Prepare for the Fight: An Advanced Interval Training Circuit

November 18, 2015

Hi all!

Today I’m sharing a circuit training for fighters. For over 2 years now, I have been working at Munich MMA, a great martial arts studio in Schwabing, in the center of Munich. If you are looking for a friendly ambiance with professional and prepared instructors, you should come to join one of our courses.

I am continually learning a lot about martial art disciplines and am always trying to find exercise combinations that meet the preparation needs of the fighters who train with me: power, strength and resilience. In my opinion, a fighter shouldn’t use only the classical machines we find at most gyms and fitness studios. Those are great for body builders, but they can be the worst enemy of athletes, especially if the sport you practice needs multilateral abilities from different situations (grappling, BJJ, MMA). A machine guides you through a range of motion that is limited on the angles of the movements and the amount of force applied. As a fighter, everything you do is constantly changing. A fight or a sparring is never the same as the previous ones. The opponent never reacts the same way. I believe functional training with free weights, kettlebells, Bosu, elastics, free body exercises, suspension training, etc… are the best way to really assist the body in developing more balance, while improving the power of the core and recruiting more muscles to work together, hence reducing the possibility of injuries.

Our model for today is Benedikt Schotthöfer, also known as Ben, the head of Munich MMA as well as a BJJ and MMA fighter. He’s currently preparing for an important fight in January and I have been training him to help him work on his stamina and strength.

Today’s training lasts around 30 minutes and you will be glad it’s not any minute longer because it’s truly killer! We did a classic circuit training of 1 minute rounds for each exercise and 10 seconds of rest in between. Even if it’s focused on a fighter’s preparation needs, it is a great way for anyone to train stamina and explosive power. I wouldn’t recommend such circuits for beginners though. If you are a beginner, we have many other beginner level circuits that can be found here.


1) Walking lunges: classical walking lunges with 40 kg (2 x 20 kg kettlebells)

Walking Lunges-5

2) Burpee ball: burpee variation with a 5 kg medicine ball and a forward throw (push-ups using the medicine ball)

Burpee Ball

3) Squat and press: sumo squat and press with a 32 kg kettlebell

squat and press

4) Hip mobility and strength with a 10 kg sand bag: start with both legs in 90° (one inwards, the other outwards, as in the picture) switch sides. After switching, push the bag upwards, as in a shoulder press. Repeat the movements always switching sides.

hip mobility and press

5) Dips and L-sit on a parallette dip station (or between two stable chairs or benches): start by raising yourself on the dip bars with straight arms. Lower your body until your shoulders are below your elbows. Push yourself up until your arms are straight again and extend your legs upwards until they are parallel to the ground. Hold for a few seconds and repeat the movements.

Dips and L-Sit_2

6) Push and cross on a Bosu: do a push-up on an inverted Bosu. With your arms extended, cross legs on one side, then on the other, like a diagonal mountain climber. Restart with the push-ups and continue.

Bosu Push and Cross

7) Bosu abs and push up: do a crunch on the Bosu. Follow by lifting your body up, climbing forwards and doing a push-up. Repeat the movements for one minute.

Bosu Abs and Push-Up copy

8) Jack knives with extended legs: raise your legs and upper body simultaneously until the hips are flexed. Return to the starting position with waist, hips and knees extended. Repeat.

jack knife-29

9) Half of a single arm Turkish get-up with a 10 kg kettlebell: hold the kettlebell with your arm perpendicular to the floor using one hand. Bend your knee on the side of the body that’s holding the kettlebell and place your opposite arm on the floor approximately 45 degrees from your body. Roll up onto your elbow, then your hand and lift your hips. Descend repeating all motions in the opposite direction.

Half Turkish Getup with Kettlebell

10) Pull and push on the sling with an 8 kg kettlebell: hold the kettlebell with your hand that is opposite to the one holding the sling. Squat down. As you are lifting your body up, press the kettlebell in front of your body as a forward press.

Sling Pull and push

11) Crazy box: this is a very dynamic movement involving 3 stations in a triangular disposition. On the first vertex of your triangle, jump upwards and do a forward roll (free sparring) towards the second spot. Do one full burpee, move to the last vertex and do another full burpee. Run back to the first position and repeat the circuit.


As you can see, fighter trainings are not for the weak. Do the circuit for two rounds or even three if you are up for the challenge. You definitely have to turn on beast mode for this training. I hope you enjoy it!

Have a great active week!




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