This is a great article from Joel Jamieson from www.8weeksout.com. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai are combat sports and even if you never compete the training is taxing on your body. Don't let the title of the article fool you, everything he brings up applies to anyone that does the training we do, regardless of whether or not you even have any interest in MMA. We want you guys around for the long haul so take a second to read over his advice.
#1: Choose the Right Training Partners
In a grueling sport like MMA, where most combat athletes train five to six days a week for hours on end, having the right training partners can make all the difference in the world. Good training partners can help you hone your skills, prepare you ready for an upcoming fight, and help you become a more complete fighter, but the wrong ones can just as easily hurt your career and leave you injured.
This is because without question, the vast majority of injuries in MMA occur not in an actual fight, but in the gym training. Far too often, contact injuries happen during high intensity drills or sparring because of poor technique and/or a lack of control.
When those with bad technique or control are the ones you’re sparring or drilling with, this can be a recipe for disaster.
Every gym has at least one guy that always throws everything harder than necessary and treats every training session like it’s a world championship fight. If you value your health and want a long career in the sport, these are the training partners that should generally be avoided.
Instead, look for the athletes that are focused on getting better, have good control and technique and understand that you get better by training smart, not just by throwing every punch, kick and knee as hard as you can.
#2 Improve Your Conditioning
Even though most fighters tend to only consider the importance of conditioning when getting ready for a fight, conditioning is an important component of injury prevention. When you consider just how many more injuries happen when you’re fatigued than when you’re fresh, it’s pretty obvious why being in good shape matters.
Not only does having a good level of conditioning mean that you can train more because being in better shape will allow you to recover from your training faster, but it will also help you avoid the injuries that can often accompany fatigue.
While you don’t need to be in fight shape year round, it pays to maintain a solid level of conditioning even when you might not have a fight coming up.
When working to improve conditioning when you’re not getting ready for a fight, the best way to do it while staying injury free is to use general conditioning exercises that are low impact.
Exercises like riding the bike, swimming, jumping rope, rowing, etc., are all great ways to get in some extra conditioning work without putting too much additional stress on your body.
When you start getting ready for a fight, then you’ll need to switch into more fight specific conditioning exercises, but outside of that, keep your conditioning general and low impact to help avoid injuries.
Also, be sure to not confuse fatigue with conditioning. Just because doing something makes you tired does not mean that it’s improving your conditioning. If all conditioning came down to was hard work, you’d never see any top level fighters gas out because they all generally train hard.