Randy Couture Workout – A Barbell Complex for MMA Conditioning

Randy Couture WorkoutI just did the Randy Couture workout again tonight and added some new videos to this article. WOW, it’s a hard barbell complex workout. Mack used a 75 pound barbell and I use a 70lb barbell. We did 8 reps on each exercise and did 6 rounds in total.

Instead of taking a 60 rest after each round we filled the time with a figure 8 abdominal exercise for 30 reps. Just take a medicine ball and loop it in-between your legs in a figure 8 pattern as you balance on your butt. Give it a shot.

You can do the Randy Couture workout if all you’ve got is a barbell and you want to get into MMA fighting shape or even if you are a weekend warrior. I’d start with the 45lb empty bar and work up. That way you won’t fall into the toilet the next day from deathakiss soreness.

Randy Couture Workout for MMA Conditioning

Do all of this MMA workout without letting go of the bar for the best conditioning effect:

Bent rows x8
Upright rows x8
Military press x8
Good morning x8
Lunges x8 (each leg)
Squat push press x8
Deadlift x8

1 minute’s rest. Do 3-5 sets depending on how much you feel like puking. This’ll build up good grappling muscle and help your cardio. If you’re confused about any of the exercises in this workout, let me know, I probably already have a video of it.

And the actual video of Randy Couture doing the above workout for some MMA Conditioning has been removed from youtube but here is another demo of the workout.

And Randy Talking Us Through It With Another Demoing:

Here is a video of Randy Actually Doing The MMA Conditioning Workout Himself

Can you imagine getting in a MMA conditioning workout with Randy Couture? A trainers dream!

Update* I actually had to come back and write this in. My buddy Mack and I went and watched Randy Couture fight at UFC 74: Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Gonzaga. Man that guy is fast, he never stopped moving and it’s not the same watching Randy move on TV. Anyway, we were pretty stoked and tried to get in a workout at his gym in Las Vegas..it was sunday and they were closed. Lucky for us we were on a plane the next day to Florida to go get crossfit certified (another great source for MMA workouts) so we stopped into Randy’s gym in Wellington. What a workout we had! Got into the cage and got a triangle slapped on me by Mack….another story. Anyway, there’s a dream come true!

Update #2 Well two years later, I finally got to train in Randy Coutures Gym in Las Vegas. Here’s that story. Even saw Forrest Griffen come in to do his training. It was a VERY cool day and Forrest looks like a caveman that could rip you limb from limb.

The next day, we trained at Wanderlei Silva’s Gym and let me tell you, they can teach. They can teach and they are a very nice group of guys to train with. It was a mix of stand up and ground work and the coaches were putting there all into it for you. I really enjoyed everything about that place.

Anyway, back to the workout. We use to do this MMA workout in my commando cardio conditioning class until I moved it outside and started concentrating on bodyweight training exclusively. When we were training inside though, the weight you pick for the circuit has to be challenging, you wont get anything out of the Randy Couture workout if you pick a pansy barbell just so you make it through. You have to push it hard.

There Are Some Extra Moves You May Want To Try In Your Next Workout In This One:

You need it all to fight MMA. Conditioning is bigger than how big or strong you are and skills trump them all. I read somewhere that conditioning is your best throw…anyway, give Randy’s workout a try, it will get you sweating.

Give this workout a shot, post your weights and times for the workout below in the comments. Also, feel free to post links to other great MMA workouts.



  1. Ray Burton says

    Yes, I agree that Dumbells would be better for this workout. More stability and control is required to keep the right plains of motion. Translates better to actual MMA functionality.

  2. Jim Rockwell says

    i agree, the range of motion with dumbells is far more greater than barbells plus they are more beneficial.

  3. Ray Burton says

    I don’t know why actually. Easy enough to fix though. Throw in a set of depth drop pushups with a clap on the end and that will do the trick. 🙂

  4. Al W says

    thx mr admin!

    question 2 !

    how come there is no explicit chest excersize…

    ps with dumbells this made me cry….

    great but hard!!!

  5. Ray Burton says

    I was just going to refer you to the video and then saw that it has been taken off YouTube. That’s not a very reliable way to build a resource on is it?

    I’ll see if I can bring the camera into the gym and do a copy of the mma workout from memory for everyone.

    Back to the good mornings. Imagine you are standing bent over and someone is doing the monkey on your back and applying a rear naked choke. You stand up straight and slam backwards into the mat. It’s kinda like that.

    The good morning is almost exactly like the stiff legged deadlift except the weight is kept across your traps like in a squat instead of in your hands like a deadlift.

    Another version…. you are in 18th century england. You see a women walking down the street. You take off your hat, bow and say “good morning” See what I mean? Does that help at all?


  6. Ray Burton says

    I found other copies of the Randy Couture mma workout video to fill the hole for now. Hopefully soon I will make a copy of a client or myself doing it so I know it will be up for good.

  7. Ray Burton says

    If you are going heavy, every second day works but it really depends on your training and what other work you have to fit in as well.

  8. says

    This is a workout that Randys camp sometimes does, it’s not my workout. I post up all my MMA workouts and conditioning stuff over at the subscribers site called FLS .

    When I do use this workout its done usually before a rolling/technique day with some sprints. The other time I will use it sometimes is during my commando cardio conditioning class.

    The abs get worked while we are on the mat. But the purpose of the workout is not bodybuilding. The purpose of this mma workout is conditioning and go power for mma.

  9. the swede says

    what about ab&chest workouts?
    perhaps you can do the ab workout on this page, after that mma drill. since its not the same muscle groups that should be executable

  10. the swede says

    I mean how do you do? The ordinary MMA training plus this a couple of times a week or what?

