Fabricio Werdum has transitioned from the best jiu-jitsu payer in the heavyweight division to an all-round athlete in peak condition thanks to his commitment to both technical and physical training. And the edge, he insists, has come from developing his strength and conditioning program as much as anything else.

“I added Olympic lifting to my camp training and, for sure, it has helped me a lot,” Werdum tells Fighters Only magazine. “It’s allowed me to develop total-body functional strength, increased power and muscle flexibility, so I’m able to maintain power in my punches and kicks even when off-balance and on attack or defense.”So, can you keep up with the baddest man on the planet with this power and endurance-building workout?


Shadow boxing

Werdum loosens up before any gym session with about 10 minutes of shadow boxing to raise his heart rate and get his body ready for the exercises ahead. In a staggered stance, focus on proper footwork and striking technique.

Battle Rope

1 min work, 30 secs rest

Anchor a heavy rope. Extend each half and hold an end in each hand, arms extended and knees slightly bent. Quickly raise one arm to shoulder height, then as you drop it back down, raise your opposite arm. Continue to alternate until the time is up.

Barbell Bench Press

8 reps, 6 reps, 4 reps

Lie back on a flat bench with a medium-wide grip on the bar. Lift it from the rack and lock out your arms. Inhale as you lower the barbell to touch the middle of your chest. After a brief pause, push back to the starting position with your arms locked out.

Leg Press

8 reps, 6 reps, 4 reps

Sit on leg press machine with both feet on the plate, shoulder-width apart. Lower the safety bars and inhale as you slowly lower the platform until your upper and knees are at a 90-degree angle. Drive through your heels to return to the start position.

Barbell Squat

8 reps x 3 sets

Inhale, then lower into a squat with your legs shoulder-width apart and chest up. Aim to bend your knees to slightly less than a 90-degree angle. Exhale as you drive through your heels and straighten your legs to return to the start position.

Dumbbell Punches

3 x 1 min rounds

With light dumbbells of equal weight, take a staggered stance and rapidly fire out alternate arms. Make sure to you keep your hands high and throw straight punches at the head of an imaginary target in front of you. Rest 30 seconds between rounds.

Barbell Deadlift

8 reps x 3 sets

Keep your back as straight as possible and your chest up as you push your butt back and hinge at the hips, bending your knees slightly to lower yourself to grab the bar. Exhale as you lift the bar using your hips. Reverse the motion to lower the weight.

Medicine Ball Slams

10 reps x 3 sets

Hold a medicine ball with both hands and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise the ball over your head and fully extend your body. Reverse the motion at pace by slamming the ball into the ground as hard as possible. Retrieve and repeat.

Sled Pull

10-15 feet x 3 sets

Stand low into an almost seated position with your arms fully extended grabbing a rope attached to a sled. Now, hand over hand, pull it sled towards you as fast as possible without stopping. Once the sled is at your feet, extend the rope and repeat.

Sled Push

10-15 feet x 3 sets

Load up your sled with weights. Leaning into the sled with your arms fully extended, grab the handles and push the sled as fast as possible, focusing on extending your hips and knees to strength your posterior chain.

Thanks to this intense S&C regime, Werdum has transformed his physique as much as he has his fighting style. After being dropped from the UFC in 2008 after a KO loss to Junior dos Santos at UFC 90, where he officially weight 256lb, Werdum took top place in the promotion at UFC 188 with a submission of Velasquez and a much more toned 236lb figure.

But it’s not just his workouts that have taken his game to the next level; nutrition has played a big part too.

“Extra protein is important, which is where supplements are very helpful,” Werdum says. “I would like to thank my sponsor, MHP, for supplying me with best supplements.

“Since I started working with them in 2011 I’ve won six straight fights including winning the UFC heavyweight title.

“Probolic-SR is my protein choice to help build muscle and recover fully. But because I like lots of meat, I also take IsoPrime 100% BEEF, plus I take Dark Matter after every workout to help me recover and increase my performance.

“I use FIT Trainer before my training and MYO-X every morning. And nothing is a better high protein snack than Power Pak Pudding – chocolate is my favorite!”

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