By Dean Parr
Strength and conditioning is a vital aspect of any mixed martial artist’s training regimen.
‘Gassing out’ in a fight can cause a fighter to underperform at a certain stage of the contest and at worst, lose.
With this in mind, strength and conditioning coach and BritMMA columnist, Matthew Palfrey, has released a new eBook alongside pro fighter, Wes Murch, ‘Sandbag Training For MMA and Combat Sports.’ He revealed a little of what this entails.
“It's an instructional guide for people looking to improve their strength and conditioning for combat.
“I've been the strength and conditioning coach for Wes for the last two years or so, but this is the first time we've collaborated on a project like this.
“We're both really pleased with the way it's turned out though and I think people will be impressed when they see it.
“The book itself is nearly 200 pages of sandbag exercise descriptions, training programmes and over 100 individual training sessions.”
Matthew was keen to explain the benefits of working with sandbags. He said,
“Put simply, the sandbag is awkward. It doesn't want to be lifted like a dumbbell or barbell.
“When people first try sandbag training they can find it incredibly tough and it often puts people off, but, get used to handling the sandbag, and an opponent becomes a lot easier.
“With sandbag training you get the same results as you would with most traditional resistance training programmes (like dumbbells, barbells or kettlebells) with the added benefit of using a tool that has specific parallels in MMA.
“The other great thing is that anyone can make their own sandbag and still get amazing results. We've even included a section in the book that tells you how to do this.”
Does Palfrey feel having a TUF veteran and top-30 ranked UK lightweight working alongside him adds to the legitimacy of the book?
“Definitely, but there is no sugar-coating here,” responded the author. “The training is simple but it's very challenging and it works.
“Wes is so easy to work with as he's always keen to learn new things, especially when it comes to strength and conditioning.
“I'm confident in saying that anyone who can make it through all of the training sessions in the book will have achieved a very high level of strength and conditioning.”
Murch himself concurs with this and was quick to laud the knowledge of his coach.
“I’ve been working with Matt for the last couple of years now and he really has helped my game as whole.
“We work on everything from strength to flexibility and making sure that everything is related closely to into MMA. He really understands what I'm trying to achieve as an athlete.
“Sandbag training has been hugely beneficial for many reasons; firstly the loading is much different to that of a barbell and being able to manipulate the bag allows me to be a lot more specific in training.
“Secondly, the bag can be transported easily making training very versatile. It's also easy to change between grips and this makes it very specific to the demands of MMA.
“It’s absolutely perfect for MMA and let's not get confused, we aren’t reinventing the wheel or developing science.
“This is basic, fundamental training, but using the sandbag will make it a lot more MMA specific while at the same time giving a lot of versatility to training that isn't possible with weights.
“Adding sandbag training to your routine will definitely help you develop a new way of functional training.”
Wes also feels the workouts can be of use to people that aren’t interested in competing in MMA.
“I have friends who use sandbag training for every day fitness and strength as it's like having a multi gym at home,” told the 155-pounder.
“There is no reason why a sandbag can't be used to achieve a wide range of goals. Matt's blog and other books are a great resource for anyone getting started in sandbag training.
“I've even taken mine abroad with me, filled it when I've arrived and emptied it before flying home.”
To check out the new release, click here.
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