Despite the serious demands placed on their time, the majority of business executives understand the importance of a continued focus on physical fitness. Regular exercise — whether it is endurance training like running and cycling or more explosive exercises like strength training and CrossFit — keeps the mind sharp and energy levels high, thereby ensuring that executives are properly prepared to handle the many demands of their leadership role. While any type of exercise is beneficial, Fahad Al-Rajaan has often wondered whether or not certain types of training programs are more beneficial to certain professions than others.
Investigating the link between physical fitness and employment rarely involves such specificity, but Fahad Al-Rajaan expressed a curiosity after taking an MMA-style training class. The class included a number of high-ranking business executives, including both males and females, naturally sparking the interest of the longtime business expert and analyst. After speaking casually with some of those taking the class, Fahad Al-Rajaan made a mental note that there seemed to be a distinct possibility that MMA training may have some sort of positive benefit that goes far beyond improved physical fitness. Over time, theories developed and became clearer, leading to a belief that there is a real benefit to this style of training specifically for business executives, and that it seemed quite likely that executives are drawn to this style of training due to some sort of subconscious awareness of this benefit.
In looking deeper into the specific benefits, most executives expressed that they found MMA appealing due to the combination of strength, endurance and balance included in the program. In many cases, previous training regimens did not take such a holistic approach, with former endurance athletes feeling that their training lacked a strength component and others feeling that explosive training programs did not enhance aerobic capacity in the way they had hoped. Almost every individual felt that balance was the most overlooked physical component, finding MMA’s focus on core strength, flexibility and balance to be extremely appealing.
Of course, Fahad Al-Rajaan also found that the benefits of MMA-style training went far beyond the various physical components, and, despite its status as a well-rounded physical training program, business executives were more likely to benefit from the psychological aspects of the training. Even though many of the training programs executives had previously engaged in did not involve specific fight preparation, the programs often involved relatively frequent sparring and partner work, enabling those engaged in the training to understand their fitness gains in terms of their ability to compete against someone else rather than achieving a personal best in an endurance event or a specific movement in strength training. While these tangible fitness gains resulted in greater feelings of self-confidence and self-respect, Fahad Al-Rajaan also felt that there was a mutual respect that developed between training partners that could be beneficial in a professional setting.
Many executives felt that while their self-confidence was markedly improved as a result of MMA training, they also felt a greater deal of humility and respect for their opponents regardless of who happened to emerge victorious. This is an important development for executives, as high-ranking professionals are often involved in contentious negotiations that require a great deal of self-confidence that does not slip into overconfidence, along with a certain level of humility and a mutual feeling of respect among negotiators. It seems that MMA-style training made these professionals more effective and enhanced their psychological strength to a significant degree, making them better equipped for leadership roles and more likely to ascend the ranks in their respective industries.
While Fahad Al-Rajaan does not assert that MMA-style training is a necessary component for success as a business executive and admits that there are certainly those who may not enjoy this specific type of training, it is hard to ignore the benefits experienced by those who choose this unique style of training. Any physical activity is going to be better than none at all, but business executives who happen to find MMA-style training appealing may stand to gain a great deal more than simple physical fitness gains.