MMA Bioenergetics

Simple and Easy.

The Bioenergetics of MMA

How your body powers the repeated high intensity efforts that dominate MMA

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It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble, it’s the things we know that ain’t so - Artemas Ward

Myths and misconceptions about the Science of Mixed Marital Arts training can end a fighter’s career before it starts. The main objective of this online video training course is to set the record straight. Dr Jason Gillis and The MMA Training Bible will teach you how your body powers the repeated high intensity efforts that dominate MMA. When you understand this, not only will you appreciate why you fatigue or gas-out in the cage, but you’ll know how to bring about specific metabolic adaptations and optimize your performance on fight day.

Course Goals

The goal of this ten-part video training course is to explore the Science of MMA. In it, you’ll learn about the essentials of energy expenditure, anaerobic and aerobic energy metabolism, maximal aerobic fitness, and the anaerobic threshold. After this, you’ll learn why high intensity interval training is better than low intensity training, and you’ll understand how to target a specific energy system in training. You’ll also learn the essentials of periodization, and how to best develop endurance in MMA.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you will:


  • Understand how food is converted to energy
  • Describe how energy is stored in the body
  • Understand the currency of energy production in the body
  • Appreciate how energy is produced in the body by various systems
  • Describe how energy systems coordinate together to power your performance in the cage
  • Understand what energy system powers high intensity efforts like take-down attempts.
  • Identify training objectives for the high-power energy systems
  • Recognize performance adaptations that result from training the high-power system
  • Appreciate what causes fatigue when you’re performing high-power efforts
  • Identify the key characteristics of energy systems that allow you to perform at a high intensity for a prolonged period of time, like when you’re performing long combinations or trying to control your opponents body position.
  • Set metabolic training objectives for the prolonged high intensity energy system.
  • Specify performance adaptations that arise from targeting the prolonged high intensity energy system.
  • Identify probable causes of fatigue when you’re performing at a high intensity for a prolonged period of time.
  • Identify the key characteristics of the energy system that allows you to work at a repeated high intensity over the course of a whole round, and a whole fight.
  • Set metabolic training objectives for the repeated high intensity effort system.
  • Specify performance adaptations that arise from targeting the repeated high intensity effort system.
  • Identify probable causes of fatigue when you’re working at a repeated high intensity over the course of a whole fight.
  • Define maximal aerobic fitness
  • Understand the components that determine your maximal aerobic fitness
  • Describe the relationship between maximal aerobic fitness and MMA performance
  • Identify factors that influence maximal aerobic fitness
  • Understand the relationship between breathing heavy and the energy systems powering your performance.
  • Define low intensity training and high intensity interval training
  • Understand the pro’s and con’s of low intensity training and high intensity interval training
  • Understand that high intensity training is more appropriate for fighters in combat sports
  • Understand how to target energy systems manipulating movement pattern, work interval, rest interval and exercise intensity.
  • Understand what periodization is and identify the five phases of a fight plan
  • Appreciate how to program your endurance training across all phases of the fight plan including 1) the General preparatory phase, 2) the Fight-specific phase, 3) the Fight camp 4) The taper, 5) The transition
  • Learn how to match specific workouts to specific energy systems, and then place each workout in a fight plan
  •  Understand how to create recovery workouts, warm-ups & cool downs

Course Overview

In this course you will learn all about the Science of MMA. Check out the session descriptions below to see exactly what we’ll cover:

Introduction 

  • You will be introduced to the course, and learn where it fits into your overall MMA performance.

Session 1: The basics of energy metabolism

  • This session will explore 1) how energy is derived from food, 2) what the currency of energy in the human body is 3) how energy powers muscle contraction, 4) how to generate energy, and 5) how energy systems in the body work together to power your performance in the cage.

Session 2: The ATP-PCr system and power production

  • In session 2 you will learn 1) the characteristics of the high-power producing ATP-PCr system, 2) how the system works, 3) training objectives to maximize power, 4) performance adaptations, and 5) fatigue when you’re working at a high intensity.

Session 3: The burn from anaerobic glycolysis

  • Session 3 covers 1) the characteristics of the system that allows you to perform at a prolonged high intensity: anaerobic glycolysis, 2) how the system works, 3) training objectives, 4) performance adaptations, and 5) fatigue when you’re working for a prolonged period at high intensity.

Session 4: Aerobic energy systems and unstoppable endurance

  • In this session you will learn 1) the characteristics of systems that allows you to perform at a repeated high intensity over a whole fight, 2) how aerobic energy systems work, 3) training objectives, 4) performance adaptations, and 5) causes of fatigue when you’re working at a repeated high intensity for a whole fight.

Session 5: Maximal aerobic fitness

  • You will learn about 1) maximal aerobic fitness, 2) the factors that influence maximal aerobic fitness, and 3) how maximal aerobic fitness influences performance

Session 6: The anaerobic threshold

  • Session 6 will teach you how your breathing rate can indicate which energy system you’re working, and how this relates to your performance.

Session 7: High intensity interval training

  • In session 7 you will consider the 1) pros and 2) cons of low intensity training, and 3) why high intensity interval training is recommended to enhance MMA performance.

Session 8: Targeting an energy system

  • In this session you will 1) learn all about the factors that influence how to target an energy system, including, 2) movement pattern, and learn how to target each energy system. You will be given specific example workouts that target each energy system.

Session 9: Periodization for MMA

  • Session 9 introduces you to 1) periodization in MMA, 2) the structure of a fight plan, and be introduced to, 3) the general preparatory phase, 4) the fight-specific phase, 5) the fight camp, 6) the taper, and 7) the transition.

Session 10: MMA endurance

  • In session 10 you will learn how to 1) best develop endurance in MMA across all phases of the fight plan. Specific workouts will be provided for 2) the general preparatory phase, 3) the fight-specific phase, 4) the fight camp, 5) the taper, and 6) the transition. Finally, students will be taught how to create warm-ups and cool-downs.
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