Climb your way to recovery between fights

As a fighter, you’ll know that finding the perfect pre-fight training regime is critical. To stay in form, you also need to include active recovery into your schedule. This requires training that is low impact, yet adjustable to your rate of recovery so any prior progress isn’t lost. It might sound difficult, but with the right tricks and tools you can form a 360 degree plan that works before, during, and after each round.

MMA fighters need to be able to release short bursts of relentless energy, with extra reserves left to strike your opponent at that perfect moment. Developing this kind of fitness is difficult when you rely on standard cardio equipment alone, like the treadmill, and if you’re a heavyweight fighter, it can also put pressure on your joints.

Low impact interval training is critical for building up the stamina needed in the ring, but it’s also helpful when aiding recovery. This is something former World judo champion and Olympian, Neil Adams knows a lot about. During our conversations, he’s often told me the benefits of increasing or decreasing your training sessions and rest periods depending on the sport’s requirements.

To help achieve this magic formula of low intensity, adaptable workouts, the Versaclimber is becoming a staple in fighters’ gyms across the world. With a unique arm and leg pushing and pulling action, it engages all the core muscle groups you need for grappling, jabbing, kicking and more. As well as helping to boost cardio fitness, it can also be built into your post-fight schedule – helping to aid recovery from fights and even injury.

MMA fighters including Tyron Woodley and Cris Cyborg have all been spotted using the vertical climber, with a low impact push and pull motion. This means that your tired joints and muscles won’t be pushed too far when using it and you can adjust the resistance to the right level.

Suitable for all disciplines and styles of fighting, boxers such as Anthony Ogogo and Tal Singh have also incorporated climbing into their training regime, as well as heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and two-weight champion Carl Frampton.

When at the peak of his active Judo career, Adams used the Versaclimber throughout all stages of his training plan, still using it today during coaching. He told me:

“I trained for endurance, muscular endurance and strength increase, and I was also able to set my training loads to the time span of a Judo contest, taking into account my recovery requirements too.I changed my pace and range of movements for each training session.

“This really helped me when recovering from injury as I could monitor my range of movement and pace my physical output and range of movement.”

Prevention is always better than a cure and Adams believes that understanding the training requirements of each sport can lead to less downtime afterwards.

“The more specific I was to the physical requirements of training for Judo, the less likely I was to get injured. Over training was just as bad as not training enough.”

The Versaclimber LX model is particularly popular with our professional clients, packed with particular features that offer exactly what Adams describes. Resistance can be altered up to 227kg, making it suitable for all range of fighters, from strawweight to heavyweight, regardless of where they are on their training path. 16 different programmes enable workout routines to suit each particular sport of level of fitness, adapting over time.

Rather than always pushing yourself to the limit, you need to consider the unique needs of your body before, during and after a fight. For MMA, failing to train for change of pace and intensities can have an adverse effect on performance. Similarly, undertaking the same high-intensity workouts post-fight could lead to injury and poor form in the future, which nobody wants.

Learn more about the industry’s secret to recovery at