CYBERNETIC PERIODIZATION FOR MMA PERFORMANCE

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In the world of mixed martial arts there are many factors involved. With a tremendous amount of training from tactical, technical, s&c and even recovery methods there is many categories that need to be addressed through a training camp or even throughout the quadrennial plan. With that being said we must I’m understand each individual training sessions intensity levels, duration, and overall volume to help reduce the risk of overtraining and increase performance. In the essence of technology we can utilize objective indicators to give us more of a future outlook on how things are going and what state of being the athlete is in throughout camp. These objective indicators are things like heart rate variability, and velocity base training monitors. This is a great way to utilize a means of overall readiness and give you real time feedback on how that session or sessions prior affected the athletes nervous system. With that being said not every coach or athlete has the ability to afford one of these monitors and in my experience most of them do not want to even bother with them due to inconvenience at times. Now I know this may seem odd but it definitely does happen. So another way we can indicate the state of the athlete is a form of subjective measures.

In the book “Supertraining” by Yuri Verkohshanksi and Mel Siff they explain the implementation of “Cybernetic Periodization” this is a form of auto-regulation based off an individuals prior training and overall fatigue. This is where we started implanting what’s called “RPE” or Rate of Perceived Exertion. This is a scale to measure intensity levels of a training session, set, or conditioning protocol. A 1-10 scale is given the individual and is asked how he or she feels after the work done. You can coordinate the intensity by giving out desired RPE numbers based upon the training effect. This also gives the athlete some autonomy on their own training allowing for a more well established training process.

The color system is used to hemp gage different training intensities. Red usually means high intensity, where yellow is moderate, and green is light. We can simply provide a schedule to the athlete and have them mark in the color allotted for each training session through the weeks. More info on this in page 196 of my friend Loren Landow’s book Ultimate Conditioning for Martial Arts. We also use a this to make changes in the training volume or intensity of the skills or s&c training which allows for a better overall training adaptation. The goal of cybernetic periodization is to optimize the training to allow for greater overall gains in strength, power, speed, conditioning, and tactical/technical training.

This can be done through any form of training, this is especially important for MMA athletes due to the demanding and numerous amounts of training sessions each week. Base your training around a set system, have a plan of action based upon the readiness of the athlete and make sure to properly formulate the exercises, sets, reps, and rest periods to improve on performance from General to Specific.

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