Victor Bachmann

June 1, 2010

The Off Season

Filed under: Training — The Professor @ 11:41 am

I’m taking some time off from fighting. Not too long, but the earliest I’d be fighting is August. There’s no actual off season in MMA. In Edmonton, there’s at least one event every month. Often 2 or 3. It’s easy to get a lot of cage experience in a short amount of time.

Taking a break by climbing a mountain.

Like every athlete, a fighter needs to take a break and slow things down. It’s an opportunity to let injuries heal fully and properly, let the body fully recover, take care of any relationships at home, and focus on things they let slide during a training camp.

A training camp is stressful. Everyday, you are pushing yourself through grueling practices, dieting, focusing on your game plan, and looking a head to the fight. It takes a toll on your mental state, putting pressure on yourself to perform in practice every day and playing over the fight in your head. Makes for a grumpy fighter. Putting some time between fights can get you back in a good head space, and make you a much saner person.

More importantly, it’s an opportunity for a fighter to improve technically and athletically. During a fight camp, the focus is taking the skills and physical abilities a fighter already has and using that to defeat their opponent. There’s time taken to fill in glaring holes (like terrible footwork or a tendency keep hands down) and skill mismatches (I’d probably work on my submission defense if I were to fight Marcelo Garcia). But that training isn’t going get a fighter his black belt in BJJ.

With out the pressure a fight, a fighter can dedicate time to get proficient in areas they lack and master the skills they are already proficient in. Athletes who get to the top, get there because they aren’t satisfied with where they are at. Mastery takes time and countless repetitions. Athletic ability takes just as much effort.

There are many fighters who don’t do any training unless they have a fight coming up. They spend months away from the gym. It puts them at a great disadvantage. The skills a person has fades quickly when they aren’t used; use it or lose it. When they start a camp, they start with less technical proficiency that they have to make up for. The physical abilities have also diminished; they are weaker, slower, less explosive, and less enduring.

Big opportunities rarely come at opportune times. Many tickets to the Big Show come when someone gets injured and a call goes out to find a short notice replacement. For most fighters, the chance comes only once and is impossible to turn down. They’ll take the fight, whether they’ve been training or not. If they haven’t, the only thing they can do is train their cardio and hope to get a quick knock out. If they’re lucky, they’ll fight a can and it’ll look like a sloppy toughman fight. If the fighter has been training, a last minute call can make a career or give a second chance.

Of course, the biggest reason a fighter trains is because he loves it (unless you’re this guy). I did everyday this week because I can.

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1 Comment »

  1. Hey Victor

    Great work man. An athlete should never take time off, but instead, change the work rate and focus. In terms of nutrition, dropping your compliance from 100% pre fight, or 90% 1 month out, to about 75-85%. Ya you’ll put on 1-2 lbs of body fat, but you’ll also err on the side of repairing. You’ll binge less when you eat a balanced (treating inclusive) diet in the offseason.

    without getting fat. Just like the guys who take too long off.

    The longer I coach athletes and strive for my own goals, the more I see value in consistency. Taking time off, you can still go to Jiu Jitsu class, watch videos, do physiotherapy, etc, and learn. Those guys win.

    Kyle

    Comment by Kyle — June 9, 2010 @ 3:39 am | Reply


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