To be a successful MMA fighter you must be strong, fit, lean and 100% dedicated to results!

If you’re ready to take your fitness and physique to the next level with fight training, here are some training insights from Vitalstrength athlete and champion fighter Benjamin Kelleher.

A typical week of training consists of:

5.30 AM – Cardio Training 6 days a week
  • 5 x 2 min round skipping
  • 10 min stretch
  • 6  x  3 minute rounds on the heavy bag, includes kicks, punches, elbows, knees
  • Circuit –3 x 5 minute rounds including:
  • 1 min 18kg kettlebell swings
  • 1 min barbell twists (15kg) for core strength
  • 1 min 15kg dumbbell standing shoulderpress to squat
  • 1 min 40kg benchpress on smith machine (non stop)
  • 1 min box jump with 20kg plate
  • 45 second rest

This whole body, high intensity workout takes just under an hour if you don’t stop to talk trash!  Ben varies this morning circuit incorporating other 1 min exercises.

The afternoons are broken up as follows:

Monday-Wednesday-Friday 5.00pm – Muay Thai
  • 5 x 2 min rounds skipping
  • 10 min stretch
  • 10 x 3 min rounds on thai pads with coach
  • 2 rounds on kick shield
  • 3 x 10 punches each hand on wall bag – 30 x hooks, 30 x uppercut, 30 x straight punch, 30 x body shot to promote good technique and power
Tuesday-Thursday 5.00pm – MMA
  • Warm up
  • Stretch
  • 45 mins technique grappling focusing on submissions, takedowns and take down defence
  • 15 x 3 minute rounds free grappling for fitness and grappling experience
  • 30 minutes 1 on 1 with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach for working on weaknesses
Saturday 12.30pm – Sparring
  • Warm up
  • Stretch
  • 15 x 3 min rounds boxing/muay thai sparring
  • 3 x 5 min MMA sparring with takedowns at fight pace
Evening strength session alternating each day Monday to Friday:
  • 4 sets incline bench, last set being drop set till failure
  • 4 sets flat bench, last set being drop set till failure
  • 4 sets dumbbell flys, progressively heavier and until failure
  • 4 sets cable flys until failure
  • 4 sets max push ups
  • 4 sets standing row, last set drop set till failure
  • 4 sets lat pull down, last set drop set till failure
  • 4 sets seated row, last set drop set till failure
  • 3 x 10 reps deadlift at 65%
  • 4 sets Shoulder press machine, last set drop st till failure
  • 4 sets behind the neck shoulder press on smith machine
  • 4 sets dumbbell raise – 10 in front, 10 bent over and 10 out to the side (light weight to protect rotator cuff)
  • 8 sets heavy leg press, last 4 being drop set till failure
  • 3 x 10 reps deep back squat – 65% of max
  • NB – each leg day this will alternate ie: next time do 8 sets squats and 3 sets leg press.

Ben say’s, “There is little emphasis on arms in my regime, for a reason. With all the punching and pushing and grappling, the arms are naturally used and in doing so remain strong. Also, too much emphasis on bicep muscles etc leave fighters susceptible to submissions if you do your curls too short and don’t elongate your muscles and stretch them, the range of motion is shortened.  The other reason is I don’t want to have tired and sore arms during my trainings or you may as well not turn up as you won’t see any benefit from your technique sessions.”

Between working full time (for now) Ben maintains a healthy and balanced life through hard work and discipline. Ben supplements his training with a number of Vitalstrength products including WPI+, BCAA powder, L-Glutamine and 16:00 Nitroxl when he needs extra energy for intense training sessions.

Benjamin Kelleher
IKBF Australian middleweight MMA champion
Australia Heavyweight K1 champion
Darwin, NT