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You will need six to eight weeks to complete a full fight camp. Daily fight camp activities will include cardio, technique work, sparring, and massages, among other things. Following a fight camp's schedule is very demanding and can be borderline unhealthy (and counterproductive) when done for more than two months. At the end of your camp, you will be in peak physical condition and fight-ready to face your opponent.
A fight camp is a grueling experience that few people will endure. Make sure you’re mentally ready to train with little off days – and little to no rest between sessions every day. That means two or three sessions per day every week. Rest days and light workloads come few and far between when in fight camp.
Short notice fights will force you to cram two months of fight camp in less than a month – and sometimes, a few days! Make sure you’re close to your weight goal before you decide to take a short-notice fight. Diet is very important when preparing for a fight – and there’s no need to risk your health to fight. A crash diet plus a hardcore fight camp in little time can burn you out, and may end leave you with injuries.
How to avoid over training in a fight camp?
The only way to avoid over training is to schedule your fight camp the right way and listen to your body. Planning your entire fight camp in advance will help you peak the right way as well as avoid mental fatigue from having to think about what to do daily. Listening to your body will help you know when to push or stop before you break something.
It’s important to note preventing an over training scenario is not the job of the fighter but the coach. A fighter has to push himself until the very end. A coach has to choose the right activities throughout the day – and know when to add or remove activities according to how the fighter is doing. At the same time, a coach has to remind the fighter to do his rehab work at the end of every day. Doing prehab and rehab (including ice baths, massages, and mobility work) prevents fatigue and injuries.
You, as a fighter, have an important role in avoiding over training, which is focusing on your mental health. Try to forget about the fight game in between sessions – and allow your mind to relax so your body can do the same.
How many times per week should you train in a fight camp?
You will train almost every day, ensuring you have at least one rest day per week, when you’re in fight camp – and, at the same time, you will train several times per day and finish off with prehab exercises or a massage. Although it’s important not to over train or burn out, you will have to up the intensity as you get closer to your fight.
What does the average fight camp day look like? Your schedule will be simple yet grueling – and will exhaust you as well as prepare you to fight against your opponent. Early morning cardio or conditioning, mid-day sparring, evening technique work, and late-night prehab will usually be the regular schedule. After a very intensive day, you may drop sparring and only do technique work.
It’s important to note every fight camp follows a pattern. Every fighter starts slow and increases intensity up until halfway through -that’s the peak- and will maintain a similar level of work until the last week of fight camp, which usually has a lighter workload to avoid injuries and help you recover before the fight.
Fight camp schedules are not set in stone. Your coach may see you need to do more or less work and will adapt accordingly. Your job as a fighter is to follow directions.
How do you lose weight during a fight camp?
Following a strict diet is the best way to lose weight during fight camp. Your nutrition will follow a similar pattern to your training: you will start with an easy-going diet – and then ramp it up until every meal is planned and on a schedule.
Your diet is as important as your training! Failure to meet your weight goal could end in two ways: losing a big percentage of your purse or not fighting. That means you will have a hard time paying for your fight camp either way. At the same time, promoters will be reluctant to call anyone who misses weight. You have to defeat your opponent – but your first goal is to win over the scale.
There are other options to lose weight. They are all considered unhealthy or low percentage to try on a whim. You will usually use these methods when you’re close to the weigh-in and not losing as much weight as you need. The first method is sweating out the weight; using a sauna or doing cardio while wearing winter clothes will help you shed a few pounds of water weight. The second one is risky (and against the rules in most promotions), using diuretics - which is far from recommended.
A fight camp lasts for six to eight weeks, includes several training sessions (cardio, conditioning, technique work, and sparring) per day almost every day – and will always finish with massages or any other prehab or rehab method. Enduring it is both physically and mentally demanding, so make sure you’re ready to face such a thing.
It’s the job of a coach to schedule the fight camp the right way. Otherwise, a fighter may over train or burn out before the fight – and may injure himself because of physical strain or quit because of mental fatigue. At the same time, the fighter has to listen to his body to know when to push or stop.
Diet is a big part of the fight camp! Half your job is to meet your goal weight at the weigh-in. If that doesn’t happen, you will lose a big part of your purse or the fight altogether. So, make sure everything in your fight camp is on point: both your training regimen and nutrition plan.