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Mixed martial arts muscle secrets

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By definition, mixed martial arts training requires an opponent. 

But you don't have to swap punches to benefit from sweating with a partner. 

A buddy can help motivate you: "I'm smaller than most NFL guys," says MMAthletics co-founder Randy Couture. "But when I train with them, they realize they might not be as tough as they think they are, and that knowledge makes them work that much harder." 

(Want to transform your body? Try the Spartacus Workout for building the body you’ve always wanted)

Train Fast
Life doesn't happen in slow motion. Neither do sports. So why train that way? Whether you're lifting weights, running intervals, or working the heavy bag, do it fast. 

"And skew your workouts in favor of explosive movements like cleans, push presses, and anything with kettlebells," says Couture. All of these target your fast-twitch muscle fibers. (But keep in mind: Killer workouts are the result of proper fueling. So enhance your performance with The Paleo Diet for Athletes.)

Train Everything
Forget the "back and bis" and "chest and tris" routines you learned in JV football. "We've come a long way from isolation training," says Couture, who notes that muscles rarely work alone in the real world. Every movement, from swinging a toddler to shoveling snow, is a team effort. If you want to build strength that translates beyond the gym, work your entire body every time.

Train Differently
Workouts are like anything else: Keep doing the same thing every day and your workouts will become stale. Worse, your gains will grind to a halt." Whether we're talking hand-eye coordination, flexibility and mobility, or even a better understanding of body mechanics, new exercises and activities strengthen weaknesses and fill the gaps in your game," says Couture. (Try these three different and powerful boxing workouts.)