MMA Workouts: Crazy Unconventional Training From Top UFC Fighters

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
October 03, 2011

A few years back I decided to train in Golden Gloves. I had training in other martial arts and I thought that boxing would round out my ability. A few weeks into training my coach put me in the ring for some real life sparring. Mid second round I was gassing. My arms were falling and my opponent took every opportunity to capitalize on my fatigue. He hit me with a right, then a left. I felt like someone dropped my brain in a bucket of water and I was out. I quickly realized the level of conditioning that top fighters need in order to perform at the highest levels. The below are MMA Workouts that are totally intense. These UFC fighters train like there is no tomorrow and use unconventional training methods.

MMA Popularity

The popularity of Mixed Martial Arts or MMA has taken the sport world by storm. UFC has quickly risen to be one of the most watched sporting events on Pay-Per-View. What I find most fascinating is the conditioning of these athletes. The training that they need to go through in order to compete at that level is superb. MMA Training is impressive. MMA Training unique. But most of all, MMA Workouts are tough as nails.


MMA Workouts and Training Styles

Many athletes have admired the way MMA fighters train. They use unconventional training methods like swimming pools, ropes, kettle bells and other tools. I have put together this list to show you how some of the top MMA fighters train. Use these workouts to inspire you to reach further and higher.



1. BJ Penn Workout

This is a great video of BJ Penn jumping out of a pool. He certainly uses his  fast twitch muscle fibers here to get enough lift to jump straight out of 3 feet of water.

Pool Jumping Workout

Rising Pool Jumps



I love watching this workout by Vitor. He uses rope training to strengthen his arms. This is a great conditioning exercise.

Rope Training


3. Tito Ortiz Workout

Tito is the man. He knows how to incorporate altitude training into his workouts. This video shows his camp in full training mode, getting intense workouts in at a high altitude.


High Altitude Workouts


4. Brock Lesnar Workout:

This video shows Brock Lesnar working out using all sorts of different exercises. The below list shows the exercises. See if you can incorporate any of these into your own workouts.

Knee Health Score 1

Combination Workout:

Jump Rope

Tire Pushes

Medicine Ball Tosses

Stationary Bike

Military Presses


Arm Cycles

Sledge Hammers

Stairs w/ Dumbbells



Side Planks


Straight Legged Holds


Laying Bicycles

Punches with Weights



5. George St. Pierre Workout

This video is actually a promo video for Rush’s new exercise workout system. It gives you a glimpse of how the GSP trains. Pretty intense.

Ring Workout:

Squating Military Presses

Kneel to Stand Jumps

Static V Holds

Circle Curls

Running Lunges

Spider Walks

Side Plank

Sit Ups

Mountain Climbers


V Ups



6. Rickson Gracie Workout

Rickson Gracie has inspired me for a long time. He certainly uses unconventional training in his routines. This video is a small portion of the full length film “Choke”.

Yoga/Body Weight Workout:

Gracie Drill

Cross Sit Ups

Happy Man Pose

Resistance Neck Pulls

Stair Running


Abdominal Breathing Exercises



7. Rich Franklin Workout

Rich Franklin knows how to tear it up. In this workout video, he moves from each exercise without stopping.

Non-stop Machine and Body Weight Workout:

Decline Dips


Knee health score 3

Arcing Squats

Leg Extension

Smith Machine Chest Press



8. Randy Couture Workout

Randy Couture is one of the most inspiring UFC Athletes in the game. He is older but still can tumble with the best of them. This video shows his workouts. They are extreme even at his age.

Resistance Running & Plyometric Workout

Resistence Running

Box Jumps

Pushup Plyometrics

Medicine Ball Tosses


9. Chuck Liddell Workout

I love watching Chuck Liddell. He has some intense power in his punches and it shows. This workout video shows how he can get so much power into his game.

Ring Workout:

Jump Ropes

Partner Leg Pushes

Heavy Bag Work

High Kicks


10. Forest Griffin Workout
Forest Griffin definitely goes through intense workouts. Here he is working with his trainer on speed, coordination, and power.

Speed Workout:

Partner Punches


11. Frank Shamrock Workout

Frank Shamrock is one of the most dynamic fighters in the game. In this workout, he uses a pilates ball and medicine ball to simulate rolling on the mat with an opponent.

Stability and Medicine Ball Workout:

Rolling on Medicine and Stability Ball

Kettle Bells


MMA Workout Resources:

MMA Training Program

MMA From Men’s Fitness

More MMA Training Stuff


Which MMA Workout Do You Like the Best?

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  9. Crazy Workouts

    I love these kind of videos, this is a great collection. These are great workout ideas, even for people just looking to get fit who aren’t necessarily UFC fighters. Thanks for putting this collection together.

    • Todd Kuslikis

      You are very welcome! And you’re right, they certainly can be applied to non-UFC fighters. I know I would love to invest in those heavy ropes like Vitor and do some sweet shoulder/forearm/hand strengthening.

      Thanks for comment Crazy!


  10. Phil Drolet

    Wow great article, thanks for putting all these vids in one spot! Cheers!

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Thanks for the comment Phil! Listening to the interview with Steve Kamb now!

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