Training Secrets of UFC Champion Johny Hendricks | STACK

Training Secrets of UFC Champion Johny Hendricks

May 5, 2014 | Featured in the Spring 2014 Issue

Johny Hendricks works through a set of Rope Pulls as the country song “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” plays through the stereo at Velociti Fitness League in Pantego, Texas.

Hendricks was raised on a farm in Ada, Okla., and though he didn’t grow up to be a cowboy by trade, he did win two NCAA Division I wrestling titles for the Oklahoma State Cowboys from 2003 to 2006.

Since then, “Bigg Rigg” has been plowing a path to the top of the UFC Welterweight division. He holds a record of 16-2 and has eight wins by knockout, including five first-round finishes.

“I try for that every fight. I’m going to hit you as hard as I can and lay you out,” he says.

Hendricks didn’t score a knockout in his last match, a title fight against Robbie Lawler in March that went the full five rounds. Bigg Rigg used a steady combination of punches, knees and leg kicks early in the match and caught Lawler with a devastating uppercut in the final round to earn the unanimous decision and win the UFC Welterweight title.

His championship performance over a hard-nosed Lawler solidified Hendricks’ position as one of the UFC’s most dangerous fighters and put the proverbial target on his back among welterweight contenders.

“I want to win the belt and I want to defend that belt,” Hendricks told us before the fight.

STACK sat in as Hendricks trained for his fight against Lawler. Below are some of the moves he performed in pursuit of that goal.

RELATED: Johny Hendricks Heavy Bag Circuit

Bigg Rigg’s Training

Hendricks aims to throw 400 “hard punches” every fight,  and with that comes the risk of fatigue. To ensure he’s able to last all five rounds, Hendricks performs a 15-station circuit. He says, “The circuit is gripping, pulling, pushing, foot work, head movement. We’re trying to mimic a fight the best we can in a controlled scenario to get my cardio in peak condition.”

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Perform this three-set circuit five times, working for 30 seconds on each exercise and resting 30 seconds once you complete a full circuit

Ropes

Johny Hendricks working the Ropes

Hold the ropes and perform quick chops, creating a constant wave through the ropes. Hendricks says, “The rope fires up a lot muscles—grip strength, forearms, biceps, shoulders—and that’s why I like to start off with it.”

Speed Ladder Lateral Shuffle

Johny Hendricks Speed Ladder

Stand with the ladder to your left. Shuffle laterally through the ladder, placing two feet in each box so that both feet are never touching the ground at the same time. Repeat in the opposite direction.

Hendricks says, “In a fight, sometimes you’ve got to be fast and sometimes you want to go slow, but you always need to keep your feet moving. Speed ladder drills help keep your legs under you when you’re tired.”

TRX Rip Trainer Strike 

Johny Hendricks Rip Trainer

Perform a striking motion with the Rip Trainer by simultaneously punching with your right hand and rotating your torso away from the anchor point. Keep a tight grip as you move. Try for 10 to 15 reps on each side.

Topics: MMA
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
Zac Clark
- Zac Clark is STACK Media's Custom Content Manager. Prior to joining STACK in September 2008, he served as an editorial assistant for USA Hockey Magazine...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Suffer Together: 'Bad Partner' MMA Workout

Ronda Rousey to Headline Debut on UFC 157 in February

Improve Punching Power With Physics

School of Hard Knocks

5 MMA Exercises to Dominate the Octagon

MMA Conditioning: The Training You're Not Getting

Unlock Your True Knockout Punch Power

MMA Training For Non-Fighters

Full Fight Card Confirmed for UFC on FOX 5

Why NFL Players Use MMA Training (And You Should, Too)

Georges St. Pierre to fight Nick Diaz at UFC 158

Training Secrets of UFC Champion Johny Hendricks

Improve Your Training for MMA

2 Boxing Drills to Develop Punching Power

Krav Maga Self Defense: Training with Resistance

5 Essential Martial Arts Stretches

Improve Your Knockout Power with Complex Training

UFC Fighter Mark Hominick Retires

Get in Shape Fast With This Boxing-Inspired Workout

Ranking Martial Arts for the Real World

WATCH: Jon 'Bones' Jones's Brutal Uphill Sprints

MMA Workout Plan with Rampage Jackson

UFC Signs First Female Fighter, Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey Might Headline UFC Debut on PPV

6 Exercises To Box Your Way To Knockout Power

UFC 156 Main Fight Card Set

Johny Hendricks Talks Ahead of UFC 171

Get in Shape With a Heavy-Bag Workout

CrossFit Plus MMA Equals One Intense Workout

Pull Your Weight: The Boxer Workout

Master the 4 Basic Boxing Punches

MMA Drills for Relentless Endurance

Ground-Based Exercises For Grappling Training (VIDEO)

UFC on FOX 7 Will Determine MMA's Best Lightweight

How Kickboxing Can Improve Your Game

Rory MacDonald Out of UFC 158