6 Full-body UFC Workouts for Strength, Endurance, and Fat Loss

UFC fitness training featuring Conor McGregor

Strength, speed, flexibility, and endurance are cornerstones of a fighter’s training regimen. Together they build the kind of athleticism that determines your downfall or your domination. And it’s not limited to the Octagon. Whether you’re traversing an obstacle course race or competing in an amateur CrossFit competition, you need to be well-rounded—you need muscle and agility, endurance and explosiveness.

UFC Gym lives up to their motto “Train Different” by providing classes that combine strength training with cardiovascular conditioning. Instead of conventional cardio, you’ll push sleds, flip tires, and slam sand bags in their Daily Ultimate Training class. Modeled on high-intensity interval training, these taxing bouts of work and short recovery periods strengthen your cardiovascular capacity and torch calories long after you leave the gym.

You’ll also get a taste of their main expertise, MMA and kickboxing, in the MATRX class—a cutting edge routine that incorporates TRX suspension. TRX increases your movement capacity and engages your muscle fibers in a way free weights and machines can’t because it utilizes your own bodyweight from various angles. Your stability, flexibility and endurance are strengthened—and most of all, your mind is engaged.

“Our overall goal is to provide the best possible training environment, coaching, and programs for our member base,” says UFC Gym SoHo General Manager Jason Dunton. “We don’t just give you a gym for you to hit your goals in, we run by your side and help you get there.”

With these 6 UFC fitness routines from UFC Gym SoHo coaches in your workout repertoire, you’ll hone the skills, build the strength, and acquire the endurance of a UFC fighter. Put in the work and you’ll see and feel a transformation in your body and mind in little to no time.

Workout 1

Push the pace: power & endurance  
Courtesy of Anthony Feliz – Fitness director at UFC GYM Soho, CPT, PES CES, CrossFit Level 1

Dynamic Warmup
Rounds: 3
Duration: 45 seconds each
Distance: 15 meters

– Bear crawls
– High knees
– Arm circles
– Air squats

What you need:

Directions: Perform these two exercises as a superset and complete 4 rounds. Don’t take any rest between supersets; recover for 30 seconds between rounds.

1. Spartan makers
Reps: 4
Directions: Grab a pair of dumbbells. Start in a pushup position with your hands on the dumbbells. Complete two pushups. While in the “up” position, row one of the dumbbells to the side of your ribs. Place it back on the ground, then do another pushup. Repeat this step; only row with your alternate arm. Next, jump your feet toward your hands; clean and press the dumbbells. After, bring the dumbbells to waist-level and squat down until you can rest the dumbbells down, slightly in front of you. Jump back into pushup position.

2. Burpee-pushup-broad jump
Reps: 5

Directions: Stand with your feet half-a-foot apart. Quickly bend at your knees and drop your hands down to the floor. At the same time, kick your legs out behind you. Your body should be aligned, head to toe. Do a pushup. Jump your feet back to standing. Lower down into a slight squat and swing your arms behind you. Jump forward as far as you can, propelling your arms to help drive your body forward. Land on both feet and assume the initial stance.

3. 8-Min EMOM (every minute on the minute) barbell complex

What you need:
– Bar/barbell

Directions: Complete each exercise for prescribed reps. Rest for however much time is left in the minute. Complete 4 rounds.

– 4 Power cleans
– 3 Front squats
– 2 Push press

Workout 2

Stabilization drills
Courtesy of Tory Chisolm – UFC Gym Soho coach, UFC Gym certified 

What you need:
– BOSU ball
– dumbbells
– Cable pulley machine and rope extension
– curl bar
– kettlebell

Directions: This entire routine utilizes high reps and should run consistently as one set without any rest until the end of the circuit for maximum pump and muscle endurance. Take 30 seconds rest between rounds; complete 2-3 sets.

1. Dumbbell curls
Start with both feet on a BOSU ball. Perform 10 supinating (palms toward your face) dumbbell curls with each hand. At the top of each movement, squeeze your bicep for 1 second prior to release.

2. Full squat to Arnold press
Go down into a full squat and hold at the bottom for 10 to 20 seconds. Then, stand and do 5 to 10 reps of Arnold presses on a BOSU ball.

3. Cable pulls 
Position the BOSU ball in front of a cable pulley machine. Connect a rope extension and do 30 reps while standing on the BOSU.

4. Wide-grip curls to shoulder press 
Utilizing a curl bar, perform 10 reps of wide-grip curls. Then, transition into a shoulder press. Complete 10 repetitions.

5. Single-arm kettlebell swings
Perform single-arm kettlebell swings—10 reps per arm.

Workout 3

45-minute metabolic strength & conditioning circuit – similar to UFC Gym’s DUT Class (Daily Ultimate Training)
Courtesy of Jaclyn Sklaver – NASM CPT, PN1, UFC Gym Soho coach

What you need:
– Medicine ball
– Kettlebells
– Bench or flat, raised surface
– Foam roller
– Timer

1. SMR (self myofascial release) on foam roller
Duration: 30 seconds each
Directions: Roll quads, calves, IT Band, lats and back, moving foam roller 1-inch forward and back to cover the entire muscle surface.

2. Dynamic warmup
Duration: 5 minutes

– High knees
– Lunge and reach
– Bear crawls

HIIT circuit
Directions: Complete as many reps of each exercise in 1 minute. Rest 20 seconds after each exercise. Complete 3 rounds.

