Fighting Fit: The MMA Shred Workout!

Whether you're headed to the octagon or just want to look like you are, fight training will move your athleticism and physique up a class!

The popularity of mixed martial arts hasn't gone unnoticed in the fitness industry. Fighters like Georges St-Pierre and Gina Carano have athletic, lean bodies that perform at high levels and look great on magazine covers. Their ripped physiques combine "show" with "go" like few others.

You can look that badass too—but you have to be willing to work. Think about it: They need to be masters of technique, while still having the agility and endurance to survive 5-minute rounds while someone is basically trying to kill them. A good fighter therefore has to have strong aerobic and anaerobic systems, and their workouts need to develop many fitness qualities.

If you're ready to take your fitness and physique to the next level, here are some tips to help you train and move like a fighter. Touch gloves, and let's go!


Tip 1 /// Be An All-Around Athlete

Strength, speed, and flexibility are all crucial determinants of success in the cage. They're also necessary components to developing a better physique. By incorporating exercises that require movement on multiple planes—like those that mimic striking, kicking, and grappling—you'll have the coordination and speed to go play pick-up games while rocking a bod that looks straight from the octagon.

Tip 2 /// Train in Intervals

Though steady-state aerobic training is popular out there in the non-fighting world, it's not the best method to get shredded, strong, and improve endurance. The best way to train like a fighter is to do high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which improves speed, endurance, and power. It's also been shown to increase the amount and duration of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC)1. Basically, doing HIIT helps the metabolism stay jacked up for longer, and that means more fat-burning for you.

To train in intervals, do brief bouts of high-intensity anaerobic exercise followed by longer aerobic rest periods. HIIT can be done using sprints, weightlifting, and fighting rounds. Even if you don't plan on delivering any haymakers, you'll get the benefit of stacking on some lean muscle and watching body fat melt away.

Tip 3 /// Stretch Yourself

Those who make their living in the cage simply must be flexible. High kicks require pliable hamstrings, and a good grappler needs mobile hips for holds and escapes. Flexibility should be similarly important to you, even if you're not slapping on a jiu jitsu gi. Stretching lengthens muscle tissue and increases mobility, power output, and recovery. No matter your fitness goals, you must stretch to achieve them.

Tip 4 /// Fuel Smart

Fighters have to perform at a high level in order to make it through a single round, let alone an entire bout. They know that anything that could negatively impact their physical ability has no place in their bodies. Tough workouts don't give you license to eat a Big Mac or succumb to unhealthy cravings. Eat clean, wholesome foods, and avoid processed garbage. You'll perform better and look better if you do.

While you're at it, drop the soda and stay hydrated with water. Water speeds up metabolism, among countless other benefits, taking you one step closer to looking like Dos Santos.

The Fit Fighter Workout

Reference

  1. Perry, C. R., Heigenhauser, G. F., Bonen, A., & Spriet, L. L. (2008). High-intensity aerobic interval training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic capacities in human skeletal muscle. Applied Physiology, Nutrition & Metabolism, 33(6), 1112-1123.

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About The Author

Kim completed her Master's degree from CALU University in Exercise Science & Health Promotion. Her true passion lies in strongman competition.

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Marcozr1

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Marcozr1

i think im going to incorporate this routine into my cardio day... should i?

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Jul 23, 2013 9:55pm | report
 
ollieodells

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ollieodells

i used to do sprints etc in my cardio hitting lots of body parts. sort of led to overtraining with me. eg i'd have chest day 2 days before my cardio day and the pushups would be ******

Jul 24, 2013 2:04pm | report
wagz1907

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wagz1907

Depends...this circuit utilizes both cardio and weightlifting elements. Perhaps tweaking the non-bodyweight exercises and using lower weight would not only increase your max reps in 30 secs, but also provide you with a more cardio tuned workout. You could also substitute (i.e. bear crawl replaces sled push, etc.) if you so desire.

Jul 24, 2013 2:58pm | report
Stratowarrior

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Stratowarrior

Solid. I've always been a fan of GSP.

