Have you ever wanted to get in shape like a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter?
These guys are ripped. They train hard. They don’t make excuses. That’s why we at A Shot of Adrenaline gravitate toward their methods of training.
With that in mind, we decided to put together an MMA workout routine that modeled the normal fight structure: 5 rounds at 5 minutes each. And the best part is, Shot of Adrenaline’s founder Todd will be walking you through the entire workout in the video above!
This workout is designed to condition your body as if you were in the ring (or octagon). In the routine, we mostly use body weight exercises; however, we have included a couple of exercises that require a minimum amount of weight. As you’ll see in the video, Todd is using some 8 lb. dumbbells. It’s not a lot of weight by any means, but it will provide a good amount of resistance in order to increase the intensity.
This is a full-body workout, so you’re going to be working everything from upper body, lower body, and core. Some of the exercises you’ve never heard of — because we invented them just for this challenge! Because of this, it’ll be important to follow along with the video so you can see the proper form required for each movement. Once you’ve done the workout a few times and don’t need to follow along with the video, just make sure you have your own stopwatch to keep track of the time.
Make sure you’re adequately stretched out — in the video above, Todd has already stretched, and you’re going to want to make sure you’ll be nice and loose.
Here’s a sample warm-up routine for you to follow to get ready for the 30-Minute MMA Conditioning Workout:
- Arm circles — 10 forward/10 backward (small circles)
- Arm circles — 5 forward/5 backward (big circles)
- Jumping jacks — 15
- Quad stretch — 3/leg at 3 seconds per hold
- Bodyweight squats — 10
Stretch more if needed.
Click the video at the top of the page to start the workout.
Warning! This workout is extremely difficult and is designed for advanced MMA fighters and advanced fitness athletes only. It will bring amazing gains in physical strength and conditioning (if done regularly) but should only be tried by athletes whom already have a strong foundation of training. If you are more on the beginner or intermediate side of your training, we have a number of other workouts you would find much more beneficial. It’s critical you don’t over-exert yourself, especially with a challenge like the 30-Minute MMA Conditioning Workout.
Again, we cannot understate this: this may be the most difficult and intense workout you ever try. Use proper breathing techniques, rest when you need to (Todd explains in the video how to optimize those short rest periods), and keep a bottle of water handy. You’re going to need it.
MMA Conditioning Workout Outline:
Round 1: 5 Minutes Total
Push Up Jacks (1 min)
Half Gracies on Right Side (1 min)
Half Gracies on Left Side (1 min)
Falling Punches (1 min)
Half Burpees (1 min)
–1 min rest–
Round 2: 5 Minutes Total
Jumping Dolphins (1 min)
One Armed Half Burpees with Weight – Right Side (1 min)
One Armed Half Burpees with Weight – Left Side (1 min)
Rising Crabs (1 min)
Jumping Ducks (1 min)
–1 min rest–
Round 3: 5 Minutes Total
Jumping Uneven Pushups (1 min)
Reverse Hip Dips – Right Side (1 min)
Reverse Hip Dips – Left Side (1 min)
Single Leg Superman Squats – Right Side (1 min)
Single Leg Superman Squats – Left Side (1 min)
–1 min rest–
Round 4: 5 Minutes Total
Single Hand Hops w/ Weight – Right Side (1 min)
Single Hand Hops w/ Weight – Left Side (1 min)
Full Bridge (1 min)
Pistol Squat – Right Side (1 min)
Pistol Squat – Left Side (1 min)
–1 min rest–
Round 5: 5 Minutes Total
Jumping Jacks w/ Weight (1 min)
Plyometric Hip Dips (1 min)
Spider Push Ups (1 min)
Stretch Push Ups (1 min)
Wall Sits (1 min)
Done! You’ve just completed on of the toughest workouts we’ve ever designed. Your body should be aching from head to toe, every muscle tight with exhaustion. Learning to push yourself like you just did will help advance your fight training, both physically and mentally.
3 Tips For MMA Fighters To Improve Conditioning
1. Strengthen Your Type 1 Muscle Fibers
Have you ever been in a fight and reached the point of total exhaustion? Your muscles feel like rubber and you can barely keep your hands up to protect you. Your shoulders are tightening up and your legs are shot. The reason is because your type 1 muscles fibers (your endurance fibers) are blasted. When you are conditioning for a fight, it is important to train with this in mind. Doing higher rep body weight exercises will increase your bodies’ ability to carry oxygen to your muscles thereby making them last longer.
2. Strengthen Your Body As A Unit
One of the biggest mistakes MMA fighters — or any martial artist for that matter — makes is to think that huge muscles will improve their ability to punch harder. Granted, the laws of physics will tell you that getting hit by a heavier mass will hurt more than a lighter mass; however, mass is not the same thing as force. When you punch using your whole body, you increase the amount of force behind it. If you rely too heavily on single muscles to increase your force, you are not maximizing the natural design of your body.
Training with “whole body exercises” and doing the above conditioning workout will teach you that your body is a unit. You’ll develop a “body synchronicity” that will give you an amazing feeling both inside and outside of the ring.
3. Improve Your V02 Max
V02 Max is generally considered the best measurement to test an athlete’s ability to withstand long, intense periods of aerobic activity. There is a great article on V02 Max here. It explains more about what it is and also talks about the difference between V02 Max and Lactate Threshold, which is the point during maximum conditioning when lactic acid builds up in the muscles.