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Wendler 531 for MMA [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Apr 20, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Wendler for MMA

To make a long story short, if you have half an hour extra a day to train, need strength to punch harder, and can squat about 1.25 your own bodyweight, Wendler 531 is a very good and time-effective all-around program for MMA fighters.

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What is Wendler?

Wendler is referred to as an intermediate lifting program that uses sets of 5,3 and singles and combines it with as many repetitions as possible top set. A top set is the heaviest set that you perform in a given session. For more information refer to explanation of the Jim Wendler calculatorto understand the program in more depth and the books Jim Wendler authored.

What is MMA?

MMA means Mixed Martial Arts and has its roots in the Brazilian martial arts technique of Vale Tudo. In the quest of finding the ultimate form of martial arts for non-armed combatants in real-life situations, fighters began to mix and match elements of all arts to form one superior. Some people would argue that the first mixed martial artist was Bruce Lee with his Jeet Kunde Do style. 

As with boxing, the sport is fragmented in many subclasses and divisions with different rules, promoters and fighters within each. For the purpose of this article the main interest should be on the way the fights are being carried out.

In its most popular and recent form, MMA is a full-contact combat sport that allows for striking and grappling while standing or on the ground using your fists, elbows, knees, and feet. A fight can be win by Knockout, technical KO, or submission. Armbars and strangling techniques are allowed. Using your fingers on the eye sockets, ears, nose or to enter anal or oral is prohibited. (yes I just wrote that, but let’s not be childish)

What is your starting point?

Before you decide to develop strength and on a way on how to develop it, firstly look at your current status when you have decided to go into MMA.

If you are a big strong guy already, but you lack the agility and endurance to make it through a fight, focus on developing these aspects of your fitness first.

If you have not trained with a barbell before, you might want to look at Starting Strength or Stronglifts 5x5 first before moving on to Wendler.

Especially for young athletes who are just starting out, it can be a trap to fall into focus on strength only or everything at once. Look at what your opponent does best and whether it matches your weakness. You do not lose your fight on your strength but on your weaknesses. Erase them and become a champion.

Does Wendler make sense for MMA?

If you are moderately strong, know how to use a barbell and what a top set / one repetition maximum is, and have worked on improving before and you wanted to find a way to develop strength while investing only half an hour a day, Jim Wendler is the program for you. Therefore I believe, based on my 12 years of Judo and doing Wendler for roughly ten months now, that Wendler makes a lot of sense for MMA fighters who want to add half an hour a day to their normal routine to pack a heavier punch or develop a stronger grip.

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Topics: Jim Wendler 5/3/1, Powerlifting, Bodybuilding, Strongman