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8 Steps To Supercharging Your MMA Fitness

8 Steps To Supercharging Your MMA Fitness

  1. Are you looking to ramp up your fitness and performance for MMA? 
  2. Are you interested in enhancing your athleticism and ability for martial arts? 
  3. Are you looking to supercharge your strength and conditioning for MMA? 
  4. Are you looking to speed up and improve your abilities for MMA and fighting?

If you’re serious about ramping up your MMA fitness then you’ve got to be willing to approach your training in order to be more athletic specific to the needs of your sport, or lifestyle. The key to improving your performance in MMA, or any form of martial arts for that matter, is making sure you are training your body in a way to meet the needs of fighting. Today I’m going to cover 8 steps here for you to improve your MMA fitness and performance.

Supercharge Your MMA Fitness 

1) Jump Rope: This should go without saying, but if you’re going to be able to perform in martial arts you’ve got to be able to jump rope and to do it well. In my Muay Thai training my Kru and good friend Jeff Perry would have us warm up with two to three (3 minute rounds) of jump rope prior to training.

This exercise is pretty standard for Thai fighters and is great for conditioning, footwork, agility, and coordination. Get proficient with jumping and skipping rope for minutes at a time to boost your MMA fitness.

2) Kettlebells: Having been fortunate enough to learn and train in Muay Thai for years and to work with so many tremendous fighters I was able to see both as a coach and a Muay Thai practitioner just how to integrate kettlebell training into the world of fight conditioning.

Kettlebell training offers so many benefits to the world of martial arts and MMA fitness. This implement allows you mimic moves that are very specific to fighting while handling the load of the kettlebell. With kettlebell training you can improve your conditioning, core strength, grip strength, and coordination for fighting. It’s a winning choice.

3) Plyometrics: These are exercises that involve short burst fast muscular contractions. Such a physical trait is absolutely necessary for you to have in your martial arts training. So much of fighting involves you having to produce force in a rapid manner to catch your opponent off guard, or to deliver devastating strikes with your punches, kicks, elbows, and knees.

Plyometrics involve variations of jumps, sprints, bounds, skips, and hops. You should progress intelligently with your plyometric training to minimize risk of injury while maximizing your results for developing a high level of athleticism. If you’re not sure how to do this then I will offer some help here at the bottom of this article.

4) Bodyweight Strength: There is no better gym that you can tap into than the one you’re walking around in everyday. That’s right, you can easily leverage the power of gravity with your own body resistance to develop some serious strength and fitness. There’s a reason the military and every top fight gym in the country leans on the improvement of calisthenics and bodyweight resistance to get you stronger for combat.

As a general rule of thumb it’s a good idea for you to be able to perform 20 strict consecutive push-ups , 10 strict consecutive pull-ups, and 40 strict consecutive bodyweight squats to have a solid foundation for building on your MMA fitness and martial arts athleticism.

5) HIIT: One way you can tap into a time efficient conditioning session to improve your MMA fitness is by engaging in some HIIT workouts. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and is pronounced as “hit.” These workouts consist primarily of exercises that you want to perform as fast as possible with maximum effort for a short burst of time.

The benefit here is that you can get a HIIT workout done in a relatively short period of time. You can keep the structure of the workout simple performing bouts of sprints, Tabata, hitting the rower, or just by using other bodyweight movements to elevate your rating of perceived exertion (RPE) to maximize your work output.

6) Nutrition: During your training if you’re putting bad into your body you’re going to get bad coming out. Look at your body as a race car engine. If you put cheap gas into a racing engine it’s going to sputter and performance is going to be compromised.

You don’t want to put in bad fuel. When it comes to optimizing your metabolic functions and speeding up your recovery between workouts you want to stick to a variety of lean meats such as fish and chicken. You also want to take in plenty of greens along with a variety of fruits and vegetables. You’ve got to optimize recovery if you expect to give your MMA fitness a legitimate upgrade.

7) Train Single Limb Strength Movements: This one is a big one when it comes to my programming. I’m a huge proponent of including movements to build strength off of one limb. Movements such as lunges, single leg deadlifts, step ups. single arm presses, and single arm rows are all beneficial for elevating your MMA fitness and performance.

The reason for this is because much of the the activity involved in fighting, or any sport for that matter, demands that you do things with one limb. For instance, if you’re sprinting you’re driving off of one leg at a time. If you’re throwing a kick, or a punch you’re doing so with one limb. Single limb training reinforces your strength for performing tasks and athletic movements that demand one part of the body.

8) Movement Preparation And Stretching: If you expect to perform in martial arts or in the sport of MMA you’ve got to be able to move with fluidity. If you are restricted, or inhibited with moving one of your limbs throughout a full range of motion (ROM) then you’re going to be limited in your performance and putting yourself at risk for injury.

Make sure you spend ample time stretching at your hips and shoulders to keep your main joints more lax and freer for optimal performance and recovery. You should especially do this more frequently if you continuously have to combat tightness, soreness, and stiffness in your muscles and joints.

Supercharging Your MMA Fitness: The Takeaway

At the end of the day you’ve got focus on elements of your strength, conditioning, recovery, and performance outside of the ring in order to have an impact inside the ring…no pun intended. Fighters have to be strong, quick, well conditioned, and super athletic. You can do the same and you will do just that if you start with the 8 steps I’ve outlined here.

What strength and conditioning are you focusing on with your MMA fitness at the moment? 

What area of your training needs the most improvement at this point? 

Post up and share here below in the comments! 

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Brandon Richey Fitness strength student Jeff Perry honing his MMA fitness with a Thai kneeRelated Articles:

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3 Functional Training Moves For Fitness And Fighting

3 Top Conditioning And HIIT Workouts For MMA And Combat Fitness

4 Point Hip Stretch Series: Squat Prep Your Hips

5 Unique Strength Drills To Enhance MMA Performance And Serious Fitness

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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