  11. Ray Burton says

    AHHHH, it’s jonathan isnt it?

    I’ve got your email and I will answer you on a one on one basis via email. Give me a couple of days to set up a structure for you and I will email you what I do to keep up the conditioning, skills training and still retain muscle mass.

    Don’t bother messing with asking questions on this site if you are a member of FLS – thats why you pay to be a member. So I’ll answer your questions for you faster.

    From now on, just email me personally or go through the feedback form on the site or use put your questions in the forum. That way you’ll get what you need to know faster!


  12. the swede says

    I’m a member of that site now but I feel kinda lost. Can u help me with links or put up what i should do EXcluding the Ordinary MMA training. I’ma go to the gym 3 times a week and i wanna get the conditioning and strength build ups..So a nice MMA-athlete based training routine over 3 days

  13. says

    Nope, just grind through. You would do a lighter warmup though of course. If you took rests then you could pyramid up to max weights but that would change the scope of the MMA workout to muscular development more than stamina.

  14. Dellm says

    Great stuff. Any modifications to the good mornings from barbell to dumb bells without looking like the stiff-legged deadlift? thx.

  15. Ray Burton says

    Ha ha, thats a great question. I run into the same problem when I teach my commando cardio class because its all dumbbells. Usually I just sub with burpees with dumbbells because the lift out of the pushup position explosively is just as good as any morning would have been!

  16. Ray Burton says

    This workout seriously rocks. Our group of MMA guys do it before we go to skills. Last week we had a guy at FLS use 80lbs for 6 sets of 8 reps with additional figure 8’s (30 double pass) after each round for abs and finish in 23:32. Nonstop.

  17. Eddie says

    I am SO out of shape, three sets and I’m drenched in sweat already.

    I like it because I BELIEVE I can perform and improve on it.

  18. Williamson says

    Wow i just saw this workout like an hour ago so i thought id give it a try so i dont look like an idiot in the gym tomorrow.. i dont care now.. anyone that thinks they can do it or says 65lbs isnt enough wait… ill let them do it thanks so much for the workout… great stuff

  19. Ray Burton says

    Thanks for your comments and knowledge Mathias. The comment you’re referring to in the video about the spinal erectors was made while Randy Couture was commenting on the Nate Quarry demonstration. I don’t think he would have had the time to fit everything you said into the video!

    And no offense was taking about being ‘called out’…we’re always ready to ‘get after it’. We encourage people to make comments on this blog.

    Cheers man.

  20. Mathias says

    Actually the good mornings are a glute/hamstring exercise with the prime mover being the glute complex. The erectors in your back are being worked, but only in an iso-metric contraction. If your spine is being held neutral that is obvious. That is one of the most common misconceptions I find many trainers making when it comes to stiff-leg dead lift and good mornings. I’m not trying to call you guys out on this, I am an educator of the training industry, and I have a passion for helping our industry grow and getting it right. Please take no offense, I can’t help myself sometimes!


  21. Jason says

    I have done this routine one day per week for three weeks now and refer to the exercise as my “Deathsets”. First week I could only do three sets with ten lb plates. Second week I did all six sets with 8 reps. Today was easier so next week I will up the weights to 25 lb plates. My goal is 45 lb plates. AWESOME exercise to supplement my MMA training and other weight training goals!

  22. Greg Hammond says

    I was wondering if any of you have used the Concept2 Indoor Rower for training? It seems like I have talk to more and more fighter that use it.

  23. Ray Burton says

    Yes of course. It’s probably my favorite piece of gear for intervals along with skipping. I see you sell them. I was thinking about getting one for my private personal training studio. So far I’ve had to make a trip to the gym to use one.

  24. Greg Hammond says

    Ray, I do work for Concept2. I am lucky enough to work closely with the Military, Police/Fire, Motocross, CrossFit and now MMA. Feel free to give me a call about the rowers (1-800-245-5676) I look forward to hearing any idea’s you may have to help continue the growth in the sport. Talk to you later – Greg

  25. Ray Burton says

    Yes, I’d move up in weight. One way I gauge it is to time the whole workout to completion. Then I have a standard.

    From there, when you can complete the workout in 1-2 minutes less (your call) than the previous workouts, it’s time to bump up the weight.

    You could also do it by reps like you mentioned as well.

  26. aaron says

    hi ray, dis workout is rily awesome and i do it twice a week, one question though if i cud do 10 reps a set on a 15 lb plate each, is it advisable to go up to 20 pounds. how many weeks shud i increase the weights for this workout? tnx.

  27. Ray Burton says

    Looks like 45’s in this vid (135 total). Randy uses 25’s (95 total) in another video I’ve seen.

  28. Seth McMasters says

    I’m a pretty big guy on a pretty small frame. Carry 215 lbs on a frame that was probably intended to carry closer to 165. I’ve been training heavy resistance for 20 years. I’m so bored and I’ve started training with mma workouts. I’m afraid of dropping too much weight. How can I work this out?

  29. BamBam says

    Hey not to discredit this guy at all but those aren’t 45s. Are those metal or the pressed tire rubber ones you find in football weight rooms? They look like 35’s to me anyways, but either way it’s still a hell of a work out.

  30. andrew says

    hey this is a killer workout. started with 20kg 3 times a week in the 1st week of january 09. gradually boosted the weights up to 40kg 3 times a week now. Knockin them out in just over 17mins. I box 3 times a week also, my speed, power and endurance has improved a heap. cant wait til my next spa session in the gym! Keep pushin it guys, easily the best workout i have done to improve all above without comprimising flexibility.

