Take a look at UFC pro Frank Mir working out with a sparring partner above. While he makes it look effortless, this actually takes quite a bit of energy and is a great form of cardio. Get yourself a workout buddy and a pair of hand punch pads. Start at 3 rounds of 5 minutes in length. During a round, use a number of punches, combos, knees, and high kicks to deliver strikes to the punch pads. Continuously move, and have your partner take swings at you to keep you ducking and weaving. Always keep your hands up, never let them drop. Make sure you maintain a high intensity during each of your 5 minute rounds.
Training in this style will positively affect your cardiovascular health, as well as muscular strength. The muscles of the upper back, shoulders, and chest will become seriously fatigued after a solid sparring session. Repeated workouts will really help define these muscles and give you a lean and toned appearance. Increase the number of rounds by one, every other week. For instance:
- Week 1: 3, 5-minute rounds
- Week 2: 3, 5-minute rounds
- Week 3: 4, 5-minute rounds
- Week 4: 4, 5-minute rounds
- Week 5: 5, 5-minute rounds
Cap the total number of rounds in a session at 8. Once you are successfully able to complete 8, 5-minute rounds, really focus on your intensity and technique while hitting your partner’s pads. You want quick, explosive movements. Long, dragged out movements that simply waste energy are not efficient. Imagine putting your hand, knee, or foot through the hand pad. These are the keys to a successful sparring session. Always remember, no matter what you do, train hard and the results will follow.