A Simple MMA Conditioning Workout

May 6, 2012 | Featured in the Fall 2012 Issue

Must See MMA Videos

Mixed martial arts is an extremely demanding sport. Technique is king in the realm of gladiators, but conditioning is often what separates the chumps from the champs. MMA workouts must combine cardiovascular endurance, muscular power,  endurance and mental conditioning. Any good MMA preparation program will include each of these elements. Through my work with top MMA and Brazilian jiu-jitsu athletes, I have discovered a regimen that both physically and mentally challenges them.

MMA workouts should start from the ground up. Prioritizing leg conditioning will ensure you are strong in both your "stand-up" and "ground" games, and that you will stay fresh in the later rounds. Another important tip: devote ample time to the muscles that you don't see when looking in the mirror—hamstrings, glutes, back and triceps. It makes little sense to focus on "show" muscles when what you need most are "go" muscles.

MMA Conditioning Program

Simplicity is important when beginning a conditioning program. Confusing or highly technical exercises can negatively impact workout intensity, at least in the beginning. The intensity level must match your training experience, then grow increasingly more demanding over time. With that in mind, the following program is designed to produce a quality, effective full-body workout regardless of your individual training experience.

Big 100

  • 100 Squats
  • 100 Push-Ups
  • 100 Hip Bridges
  • 100 Fire Hydrants (50 reps per leg)
  • 100 Pull-Ups
  • 100 Crunches

Complete one full circuit of each exercise. Take a 60-second break. Then break the workout into three supersets (Squats and Push-Ups; Hip Bridges and Fire Hydrants; Pull-Ups and Crunches). During a three-minute round, complete one superset, then take a 60-second break. Move onto the next superset and take a break; then finish the last superset. For best results, use a clock to maintain precise work and rest intervals.

The goal during the first week is simply to complete the entire workout. Yes, the workout has a lot of repetitions, but this is intentional. Your first objective in becoming a highly conditioned competitor is to overcome the mental obstacle. The prospect of performing 1,200 reps of exercises may seem impossible. But once you have completed the workout, you will be amazed how much stronger you feel both mentally and physically. As you continue to perform this workout, your conditioning levels will increase greatly as well.

Photo:  Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

D’Angelo Kinard is the founder of Advanced Sports Performance (Washington, D.C. Metro Area). He is a certified personal trainer, and he also has a certification in sports nutrition. He has worked with a variety of clients—including MMA fighters, professional athletes, SWAT teams, collegiate and professional football players and champion natural bodybuilders—as well as several sports teams. Kinard has personally trained five Brazilian jiu-jitsu World Champions. He has a bachelor’s degree from Trinity University and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland University College. To learn more about his training methods, visit advancedsportsperformance.com.

D'Angelo Kinard
- D’Angelo Kinard is the founder of Advanced Sports Performance (Washington, D.C. Metro Area). He is a certified personal trainer, and he also has a certification...
D'Angelo Kinard
- D’Angelo Kinard is the founder of Advanced Sports Performance (Washington, D.C. Metro Area). He is a certified personal trainer, and he also has a certification...
Must See
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 9,261,291
Margus Hunt Benches 385 Pounds for Five Reps
Views: 20,297,638
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,559,831

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 66,647
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 5,931
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 124,090
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,506
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,206
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,488
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,633
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,559,831

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Can You Pass Drew Brees' Conditioning Test?

Off-Season Conditioning: Full-Body Med Ball Workout

7 Footwork Drills That Give You an Advantage

Obstacle Race Training: Get in Shape With This Finisher

STACK Challenge: The 10/10 Treadmill Challenge

4 Simple Drills to Improve Your Endurance

STACK Challenge: 500-Meter Row

LaTroy Hawkins' Epic Battle Ropes Workout

High-Intensity Interval Training: How Much Is Too Much?

How Sporting Kansas City Stays 'Sporting Fit'

Get in Football Shape Fast With Metabolic Runs

In Defense of Cardio

4 HIIT Workouts That Will Get You in Shape Fast

Training Secrets of UFC Champion Johny Hendricks

Adeline Gray Is Going for Gold

Who Invented the Burpee?

Alternatives to Boring Cardio Training

Can You Survive the

Improve Your Aerobic Fitness in the Off-Season

LeBron James's Insane Conditioning Drill

Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Altitude Training

Advanced High School Football Summer Conditioning Program

Training with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0

Get in Shape With 5 Intense Lower-Body Finishers

Baseball Conditioning: Why You Need an Aerobic Base

How to Avoid Hockey Conditioning That Slows You Down

How Much Conditioning Do You Really Need?

Get in Shape With This Basketball Conditioning Workout

Get in Game Shape With 4 Conditioning Combos

The Mount Everest Treadmill Challenge

Win the Fourth Quarter With These Basketball Sled Push Finishers

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Interval Sprints

A Slo-Mo Must-See: Ike Taylor's 4-Man Battle Rope Squats

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Fartlek Run

In-Season Baseball Pitcher Workout Program

Test Your Toughness With the Who Dat? Challenge

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Hill

STACK Challenge: Finish Strong

WATCH: Ronda Rousey's Intense New Bag Drill

5 Brutal Sprint Drills That Push the Lactic Threshold

Get in Basketball Shape With the Right Workout

Can You Handle the Husker Toughness Test?

5 NBA Players Who Found Their Game After Losing Weight