Female MMA strength and Conditioning practice is still somewhat embryonic mainly because women’s MMA is still very developmental. Good practice is starting to coalesce however. When introducing female combat athletes to S&C I find 3 main flaws persist.
1. Avoidance of heavy resistance training and over reliance on HIIT, endurance and high rep protocols. Lift twice a week, pick 4 exercises or anything that works as a strength KPI. Front Squat, Romainian Deadlift, Dips and Chin-ups always works well you could even do the first 2 day 1 and second 2 day 2. Carry stuff. Chase standards considered ‘strong enough’ by the strength and Conditioning community. Pay me later.
2. Training in an energy depleted state often due to body composition concerns or over consumption of junk science pushed by clean eating advocates, anti carb experts et al. Figure out your calories required and take ownership. Or pay someone to do it for you. Ideally with a track record over great social media presence. Exposure doesn’t equal experience.
3. Not training according to their own physiology. MMA is a sport where girls often have to be one of the boys. Admirable but potentially problematic. Menstrual cycle, engendered injury risk such as ACL risk and sparring related risk (some high profile female athletes have been seriously injured by over zealous training partners) are all considerations, good coaches will take the time to mitigate these risks and communicate with the athlete.
Good practice is starting to proliferate especially as athletes empower themselves to take greater consideration of their training choices. Considerate coaching and conduct is the way forwards.