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How do UFC Fighters Train?

UFC fighters are among the very best in the world, representing the cream of the crop when it comes to mixed martial arts (MMA). Whether you like learning more about the sport, such as the fastest finishes in UFC, or what it takes to succeed in MMA, this article should teach you a lot.

As you can imagine, there’s a lot of work that goes into a UFC fighter’s training program. In this article we’ll look at three key elements: exercise, general preparation, and diet.

Which Exercises are the Most Important for Fighters?

There are a few key exercises that are essential for any fighter looking to be successful in the UFC. These exercises help with explosiveness, power, and conditioning, all of which are important when it comes to fighting.


Plyometrics might sound complicated, but the reason that fighters train in this specific area is so that they can unlock an explosive element in their movements. To improve this aspect of their fighting, they’ll execute a series of quick and powerful exercises that are intended to mimic movements and help their bodies prepare. This can be a super intensive workout, so best used sparingly.

Weight training

Being strong is important, but there’s definitely a balance when it comes to strength. As you can imagine, power is arguably more important than pure strength, so UFC fighters follow a very specific training routine. To train in this area, fighters will focus on compound lifts such as squats and deadlifts, as well as bicep curls, which are a form of isolation lift.

Conditioning work

Conditioning work is a discipline that helps to maintain the body in absolute peak condition, often involving work that focuses on multiple parts of the body, enabling the fighter to draw on an extra reserve of energy when under pressure. This intensity is key to helping the combatants endure as long as possible in the Octagon.


UFC fighters need to be very physically fit to compete at the highest level, so it’s vital that their heart and lungs can perform optimally when under stress. Endurance is key, which is why a fighter’s training regime usually features stamina-building exercises such as cycling and swimming. This is often a fighter’s least popular aspect of training, but that doesn’t make it any less essential.

How do UFC fighters prepare for a fight?

When they’re preparing for a fight, UFC stars have to look after their mind just as much as anything else, and this is arguably just as important as training their bodies. Being in the right headspace before a bout means that they can get into the zone and block out all other distractions, which can be difficult with the amount of pressure they’re under.

UFC fighters also have to make sure that they don’t carry any niggling injuries into the Octagon, and must be very careful with their training routine in the days before the big fight. They often focus on technique and key moves at this stage, as anything too intensive can put a strain on their body, increasing the likelihood of injury.

Top fighters also need to make sure that their bodies are in the very best condition, making sure that their muscles are well-rested, and that their body has everything it needs to perform at the highest level. Diet plays a huge part in ensuring that fighters have enough energy in reserve to get through an entire fight.

Which foods are important for fighters?

Fighters need to make sure they’re eating the right type of food in order to perform at their best. Here are some of the most important food groups for fighters:


Protein is essential for fighters because it helps build and repair muscle tissue. Protein is found in many food sources, but is most typically consumed in the form of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are a great source of energy. UFC fighters will get their complex carbohydrates from a variety of places, including whole grains, starchy vegetables, legumes, and lentils.

Fruits and vegetables

As obvious as it might sound, UFC fighters need a diet that’s rich in fruits and vegetables to ensure that they get enough vitamins and minerals. Fruits and veggies are also a great source of carbs, another reason why they’re an important ingredient in the run-up to a fight.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats are absolutely essential for fighters to consume, and can be found in a variety of foods, including nuts, pulses, seeds, avocados, and oils such as olive oil. These healthy fats are important because they help ensure that fighters have good joint health, and the right nutrients to enable hormone regulation and energy storage.

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