1.    Wall balls
2.    Jack/push/climbs (Jumping jack, pushup, mountain climber)
3.    Kettlebell swings
4.    Incline pushups
5.    Russian twists w/ medicine ball
6.    Burpees
7.    Goblet squat
8.    Bench dips
9.    Kettlebell snatch
10.  Reverse crunch

Workout 4

Strength MMA circuit 
Courtesy of Jaclyn Sklaver – NASM CPT, PN1, UFC Gym Soho coach

Duration: 1 hour   

What you need:
– Foam roller
– Free weights (dumbbell, barbell, plates)
– Resistance band

1. Muscle activation: SMR (self myofascial release) with foam roller  
Duration: 5 minutes
Roll quads, calves, IT Band, lats, and back for 30 seconds each, moving the foam roller 1 inch forward and back to cover entire muscle surface.

2. Mobility
Duration: 10 minutes
Rounds: 3
Reps: 10
Rest: 30 seconds
– Bodyweight foot-elevated glue bridge
– Lateral leg swing (3×10 each leg)
– Arm swings
– Lunge with twist

MMA workout 
Directions: Complete each superset, taking 45-60 second rest between exercises. Recover for 90 seconds between each superset.

Superset 1
1a. Barbell glute bridge 3×12
1b. Banded X walk (steps in each direction—left/right) 3×10

Superset 2
2a. Lateral raise 4×12
2b. EZ curl bar into press 4×10

Superset 3
3a. Inverted row 3×12
3b. TRX hanging rows 3×10

Superset 4
4a. Dumbbell bench press 3×10
4b. Overhead triceps extension 3×15

Superset 5
5a. Plank shoulder taps 3×60 seconds
5b. TRX mountain climbers 3×15

Workout 5

Boxing progression combo
Courtesy of Jesse Ryan – CPT, striking and strength and conditioning coach

Note: This workout is designed to help with timing, breathing, and focus. Prerequisites include basic knowledge of jab, cross,and hook technique for proper results. Go here to learn proper technique. You’ll need a partner to hold focus mitts for you.

What you need: 
– Focus mitts and a partner
– Medicine ball

Shadowboxing warmup
Duration: 3 minutes
Directions: Shadowbox to warm up your shoulders; focus on technique.

Boxing progression

DirectionsCycle through the striking and combos circuit 3-10 times depending on your fitness level. Rest 30 seconds between each round.

1. Striking

1. Set timer for 1 minute.
2. Start in a fight stance (weak leg forward, strong leg back—if you’re right-handed, your right leg is typically your strong leg) with feet shoulder-width apart. Point your feet forward, straight in front of you. Keep your knees slightly bent and relaxed, and face your partner.
3. Begin with a jab, cross, hook (a.k.a. a 1, 2, 3). Once timing is assessed, progress to 1, 2, 3-block. To block, keep both gloves on either side of your temples, as not to impair your vision.
4. Progress next to 1, 2, 3-block-2, 3, 2-block-3, 2, 3. Once your comfortable with the progression, you can add slips, rolls, and appropriate counter punches.
5. Keep the progression drill going for the full 1-min round, adding more time and punches as you advance.

2. Strength combos 

Complete as many reps as possible for 3 minutes:
1. Throw a 1,2,3 combo
2. Immediately drop into a burpee using a medicine ball (lifting the medicine ball overhead)
3. Perform 10 med ball slams

Workout 6

Power bodybuilding workout
Courtesy of Kenny Valentin – Strength and Conditioning Coach at UFC GYM SoHo and National-Level Olympic Weightlifter (94kg weight class)

Note: Olympic weightlifting incorporates a heavy amount of lower-body exercises (i.e. back, front, and overhead squats and deadlifts). To keep your upper body proportioned, you need to incorporate powerlifting and bodybuilding exercises so you can get strong and put on muscle—all while keeping off fat. Enter: power bodybuilding.

This hybrid workout combines main lifts like the bench, squat and deadlift—only schemed the way a powerlifter’s program would be (heavy weight, low reps, lots of sets). The bodybuilding aspect comes through the accessory work—exercises that supplement the main lifts—which helps build strength and size.

Warmup: Dynamic stretching for 15 minutes

Directions: 45 seconds in between exercises

Main lifts

1. Flat bench press
3 sets of 12 [just use the bar]
40% of 1RM: 2 sets of 12

Work sets:
75% of 1RM: 5 sets of 5
80% of 1RM: 2 sets of 5
85% of 1RM: 3 sets of 2

2. Overhead press

3 sets of 8 [just use the bar]
40% of 1RM: 1 set of 8

Work sets:
75% of 1RM: 3 sets of 6
80% of 1RM: 4 sets of 4
85% of 1RM: 3 sets of 2

Accessory lifts

1. Chest dips
4 sets of 12 (or close to 12)
Directions: Keep these reps unbroken, meaning try not to stop. Once you stop the set is over.

2. Lateral raises
*keep weight light*
2 sets of 15

3. Cable flyes
3 sets of 7, 7, 7, 7
5a. Perform 7 reps of flyes at face height
5b. Perform 7 reps with one hand over the other, just under chest height
5c. Repeat 5b with your other hand. Perform 7 reps one hand over the other, just under chest height
5d. Perform 7 reps standing tall with your chest up, hands starting at shoulder height. Keep your arms slightly bent as you bring your hands down toward your groin, remembering to keep your chest up.

4. Arnold press
3 sets of 15
Directions: Similar to a regular seated dumbbell shoulder press, but as you come down, turn your hands out and face your palms toward your face.

5. Bicep cable curls
3 sets of 15
Directions: Clean rack from 30lb or 25lb down to the lowest weight possible. If you can go heavier, do so, but you must work down to the lowest weight possible. At each weight, complete 15 reps unbroken. If the 15 reps are broken, you must drop down to the next weight.

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