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MMA Strength Training with Chains and Kettlebells


MMA Strength Training with Chains and Kettlebells

I love strength training circuits, plain and simple.


Because they work.  It doesn’t matter if you are trying to build muscle, increase strength, increase power, sport-specific conditioning, lose fat or whatever your goals, circuits and complexes work.  They can be catered to most applications just by modifying any of the intensity variables; load (amount of weight lifted for each exercise), volume (sets x reps), exercises (GPP=>SPP), tempo | TUT (speed of movement or duration of each phase of lift (eccentric, amortization, concentric).

You can further increase the intensity by modifying the implements you use (barbell, dumbbell, kettlebells, variety of strongman implements, sandbags, etc.), increasing the  number of runs you complete (completing all of the exercises once through is considered a “run”), duration of the rest periods (time between exercises or “runs”), number of reps or length of time you perform each exercise.

Here is a general conditioning complex I set up for my fighters.  There is some specificity as you can see with the new exercise.  Hope you like it. 


Kettlebells, Kegs and Chains are Cool!

In the following complex the fighters were working on explosive hip extension, isometric strength endurance (lactic acid threshold training) and explosive throwing power with weighted chains.

Kettlebell Swings

Explosive kettlebell swings are great for developing explosive hip extension, but don’t forget the bigger picture.  If a movement pattern is overload in hip extension, you are also developing proficiency in decelerating hip flexion.  Also, think about the core.  We are promoting and establishing a bracing effect across the torso.

Diesel Guard Iso-Holds

Here is a new exercise I developed a few years ago.  I’m just bringing it out for the masses because it works so well.  I love pre-fatiguing my guys prior to an explosive movement, in this case a loaded chain throw.  It teaches them to manage fatigue and not only display power but also control their breathing after pre-exhaustion.  The key to maintain quality of movement as form is the first thing to go.  This exercise builds serious mental toughness.  Watch out!

Chain Power Throws

Finishing with weighted chain throws, this complex is murder.  The fighters are cued to use their entire body for the movement and be powerful.  The intent is to be powerful.  It quality diminishes, cut the set.  Don’t be fixed on a set volume scheme.  Watch the set and cue them when it is time to STOP.

As you can see the variety for circuits and complexes are endless.  Mixing different rep schemes and intensities with GPP and SPP movement can have an immediate impact on your athletes’ ability to perform at a higher level. 


By on July 5th, 2011


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Comments (4)

  1. Posted by - Barry Gibson on July 5, 2011

    Nice job Smitty!!! Love the keg drill!!

  2. Posted by - Personal Trainer Mumbai on July 6, 2011

    Yeah Strength Training with Chains and Kettlebells is give good results.

  3. Posted by - John on July 7, 2011

    Smitty Love the guard ISO holds. Great idea!

  4. Posted by - Top Form Fitness on July 9, 2011

    Those chain smashes look medieval! These kids are gonna hurt someone in their next fight, damn!

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