Jul 23, 2013 9:56pm | report
 
mexicanalinda18

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mexicanalinda18

I am so going to try this. I get bored easily.

Jul 24, 2013 7:54am | report
 
producerdan

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producerdan

I've used GSP's Rushfit twice since last December. It helped me lose over 40 lbs and start a daily fitness routine. Now I choose random routines from Rushfit, mixed with Keith Webbers Kettlebell training dvds, and weights. Also on week 2 of Jim Stoppani's Shortcut To Size. I'm getting shredded and I'm addicted to the results.

Jul 24, 2013 12:03pm | report
 
Jsnyd33

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Jsnyd33

GSP! going to integrate a few of these to check the box on high volume sets

Jul 24, 2013 1:03pm | report
 
BDTrr

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BDTrr

You should use Ronda Rousey as your example of a female MMA fighter. She's the UFC's women's champion and besides, Gina Carano doesn't fight anymore. She's acting now and has stated she has no intentions of fighting again.

Jul 24, 2013 2:36pm | report
 
ealionhandley

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ealionhandley

I tried this workout wow loved it. Definitely putting in this workout loved it. And was burnt by the end which is what I want. Loved it

Jul 24, 2013 4:40pm | report
 
bad_intentions

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bad_intentions

great workout, but it would be awfully tough to be able to access the power rack for squats within 10 seconds after doing most of this other stuff in most gyms.

may have to try to find a heavy ez bar for the squats, but I will try this out sometime.

Jul 24, 2013 5:37pm | report
 
jmiddleton96

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jmiddleton96

Decent workout, but one thing keeps appearing to me...
GSP has the worst ab genetics. They are so random and weird.
But he is an exceptional athlete

Jul 25, 2013 5:05am | report
 
Beast9000

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Beast9000

nice little workouts here

Jul 25, 2013 9:15am | report
 
firemanPayne

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firemanPayne

Doe anybody have any advice on adding this to strength training?

Jul 26, 2013 3:01pm | report
 
Ajtaz8

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Ajtaz8

If you want to add this into your strength training, you have two options.
1. You can use this as a complete cross training or cardio day.
or
2. You can take more time in between exercises to reduce the cardiovascular effect if has with its minimal rest.

Best of luck!

Jul 30, 2013 4:39pm | report
RaySermulis

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RaySermulis

how does the push up to pull ups work? 1 push up 1 pull up and so on and on...?

Jul 27, 2013 12:12pm | report
 
StrongGirlFit

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StrongGirlFit

Yes, jump up and do one pull up then back down to a push up. It is a tough move.

Jul 29, 2013 3:39pm | report
ClutchCaleb

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ClutchCaleb

I love this article. Time is a big issue for me right now, so its important that I get both strength and cardio done in the most efficient way possible. My diet to exercise ratio has been less than optimal this summer, leaving me quite self conscious and not as eager to go for a swim or float as I normally would be. I'll be incorporating this into my week for the next few weeks and seeing how it works out for me.

Aug 5, 2013 8:58am | report
 
Jcoleman11

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Jcoleman11

awesome workout, i will be doing this tommorrow for sure!

Oct 6, 2013 6:00pm | report
 
Jcoleman11

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Jcoleman11

awesome workout, i will be doing this tommorrow for sure!

Oct 6, 2013 6:00pm | report
 
immabeast1897

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immabeast1897

i need a good workout dvd imma start hitting the gym if i can but if i cant i have dumb bells at me house is that still gonna give me what i need if i do push ups an sit ups an dumbbells

Jun 3, 2014 1:11pm | report
 
jonasdk

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jonasdk

gonna try this soon..

Nov 22, 2014 9:59am | report
 
Barry Nelson

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Barry Nelson

definitely be using some of these ideas

Dec 10, 2014 6:46pm | report
 
Barry Nelson

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Barry Nelson

definitely be using some of these ideas

Dec 10, 2014 6:46pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 23 of 23 Comments

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