  31. Ray Burton says

    Switching back and forth like you suggest is a great idea. Do the slower, foundational training before the higher speed conditioning stuff so you come into the seminar in top shape after four weeks on something like the Randy Couture workout.

    Have fun!

  32. Frank says

    This workout is awesome. Did three sets of it and wow man.. planning to do it two times a week for three weeks straight and then switch over to an explosive strength program for three weeks and repeat these in cycles. Is this method correct Ray? Im a karateka, did some muay thai and now training in boxing, would like to get into MMA. Im from India and the nearest MMA gym is more than 500 miles away from my place. I’m planning to attend a seminar on MMA conducted by them during April, so just want to be in good fighting shape before that.

  33. Ally says

    Just finished this workout for the first time! Managed 3 sets and my legs are in bits!! Not looking forward to tomorrow but i am looking forward to the next workout! Excellent workout

  34. kthrift says

    I just now watched this video, and my god is it one hell of a workout… I dont have a bar right now because it is in storage, so Im using my dumbells… Even with 15lbs on each dumbell doing this is a good workout. I added a little set of 20 curls for each arm in the beginning also. Randy Couture is my favorite MMA fighter, and I personaly know Aric Nelson who has 2 title belts in the Total Fighters Alliance in California.

  35. isaac hulsmeyer says

    this will be a great workoutand i will try it with my friends after i try it myself.Thanks for the workout.

  36. Josh says

    This workout is amazing!! I think you have to add in push-ups and an ab- workout to finish it off for true full body. I doubt this is all rand does, this is just to get people started. I have added the two previously mentioned, plus box jumps, curls and overhead extensions with a dumbell i sit next to me.

  37. tony says

    First of all i am a big Randy Couture fan, he’s the best! I have done this workout several times, It is a great workout! The first few times I was just toast after 2 sets! It is alot harder than it looks. I’m up to 4 sets right now and I do this workout usually twice a week. I love how I feel and look now. It is a strength training and cardio workout all in one. Thank you for showing this workout, if you have any more workouts please let us know. Tony

  38. Matt says

    Bruce Lee trained mainly with barbells, using dumbbells for only bicep curls (which he did constantly). However, for all the other weight training he did, barbells was his weapon of choice, only bested by his Marcy Machine.

  39. beachbumb says

    barbell allows you to maintain form better when lifting, especially heavier, even though heavy weights aren’t to be used for this routine.

  40. Derek Manuel says

    Barbells allow the use of heavier weight, dumbbells will develop your balance and stability, a heavy sandbag will develop your core and stabilizer muscles, it all depends on what the individual wants to work on. Though a barbell is good for beginners or those who haven’t done any form of circuit training before.

    That’s the beauty of mma strength and conditioning, you can get creative and never get bored of your workouts.

    Derek Manuel
    MMA Strength and Conditioning Coach

  41. Joe says

    Is there an alternative way of doing the Good Mornings and Squat and Push Press? i cant get on with the bar behind my back, it feels really uncomfortable and un-natural and i cant get on with it. maybe theres a way to do them with dumbells?

  42. grejon quilaman says

    I’m really exited to try out Randy’s MMA’s conditioning, but my only question is how many times a week do you do it???

  43. Ryan G says

    The squat push-press is very bad for your shoulder joints and could result in injury. Many trainers will tell you not to do behind-the-neck presses or pulldowns because of this reason, it can destroy your AC joints. This will not only become a problem for training, but if your hurt it’s difficult to compete.

    Try a front-squat and press. It is a more natural motion and less risk of injury.

    I would think that a serious competitor like RC would take this into consideration.

    Trust me, bad shoulders are one of the worst injuries. You can’t even do pushups without pain.

  44. EddyD says

    the reason its done with a bar is so your arms are both used to move the same weight… as you can see its a grappling specific workout… therefore you should do it with a bar… dumbells would be okay but if randy does it with a bar im sure thats the way its meant to be done!

  45. Ian says

    This is a very basic strength workout applicable to many things. The weakness is that there are norotational movements. All the movemnts are in a up and down and forward back direction leaving out a key component to build a true foundation for MMA

  46. Jeff Jessie says

    I am just starting out with MMA training…I am in good shape overall but want to get into MMA shape. Is there any way you can help me with how I should start and what to do. The gym near my house charges outrageous prices for any type of information. Thanks for all your help.



  47. jake says

    this workout is great!!! i did it three days ago and my arms still are sore. not good for when i had to go rafting today. lol cant wait to do it tomorrow

  48. Ray Burton says

    Hey Rick… I really like that routine. I think I’ll hit that up for todays bomb. Thanks 🙂

  49. Rick says

    This isn’t so much an MMA workout as it is an old wrestling routine. No surprise, as that’s Randy’s background. I remember doing similar workouts back in the early 80’s. Anyone familiar with wrestling knows that it’s very anaerobic, as is MMA, so this type of two and half to three minute anaerobic workout makes perfect sense as a conditioning method. You’ll notice that all of the movements are ‘compound’ exercises, no single joint movements. This is NOT a body building workout, but an athletic training routine.

    Someone mentioned dumbbells vs barbells, this is also a great way to mix it up. In fact there are a lot of ways to mix this up. The routine I’m currently doing takes just over 3 minutes per set, I do 3 sets and I’m ‘spent’. It looks like this – I use a curl bar with 120lbs.
    – 6 bent over rows
    – 6 straight leg deadlifts
    – 6 shrugs
    – 6 cleans
    – 6 military press
    – 12 front squats
    – 6 military press
    – 6 cleans
    – 6 shrugs
    – 6 straight leg deadlifts
    – 6 bent over rows

    After some recovery time you can do some push ups, medicine ball push ups, dips and chin ups.

