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The High-Intensity MMA Workout to Build Muscle

Train like a fighter with this fast-paced, high-intensity circuit routine that will leave no muscle unscathed—so you can do the same to your opponents.

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—it's just as draining mentally as it is physically, so you can develop the mental toughness you need to get through a brutal MMA fight.

How to Do the Workout

The workout consists of a warmup, a station workout, and an additional set of grip strength moves. The station workout consists of five stations, each with a set of exercises, performed back-to-back. Do as many reps as possible at each station in five minutes, rest 60 seconds, and 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 a 5-minute, 5-round fight.

Warmup

Starts with sprints to raise your heart rate and engage the muscle fibers that are responsible for powerful, explosive movements.

Sprint 25 meters. Walk back to start. Repeat for 5 minutes.

Station Workout

Take a 60 second break between each station

Station 1

Designed to challenge your upper-body strength and muscle endurance with push-ups for the arms and chest, jumping jacks for continued endurance, and bench dips for triceps and back. Repeat this station continuously a full 5 minutes before moving on to next.

Pushups -  15 reps

Jumping Jacks - 15 reps


Bench Dips - 15 reps


Repeat this station continuously full 5 minutes before moving on to next.

 

Station 2

This full-body circuit focuses on increasing the body's capacity to perform under extreme levels of exertion and to resist fatigue. Start with a heavy bag burpee, which builds power and strength to help with lifts and takedowns. Then lightens it to a 25-lb dumbbell and does clean and presses. Then just burpees with 15-lb dumbbells, and finally, just burpees with his bodyweight.

Repeat this station continuously full 5 minutes before moving on to next.

Heavy Bag Burpees - 10 reps


 

Burpee Clean and Press/25-lb dumbbell - 10 reps

Burpees with 15-lb dumbbell - 10 reps

Top 10 Kettlebell Mistakes

Burpees - 10 reps


 

Repeat this station continuously full 5 minutes before moving on to next.

 

Station 3

A high-intensity conditioning circuit that keeps the heart rate elevated while conditioning the entire body to perform anaerobically for increased endurance.

Repeat this station continuously full 5 minutes before moving on to next.

Fast High Knees - 10 reps

Mountain climbers - 10 reps

Exercises for ripped six pack
Jumping Jacks - 10 reps


 

Plank Jacks - 10 reps

Split Lunges - 10 reps

Repeat this station continuously full 5 minutes before moving on to next.

 

Station 4

Incorporates full body weighted resistance to target aerobic and anaerobic activities to build strength and power while continually building endurance. Squats, squat and overhead presses, triceps press, shoulder circles, bicep curls, push-outs, and bent-over rows complete the full-body circuit.

Repeat this station continuously full 5 minutes before moving on to next.

Goblet Squat - 10 reps


 


Squat w/Overhead Press - 10 reps (not shown)

 

Tricep Press - 10 reps

Shoulder Circles - 10 reps (not shown)

 

Bicep Curls - 10 reps

Push-Outs - 10 reps

Bent Over Rows - 10 reps


 

Repeat this station continuously full 5 minutes before moving on to next.

 

Station 5


The fifth and final station touches on all aspects of conditioning. However, this station focuses primarily on the core when performing the tire sledge, band pulls, and the dreaded ab-wheel rollouts. These moves force your core to stabilize your entire body while working at explosive speeds or when off balance. Core is important for fighting because it's where much of your balance and power comes from.

Repeat this station continuously full 5 minutes before moving on to next.


Med Ball Touches - 10 reps

Tire Sledge - 10 reps

Power-wheel Rollouts - 10 reps

Band Pulls/Snap Downs - 10 reps


 

Repeat this station continuously full 5 minutes before moving on to next.

 

 

Grip Work


Grip strength increases a fighter's abilities during submissions and while grappling, and adds impressive strength to punching power. In the drills below, Jens uses tennis balls because they force you to really tighten your grip when doing a pull-up. Grabbing the bar is easy but doing a pull-up with a tennis ball between the hands is difficult. You can use two fingers three fingers, etc. These moves are designed to build up the muscles in the hand.

Thick Rope Pull-Ups (shown with towel) - 10 reps

Fat Bar Pull-Ups - 10 reps

Plate Pinch (not shown) - Hold two plates (25 lbs and 35 lbs) together for as long as you can.

 

Repeat all stations, doing 3 sets total.

 

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