|Someone show this picture to Roy Nelson.|
The decision to take up MMA can be a tough one to make for many that are new to the sport. Not only are you faced with going into a class or gym full of people that already know each other; there is also the worry over whether you are fit enough to take part. When you look at the physique of the professional fighters it can be easy to start questioning your own capabilities to train and eventually compete.
Overcoming the barriers
The first thing that you need to understand is that most classes and gyms are very welcoming to new members. Rather than look down their noses at you; the more experienced members will try to help you out and offer pointers. As for the fitness side of things, you don’t necessarily have to be in your best shape to start classes. In the first few weeks training sessions will usually be limited to just learning the basics of MMA. Whilst relatively mild in comparison to actual sparring, it will still work your body plenty and you should start to shed a few of those excess pounds. Likewise your stamina will begin to improve, which will help you out once sparring is on the agenda.
Ideally you will be taking part in MMA training sessions at least twice a week and this will soon have you feeling much fitter. However, it is a good idea to try and do some additional training – possibly a sport that has nothing to do with MMA. Running and swimming are of course popular options and will increase stamina. Likewise team sports such as soccer and basketball are good as they enable you to build up explosive speed and strength that is required during sparring and bouts.
There is lots of information out there regarding the importance of diet, yet many simply don’t pay attention to it. Whether you are taking up MMA to lose some weight, build some muscle or just tone up; eating the right foods is essential. Just because you are burning loads of calories during you training sessions doesn’t mean that you can eat a whole box of doughnuts afterwards. If you aren’t sure which kinds of foods you should be eating to reach your goal, ask for some guidance at your gym or class.
In conclusion the answer is; no you don’t have to be fit to start MMA. Having a decent level of fitness to start with is of course a plus and you may want to do a little training on your own before attending your first session. However, it isn’t a necessity and no-one is going to think any less of you if you have to take a few rests here and there when you first start. The important thing is to get started, eat well and do some extra exercise whenever you can. Follow those rules and you’ll soon see change in your physique, health and general wellbeing.
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