    This is a great training routine, and it only takes about 35 to 40 minutes and you are a ‘rag doll’ at the end.

  50. Ray Burton says

    Rick, That’s freak’n awesome. I have a client I train that just turned 52 and he’s a bit of a nut like you. We all follow a similar schedule. For us its boot camps twice a week with 3 days of resistance training in there too, like you we mix it up pretty good. Thanks for sharing your secret squirrel workouts 😉

  51. Rick says

    Ray, glad you like it. Actually it’s only part of my current overall weekly workout program. I like to keep things simple, short and intense. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I run stairs. There are 72 steps from floor to roof in the building I work in. After work I go to the back stairwell, turn on the iPod and go. I walk a flight of 60 steps, jog down, jog a flight of 60, jog down, sprint (2 steps at a time) flight of 72 and at the top do push ups (starting with 15 and I add one each time to 20, then the last 2 sets it’s 25). Then jog down. I do this 8 times, it takes me about 33 minutes. Then I walk to the other side of the building to the gym (yes, I’m very lucky, we have a free gym in our building just for us…), I’ll do a little ab work, mixing it up, don’t do the same things within a week. I use the swiss ball and med balls a lot, lots of planks too.

    On Tuesday and Thursday I do the routine I mentioned above, sometimes jumping rope after as a ‘cool down’. The other Tuesday and Thursday workout I’ll do, usually every 3rd week, is;
    – All with dumbbells increasing weight with each set
    – Squats – sets of 10, 8 and 6
    – Benches – 10, 8, 6
    – Bent Over Rows – 10, 8, 6
    – Standing Military Press – 10, 8, 6
    – Dips – 12, 15, 12

    The key with this workout is to go as heavy as I can so I’m barely able to do the last rep or 2 with good form. This is less of an endurance routine and much more of a strength routine, but it really gets me out of my comfort zone. But the one thing I want to make clear, nothing I do is based on a “body building” style of lifting. I’m not looking for size/bulk, my sole purpose is to stay in the best shape I can, doing a routine that is both challenging and one I enjoy (my mantra is “the best workout is the you do!”). I also will mix things up a lot with basic exercises like push ups and abs, also change up some weight exercises, go between dumbbells and barbells, sometimes doing ‘combo’ lifts like squats/push press, clean and press.

    Oh yeah, I’m a 52 year old exec with a very busy schedule and I travel frequently (I have been in stairwells in hotels in just about all 50 states… The Marriott in downtown Atlanta is one of my favorites, the humidity is a killer!). So if I can do it, anyone can.

  52. Alex V says

    Here’s a routene I picked up from a physical therapist buddy of mine who trained with matt serra for a few years.
    Its called “the grinder”: 3-5 sets of 10 reps with 1 min breaks
    mil press
    lounges on bothsides
    bent over rows
    Similar to Randy’s routene its not about the weight of the bar… you’ll feel like puking by the end of the 3rd set anyway

    Cheers, Alex PT,DPT

  53. Mike Hill says

    @Lin on you may need to upgrade your PDF reader… I think that may be your problem. It opened for me just fine…

    Ray, great stuff man… I’ll have to call you sometime and catch up from the army days 😉

    Mike Hill

  54. says

    For Sure! I’ve been actually thinking about you weird enough. Wanted to send you a thankyou for that format I’ve used to run my book specials. We should catch up for sure. I was thinking about going to my first internet marketing meeting were all the “guru’s” seem to chat 🙂

  55. Derek Manuel says

    RIck, that workout definitely sounds bad ass. I’m glad you mentioned more of a “strength” endurance routine rather then just “muscular” endurance routines. Often times mma fighters often forget that without the proper foundation in strength and and power, they are just training weak muscles to endure.

    A fighter that can continuously exert a LOT of strength and power over a relatively long time without tiring is always better then a fighter who is weak physically but can handle light weights for a long period of time.

    Not discredit to Randy’s workout of course, because we can’t forget that he is already very strong, especially with that “wrestlers strength” he has developed from all those years of wrestling.

    Derek Manuel
    MMA Strength and Conditioning Coach

  56. Ray Burton says

    Adriane, it depends, but the norm would be 3 non consecutive days out of 7. You can also just do the workout every other day without weekends off as well. Like I said, it totally depends on what you are already doing.

  57. Eric Da Goon says

    I just started doin this work out again. We used to do a similar one when I wrestled as youth. It’s perfect for me as I do not have much time to set a stringent routine. I alternate this work out through the week with a routine of pull-ups, dips, Hindu push-ups, crunches and leg extentions and box jumps or free squats. I also roll three days a week at the gym with amature and pro fighters and compete in gi and no-gi grappling and Judo tournaments.

    This work out has gotten a lot of my gameness back. I used have the “want to” but at 41 rolling with guys half my age, my stamina wained quickly. now I’m hanging in there, nearly matching strength and stamina with the young guys. Great work out all the way around.

    I would add that throwing in Hindu push-ups and standard ground and standing grappling drills gets rotational work in that one poster mentioned was lacking in this work out.

    I would also mention that if your doing this for grappling or MMA you should work in some neck work as well. Bridges, weighted head gear or two person resistance training for the neck.

