Dustin Poirier’s Elite MMA Bodyweight Workout

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Dustin Poirier’s Elite MMA Bodyweight Workout

Dustin Poirier's Elite MMA Bodyweight Workout 1

How did Dustin Poirier prepare for UFC 257?

UFC 257 was one of the biggest events in UFC history. With a stacked card and the two biggest names in the lightweight division headlining, it was a formula for a banger.

Leading up to UFC 257, I was lucky enough to work with Dustin on his strength and conditioning, like I have the past few years.

About two weeks before the event, Dustin had to quarantine in Vegas before flying to Abu Dhabi for his fight. For 14 days, he was cooped up in his hotel room. No weights. No coaches. Just a TV, a bed, and a small space for some body weight training.

Dustin was determined to stay ready. He’s competitive by nature. So it didn’t surprise me when he shot me a text and asked me to write up a body weight program for him.

Of course, I agreed.

Fast forward, and the workout caught wind in the MMA community, with different commentators and analysts talking about this “unique” body weight training program.

Here’s what I wrote him:

Dustin Poirier’s MMA Bodyweight Workout

When I was writing Dustin’s programming, there were a few key factors I had to consider. The first was the proximity to his fight. If you don’t know, many strength and conditioning coaches focus on building general athleticism first. Once the season or fight approaches, the focus switches to more sport-specific training.

This said, considering Dustin was less than two weeks away from one of the biggest events of his life, I created this workout using movements that are biomechanically and bioenergetically specific to the sport.

In English, that means I selected movements or exercises that used the same patterns and energy systems you’d use in a fight.

These movements allowed Dustin to replicate some of the stressors of a fight without actually being in one.

What does this mean for you?

It means that if you’re a combat sports athlete, this workout will replicate the stimulus of a fight and get you sufficiently prepared for battle.

If you’re not a fighter, this workout can help you chip away at stubborn fat, increase your endurance, build strength, and even add lean muscle mass.

And whether you’re a fighter or not, bodyweight workouts like the one I’m going to share below can be a great way to achieve your goals.

Take Adam here.

Dustin Poirier's Elite MMA Bodyweight Workout 2

Adam was skinny. He had next to no muscle mass. He was probably in-shape. He probably even trained. But you couldn’t tell by looking at him.

Then he took my bodyweight training program, Body Armor, for a 90 day ride. Now, he’s carved out his abs. His shoulders are built like boulders. He’s added an even amount of lean muscle mass all around his body. And I can’t say for sure looking at his picture, but I’m pretty certain he has more endurance and knockout power.

Body Armor is loaded with workouts like the one I’m going to share below. And I want to invite you to try it for half off. Check it out here.

Sprawl to Sit-Out x 30 Seconds

The first movement for this MMA bodyweight workout is a sprawl to sit-out. I spoke about this workout being sport-specific both bioenergetically AND biomechanically, as Dustin was nearing his fight. Both of these movements have their place in the sport. And the ability to repeat them with quality can be key to success.


Here’s how to perform the sprawl to sit-out:

  • Start in a fighting stance
  • Drop down to the ground and sprawl
  • Kick one leg through to the opposite side of your body
  • Roll out and stand-up
  • Repeat this on both sides until time has elapsed

Shadow Box x 30 Seconds

The second movement for this MMA bodyweight workout is simple shadow boxing. The previous move got the heart rate up. It probably has you a little bit gassed. This shadow boxing is a chance to get some recovery in while also working on maintaining quality strikes while fatigued.

Try your best to breathe through your nose, as it will help your endurance in the long run.


1-2 Combo to Penetration Shot x 30 Seconds

The third movement in this MMA bodyweight workout is a 1-2 combo to penetration shot. This movement has you simulating a strike to takedown situation. You’re going to throw a jab, followed by a cross, and a takedown attempt. Again, you’ll notice that almost all of these movements come straight from the sport. This is to make this program as sports-specific as possible so Dustin could maintain movement quality AND keep his gas tank deep.


