Training Secrets of UFC Champion Johny Hendricks | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

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.”

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

4 HIIT Workouts That Will Get You in Shape Fast

If you're tired of doing several rounds of steady state cardio for 30, 45, or even 60 minutes at a time then it's time you learn about HIIT. High...

Full-Body Conditioning Workout: 3 Loaded Carry Variations

LeBron James's Insane Conditioning Drill

Who Invented the Burpee?

LaTroy Hawkins' Epic Battle Ropes Workout

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

The Mount Everest Treadmill Challenge

Off-Season Conditioning: Full-Body Med Ball Workout

In-Season Baseball Pitcher Workout Program

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Hill

Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Altitude Training

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

How Sporting Kansas City Stays 'Sporting Fit'

STACK Challenge: Finish Strong

Alternatives to Boring Cardio Training

Get in Game Shape With 4 Conditioning Combos

Advanced High School Football Summer Conditioning Program

5 Brutal Sprint Drills That Push the Lactic Threshold

Can You Pass Drew Brees' Conditioning Test?

STACK Challenge: 500-Meter Row

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Fartlek Run

4 Simple Drills to Improve Your Endurance

Test Your Toughness With the Who Dat? Challenge

Win the Fourth Quarter With These Basketball Sled Push Finishers

STACK Challenge: The 10/10 Treadmill Challenge

Can You Survive the

Train Harder With Hill Sprints

7 Footwork Drills That Give You an Advantage

In Defense of Cardio

Can You Survive These 4 Crazy Plate Push Finishers?

Get in Shape With This Basketball Conditioning Workout

How to Avoid Hockey Conditioning That Slows You Down

Training with the Elevation Training Mask 2.0

STACK Challenge: 5 Minutes of Treadmill Torture

Improve Your Aerobic Fitness in the Off-Season

Get in Basketball Shape With the Right Workout

How Much Conditioning Do You Really Need?

Get in Shape With 5 Intense Lower-Body Finishers

5 NBA Players Who Found Their Game After Losing Weight

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Interval Sprints

Training Secrets of UFC Champion Johny Hendricks

Baseball Conditioning: Why You Need an Aerobic Base