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 in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. A certified personal trainer, he also has a certification in...
D'Angelo Kinard
- D’Angelo Kinard is the founder of Advanced Sports Performance in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. A certified personal trainer, he also has a certification in...
Must See
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,799,465
Brandon Jennings: Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 5,609,405
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 32,857,325

Featured Videos

Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Views: 1,017,580
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,821
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 70,687
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

Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,362,717
Paul Rabil's Box Jumps Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 851,414
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,083
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,333,085
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,499,111

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Get in Basketball Shape With the Right Workout

Get in Basketball Shape With the Right Workout

The right basketball workout can help you get in shape for the sport. Basketball players need to be in shape and resistant to fatigue. The challenge is...

The Mount Everest Treadmill Challenge

The Mount Everest Treadmill Challenge

STACK Challenge: 500-Meter Row

STACK Challenge: 500-Meter Row

Who Invented the Burpee?

Who Invented the Burpee?

LeBron James's Insane Conditioning Drill

LeBron James's Insane Conditioning Drill

Can You Survive the 100 Bears Challenge?

Can You Survive the

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Hill

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Hill

5 NBA Players Who Found Their Game After Losing Weight

5 NBA Players Who Found Their Game After Losing Weight

Get in Shape Fast With Todd Durkin's 5 Intense Workout Finishers

Get in Shape Fast With Todd Durkin's 5 Intense Workout Finishers

7 Footwork Drills That Give You an Advantage

7 Footwork Drills That Give You an Advantage

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

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

4 Simple Drills to Improve Your Endurance

4 Simple Drills to Improve Your Endurance

Obstacle Race Training: Get in Shape With This Finisher

Obstacle Race Training: Get in Shape With This Finisher

Training with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0

Training with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0

STACK Challenge: Finish Strong

STACK Challenge: Finish Strong

Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Altitude Training

Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Altitude Training

Test Your Toughness With the Who Dat? Challenge

Test Your Toughness With the Who Dat? Challenge

Get in Football Shape Fast With Metabolic Runs

Get in Football Shape Fast With Metabolic Runs

Adeline Gray Is Going for Gold

Adeline Gray Is Going for Gold

How to Build Soccer-Specific Conditioning

How to Build Soccer-Specific Conditioning

Advanced High School Football Summer Conditioning Program

Advanced High School Football Summer Conditioning Program

Baseball Conditioning: Why You Need an Aerobic Base

Baseball Conditioning: Why You Need an Aerobic Base

Alternatives to Boring Cardio Training

Alternatives to Boring Cardio Training

4 HIIT Workouts That Will Get You in Shape Fast

4 HIIT Workouts That Will Get You in Shape Fast

How Sporting Kansas City Stays 'Sporting Fit'

How Sporting Kansas City Stays 'Sporting Fit'

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

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

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Interval Sprints

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Interval Sprints

5 Brutal Sprint Drills That Push the Lactic Threshold

5 Brutal Sprint Drills That Push the Lactic Threshold

Improve Your Aerobic Fitness in the Off-Season

Improve Your Aerobic Fitness in the Off-Season

Can You Pass Drew Brees' Conditioning Test?

Can You Pass Drew Brees' Conditioning Test?

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Fartlek Run

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Fartlek Run

Off-Season Conditioning: Full-Body Med Ball Workout

Off-Season Conditioning: Full-Body Med Ball Workout

WATCH: Ronda Rousey's Intense New Bag Drill

WATCH: Ronda Rousey's Intense New Bag Drill

Get in Shape With This Basketball Conditioning Workout

Get in Shape With This Basketball Conditioning Workout

How to Avoid Hockey Conditioning That Slows You Down

How to Avoid Hockey Conditioning That Slows You Down

Can You Handle the Husker Toughness Test?

Can You Handle the Husker Toughness Test?

Prepare for Your Season With These Conditioning Drills

Prepare for Your Season With These Conditioning Drills

In Defense of Cardio

In Defense of Cardio

Get in Shape With 5 Intense Lower-Body Finishers

Get in Shape With 5 Intense Lower-Body Finishers

LaTroy Hawkins' Epic Battle Ropes Workout

LaTroy Hawkins' Epic Battle Ropes Workout

Win the Fourth Quarter With These Basketball Sled Push Finishers

Win the Fourth Quarter With These Basketball Sled Push Finishers

Why Better Conditioned Athletes Have Fewer Injuries

Why Better Conditioned Athletes Have Fewer Injuries

YardBarker