Workout Routines

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.

The UFC Workout To Get Built Like A Fighter
Getty Images/Jamie Squire
Getty Images/Jamie Squire
Duration 30
Exercises 11
Equipment Yes

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.

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Round 1 Explosive power and core strength

Exercise 1.

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
-- sets
10 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 2.

Leg Lift You'll need: Bench How to
Leg Lift  thumbnail
-- sets
10 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 3.

Goblet Squat You'll need: Kettlebells How to
Goblet Squat thumbnail
-- sets
10 reps
0 sec. rest

Round 2 Total-body variation

Exercise 1.

Pushup How to
Pushup  thumbnail
-- sets
10 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 2.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
One-Arm Dumbbell Row thumbnail
-- sets
10 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 3.

Rear-Delt Flye How to
Rear Delt Flye  thumbnail
-- sets
10 reps
0 sec. rest

Round 3 Overhead power + leg strength + mobility

Exercise 1.

Shoulder Press You'll need: No Equipment How to
Shoulder Press  thumbnail
-- sets
10 reps
0 sec. rest
Press a pair of dumbbells overhead while standing, alternating with each arm.

Exercise 2.

Alternating Lateral Lunge with Hop How to
Alternating Lateral Lunge with Hop thumbnail
-- sets
10 (each side) reps
0 sec. rest
Hold a dumbbell in each hand.

Round 4 Cardio overdrive

Exercise 1.

Burpee You'll need: No Equipment How to
Burpee thumbnail
-- sets
10 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 2.

Single-Leg Glute Bridge How to
Single-Leg Glute Bridge  thumbnail
-- sets
10 reps
0 sec. rest

Round 5 Balance and core strength

Exercise 1.

Side Plank You'll need: Medicine Ball How to
Side Plank thumbnail
-- sets
As long as possible reps
0 sec. rest
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