Workout Routines

The high-intensity MMA workout to build strength and muscle endurance

Train like a fighter with this fast-paced circuit that'll leave no muscle unscathed—so you can do the same to your opponents.

by
Man doing pushups with dumbbells
MRBIG_PHOTOGRAPHY / Getty
MRBIG_PHOTOGRAPHY / Getty
Duration 30 min
Exercises 3-7
Equipment Yes

This workout is designed to train your entire body in one session with a focus on strength and endurance. And that's not just physical endurance. This routine takes a ton of mental fortitude to push through fatigue, which will develop the mental toughness you need to get through a brutal MMA fight.

How to do it

The workout consists of a warmup, a circuit workout, and an additional set of grip-strength moves. The circuit workout comprises five stations, each with its own set of exercises designed to be done back-to-back. Do as many reps as possible at each station in five minutes, rest 60 seconds, then move on to the next station. You'll do that station workout three times, for a total of 15 stations.

The station workout is designed to prep you for a 5-minute, 5-round fight.

Warmup

Starts with a dynamic warmup. 

After, complete 25-meter sprints, walking back to start to recover. Repeat for 5 minutes. These will raise your heart rate and wake up the muscle fibers responsible for powerful, explosive movements.

Circuit Workout

Repeat each station for 5 minutes with minmal rest. Take a 60-second break between each station.

Station 2: Exercise 1 is a heavy-bag burpee (assault the bag with varying punch and kick combos when you jump up). Exercise 2 is a burpee clean and press with 25lb dumbbells.  

Station 3: Exercise 5 is plank Jacks (keep your butt down as you jump your feet in and out of the plank position).

Grip Work

Grip strength increases a fighter's abilities during submissions and grappling, and adds impressive strength to punching power.

Exercise 2 is fat-bar pullups. Hold tennis balls in your palms against the bar. They'll force you to tighten your grip and build the muscles in your hand as you perform pullups.

Exercise 3 is plate pinch. Hold two plates (25lb or 35lb) together for as long as you can, standing still or walking back and forth.

Station 1: Upper-body strength and muscle endurance Do 5 rounds

Exercise 1.

Pushup How to
Pushup  thumbnail
5 sets
15 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 2.

Jumping Jack You'll need: No Equipment How to
Jumping Jack thumbnail
5 sets
15 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 3.

Bench Dip You'll need: Bench How to
Bench Dip thumbnail
5 sets
15 reps
As little as possible rest

Station 2: Full-body circuit Do 5 rounds

Exercise 1.

Burpee You'll need: No Equipment How to
Burpee thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 2.

Clean and Press You'll need: Medicine Ball How to
Clean and Press thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 3.

Weighted Burpee You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Weighted Burpee thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 4.

Burpee You'll need: No Equipment How to
Burpee thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Station 3: Full-body conditioning Do 5 rounds

Exercise 1.

High knees How to
Backward Sprint thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 2.

Mountain Climber You'll need: Medicine Ball How to
Mountain Climber thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 3.

Jumping Jack You'll need: No Equipment How to
Jumping Jack thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 4.

Plank You'll need: No Equipment How to
Plank thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 5.

Bulgarian Split Squat You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Bulgarian Split Squat thumbnail
5 sets
10 (each side) reps
As little as possible rest

Station 4: Full-body strength Do 5 rounds

Exercise 1.

Goblet Squat You'll need: Kettlebells How to
Goblet Squat thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 2.

Front Squat to Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Front Squat to Press thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 3.

Pullover/Triceps Extension You'll need: Barbell How to
Pullover/Triceps Extension  thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 4.

Incline dumbbell circles You'll need: Cable Machine How to
Incline dumbbell circles thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 5.

Dumbbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Biceps Curl thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 6.

Swiss Ball Pushup You'll need: Swiss Ball How to
Exercise Ball Pushup thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 7.

Bentover Row You'll need: Barbell How to
Bent Over Row  thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Station 5: Core Do 5 rounds

Exercise 1.

Toe Touch You'll need: Medicine Ball How to
Toe Touch thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 2.

Tire Flip How to
How To Do A Tire Flip thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 3.

Ab Rollout You'll need: Ab Wheel How to
Ab Rollout thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 4.

High-Speed Curl (band) You'll need: Resistance Band How to
High Speed Curl thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Grip work Do 3 rounds

Exercise 1.

Towel Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Towel Pullup  thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 2.

Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Exercise: How to do an Eccentric Pullup thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 3.

Farmer's Walk You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Farmer's Walk  thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest
Comments