  58. Jeff C says

    hey, i’ve been doing MMA for about 6 months now and bodybuilding for about a year, but i’ve recently decided i want to start training more like an MMA athlete and compete. So i was thinking about doing this workout, i know the purpose of this circuit is not to bodybuild, but would i still get the kinda shape and condition of that guy in the video, the one that re-did randy’s workout to show us, coz he looks like he’s in quite good condition, would this workout help me achieve that aswell as good grappling muscle?
    also could anyone help me know what kinda strength training i could do to help me gain strength?
    plus, would i still be recommended to stay on a high protein diet, and also use have a few carbs (maltodextrin – the carbs were mainly because i have quite a hectic day so needed to up my carbs) and a protein shake both pre and post workout?

    also im quite small, im 5ft4 and weigh about 10 stone 3 and im afraid will i lose a lot of muscle weight doing this, because of my height and weight atm i was supposed to be fighting at around 70kg next year in february, so because of my height i would still like to stay around about this weight, but be conditioned and have good strength and endurance, any advise?

    my email is jaffa1103@hotmail.com if anyone could help me sort a workout for good conditioning and strength and endurance etc. i would be very greatful.

    thanks a lot!

  59. Derek Manuel says

    Hey Jeff, this type of circuit workout will definitely help you with what you are trying to do. It build a lot of strength endurance and muscular conditioning, which is vital for grapplers.

    Of course, there is the added benefit of “looking good” from this workout simply because although it doesn’t exactly build bigger muscles (like with hypertrophy) it is a phenomenal fat burning workout while bringing out the muscle you already have.

    For gaining strength, you have to keep a few key components in mind:

    1. 90% of your exercises should be compound movements (squats, bench press, rows, shoulder press, deadlifts, etc)

    2. Train with more sets, fewer reps, with the aim of progressively heavier weight (5×5 system is one of the staple routines for strength)

    3. Only train a few exercises a day, no more then 2 to 3 days a week (the key is to train heavy and hard on just a few key exercises while getting as much rest as possible)

    4. Gain weight: the more you weigh, the easier it will be for you to increase your strength

    High-protein and carbs are always recommended for performance athletes, and is a must for mma fighters.

    Hope this helps,

    Derek Manuel
    MMA Strength and Conditioning Coach

  60. Mirko says

    Hi Ray,
    thanks for that workout! It is really not a question of weight. It is hard even with low weights. I didn’t make it to the 5th set. But now I have a target! ;o)


  61. Ray Burton says

    Jump rope for 5-10 minutes and then stretch. Or roll with a partner. Pummeling with takedowns. It all works. Whatever makes you warm and loose.

  62. jeppy messam says

    is there any warm up for this workout that would work best?
    Im a high school student tryin to get a good workout plan for a project, ive incorporated randy’s workout into so far, any good ideas or suggestions for a good warm-up??

  63. jeppy messam says

    thanks alot
    all in all a tuff workout
    and thank you everyone for your ideas
    they’re helpin alot

  64. Alex popoff says

    Hey steve, I tried to email you but it wouldn’t go through, anyways here’s the email.

    I was just wondering if you charged to make your nutrition plans? I really could use one for my highschool wrestling. I am 5″11 132lbs and cut to 125lb wieght class this season i workout 5times a week, and have wrestling practice 5days a week and tournaments on Saturday. I have a very fast metablalism and am 6.5%bodyfat, I would like to put on as much muscle as possible (about 10lbs) before next november, then I would plan on wrestling the 135lb wieght class on cutting from around 142lb, this would be the ideal wieghtclass for me. I apreciate your time reading this. I would also apreciate a workout plan specific to gaining explosive strength, fast twitch muscle fiber, balance, and cardio vascular endurance. I’ve done a lot of research and I know for the most part what foods to stay away from and which foods I should consume most but I’ve realized the only way I can reach my goal is by getting a plan written out for me that I will follow religiously.

    Thank you, alex popoff.

    Via iPhone

  65. Rick says

    At 16 or 17, and being naturally lean, it can be a real challenge to gain weight. I many ways you’re lucky, but I understand your situation first hand and I have a 21 year old son who wrestles in college that has the same problem. You body type will dictate how much (natural) muscle mass you can put on in a given time frame as well as your age and physical development. Many active teenagers won’t begin to gain ‘mature’ muscle mass until they are done growing height wise. I’m sure you know someone who was a “stud” in the 7th or 8th grade, bigger and more physically mature then everyone else. Now everyone else has caught up to or blown by him. These are early developers, the kids who hit puberty early and mature before everyone else. You probably wrestle with guys who have been the same weight 3 years in a row. Again, early bloomer, they aren’t getting any bigger. You on the other hand are most likely not done growing and until you are you will have a tough time putting on muscle mass. Chances are when you have finally reached maturity you’ll have filled out and be bigger than you ever thought you’d be. But that doesn’t help you now…
    My recommendations are;
    1. Eat healthy take in at least 2500 to 3000 calories a day, but keep them “clean”.
    2. Try to take in between 30 to 40 grams of protein a day. A protein shake works well here, but don’t overdo them (constipation can be a bitch…)
    3. Post season lifting should consist of multi-joint exercises focusing in on the large muscle groups (in this order of importance for wrestling)
    a. Squats – mix them up, front, back, hack…
    b. Deadlifts – both bent and straight leg, mix them up as well
    c. Bent over rows, both barbell and dumbbell, mixing it up
    d. Pull-ups, pull-ups and more pull-ups! Add dips in there as well
    e. Standing militaries
    f. Benches
    g. Upright rows
    h. Curls and chin-ups. (Wrestling is a ‘pulling’ sport. It’s one of the only sports where curls are done for a purpose and not for vanity reasons.)
    i. Go heavy! 5 sets of 5 going as heavy as you can will add the mass
    4. Mix it up, change things around every couple of weeks, add some combo exercises in there once in a while (clean to a squat to a military press, row to a dead lift…)
    This is a start, but like I said earlier, your body type, diet and rate/level of maturity will play a bigger role than anything else.

