Strength & Conditioning for MMA – Nick Curson

Podcast, Joe Rogan and Nick Curson.
Nick is the strength and conditioning coach of UFC LW champion Rafael Dos Anjos

Some interesting points (paraphrased, from memory. Please listen to the podcast yourself for first hand info):
Strength for sport, punching power etc is all about the rate of power development.

Lifting heavy will reduce your rate of power development/explosive power

Nick has his athletes do mainly plyometrics.
The videos of his athletes show them doing upper body plyometrics, but lying on stability balls to make it a whole body movement.


He advocates training lots on unstable surfaces, saying that the force and strength developed by the foot is absolutely crucial.  He also says working on unstable surfaces helps to develop the neural pathways between the legs and the spine.

He says strength training should emphasise the ‘negative’ / eccentric portion of a movement, ideally using a plyometric style exercise where the concentric portion is a lot quicker than the eccentric.

He also advocates training on the toes.  E.g. doing squats with something under your heels so you are on the balls of your feet. This is so that the athlete gets used to moving around on his toes/balls of the feet, instead of being slow and plodding, etc.

He doesn’t giveaway (unfortunately) a complete “Nick Curson Workout Plan” – but you could easily add in some plyometric exercises on unstable surfaces and some on-your-toes squats.

Foot strengthening exercises are big with Nick Curson and the mobility and movement trainers that are coming into MMA now.

Single leg deadlifts are great (be sure to warm up thoroughly before attempting).  Lateral single leg deadlifts are good to – imagine that you are throwing a side kick and move back and forth into the side-kick-position, holding the kick statically if possible

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About Drew

MMA, Fitness & Marketing enthusiast from North Wales, UK. Aspiring hippy/Buddhist, most of the time.
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