Fighting Talk with BAMMA's Stuart Austin

On the run up to BAMMA 25 we caught up with Stuart ‘He-man’ Austin as he spoke to the BAMMA team ahead of his Heavyweight Title clash with Mark 'The Hand Of' Godbeer.

The current reigning Lonsdale Heavyweight Champion and one of the top ranked heavyweights in the UK, Austin gave us a little insight into his training regime and the life of a professional MMA fighter!

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Name: Stuart Austin
Alias: He-man
Age: 27
Height: 191cm
Weight: 99.9kg
Sport: MMA
Current Team: Fight Zone London/Team Titan
Record: 10 wins, 2 losses

You’re obviously a strong lad, is strength the most important thing to develop when a heavyweight like you is preparing to get into the ring?

MMA involves almost all aspects of physical fitness. MMA fighters need to be; powerful, strong and fast; mobile and flexible; have good endurance; and excellent aerobic and anaerobic conditioning is of utmost importance. On top of all this, MMA athletes have to ensure that they have to learn techniques, game plan, drill positions, do pad work and spar in multiple forms of martial arts. Obviously, one of the biggest problems is balancing my technical training with my strength and conditioning.

I like to do most of my MMA training in the morning and around midday and my strength and conditioning in the afternoon or evening. I like to be fresh when I am working on more skill insensitive work and I prefer to have eaten and be fully hydrated before I work on more physically intensive stuff.

During training camp my goals are to maintain strength, improve explosive power and maximise anaerobic conditioning with excellent short term recovery

What does a typical training week look like, you must be pretty busy fitting everything in?

I normally train three times a day. To be able to do this I have to train at varying intensities as it would be too physically demanding to train at 100% effort 13-16 times a week. This is part of the reason why I use fairly low volume for most of my strength training (apart from upper back). I have a much larger volume of upper back training to help balance out all of the pushing, pressing, punching and internal rotation involved during martial arts.

I like to base my strength training around large compound lifts. I use complexes, combining a strength movement with a power exercise or two assistance exercises. I try to select exercises that potentiate each other- for example, dead-lifts and KB swings are both hip hinge movements, dead-lifts are a high force producing movement whereas KB swings are a ballistic power exercise that are also good for eccentrically loading the posterior chain.

Most of my conditioning training comes from doing different types of high intensity sparring and specific training. I do like to push my anaerobic conditioning and recovery with high intensity intervals like tabatas on the treadmill and volume punching on a punch bag.

How will your training change as you get closer to the fight?

In the run up to my next fight on BAMMA 25 (14th May, Birmingham), I will be ramping up the intensity of my training and aiming to peak for the fight!

BAMMA 25 tickets on sale now!