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The UFC workout program to get built like a fighter

Survive five rounds with a madman—or just look like you could—with this Octagon-worthy workout.

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The UFC Workout To Get Built Like A Fighter
Getty Images/Jamie Squire
The UFC Workout To Get Built Like A Fighter
Getty Images/Jamie Squire

When you’re in the Octagon going head to bloody head with a crazy guy who wants to beat the living hell out of you, it’s not enough to simply be able to lift a lot or run really fast or go really far (though that’s an understandable instinct).

No, to win you need to be a completely well-rounded, well-oiled machine capable of handling any physical demand. Any weakness in your armor and you can bet the house that a good fighter will exploit it.

In this workout, designed to train your entire body each session, we’ve got every angle covered—well, minus the technical expertise needed to beat another human being to a pulp. Use it to get into fighting shape, but leave the real fights to the pros.

How it works

You’ll notice that there are no barbell exercises involved in the workout, and moves that do require dumbbells are alternating. This is a critical part of strengthening any muscular imbalances on either side of the body.

Round 1 will test your upper- and lower-body pushing power, along with your core strength.

Round 2 is another total-body variation; however, it will now test your pulling power and strengthen any weak points in your shoulders.

Round 3 will further assist with any overhead situations along with reinforcing leg strength and mobility.

Round 4 is a vicious combination of putting your cardio into overdrive while reinforcing your strength on the ground.

Round 5 further reinforces core strength and eliminates imbalances.

Directions

Repeat the exercises in each round continuously for five minutes before moving on to next. Break for 60 seconds between each round. For an extra boost, go through another complete circuit of rounds.

Performance Inspired is the official sports nutrition supplement of the UFC, find out more by clicking here.

Routine

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Round 1

Explosive power and core strength

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 11

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
--
Reps
10
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 2 of 11

Leg Lift

Equipment
Bench
Sets
--
Reps
10
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 3 of 11

Goblet Squat

Equipment
Kettlebells
Sets
--
Reps
10
Rest
0 sec.

Round 2

Total-body variation

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 4 of 11

Pushup

Equipment
Sets
--
Reps
10
Rest
0 sec.
How to
Exercise 5 of 11

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
--
Reps
10
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 6 of 11

Rear-Delt Flye

Equipment
Sets
--
Reps
10
Rest
0 sec.

Round 3

Overhead power + leg strength + mobility

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 7 of 11

Shoulder Press

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
--
Reps
10
Rest
0 sec.
Press a pair of dumbbells overhead while standing, alternating with each arm.
Exercise 8 of 11

Alternating Lateral Lunge with Hop

Equipment
Sets
--
Reps
10 (each side)
Rest
0 sec.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand.

Round 4

Cardio overdrive

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 9 of 11

Burpee

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
--
Reps
10
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 10 of 11

Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Equipment
Sets
--
Reps
10
Rest
0 sec.

Round 5

Balance and core strength

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 11 of 11

Side Plank

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
--
Reps
As long as possible
Rest
0 sec.
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