    Good Luck – Rick

  66. alex popof says

    ok thanks ray, sorry i missread something, i’ll check out the recommendation though.

  67. alex popof says

    also, thanks rick, i’l take that into consideratin, very true. thats the advice i get from everyone and its deffinately right. i apreciate the reply too. and the workouts you typed up are basically identical to what my coach has given me haha. he wrestled college and wrestles the police olympics and takes it everyyear so i take his advice and respect him so hearing it from another person reinforces it a lot hahah.

  68. Jim says

    Sounds pretty hardcore to me! I’m just recovering from some really bad knee tendinitis and want to get into some exercise that isn’t so hard on the knees. Any recommendations?

  69. John says

    500lbs bodybuilder?? That guy is a fucking douchebag.

    Randy’s workout looks brutal. I’ll try it when i’m at the gym =D

  70. Phil says

    Can someone please post up the muscle(s)/muscle group(s) that are isolated with each different form? or somewhere (a website or something) where i can find out that information

  71. Phil says

    so im just kind of trying to throw together some kind of work out routine to get into a little better shape…
    how does this sound?

    im starting to eat a lot better (no snacks and sweets, watching/counting calories) also any opinions on regular gatorade vs their G2 low calorie…?

    i bought some whey protein and am making protein shakes once a day, about an hour after my workout (although i saw someone mention one both pre and post workout? help…?) also should i add some more carbs? im a pretty active college student at 5’8″ 160lbs. 19 y/o

    cardio and abs everyday (cardio = morning running and night stairs, similar to Ricks…)

    mon, wed, fri – couture workout

    tues, thur, sat – power/weight work for biceps, triceps and pecs (bench work with dumbells and incline stuff…)

    sun – cardio and abs only, possibly add squats or wall sits?

    i can spare about an hour to an hour and a half a day (more or less depending on the day)

    any help or comments by anyone is greatly appreciated. this is awesome

  72. Phil says

    btw, thank you for adding the muscle groups. it basically helped me think up this weekly routine.

    on a side note i need to be in possibly 15% more in shape for a contest thing at my school… if possible

  73. Rick says


    Just be careful to not ‘over train’. Speaking from experience, that’s not as hard to do as it sounds, especially once you get yourself into good shape. What typically happens is you are not getting the same ‘feeling’ from your workout, so you add to it. Before you know it, you are over training, which defeats pretty much everything you are trying to do. The best thing to do is change things up every couple of months. For example, I haven’t been running stairs, but jumping a lot of rope and lifting heavier. I started doing this at the beginning of Feb and will do it until mid March. Then when I go back to the stairs, they are ‘tough’ again. My oldest son (former college wrestler and now teaches wrestling, jujitsu and general grappling at two MMA gyms) told me about this new workout called the “Spartacus” workout. It’s a weight training circuit workout that’s supposed to be pretty good. I’m going to look into it. IT might be something to do as a change up for a month or two.

    Good luck, Rick

  74. says

    Hey Lloyd, it always depends on your goals. If you want to gain muscle then yes you are doing too much. If you are on a cutting cycle then in the short term, it might be what you need.

  75. lloyd says

    I had a question if its ok or if u have the time. I weight train my uperbody and jump rope,mon,wed and fridays.lower body and run, tues,thurs and saterdays. am i doing to much. I am a 23 year old hardgainer.thank you

  76. lloyd says

    thanks for your time.Im going to sign up for the mma, i need strength plus stamina,not sure how to balance my running and lifting. there probably teach me but just trying to get a head start.Thanks

  77. Thinker says

    I work for a certain government agency with one of its primary functions being body guards (basically). We do the Couture workout every now and then and it kills. We use 45lb bar plus 10 on each side and we do 8 sets, rather than than 3-5 recommended. We also do a half mile warm-up and warm-down.

    We do a bunch of other workouts that are Crossfit inspired and I think Couture’s is the one that is hardest to acclimate to.

    One of the other workouts we do (just in case you want to try it) is something we call “Silverback”. It involves 8 Sets of the following:
    – 25 Burpees
    – 10 Wall balls w/ 20lb ball
    – 20 Inclined pushups
    – 20 full range situps
    – 20 air squats
    – 20 mountain climbers (right + left=1)
    – 20 Kettlebell Swings with 16-24 kilos
    – 800 yard sprint

    Try it and enjoy!

  78. Ray Burton says

    Sounds like a barfer Thinker 🙂 Thanks for the workout. If you were Canadian I would guess JTF but of course…. no need to comment 🙂

  79. Sara says

    Tried out this workout this morning. Started with a 2 mile warm up jog then did 5 sets in just under 17 minutes. After my fifth set I thought “that wasn’t as brutal as I was expecting.” Then I got on the treadmill for my cool down jog and I could barely get my legs to move. Lol. Terrific workout.

  80. Tom says

    This workout is brutal…I’m a fighter, can easily go several rounds in a row without gassing, and after 3 sets of this with 50lbs I was dying. I think one thing not mentioned so much but very important is what this does for grip strength endurance. Even though I fight in Judo tournaments, my grip was going (I used dumbells at first, had to switch to barbells after my grip blew). A very nice workout. I actually do this between cable columns and throw in some rotational work for abs, and because I have a bad back I drop the good morning and sub burpees. With dumbells, it’s a beast.

