BEFORE YOU BEGIN any of the MMA Fit programmes it is important to run a couple of tests on yourself so you’ll know where to startt.

Resting Heart Rate

The first thing is to establish your Resting Heart Rate. This is the speed at which your heart is pumping when your body is not doing anything else. The best time to do it is first thing in the morning, just after you’ve woken up. Remove your watch (if you’re wearing one) and put it where you can see the second hand or counter. Take your left wrist in your right hand and lightly press the tips of your right index and middle fingers into the space just below your thumb. Move your fingers around until you can feel a pulsating sensation — and there you are! Once you can feel the pulse strongly, look at the watch and measure off 15 seconds while, at the same time, counting the number of beats you get from the pulse. Multiply the result by 4 and that is your resting heart rate per minute.

The Step Test

A far more reliable way of gauging your fitness is to measure your heart’s ability to recover from exertion. The best way of doing this is to try the Step Test. Don’t attempt this if you have ever suffered from heart trouble or if you have any doubts at all about your ability to perform a moderately hard workout.

First, get dressed in loose, comfortable clothing: a T-shirt, shorts and training shoes are ideal. You will also need to find yourself a watch and a step or stool 6—io in (15-26 cm) high. When you are ready, practise a few times to get the feel of the speed of the test. All you have to do is step up on to the step like so: Left foot on, left foot off, right foot on, right foot off, twice in 5 seconds. When you are happy with your ability to do this at the correct rhythm, take a few minutes’ rest.

OK, get psyched up, this is your first session on the road to MMA Fitness. Get your watch out and start stepping! Keep going for exactly 3 minutes, then stop and rest for exactly 30 seconds. Now count your heartbeats (using the Resting Heart Rate method) for exactly 30 seconds.

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