Athletes & Celebrities

Luke Rockhold Readies for UFC 194 Title Shot

The former Strikeforce middleweight champion discusses his diet and training ahead of Chris Weidman fight in December.

Luke Rockhold
Getty/Zuffa LLC

M&F: Would you recommend jiu-jitsu and kickboxing classes for those looking for a varied workout?

LR: Yeah, depending on what you like and what your need is. I think kickboxing, jiu-jitsu and wrestling – wrestling and jiu-jitsu has that man-to-man physical contact that’s just constantly strength on strength and pushing forward. There’s no workout like that. It definitely incorporates every muscle group in your body and it’s an overall workout like none other. I do highly recommend that. For the less physical type, the jiu-jitsu is awesome. It’s slow, constant physical engagement with your muscles. It’s a great workout and it has taken off so far. It’s come so far from where it started.

Even 10-15 years ago, when I started, there was a very small population of people doing it. Now it’s so widespread, it’s pretty crazy. I really like incorporating training circuits within – one of our famous training circuits is, we do an Aerodyne bike workout at night. So we’ll jump on a bike and do a one-minute cycle on the bike at a high RPM and then we’ll jump off and diversify the training within some kind of weight lifting or bag work, medicine ball work in between and then go back and forth. We’ll go one minute on a drill; one minute on the bike and so forth. You can incorporate that in so many different ways and cater that to what you need. You have your constant cardio and a whole body workout and then can diversify with some other kind of drill on the outside, which is a sprint, a box jump, medicine ball throws and weight lifting. 

We’ll do that for 30-minutes straight; back-and-forth. It’s one of my favorite workouts. It gets my body and shape on another level. 

M&F: Are you big on strength training?

LR: I’m not a huge power lifter. I’m a big man for my division already and incorporating too much extra muscle is a risk for me. I think for me and my body type; the finesse and speed is more key for me. Obviously muscle endurance so for me, I’ll do more reps – higher reps and speed work. Those are key for me. I think more lean, fast-twitch muscles work for me. That’s my style of fitness and weight lifting. 

M&F: What are three exercises you feel translate towards better performance in the Octagon?

LR: I think footwork for me is one of the biggest keys. That’s what has taken me so far is obviously having that fancy footwork. You have to hit and not be hit and be in position to do so. Running, cardio and footwork are the biggest keys for me. Being light on my feet serves me well. I incorporate a lot of speed drills in with my hands and my feet. 

M&F: How do you make sure not to overtrain?

LR: Everyone has their opinion on how long a fight camp should be. I usually start 10-12 weeks out from a fight. Depending on the fight, I’ll start getting my body in shape, start pushing it and get to a level where I can – about eight weeks, I’m pushing my body as hard as I can.

 I’m listening to my body at the same time; holding back and resting when I need to. At eight weeks out, I want to be close to 80 percent of where I want to be and then I’ll build up from there. I’ve cut my workouts back about - the hard ones - about eight-10 days out, depending on injuries. Things in camp dictate the way you finish your camp. 

As long as I have a healthy body, I usually cut my hard workouts probably about eight-10 days out. Then, I’ll start incorporating more core and cardio. Those two are key for keeping my weight down. I just work drills from there on out with my coaches.

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