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The UFC Workout Program

Survive five rounds with a madman—or just look like you could—with this Octagon-worthy workout.

Download the November 2016 issue of Men's Fitness starring Dana White, on newsstands 10/17, at mensfitness.com/gettheissue

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.

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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.

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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.

Round 1

1. Alternating Dumbbell Press

Sets: As many as possible
Reps: 10
Rest: 0 sec.
Lie back on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Press both dumbbells over your chest and then lower one down. Press it up and then lower the opposite arm.

2. Leg Lift

Sets: As many as possible
Reps: 10
Rest: 0 sec.
Lie on the floor and hold onto a bench or the legs of a heavy chair. Keep your legs straight and raise them up until they're vertical. Lower back down, but stop just short of the floor to keep tension on your abs before the next rep.

3. Goblet Squat

Sets: As many as possible
Reps: 10
Rest: 0 sec.
Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell under you chin with both hands. Stand with feet shoulder width and toes turned slightly out. Bend your hips and lower your body as far as you can; keep your torso upright. 

Round 2

1. Pushup

Sets: As many as possible
Reps: 10
Rest: 0 sec.
Place your hands shoulder-width apart and extend your legs behind you with feet together. Brace your abs so your body forms a straight line from head to feet. Draw your shoulder blades together as you lower your body until your chest is about an inch above the floor. 

2. One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Sets: As many as possible
Reps: 10
Rest: 0 sec.
Rest your left knee and hand on a bench and grasp a dumbbell with your right hand. Let the weight hang straight down. Retract your shoulder and row the dumbbell to your side. 

3. Rear-Delt Flye

Sets: As many as possible
Reps: 10
Rest: 0 sec.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and bend your hips back until your torso is parallel with the floor. Keeping your lowerback flat, raise the dumbbells 90 degrees out to your sides.

Round 3

1. Alternating Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Sets: As many as possible
Reps: 10
Rest: 0 sec.
Perform as you did the alternating dumbbell bench press but press the dumbbells overhead while standing. Keep your core braced.

2. Dumbbell Lateral Lunge

Sets: As many as possible
Reps: 10
Rest: 0 sec.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and take a wide step to your right. Keeping your torso upright, lower your body until you feel a stretch in your trailing leg.

Round 4

1. Burpee

Sets: As many as possible
Reps: 10
Rest: 0 sec.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend down and place your hands on the floor, then shoot your legs behind you so you end up in the top of a pushup position. Jump your legs quickly back up so they land between your hands, then stand up quickly.

2. Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Sets: As many as possible
Reps: 10
Rest: 0 sec.
Lie down on the floor and extend one leg in front of you and bend the other one. Brace your abs and drive the heel of the bent leg into the floor to raise your hips up. Your body should be in a straight line.

Round 5

1. Side Plank

Sets: N/A
Reps: As long as possible
Rest: 0 sec.
Lie on your left side resting your left forearm on the floor for support. Raise your hips up so that your body forms a straight line and brace your abs- your weight should be on your left forearm and the edge of your left foot.

For a visual reference of each exercise, check out our gallery of all the exercises in The UFC Workout Program.

Download the November 2016 issue of Men's Fitness starring Dana White, on newsstands 10/17, at mensfitness.com/gettheissue. 

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