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Jump to the routine

The ultimate MMA endurance workout

Condition yourself to last five brutal rounds in the octagon and beyond.

Jump to the Routine
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MMA
PeopleImages / Getty
MMA
PeopleImages / Getty

Having incredible endurance means being able to work hard for a long period—without punking out or puking. For mixed martial arts fighters, it’s the most important physical skill you can have (after the martial arts technique itself). For the rest of us, endurance training is the ideal way to become leaner, more durable, and mentally unflappable.

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That’s where this program comes in. It’s the equivalent of what pro MMA athletes do to prepare for battles in the UFC. Survive these sessions and you’ll move faster, look better, and feel endlessly energetic. Best of all, you’ll be able to apply those gains to other pursuits. That’s important whether you’re training for a fight in the UFC or just your regular weekly bout with those morons in the office.

How it works

Our program is designed so you’ll move through exercises like a fighter through different attacks—fast and powerfully. Some exercises (particularly the isometric bench press and suspended inverted row) even mimic specific moments in fights, such as when you’re holding an opponent and then must explode with a kick, punch, or throw despite being fatigued. Even if you never find yourself in a fight in real life, training your body to be powerful when tired will do a lot for your muscle gains and overall caloric expenditure (you’ll get leaner), not to mention your mental toughness.

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Directions

If exercises are labeled with a number and a letter (1A, 1B, etc.) they should be performed in sequence, one after the other with no rest. Repeat that grouping until all the prescribed sets are complete. Workout 2 should be done as a circuit. Complete one set of each exercise, one after the other without rest, and repeat as prescribed. For exercises that prescribe multiple reps (ex. 5, 3, 3), perform the first number on your first set, the second number on your second set, and so on. Repeat as directed.

Routine

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The ultimate MMA endurance workout

Workout 1

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 9

High Box Jump

Equipment
Box
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 2 of 9

Swiss Ball Rollout

Equipment
Swiss Ball
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 3 of 9

Push Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
5
Rest
--
Exercise 4 of 9

Chinup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
3
Reps
5, 3, 3
Rest
--
Attach a weight around your waist.
Exercise 5 of 9

Ball Slam

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 6 of 9

Dumbbell Bench Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
5, 3, 3
Rest
--
Exercise 7 of 9

Plyo Pushup

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 8 of 9

Front Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
5, 3, 3
Rest
--
Exercise 9 of 9

Jump Squat

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
5
Rest
--

The ultimate MMA endurance workout

Workout 2

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 10 of 9

Sprint

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
Run for 30 sec.
Rest
--
Set the treadmill on the highest incline possible and sprint as hard as you can for 30 sec.
Exercise 11 of 9

Burpee

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
--
Exercise 12 of 9

Plyo Pushup

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 13 of 9

Suspended Row

Equipment
Strap
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
--
Exercise 14 of 9

Ball Slam

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
--
Exercise 15 of 9

Mountain Climber

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
3
Reps
50 (each leg)
Rest
--
Exercise 16 of 9

Dumbbell Swing

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
--
Exercise 17 of 9

Lateral Bound

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
8
Rest
--
Exercise 18 of 9

Sprint

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
30 sec.
Rest
--
Use a treadmill if possible.
Exercise 19 of 9

Punches

Equipment
Sets
8
Reps
20 sec.
Rest
--
Place a heavy bag on the floor and straddle it. Drive punches and elbows into the bag as hard as you can for 20 sec. and then rest 10 sec. Then kneel on the floor next to the bag on one side and repeat the attack. Use gloves.

Workout 3

The ultimate MMA endurance workout

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 20 of 9

Lateral Bound

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
16, 12, 10
Rest
--
Exercise 21 of 9

Side Plank

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
Exercise 22 of 9

Power Clean

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
5
Rest
--
Exercise 23 of 9

TRX Knee-in

Equipment
TRX
Sets
3
Reps
5, then 20-sec. hold
Rest
--
Exercise 24 of 9

Chinup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
3
Reps
6
Rest
--
Wrap a towel around a chinup bar and perform chinups gripping the ends.
Exercise 25 of 9

Walking Lunge

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
16, 12, 10
Rest
--
Exercise 26 of 9

Dumbbell Bench Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
5
Rest
--
Exercise 27 of 9

Suspended Row

Equipment
Strap
Sets
3
Reps
5
Rest
--
Exercise 28 of 9

Leg Curl

Equipment
Swiss Ball
Sets
3
Reps
6-8
Rest
--
Exercise 29 of 9

Punches

Equipment
Sets
8
Reps
Work for 20 sec.
Rest
--
Place a heavy bag on the floor and straddle it. Drive punches and elbows into the bag as hard as you can for 20 sec. and then rest 10 sec. Then kneel on the floor next to the bag on one side and repeat the attack.
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