  81. Luke Hughes says

    wow! this workout is sick! ive been doing it for 2 months now and it still kicks the crap outta me!! i was overweight and since ive started mixing this workout with running i really have started to see the difference!!
    iam not a great runner so im still doing short distance but yeah its amazing!! only annoying part is when doing the ‘good morning’ the barbell doesnt stay on my shoulders it just fall onto my neck automatically!!
    is there any way of stopping that at all?


  82. Thinker says

    Luke Hughes – if the barbell is rolling on to your neck, you’re probably bending too far. Also, make sure you look forward, not down. Keeping your head up will help keep the bar from rolling.

  83. Steve Sutton says

    I’ve been doing this for about six weeks now, two to three times per week, and increased the weight to 30kg (65lbs) including the bar. The last increment of 10lbs made a massive difference and I’ve had to drop from six sets to four. How long can I expect to take to get to a decent weight of say 100lbs? I’m 6’3″ and about 225lbs. By the way great workout, I combine it with about 3 miles jogging first and then 3 sets of crunches, oblique crunches, lowerleg lifts and back extensions. After that I’m pretty much done!

  84. Derek says

    Steve, it all depends on your body and how quickly it adapts and gets stronger – assuming you are getting the proper nutrients and are getting enough rest.

    What I do sometimes to shock the body and mix it up is increase the weight and do the first 3 sets with this weight, then drop the weight back down for the last 3 sets.

    So in your case, you can try to do 3 sets with 85 or 95 pounds, then do the last 3 sets with 65 pounds, 55 pounds, then 45 pounds.

    By mixing it up this way you shock your body to grow stronger while still following the overload principle.

    Of course, you never want to do too heavy were you are straining or can’t perform with a decent tempo in good form.

  85. Paul one arm says

    Ok This looks awesome but I have a question. I recently had a SLAP repair and I am in recovery. I really want to get back to the gym ASAP. Is there anything you can recommend for me? I need to get back into shape and lose the weight that was put on by being on a no physical training profile.

  86. Rick says

    I haven’t been on the site in a while, was checking it out and thought I’d post my latest workout. I’ve been doing this for about a month now, and I really like it.

    It all starts with “the stairs”… Sorry, but I just don’t think there’s a better way to get into general overall shape then running stair. 🙂 It’s 72 up and 72 down, I start with a brisk walk for a full flight (all 72) and then I jog down. Here’s where I’ll mix it up. On leg day (I’ll get to that in a second) I’ll run up and down at a good pace, which basically is 20 full flights in 20 minutes, then I’ll sprint the last full flight, taking two steps at a time, then I’ll walk up and down a couple of times to cool down. Then I hit the gym. On non leg days I do a lot more sprints. Again, I mix it up. Some days I’ll walk one, then run two, sprint one (remember a flight is the full 4 flights of 72 steps) 6 times, then walk a couple to cool down. Another routine is – walk one, run four, sprint two, where the running and sprinting is down for 3 sets, then the walk cool down. (This one seems to be the toughest, those two sets of sprints back to back, take longer to recover from). All of these routines take me between 22 to 24 minutes.

    Then in the gym I break my lifting up into 3 routines. Legs/shoulders/neck; Back/biceps/abs; Chest/calves/triceps. There’s a bit of a method to my madness, I try to work one of the larger muscles each workout (legs, back, chest) and work some of the “supporting” smaller muscles in the same workout. I also focus on the compound joint exercises like squats, rows, benches. The only reason I do calves (the stairs really take care of this) is for more of a stretch. I do seated calf raises on the leg press machine. I do go somewhat heavy, but mostly focus on the full extension both ways.

    If anyone’s interested I can post the individual workouts. I don’t want to get too long winded here…

  87. Ray Burton says

    Rick, post where ever and on any post you want. The blog is about helping people take their lives to a better level through all types of nutrition and physical activity. MMA is just one of the things I play with.

    You’re not hijacking anything.

    Better yet, if you want write an article 500 words or more, send it to me @ buildingbodies@hotmail.com any time. You’ll get the credit and everyone will benefit.

  88. Rick says

    Ray, thanks for the vote of confidence. Actually I’m hesitant to post here because it’s really not an MMA workout, more of a general fitness/cross training type workout, and I don’t want to “hijack” this thread. But point me in the right direction and I’d be more than happy to share.


  89. Ray Burton says

    Dude! something “not too heavy?” An overhead squat with 50lb dumbbells is a sick accomplishment!

  90. Rick says

    Thanks Ray, I might just take you up on that.

    Here’s one I thought you and your readers might like. I sort of ‘stumbled’ upon it recently. I have to assume someone else has done this before, although I had never seen it. Late last week I was pressed for time, I got out of the office late, but still wanted to get in a workout. Typically when I get tied up and I have to cut things short, I will do a stairs workout, and add more sprints. I figure this not only gets the heart pumping, but burns lots of calories and fat for quite awhile after as well.

    Anyway, I was running late, got in a good stairs workout and had about 15 minutes to hit the gym. While I was walking from the stairwell to the gym, I was trying to figure out what I could do in that short amount of time and get the maximum out of it. Here’s what I came up with;
    Take a set of dumbbells, a weight that’s challenging, but not to heavy (I went with 50’s). With your feet in a good “pre squat” position (for me that’s about shoulder width apart, toes pointed slightly outward) clean the dumbbells your shoulders. With the dumbbells at your shoulders, in a position to press over your head, do a full squat (I mean get your butt to the ground), while in the full squat, press the weights over your head. Holding the weights over your head, slowly stand up. Repeat… It’s a lot harder than it sounds, and the place I felt it most was in my abs while I was coming out of the squat with the dumbbells over head. Three sets of those “killed” the 15 minutes and gave me a pretty good overall body workout. The best part was I was still sweating pretty profusely from the stairs, this keep the sweat going.

