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The ultimate fighting fat-loss workout program

Our exclusive program for burning fat and increasing your endurance.

Jump to the Routine
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Close-Grip Medicine Ball Pushup
Westend61 / Getty
Close-Grip Medicine Ball Pushup
Westend61 / Getty

A fighter’s greatest fear isn’t having his teeth knocked out or landing facedown on the canvas in front of an audience of millions—it’s getting tired. A lack of endurance is as much a danger to your quest for a leaner, stronger body as it is to a UFC fighter (although you probably don’t risk suffering a beat-down if you punk out).

If you can’t catch your breath after a set, or if you’re too fatigued to hit the exercises in the late stages of your workout with intensity, you’ll sacrifice strength and the number of calories you burn. Simply put, you won’t lose much fat. But MF is in your corner to help you turn things around with a fat-burning, endurance-bolstering program inspired by routines the world’s top mixed martial artists use to keep in fighting shape.

While you may never venture into the Octagon to wage combat, training like a fighter is a fun and challenging way to get a lean, athletic look—not to mention plenty of functional strength. Every exercise you perform is a compound movement, meaning it will work lots of muscle at multiple joints, helping increase your energy expenditure remarkably. As a result, your body will continue burning calories—mostly from fat—at an accelerated rate for up to two days afterward.

To accomplish that, the workouts here keep rest periods to a minimum while the weights you lift will be brutally heavy. You’ll also do plenty of old-school fight-training exercises, such as the clean and press, medicine-ball situp, and jumping rope—all of which will help give you the staying power needed to fight off fat and go the distance in future workouts and sports activities.

Directions

Frequency: Perform each workout (I, II, and III) once per week, resting at least a day between each session.

How to do it: For Workouts I and III, perform the exercise pairs (marked A and B) as supersets, resting 60 seconds after the second exercise in each pair. (So you’ll do one set of A, then immediately do one set of B, and then rest before repeating the process for all prescribed sets.)

Perform the exercises in Workout II (which are marked only by letters, not numbers) as a circuit. This means you’ll complete one after the other without resting in-between. (So you’ll do one set of A, then one set of B, then C, and so on.) Afterward, rest 60 seconds or less. That’s one circuit. Repeat the circuit two times for a total of three circuits (three sets per exercise).

Weight: Use the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all the sets for each exercise. Remember that the goal here is to increase conditioning, so don’t choose a weight that tires you out early.

Routine

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The ultimate fighting fat-loss workout program

Workout I: Explosive back and posterior chain supersets

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 6

Clean and Press

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
4
Reps
5
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 2 of 6

Pullup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
4
Reps
8-10
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 3 of 6

Floor Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
5
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 4 of 6

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
6-8
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 5 of 6

Situp

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
50
Rest
0 sec.
With medicine ball
Exercise 6 of 6

Weighted Back Extension

Equipment
Bench
Sets
1
Reps
50
Rest
--

The ultimate fighting fat-loss workout program

Workout II: Legs and chest circuit

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 7 of 6

Walking Lunge

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
1
Reps
10 (each leg)
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 8 of 6

Mountain Climber

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
1
Reps
10
Rest
0 sec.
Perform with your hands on a medicine ball.
Exercise 9 of 6

Medicine Ball Pushup

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
1
Reps
10
Rest
0 sec.
Perform with your hands on a medicine ball.
Exercise 10 of 6

Prisoner Squat

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
20
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 11 of 6

Pullup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
--
Reps
6-8
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 12 of 6

Hanging Leg Raise

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
1
Reps
5
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 13 of 6

Jump Rope

Equipment
Jump Rope
Sets
1
Reps
50
Rest
60 sec.

The ultimate fighting fat-loss workout

Workout III: Plyometric core strength supersets

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 14 of 6

Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
5
Reps
3-5
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 15 of 6

Medicine Ball V-Up

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
5
Reps
12
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 16 of 6

One-Arm Dumbbell Hang Clean and Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
5 (each arm)
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 17 of 6

Inverted Row

Equipment
Power Rack
Sets
3
Reps
As many as possible
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 18 of 6

Dumbbell Swing

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
2
Reps
15
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 19 of 6

Jumping Lunge

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
2
Reps
8 (each leg)
Rest
60 sec.
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