Workouts: Unlock Your Primal Self
Use this Conor McGregor-inspired workout to unleash your fighting beast. In this three-part session, you’ll warm up with flexibility, go on to conditioning, and finish with a bodyweight circuit.
Perform this workout consistently and you’ll improve your flexibility, coordination, and balance; bolster your mental endurance; increase your agility; and give your cardiovascular system a boost.
Workout 1: Flexibility And Dynamic Stretching
Do each move for one minute.
Muay Thai Knees
Stand in a fighting stance. Step through with your back leg, driving your knee upward as you push your hips forward. Repeat with your opposite leg.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold your arms up and rotate them forward and backward.
Face a wall, and place both palms flat against it. Rotate your hips as you swing your leg outward to get a good stretch on each leg.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with your hands on your hips. Push your hips forward and circle for the allocated time in both directions.
Lie on your back with the soles of both feet touching the floor and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Lift your heel off the floor and push back gently until your head and toes are the only points of contact with the ground. Hold, then relax and repeat.
Workout 2: Static Stretching
Hold each move for 30 seconds.
Sit on the floor with your legs slightly bent in front of you. Roll back until your toes touch the ground and you’re in an inverted position.
Sit-Through Abdominal Stretch
Lie on your stomach with your palms in line with your armpits. Breathe in, and push your upper body up as you breathe out. Your legs and groin should be flat and the small of your back should be arched.
Sit-Back Shoulder Stretch
Begin on your knees. Sit back toward your feet and stretch your arms forward as far as you can. Your face should be near the ground.
Lying Leg Stretch
Lie flat on your back with one knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Rest your other leg against it. Pull your knee toward your chest to flex your knee, hip and hamstring.
Sit on the floor with the soles of both feet together. Hold your feet and gently push down on your knees with your elbows to stretch your groin.
Do each move three times for 80 feet.
Sit down from a staggered squat. Your back foot should be on the ball with your butt resting on your heel. Your front foot is placed flat in front of you and is used to initiate the motion. Pull yourself using your hamstrings, and transition from the ball of your foot to the flat of it.
Benefit: decreases patella-femoral stress (knee pain).
Start in a low, wide stance with your knees bent. Twist your heels out as far as they can go. From there, shift your weight to each side by bending one knee as you step forward in your wide stance and straighten your other leg.
Benefit: develops groin and hip strength.
Start in a high push-up position. Move one hand and the opposite foot forward. With your leg bent to the side and off the ground, do a push-up. After the push-up, move your opposite limbs in the same way and repeat to advance forward.
Benefit: improves core control and hip mobility.
From the standing position, lower yourself to a touch-toes position. While bouncing up, move one foot forward, keeping both knees firmly locked. Pull yourself using your abs, and as you bounce upwards, move your other foot forward. Remember to touch the floor as you go. Benefit: promotes flexibility of posterior chain.
Workout 3: Bodyweight Circuit
Do 5 sets of each exercise for one minute. Try to beat your reps each time.
Works: abs, biceps, middle back, shoulders, traps, triceps
Using a pair of rings, initiate a pull-up by pulling your elbows down to your sides. As you reach the top position of the pull-up, pull the rings to your armpits as you roll your shoulders forward, allowing your elbows to move straight back behind you. Maintain control and extend through the elbows to complete the movement.
Works: shoulders, triceps
Lie prone and hold your torso up at arm’s length. Lower yourself until your chest touches the floor, breathe out, and press your upper body up while squeezing your chest. Pinch your chest at the top, then lower yourself again.
Works: biceps, back, traps
Grab a horizontal bar with an overhand grip. Create a slight curve in your back, and pull your upper chest to the bar. Keep your legs crossed and slightly bent. Squeeze your back muscles at the top of the movement, then slowly lower yourself.
Works: glutes, hamstrings
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Begin the movement by flexing your knees and hips and sitting back. Keep your head and chest up, and push your knees out. Go as deep as you can, then quickly reverse the motion until you return to the starting position.
A fighter’s diet is perhaps the most important aspect of keeping him in shape, particularly in the lighter weight classes. Food is fuel for the high-octane lifestyle that demands all-day energy. Fighting, like fitness, is a way of life—not a way to live for just six weeks during a fight camp, or three months to get shredded for the summer. Real results demand true dedication all year round.
McGregor certainly lives his life his way. “I’m always eating good food,” he says. “Depending how far out I am from a fight, I might cut out a few things. You wouldn’t catch me eating too much in terms of take-out. I love water and coconut water, but I never drink energy drinks—ever! I just eat good, quality meat and keep hydrated.