The Secret Keeping Both Bodybuilders and MMA Fighters Shredded!

When you think of Bodybuilders and MMA Fighters, the phrase ‘Apples and Oranges’ comes to mind. One half looks like the hulk, while the other looks like they have the balls to fight him.

So what do these two groups actually have in common?

Answer: They’re both ripped as f*ck.


Although their body types look pretty different – their body fat is in fact very similar. Both of them fall into a category that marks them down as some of the leanest athletes on the planet.

Whether it’s an octagon or a stage. Both of these guys look as if they’re carved out of wood.

But how do they do it? Where do these two parties meet to get that rippling physique, and more importantly… how can we take advantage of it?

There are a number of ways in which these athlete’s prepare their bodies.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

If you haven’t heard of HIIT before, it’s brutal.

bbercardioBoth bodybuilders and Mixed Martial Arts fighters are known to use HIIT as a quick way to drop body fat while simultaneously building up stamina. As the sessions are so short (but far more intense), compared to the regular cardio workouts, the risk of losing muscle mass drops significantly.

For those of you who that don’t know, I’ll go over the basics:

HIIT is an intense cardio workout that lasts for a few minutes at a time. Let’s say for example you’re on an exercise bike, an example of HIIT training here would be:

  • 30 seconds on level 1 intensity
  • 30 seconds on level 20 intensity
  • 30 seconds on level 1 intensity
  • 30 seconds on level 20 intensity

Repeat up to 10 minutes.

The secret behind it’s effectiveness comes from its effect on the heart. Normal cardio keeps your heart rate steady at around 60-70% of its maximum bpm. Whereas HIIT pushes the body to 90%.

This extra high heart rate causes excess post-oxygen consumption – this raises the metabolic rate significantly and in some cases for up to 24 hours.

obi-obadike-most ripped fitness modelThat’s a constant fat burning state for a whole damn day.

Adding these types of exercises to your workouts in the long-run can:

  • Burn Fat
  • Increase Stamina
  • Improve Heart Health
  • Maintain muscle mass

All which is heavily encouraged in both sports.

Compound Lifts (For size OR strength!)

Although usually favoring isolation exercises when looking to develop specific muscle groups, Bodybuilders turn to compound lifts when they want to increase muscle density and add mass to an area.

Likewise MMA fighters use compound exercises, not so much for mass but more to increase the strength of a muscle group to make it more effective in a fight.

The only difference here is the rep range. Bodybuilders typically look to higher rep ranges for growth and development, while fighters use less reps in the pursuit of strength.

Compound exercises use more than one joint movement to complete the lift. A good example of this would be the bench press.


During a bench press, two joint movements are taking place: in the shoulder and the elbow – which in turn works more than one muscle group: the chest, shoulders and triceps.

Working three muscle groups rather than one boosts the amount of testosterone released from the lift. This helps create strength and mass, however, which improves most depends on how the muscle was worked.

Bodybuilders use lighter weights so they can perform a higher rep range – as the set is longer than usual, more muscle fibers are recruited as others weaken to complete it. This helps overall development and growth.

Whereas MMA fighters use heavy weights and lower rep ranges. This works the quick-twitching muscle fibers that are responsible for explosive power, this makes a more responsive central nervous system to help supply more power.

Although their methods may be different, compound lifts seem to overlap in either industry and benefit both parties.

Correct Supplementation (To stay incredibly shredded!)

One of the major challenges that face both groups of athletes is nutrition.

Bodybuilding-NutritionOnly so many foods can give you the nutrients you need without inadvertently giving you the one’s you don’t – fat, carbs, sugar etc.

The answer to this obstacle is supplementation. This works around the problem of gaining unwanted fat while making lean muscle. This is typically done with products like whey protein, the muscles can grow and minimal fat gains are made.

However, if you’ve read our other article about taking too much protein, you’ll know that carbs and fats are also needed to raise muscle mass. Also that too much protein can actually damage your testosterone levels by raising the stress hormones in the body.

So there will always be some form of fat gain.

However, a supplement has been released on the market made for MMA fighters, but is also being used by bodybuilders.

iko6This is Instant Knockout. A fat burner formulate to help fighters cut weight before a fight.

It uses all natural ingredients and helps fighters:

  • Burn fat – Raising core temperature and metabolism
  • Boost Energy – Natural stimulants to keep focused during low calorie diets
  • Suppress Appetite – Fibrous nutrients that stop food cravings

And these guys are getting ripped taking it.

A prime example of this would be Diego Sanchez, the winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 1. The dude has been taking this to drop from 190lbs to 145lbs, and he’s almost there.

When he first started taking Instant Knockout he dropped 25lbs in the first 5 weeks. Just watch.


Other notable fighters currently taking the fat burner include #1 Flyweight John Dodson and Chas Skelly.

We had a look at Instant Knockout and were pretty impressed how it works.

You can check out their site here:

Overall Conclusion

Despite their differences Bodybuilders and Fighters actually have quite a bit in common when it comes to getting strong and looking indestructible.

dark bberThe HIIT is definitely an exercise you need to add to the end of your session to burn some killer amounts of fat. Just try not to over do it.

Whereas the compound lifts are perfect for hitting whatever goal you have in mind, whether it’s getting strong or just getting huge.

The supplements on the other hand is one you need to look into. These guys are serious about their sports, they take supplements like Instant Knockout when they can’t push it any further on their own. If you feel you’ve exhausted every option and feel you deserve those six pack abs, we strongly suggest you give IKO a try.



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