India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Sports & Fitness
July 07, 2014

Mix It Up

Text by Simone Louis

Bored of your old workout routine? Or just want to get fit and be brave at the same time? MMA, or Mixed Martial Arts, will help you put your health and fitness into full throttle.

With all the exercise fads that appear and disappear faster than that Honey Singh-lookalike grunting in the gym, it’s hard to tell which fitness regimens are truly worth it. But the biggest and possibly the most powerful new workout rage is the combat sport made popular by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Move over Pilates and Zumba — it’s time for MMA to rule the roost.

In UFC matches, two fighters compete against each other inside a large cage with an amalgam of wrestling, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and other combat styles. Quite often, a ferocious knockout or a smothering chokehold decides the win. Alright, don’t get ahead of yourself…you don’t have to knock someone out when you do an MMA workout! While this kind of workout is obviously a hit with young men, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that even teenagers, women and older folk are enrolling for MMA lessons — after all most of us are not training to fight inside the cage. MMA is being studied for fitness reasons, while it also teaches you a couple of things about correct combat and self-defence.

Most of us want to lose weight while maintaining muscle tone, because being frail and scrawny is not exactly appealing or healthy. Look up a few images of MMA fighters…they’re Greek gods and goddesses, really. They’re not bulky, but rather lean, ripped and athletic.

Mixed Martial Arts conditioning entails interval training, drills, sparring and non-stop full body movement, proven to be the most effective for weight loss. The 45 minutes of unceasing intense movement really killed me at first, but now after just 2 weeks I can manage to huff my way through the entire workout without collapsing. And those extra pounds of belly fat? Gone, and how!

Also, the plyometric movements (for striking) and isometric exercises (for grappling) produce more muscle fibre for strength, endurance, power, and better coordination. Yes, ninja warrior ingredients. So for those who want to go all in and come out with athletic form, a toned bod and fierce self-defense techniques, MMA is an interesting way for you to train for a couple of months. Do you have it in you?

MMA classes are conducted in Mumbai at ACF (Academy of Combat Fitness), TCF (Total combat and Fitness), Fitness Fight Club, Xtreme Fight Federation, Temperance culture centre and Gold’s Gym outlets in Bandra.

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