An adrenaline junkie—that’s what you have to be to love Mixed Martial Arts. Mark Streigl, professional MMA fighter, is one. He’s chased adrenaline since he was seven, dabbling in Taekwondo, wrestling, and Aikido, just like his older brother. Streigl eventually ventured into MMA after watching MMA fights on TV while growing up in Tokyo, Japan. In 2009, Streigl turned pro. Today, with a 14-2 card, he fights under Evolve Mixed Martial Arts, an MMA organization of academies that has the most number of martial arts champions in the world.
“It’s a combination of autopilot, muscle memory, and hours and hours of drill time and working on your skills in the gym,” says Streigl on how his body functions during a fight. “There’s a split second when you recognize what [your opponent] is about to do, and then your body takes over.”
Of course, working out is an essential element, too. In the last two months before a fight, Streigl trains two to three times daily. We’re not saying you do what Streigl does, but wouldn’t it be a great 2017 if you spend it with a ripped body like his?
Streigl shows you how to condition your core, legs, and arms using variations of push-ups and leg lifts. Do one for a month, at 20 to 30 reps per day, and then move on to the next one. Discipline is a huge part of it, too. Streigl doesn’t eat sugar or white rice. He doesn’t drink alcohol, either. We tell you, by the time December rolls around, you might actually have some abs.
Place your hands and toes firmly on the floor, in the same position as if you were going to do a regular push-up. Form an arch with your body, keeping your back straight.
Bring your face, torso, and legs as low as you can without actually touching the floor.
Push up until your arms are vertically straight and your head is facing forward.
Plant one hand inches ahead of the other. When you push up, lift both hands from the floor just high enough to switch your hands’ positions.
Staggered Push-ups (Variation)
Start off in the same position as a regular push-up. Place your hands on the floor, level with your shoulders.
As you push up, lift your hands an inch or two off the floor. Put your hands back down as you lower your torso to get ready for another push-up.
Find sturdy furniture of the same height—one or two foot-tall stools, for example—that can support your weight. Rest each hand on each piece and do your push-ups. When you lower your torso, go only as low as the tops of the furniture, with your elbows sticking up above you.
Lay with your head, back, and arms resting flat on the floor. Keep your legs straight, level with each other, and lifted an inch from the floor.
Start to flutter your legs as if you were doing the back stroke (except that you’re not using your arms). Keep your back, head, and arms on the floor.
Assume the same starting position as in Flutter Kicks. But this time, to begin, raise your legs about two feet off the floor at the same time.
Raise your legs all the way up until they are at a 90-degree angle from the floor and your back. Keep them up for a second then lower to the starting position.
Photography Jonathan Baldonado
Special thanks to Gold’s Gym Libis
This story originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of FHM Philippines.
Minor edits were amde by the FHM.com.ph editors.