Boxing & MMA conditioning: HICT method


The HICT, high intensity continuous training, is a training method used for increase the aerobic strength endurance in sports. This method is widely used for combat sports conditioning (boxing, MMA, wrestling…). The objective of high intensity continuous training is improve the resistance to the efforts trough the rise of mitochondrial number in fast twitch muscle fibers (IIa). The IIa type is only muscle fibers which may have this mitochondrial increase for their physiological characteristics.

Is necessary utilize not specific exercises for monitoring the principal parameter: heart rate (bpm). The indicate exercises or machines are spinbike, sled dragging, versaclimber. Is very important not exceed the anaerobic threshold (around 155-165 bpm) for obtain the right effects. For some authors, the problem of this training is the decrement of FTa rapid contraction and dimension, therefore is important combine the HICT with plyometrics workouts [1,2].

Example of training
  • Versaclimber: 15-20′ of continuous work (with the hearth rate under the anaerobic threshold);
  • Rest (5-8 minutes);
  • Sandbag Box Step Ups: 15-20′ of continuous work (with the hearth rate under the anaerobic threshold).

To notice, in the video of  the versaclimber, the heart rate monitor, an essential tool for a correct work.

Good work.


This article is written by an Italian guy, I apologize for any possible spelling errors. Any correction is welcome.



Riccaldi A. – Strength endurance: la forza resistente per il grappler – Parte 2 (2012)
Lochner E. – HICT: un metodo innovativo per le MMA (2016)
Wêineck J. – Biologia dello sport (Calzetti Mariucci, 2013)
Cravanzola E. – Allenarsi in base alla frequenza cardiaca (2016)
1 Andersen et al. – Myosin heavy chain isoforms in single fibres from m.vastus lateralis of sprinters: influence of training (1994)
2 Malisoux et al. – Calcium sensitivity of human single muscle fibers following plyometric training (2007)


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