WC Fitness: The UFC 100 Workout

by Matt Wiggins – MMAWeekly.com

It was a pretty simple request, really.

A few days ago, MMAWeekly.com Managing Editor (and my long-time contact at the site) shot me an email.  He told me that UFC 100 was coming up, and he wanted to know if I had an article, workout, or whatever that the site could put up along with all the other UFC 100 news and info.  I told him that I didn’t have anything “on the shelf,” but that it wouldn’t be too hard to come up with something.

So, I began to ponder what I could give you guys in honor of UFC 100?  Immediately the number “100” stands out, and I thought of what could be used that would incorporate the number 100.

I cringed.

I wanted to put something cool together for you guys, but the last thing I wanted to do was give you another half-baked “300” workout

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me recap real fast…

A few years ago, as I’m sure you all remember, the movie “300” came out, surrounded by hype and media attention. A good chunk of this attention was on the physiques of the various actors in the movie, and the intense training program (designed by Mark Twight and the folks over at Gym Jones) the actors went through in order to get ready for the movie.

As a kind of defining moment – a rite of passage, if you will – the guys Twight and his crew were training had to endure what was termed
the “300 workout.”  This was a very intense, hardcore workout of various hard exercises performed back-to-back-to-back without rest.  The entire workout was to be completed as quickly as possible (with good form), and in total the trainee will have done 300 reps.
(Get it?  300 reps for 300 the movie?)

The only ones who got to actually do this workout were those that were trained for the movie, and even then, only those that were chosen to try it. It was a very advanced and demanding workout, so the trainee had to be in incredible condition to even be able to attempt the workout. If he could complete it, he’d receive a 300 t-shirt that Twight had made up – sort of a badge of honor only available to those who had completed the workout.

Well, when word of this “300 Workout” got out, things got kind of stupid in the training world. First of all, everybody wanted to try the workout. Then, everybody thought it was an entire program. Heck, I even ended up writing an article about it here at MMAWeekly.

One of the things that popped up almost right away that just made me groan were all these “300 Workout” wannabes everywhere. You had the original “300 Workout” administered by Twight and his trainers.  That’s cool. But then you had everybody and their brother (from ‘nobodies’ in the training industry to fitness ‘gurus’) cranking out “300” workouts. There was the “300 Kettlebell Workout,” the “300 Bodyweight Workout,” the “300 Sandbag Workout”… oy vey.

And all they were was just a bunch of exercises tossed together (most of them looked to be at complete random) with no rest, with the
total number of reps at the end coming to 300. 

It doesn’t take a training genius to come up with something like that.

And THAT is what I didn’t want to create for y’all here at MMAWeekly.

Instead, let’s take a similar approach, but let’s make it a real milestone.  Let’s make it mean something.  Like UFC 100 itself, let’s make it a pinnacle of what you’ve accomplished so far in your training.

This would be a great workout to do on Saturday – the day of UFC 100. Get up early, bust your tail for a couple hours, shower and clean up, then meet up with your buddies for some good food and a night of great fights. Note that emphasis should be on the “good food” part – after this workout, you’re gonna need it.

First thing you’re gonna do is take two whole days off. So, if you’re doing the workout on Saturday, take Thursday and Friday off completely.

Next thing you’re gonna do is pick one of two exercises – either the Deadlift, or the Clean & Press. Pick an exercise that you’re strong on, have good form, and can really push it on. For the Deadlift, you have to use a barbell or a trap-bar. No exceptions. If you don’t have either of these, then do the Clean Press. A barbell is preferable here, too (for this workout), but using heavy dumbbells or kettlebells will suffice. Notice I said HEAVY.

That’s HEAVY. Did I mention they should be HEAVY? No light stuff here. And if you’re using DBs or KBs, then only do them one side at a time.

On the day of the workout, get to the gym, and do a light warm-up. No more than 5-8 minutes of light activity, mobility work, dynamic warm-up, etc. After that, load up the bar.  You should have a weight on there that you could use for 3-4 strict reps – no more. Remember, this is to be HEAVY. You don’t want your 1RM on the bar, but just a shade under.

Now, do 100 reps. I’d recommend starting with sets of no more than 2 reps. Rest when you need to, as long as you need to. If you’re going heavy enough, expect this workout to take 90+ minutes. Hell, even do a set of 2 reps every minute on the minute (which you’d be hard-pressed to do if you’re going heavy enough) would still take almost an hour.

Do whatever you need to do to get those 100 reps in. Just get them done. If you’re using the DB or KB Clean Press (the DB or KB should be HEAVY), then alternate reps each side. So, if you’re doing sets of 2 reps, do 1 rep left, 1 rep right, 1 rep left, 1 rep right. That’s 2 reps.

(Oh, I guess I should’ve mentioned – the 100 reps is PER SIDE.)

Sound simple enough, right? Pick an exercise, load the bar, do 100 reps. Trust me- it is that simple. But “simple” never meant “easy.” You’ll likely feel okay the first 15-25 reps. Then it will get harder. Between 30-40 reps, you’ll find that you’re ready to quit. By 50 reps, you’ll be cursing me for coming up with this stupid workout. By 60-70 reps, you’ll be cursing yourself for being stupid enough to try it. By 80 reps, you won’t be thinking of anything… just trying to get the damn workout done and hope you make it to the PPV.

Once you’re done, pat yourself on the back… if you can reach up that high. You’ve really accomplished something. You’ve likely just lifted a crapload in terms of overall tonnage, done a lot of work in near-maximal territory, and pushed the upper-limits of your work capacity to a place you never knew existed.

Take as many as 3-5 days off after this workout. Trust me- you’ll need it.

But, you’ll likely find that when you come back, you’ve got this extra capacity – this extra ability – this extra “oomph” you didn’t have before.  And it’ll be because you took your body to a place it’s never been, and take that upper end of what you’re capable of – and “raised the bar.”

A workout like this is good to do now and then – just don’t get too stupid.  Three times/year is about as much as you’d want to do something like this (as least, with this much weight).  My good buddy Bryce Lane (from whom I drew inspiration for this article) has a similar system he advocates, but it’s based on using a lot less weight!

Good luck and enjoy the PPV!

Train Hard, Rest Hard, Play Hard. 

Matt “Wiggy” Wiggins is a strength coach and author living in Cameron, N.C. Having trained and designed Workout Plans for 16+ years, Wiggy is a strength moderator at mma.tv, columnist for MMAWeekly.com, and an avid fan of Mixed Martial Arts Training. His site, Working Class Fitness.com, is dedicated to designing low-tech, high-result Workout Programs earning praise from the likes of UFC commentator and martial artist Joe Rogan, Ultimate Fighter alumnus Jules Bruchez, world famous strength and conditioning coach Charles Staley, UFC veteran Leigh Remedios, and others.


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