it is more of a basic pushing type movement.
Although you can use a lot more weight with compound movements such as the bench press and squat, getting strong on certain isolation moves is of paramount importance for developing punching power. This is because you can tailor certain isolation exercises to develop the chain of muscles used in delivering various types of punches.
Isolation exercises focus on training each muscle group at a time, aiming a lot more towards zoning in on certain muscles. Heavy compound exercises involve stimulating muscles simultaneously and are recommended for all those people trying to become a lot more powerful overall, as well as generate more muscle mass. Both types of movement are needed for all round punching development. Compound-style workouts are most suitable for free weights such as barbells and dumbbells instead of resistance machines, as a consequence of the power drive required for high force production training.
Recommended rep range for much more powerful punches
What is power? What is strength? This all depends on your sport. A skinny marathon runner is stronger in terms of muscle endurance than a powerlifter with a 1000lb squat. The MMA fighter needs a combination of muscle endurance strength (to be able to keep throwing punches) and absolute power (to deliver punches with enough force to do the job). Below, I have indicated the intensity of the weight loads you will utilize as a percentage of one repetition maximum (1RM). Switch your gym workouts so that all 3 kinds of strength end up being properly trained:
- Minimal Intensity: 60% and under of your 1RM. Try and get as a minimum 12 12-20 reps while using pressing movements. It will help your chest, shoulders and triceps to carry out work for more time by enhancing endurance.
- Moderate Intensity: 55-75% of the 1RM. This is an effective way to hypertrophy your muscles. Employ a load that permits approximately 8-15 reps on each set.
- High Intensity: 80-100 Percent of your 1RM. This comprises max strength work employing quite heavy weight loads that allow you to execute as much as five repetitions and no more.
For our purposes of increasing punching power you need to concentrate on two main repetition ranges. Working at or above about 80% of your one red maximum is going to seriously increase your absolute strength. You need to be looking at heavy sets of various pressing movements, such as the bench press, one arm dumbbell press, overhead press etc., in the 3 to 6 repetition range. You need to work up to these heavy sets with about 4 to 6 sets of progressively heavier work. Go for a couple of sets of six, and may be two or three sets where you attempt a maximum lift.
In addition to developing absolute strength, the other essential ingredient for maximising punching power is speed. The way you train for this is to generate as much force as you possibly can. Force, in physics terms, is mass times acceleration. Weightlifters have known for a long time that to generate the maximum amount of force you need to work with the weight that is about 50 to 60 per cent of your one Rep maximum, and move it as fast as you can for about 2 to 4 repetitions. After the fourth repetition your speed of movement will slow down and so consequently will force production. So the objective here is to do about 8 to 10 sets of two to four reps keeping the weight moving as fast as possible. This has been proven time after time to be the most effective method of training for power and speed.
Combining these two approaches to weight training will enable you to develop punches with speed and power. Keep switching exercises to maintain freshness and to challenge your upper body muscles in many different ways. Progressing from the bench press, move on to work using cables, dumbbells, kettlebells and even the things that you can throw, such as shot puts and rocks.