Here’s how to perform the 1-2 Combo to Penetration Shot:

  • Start in a fighting stance
  • Throw a jab
  • Throw a cross
  • Drop one knee towards the ground and go in for a penetration shot
  • Repeat until time elapses

1-2-3 Combo to Sprawl x 30 Seconds

Next, we have a 1-2-3 combo to sprawl. This move simulates throwing strikes and defending a takedown. Again, a common occurrence in MMA. Here, we’re focused on throwing fluid strikes, quickly transitioning into a sprawl, and getting back onto the feet as quickly as possible.


Here’s how to perform the 1-2-3 Combo to Sprawl:

  • Start in a fighting stance
  • Throw a jab
  • Throw a cross
  • Throw a hook
  • Sprawl
  • Roll out and get back up as quickly as possible
  • Repeat until time elapses

Mountain Climbers x 30 Seconds

The fifth movement in our bodyweight workout is a straightforward cardio movement. Mountain climbers are here to give you a break from the transition movements and allow you to really push yourself as hard as possible.



Here’s how to perform Mountain Climbers:

  • Start in push-up position
  • Bring one knee to your chest
  • Switch the positions of your feet
  • Repeat until time elapses

Kimora Sit-Ups (Alternating Sides) x 30 Seconds

Finally showing our ground game some love. Kimora sit-ups combine a traditional sit-up with an attempt at a Kimora grip. This, again, is a simpler movement, except this one has some sports-specificity thrown in.


Here’s how to perform Kimora Sit-Ups:

  • Start on your back, heels on the ground, toes up
  • Perform a sit up while lifting your heels off the ground
  • As you sit up, rotate to one side and mimic a kimora grip
  • Repeat on both sides until time is elapsed.

Hip Bridges to Turtle to Peak Out x 30 Seconds

We’re back to the complex movements. This movement simulates an escape from the bottom position on the ground. It also works the posterior chain while also developing your sport-specific movement quality.


Here’s how to perform Hip Bridges to Turtle to Peak Out:

  • Start on your back, feet flat on the floor
  • Thrust the hips up
  • Roll over to one side and find your way to a turtle position
  • Flip onto your butt and roll out of the position
  • Repeat on both sides until time elapses

Push Up to Hip Thruster x 30 Seconds

Next we have push ups to hip thrusters. This movement is almost like a burpee, except instead of jumping off the ground, you’re going to thrust your hips to activate the posterior chain.


Here’s how to perform Push Ups to Hip Thrusters:

  • Start in push up position
  • Perform a push up
  • Bring your feet towards your hands
  • Come up to standing and thrust your hips forward
  • Lower back down into push-up position
  • Repeat until time elapses

Shadow Box x 30 Seconds

Back to shadow boxing for some recovery. Again, focus on throwing fluid strikes while breathing through your nose. You want to get to a point where your stand-up serves as the calm in the storm that is MMA.

Double Leg Mountain Climbers x 30 Seconds

Finally, we’re finishing with double leg mountain climbers. This is just a variation of normal mountain climbers that has you moving both legs at the same time. The goal here is to push yourself. This is the last movement of the round, so make it count.


Here’s how to perform Double Leg Mountain Climbers:

  • Start in push up position
  • Hop your feet up towards your hands
  • Return them to their original position
  • Repeat until time elapses


If you thought you could lay around between rounds, think again. We’re doing active recovery in this MMA bodyweight workout. You’ll be performing one of the following movements between each round:

  • Plank x 60 seconds
  • Side Plank x 30 seconds each
  • V-Ups x 25 reps

These are simple movements, but they’ll go a long way in strengthening your core, and helping you deepen your gas tank.

You’ll perform a total of five rounds of the above workout as well as the core for rest.

More Intense Bodyweight MMA Workouts

Want more workouts like this, no equipment necessary?

Check out Body Armor.

Body Armor is elite MMA bodyweight training with no equipment necessary.

You’ll develop knockout power. Enhance your movement quality. Increase your core strength and stability. And ultimately, work towards a body that looks and performs like your favorite UFC fighter.

It’s not often that a seasoned UFC strength and conditioning coach gives away his secrets.

But that day is today.

Dustin Poirier's Elite MMA Bodyweight Workout 3

(Plus You Could Make a Transformation Like This)

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