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Tim Kennedy is an Army Ranger and Green Beret sniper and a professional MMA fighter (18–6). With that résumé it shouldn’t be a shock that Kennedy is known as “one of the deadliest men on earth,” or that he lifts weights five to six days per week to, in his words, “be the hardest person to kill.” We caught up with Kennedy to find out how one of the most savage men on the planet trains to get ready and stay ready. Every. Damn. Day.
“I do strength and conditioning six days per week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are my mental toughness days, Thursday is yoga, and Tuesday is my powerlifting and Olympic lifting day. Then Saturday is cardio. I also go shooting three to five times per week.”
“I do everything,” Kennedy says. “Cryotherapy, ice baths, massages. I eat a ton of healthy food, and I prioritize sleep. One thing that helps men fall asleep is sex. It also spikes testosterone—it’s not like it’s a regimen, but my wife and I hook up every single day.”
To fuel his two daily training sessions (minimum), Kennedy is constantly eating between workouts to maintain his lean 220-lb physique. “I eat all day long, nonstop, about six to seven meals,” says Kennedy, whose diet consists of only clean foods like oatmeal, flaxseed, milk, eggs, fresh vegetables and fruit, chicken, elk, salmon, and avocado toast.
Kennedy uses MMA as a barometer of his combative progress. “In what I do, I have to find ways to measure if I’m getting better, and the only way to do that is with external stress,” Kennedy says. “Getting stronger doesn’t necessarily mean I’m getting harder to kill. I am picking the sports and activities that translate the most violently to what I do for a living. Every one of those competitions is just an opportunity for me to get better at what I do as a Green Beret and a Special Forces sniper.”
“In my gym bag, I have a Glock 43 with an extra magazine. I have 5.11 shorts, 5.11 shoes, a tank top, a tourniquet, and an external battery to charge my phone. The reason I like 5.11 is that all the stuff they make is for guys like me. The shorts I’m wearing now have a few extra belt loops so that my gun fits better on my waist. And I’m a massive-legged dude with a 30-inch waist, and these shorts fit.”
“The thing that keeps me up at night, and the thing that ultimately is a dagger in the center of my soul, is fear of letting down all the people that I’ve sworn to protect,” says Kennedy—a man who fears nothing else despite being blown up by an IED and who is currently on ISIS’s hit list. “This is what I raised my right hand to do, and I’m going to be the best version of it.”
While his main focus is on staying functional and well-rounded, the 37-year-old has managed to deadlift 405lbs, bench-press 300, and power clean 285. “I’m evenly strong,” says Kennedy. “But I’m not so strong that I can’t run a sub-five-minute mile.” For the record, Kennedy can also cover two miles in under 13 minutes.
When it comes to forging a warrior’s mindset, Kennedy admits that it’s a nasty process. “I was pissed on. I fought dudes, bare knuckles, in front of my entire unit so that I could get on the next helicopter. I’m not saying hazing is right, but you have to make that boy or that young lady realize that they’re going to get hurt in service. The first time I had a round snap by my head, I didn’t hesitate and I didn’t think. I had been trained. I knew what to do, and I ran toward the sound of gunfire.”
Complex #1 directions: Perform each move for 15 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. At the end of the complex, rest one minute and then repeat for a total of 12 minutes.
Complex #2 directions: Perform each exercise back-to-back with no rest in-between. For the reps, start with one rep for thrusters, adding one each set. For the burpees, start with 10 reps, and subtract one each set.