Filling the gas tank

Any ideas on increasing someone's intensity? What are some good methods of interval training that would relate to an mma,boxer,kickboxer athlete? Currently we have been trying: 30sec burpees/30 sec shadow boxing for 2x3min rds, 30sec walk/30sec jog/30sec sprint for 10 min, walk down stairs/ sprint up for 3x 3min rds, burpees pyramids to 10(15 sec between,
ex:1/15sec/2/15sec/etc). Thanks in advance.

scott, i believe most people on this board are proponents of anything based on the 'tabata' protocol (20 secs on 10 secs off) like 'taku's intervals.' if you take a look here:

you can find some great workouts including 'taku's intervals' which most people on here recommend. there is a fourth stage not included in that article that i can provide to you (when i find it) if you guys use that workout. as far as i can remember from reading this board, the '20 secs on, 10 secs off, full intensity' protocol has been shown in research to be most effective for anaerobic sports (correct me somebody if i'm wrong). the top video listed on this page shows egan inoue performing these intervals at the high intensity one should aim for:

the biggest problem i have found in implementing these intervals is choosing an exercise that you can do at full intensity. my understanding of it is that you want to achieve a real sprint, an actual 'spas out' mode during the 20 secs on. basically try and spend all energy you have during that first 20 secs, then all of the energy you have left in your next 20 secs, then all the energy you have left in your next 20 secs etc... basically, no pacing yourself. if your full intensity that you have left is just twitching and puking, then so be it but it is more important to go full out the whole time and gas when training than to pace yourself.

keep in mind that 'taku's intervals' is meant as a extra supplement to your regular skills training. meaning, if this workout was meant as the full training for the day, you could do more than just the number of suggested intervals. here is an example of just such a workout:

you watched us do some of this. the main problem i had with kyle doing this workout was the fact that he paced himself a little, so he never really truly went as hard as he could go within a certain 20 sec period. as far as i can tell, it would be better to go full out and slow down when you are forced to by your conditioning. also, the exercises chosen will have an effect on how fast you are moving. i think this also affects whether it affects your muscular endurance or your cardio more.

does anyone have any ideas on exercises using heavier weight moving slower at full intensity than exercises with less resistance moving faster at high intensity? SCRAPPER, TAKU, anyone?

it is my understanding that moving as quickly as possible as in that egan inoue video is better for this protocol.

also, it might be useful to incorporate this protocol (20sec on 10sec off) during regular skills training, as i think research (again correct me if i'm wrong) would suggest that that protocol would yield better results if the 20 sec on are 'full out' than just a full 3 or 5 minute round 'full out', again, correct me if i'm wrong.

please anyone post any good hard interesting workouts they like here.

there are some workout url's on this page:

some of the links are now out of date but there are some good workouts on there.

also consult, there are some good workouts as well as a good forum there.

one other note on taku's intervals, i believe they are periodized to be used 16 weeks out from a fight, phases 1-3 are posted, here is phase 4:

PHASE 4: (3-4 Weeks peaking cycle)
Week1: Monday & Friday = 10 X 20 seconds work + 10 seconds recovery. Week1: Wednesday = 5 X 30 seconds work + 60 seconds recovery. 3 X 20 seconds work + 40 seconds recovery. 2 X 10 seconds work + 30 seconds recovery.

Week2: M & F = 10 X 20 sec work + 10 sec recovery. Wed = 5 X 30 sec work + 60 sec recovery. 5 X 20 sec work + 40 sec recovery. 5 X 10 sec work + 30 sec recovery.

Week3: M&F = 10 X 20 sec work + 10 sec recovery. Wed = 5 X 30 sec work + 60 sec recovery. 5 X 20 sec work + 40 sec recovery. 10 X 10 sec work + 30 sec recovery.

Week4: Mon = 5 X 30 sec work + 60 sec recovery. 5 X 20 sec work + 40 sec recovery. 5 x 10 sec work + 30 sec recovery. Wed = 4 X 30 sec work + 60 sec recovery. 6 X 20 sec work + 40 sec recovery. 10 X 10 sec work + 30 sec recovery. Fri = 5 X 30 sec work + 60 sec recovery. 8 X 20 sec work + 40 sec recovery. 12 X 10 sec work + 30 sec recovery.

Do this 4 weeks before fight, give a couple of days to rest before the fight. If you were fighting Sunday night, stop after Wed.


if you are starting your training more than 16 weeks before a fight i think you should just start at the beginning and go forward, then when you find out when the fight is, count back sixteen weeks from the fight and start the progression from there again. if you have more than 16 weeks notice, you could elongate or rotate sections as you see fit.

go use the search feature at t-nation and look for 'thrusters' or 'tabata' or anything else you can think of.

remember, for mma, you want to use exercise that use the full body, so sprints on say a 'versa climber' would be better than just plain old sprints that neglect the upper body somewhat.

a copied post from stephan kesting on a related thread:

From: Stephan Kesting

+Grapplearts Grappling, Owner
Date: 10/24/04 12:33 AM
Member Since: 03/27/2004
357 Total Posts Ignore User

Last edited:24-Oct-04 12:36 AM

There is already lots of good advice on this thread. Let me also point you in the directions of some additional help:

Article on Cardio Training for the Martial Arts

Article on Overtraining in BJJ and MMA Competitors

Article on Peaking and Tapering for Competition

Tip of the week about gassing while grappling and what to do about it

Tip of week on the usefulness of hyperventilation

Finally I'll include a plug for my newsletter, which contains tips such as those above and notifies you when I publish new articles on my site. There is a very high information-to-spam ratio, the spam mainly consisting of me telling you when I have a new video out (which doesn't happen very often). Go to if you're interested in signing up.

another relevant post from TAKU himself:

From: Taku

Date: 11/17/04 11:46 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
1112 Total Posts Ignore User

Longer intervals or even more intense intervals with longer recovery periods do not seem to produce the same results as the 20 - 10 Tabata protocol.
Somebody put up Phase four of my intervals so we can all get it.


burpee workouts here:

link to sandbag exercises that might work nicely with out training dummy:

those sandbag/dummy exercises could work very nicely with the tabata protocol or taku's intervals.

more hybrid tabata workouts:


Geoff Langdale's thread on the importance of specificity:

taku on repeating the interval program:

From: Taku

Date: 05/19/04 09:31 AM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
1026 Total Posts Ignore User

yes there is a phase 4. What I usually recommend is that you start back at phase one and eitehr use differnt modalities (Switch from eliptical to Versa-Climber, Air Dyne, Stadium running etc) Or strive to increase the output on the next run through (as you've been doing).

Phase four should be able to be found in the archives here at MMA.TV It combines phase three with more Anaerobic power sprints (longer rests).

Let me know if you can not find it.


a lot of great varied workouts:

careful in that last one, the posts are out of order, this happened way back when they switched servers or something. sorry to bog this thread down with links and whatnot, anyone who has anything to add or discuss regarding the original post please do. check out some of the links though, they are from my saved threads and some are pure gold.

Wow. Thanks Colin. I should have just discussed this with you at the gym. That is a lot of links.


Another thing you could do is stop playing xbox and actually working out...things like not dogging the warmup also help as well. Just a thought.

haha. in all seriousness, at times when a warmup ceases to become a warmup and becomes a conditioning session, i believe that certain factors discussed in some of the links above can make it more efficient (specificity, appropriate intensity relative to intervals protocols etc etc etc)

Thanks Hussan and Colin for the great advice. I will see who is dogging the warmups next week. Lol. Seriously though, hopefully you guys show up throughout the holidays to train.

TTT for later.