What Affects Your Cardio During Competition?

What Affects Your Cardio During Competition?

Photos by Nec Bezmma Nomen
Guest post by Dr Kickass, Mike Piekarski, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Former MMA Fighter, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt. Follow him on instagram.

Endurance for competition, or someone’s “gas tank” can be broken up into 2 components: skill and energy rate production.

Skill or economy of movements is the ability to effectively use the differing energy systems for the optimal moment. A perfect example is when a fighter starts off too aggressively and attains a pace that is unattainable for a prolonged period. With economy of movements the fighter chooses a pace that they can maintain and occasionally taps into the higher levels for specific moments (explosively finishing a takedown, flurry of strikes etc…)

When discussing energy rate production essentially this is broken down to: capacity and production. Essentially how much energy does the fighters possess and how quickly does the energy regenerate mid-fight. There are 3 energy systems that function simultaneously.

1️⃣Phosphagen system (anaerobic) – explosively finishing a takedown
2️⃣Glycolysis (anaerobic) – clinch / positional grappling
3️⃣Oxidative phosphorylation (aerobic) – moving around in the cage, recovering from anaerobic bursts.

How does this affect a fighter like Francis Ngannu?

Ngannu has demonstrated fight ending power on multiple occasions, which translates to a very efficient phosphagen system. It is physiologically impossible for a fighter to maintain an anaerobic pace for long durations. Ngannu’s cardio problem: oxidative phosphorylation and economy of movements.

Economy of movements:

He relies on raw athleticism and physicality therefore he cannot be as effective with his movements. This translates to defending takedowns and trying to get up from inferior positions.

Video: Uriah Hall Spars w/ Francis Ngannou ‘One of the Scariest Moments of My Life’

Ineffective recovery (oxidative phosphorylation): Early in the fight Ngannu landed big punches, however his cardio system did not have the ability for the anerobic capabity to recover quick enough.
Once @stipemiocicufc found his pace and positioning he was able to drain @francisngannou ‘s energy, therefore he was never in the position to apply sufficient rest to reuse his power.

Francis Ngannou Breaks World Record for Punching Power

Potential fixes:

Keep developing more skills to rely on physicality less. Develop an adequate aerobic system to improve anaerobic regeneration.

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