    Give it a shot and let me know what you think.


  91. Rick says

    I guess it’s not bad for an old guy…

    What’s a littled different than a traditional overhead squat, is I go into the squat with the weight on my shoulders, then press it while in the full squat position (that’s tough on the abs too). Then stand with the weight extended. Once I reach the standing position I lower the weight again.

    In some ways it’s “easier” because I’m not holding the weight over my head the whole time. The smaller shoulder and arm muscles don’t fatigue as quickly.

  92. Red says

    Hey, anyone know how can can work this into my usual gym work?
    I workout six days a week (Chest/tricep)(back/biceps) (legs/ shoulder).

    I also kickbox 2x or 3x a week.
    Any suggestions?

  93. Red says

    I thought about doing that workout 4x times a week and shorten the other exercises… Instead of 4 excercises of back/chest/legs I’ll do two. And additionally two biceps/triceps/shoulder exercises.

    It would look like that:
    day1: couture workout + chest/triceps
    day2: couture workout + back/biceps
    day3: couture workout + legs/shoulders
    day4: chest/triceps extended
    day5: back/biceps extended
    day6: legs/shoulders extended

  94. Mike(Team N.R.G) says

    Great workouts and great advice guys, will adapt some of this for my ladies in bootcamps, and for my martial arts classes.

  95. Kiwi5 says

    Just a general question and I do apologise for my fitness ignorance but with this workout what are the major musscles that are getting worked on with this workout? I have decided to give it a shot at the gym as it looks like a total killer. Thanks

  96. Sgt. Dudley D.S. (USMC) says

    Thank you for the post and the video. I’ve been looking for something to add into the crossfit training for my Marines and this was perfect. Granted I had to give myself a week or so doing this circuit so I didn’t look retarded in front of them and yes light weight is the way to do these so you keep strict form and get the max potential of the exercise. Again Thank you it was a real help and they hate it (which is a good thing in our field)

  97. Ray Burton says

    Cool Sgt. Dudley. I used to do the same with guys from my platoon when I was in the PPCLI. If you want any more, let me know. We’ll get some pics of your guys working out and get something cool going here for other Marines too.

  98. Ray Burton says

    No idea Lewi. Depends on weight used, time to completion and individual bodyweight as just some of the factors to consider

  99. Lewi says

    Ray, do you know how many calories this exercise burns? Im working with a calorie program and would like to enter it into the database.


  100. Lewi says

    ok nice one, thanks for the quick response! Did the workout for the first time today and it was awesome!! that last set is a killer!

  101. asator says

    thank you for putting this up. i’ve been doing mma for about 4 months now but never trained very seriously (limited my workout for the MMA classes only).

    i started doing this workout since last month almost on a daily basis with just a very low weight of around 8kg (wuth a lot of reps of the circuit) and man i must say my body looks so much better now and it really helps my cardio and overall fighting ability as well.

    thanks so much again!

  102. Blake says

    Hey guys,

    A lot of great workouts here with some very good advice. I’ve enjoyed reading through everything.

    Here’s a dumbbell complex I put together. A couple of the moves are moves used by cross-fit. You repeat this circuit 3-5 times with a 1 minute break between each circuit.

    * 10 push-ups- (with push-up stands and a weighted vest-if you have either)

    * 10 Dead-lift curls- (You hold the dumbbells at your side, squat until they touch the floor, then stand and do a standard biceps curl at the same time)

    * 10 Dumbbell Thrusters (This is move where you hold the dumbbells as if you’re at the top of a curl. You squat, then as you stand do a military press)

    * 10 knees-to-elbows (This is when you hang from a pull-up bar and, using core strength, swing your knees up to your elbows. Similar to hanging knee raises)

    * 10 Burpee Pull-ups

    * 20 Plyometric lunges (10 for each leg)

  103. william says

    I would just like to say i have enjoyed reading all the comments, and i am about to give this ago, was thinging of using 20kg bar plus 2.5kg aside so in total 25kg (about 55lbs)

  104. Newbe in training says

    i was wondering if you guys are doing this training all week only or are you working it into other programs or is this workout all you need for weight and condition training.

  105. admin says

    I personally throw it into the mix as one of a bunch of routines I do. This one fits the bill of a little of everything, some strength, endurance, cardio… Then I have routines for flexibility, pure strength, size and so on.

  106. Michael145 says

    Hi I was doing mma for like 6 months. Now I have been out for several months I wanna get back into it. I fight at 145 what would be recommended starting weights if cardio and strength now lacking. Awesome post by the way

  107. Nadz1611 says

    Fantastic Information here guys, I’m a personal trainer and have really appreciated all the programs and routines you guys have written. I have found that my clients hate burppies and and other plyometric exercises (so therefore they love them :)) so the plyometrics and intense movements in this post has been fantastic, will be incorporating many of these exercises into my clients workouts.

    My favourite workout is (all bodyweight):

    Push Ups x 10

    Chin Ups x 10

    Squats x 10

    Lunges x 10

    Dips x 10

    (and just for a little more of a challenge) handstand push ups x 10

    I then complete abs at the end which include:

    Full Body Crunches x 20

    Russian Twists or Side Crunches x 20 each side

    (the abs routine is completed twice)

    hope this helps a few of you 🙂

  108. says

    Just wanted to thank everyone for the great comments and workout tips you’ve added to this Randy Couture Workout post. You’ve really made it into a kick ass read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *