Clay Guida's Fitness 360: MMA Training & Diet - Where The Buffalo Roam

Clay 'The Carpenter' Guida prepares for the fight of his life against Benson Henderson at UFC on FOX, Velasquez vs. Dos Santos, November 12. Here's how he nails his training.

I live in a van down by the river … err, a Winnebago on an Indian Reservation in New Mexico. I've kind of secluded myself. When I wake up in the morning in the RV, I look out and I see where the buffalo roam. Literally, there's like 30 to 40 buffalo always wandering around the RV. It's kind of surreal and puts me in that training mood.

I started out at a young age, wrestling, playing football, playing baseball. I always had that hard-nosed, go-getter attitude. That has been my 'go-to' in my mixed martial arts career in the UFC.

Clay Guida Fitness 360

Watch The Video - 14:42

People see the wild hair and all that, but I'm really driven by my workout partners and my trainers. What I lack in talent, I make up for with heart and hard work. I wrestled in college. I never was a national qualifier, never made it down to the national tournament. In high school I never made it down to state. I'm making up for things in life I didn't do earlier.

Take the ten most awesome, gnarly rock concerts you've ever been to and wrap it all into a 5-10 minute spot in your life. I feel like a lead singer and this is my own show. That's about as close as I can come to describing The Octagon.

I hear the crowd stomping their feet and screaming my name … "Guida! Guida!" That drives me. I can feel it in my blood. I feel with every punch I throw, every bead of sweat that comes out of me, it's something special. The fans are the ones who pay our bills, so the least I can do is give back to them and put on a show every time out.

I hear the crowd stomping their feet and screaming my name … 'Guida! Guida!'


I eat 4-to-5 times per day leading up to a fight. I don't consider cutting weight because I walk around at 165. Fight week I'm 160. We get a 1-pound allowance until I get to my title fight, where you have to scratch at 155. Right now I don't have to cut weight and I don't plan on it in the future.

I don't stick to a strict MMA diet. I don't drink soda. I don't eat fast food … but I will go to a restaurant and buy a $12 cheeseburger. I'm not real fussy about what's in front of me because I know I'm going to go to the gym and work it off, no matter what.


It's not the healthiest breakfast, but it could be worse. I could be eating half a pound of bacon and a cheesy omelet every morning.


Carbs and protein to get me through my evening workout.


  • steak


  • sushi


  • fish

    Fish (tilapia, mahi mahi) over rice

  • vegetables


I like red meat. I'll go out for a steak or sushi, something that's going to fuel me, repair me, help me prepare for the next workout. I love fish (Tilapia, Mahi-Mahi) over rice. There are not any vegetables I won't eat.


You need a catalyst to get you through these workouts and help you get on to the next one. That's what it's all about: peaking at the right time.



Getting up in the RV and knowing I get to go to the gym and work out with some of the best fighters, the best trainers in the world … it puts a smile on my face every day.

My day is broken up into 3-or-4 short workouts. I prefer a long training camp. Anything over 8 weeks is icing on the cake. I always stay in shape, even after my fights. I'm always running and training. This is what we do full-time. You never know when you're going to get that call.

I always stay in shape, even after my fights.

Training Sessions:
60-90 minutes of MMA training. Focus on grappling, sparring and footwork; 70 percent on the feet.

30-45 minutes, twice per week. We don't just sit there and swing kettlebells for an hour. We do a lot of circuit training in between basic kettlebell swings, snatches, cleans, things like that. They have me flip tires and hit tires with the hammer … for explosiveness.

Hitting Mitts:
20-30 minutes, solid technique. I just want to hammer through it and own the workout. You don't get through a workout. You don't just get through life. I want to get the most productivity out of each workout.

I take a quick nap if I need it and eat a good lunch. I may also hit all 3-or-4 workouts in a row, then rest. Mixed martial artists, we're more like sprinters. We're not long distance.

You really have to listen to the body, so taking a day off … you need to do it. If I train 5-6 days per week, maybe Sunday will be the day where I just kind of lounge around, let the body repair, go for a run.

30-minute stretch post-workout: shoulders, hamstrings, quads, hips. It's a huge part of my game that was missing.


Perform exercises A1 and A2 as a Superset

Perform exercises B1 and B2 as a Superset


Lightweight Division
November 12, 2011
Anaheim, Calif

Clay Guida (29-8-0)
5-foot-7, 155 pounds
Round Lake, Illinois


Benson Henderson (14-2-0)
5-foot-9, 155 pounds
Colorado Springs, Colorado