Article

Chris Weidman: Weights with Purpose

Middleweight contender Chris Weidman shows UFC 360 three weight room moves that pay off inside the Octagon.
Most people turn to weight training to increase strength and size, but when done correctly, it can also improve your agility and endurance. That why UFC 162 headliner Chris Weidman recently turned to strength and conditioning coach Jamal Hamid to reconstruct his lifting regimen to focus on what he calls “nonstop explosion” for fights.

For Hamid, the key is work that incorporates both explosiveness and endurance without compromising either. “In MMA, there’s no rest, so Chris needs to be able to keep up his technical skill as a wrestler for five rounds," he says. "I don’t ever want to take away from Chris’ cardiovascular strength, so we’ll do moves for explosion and speed, and then in between, we’ll do something where he has to grind it out—like pushing a car or a sled.”

FRONT SQUAT


Technique: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, supporting a loaded barbell across your collarbone and the front of your shoulders. Cross your arms in front of you with your hands on top of the bar to secure it in place. Push your hips back and descend into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor, and then explode back to the start position.

Benefit: “Front squats engage your core more than back squats by making you fight to keep proper form,” Weidman says. “When you go to pick someone up or drive through them, they’re not leaning over your back. They’re more out in front of you, so you need to be strong in that direction.”

DEADLIFT


Technique: With a loaded barbell on the floor, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your shins nearly touching the bar. Hold the bar with a grip slightly wider than your feet. Drop your butt slightly to begin the lift, then raise the bar in a straight line until you’re standing erect.

Benefit: “This move builds the posterior chain -- the hamstrings and lower back,” Hamid says. “Anything that works those muscles will improve Chris’ overall strength, explosiveness, and the speed with which he can move around the cage and attack and defend.”

BENCH PRESS WITH BAND


Technique: Attach an elastic band to both ends of a barbell by running it under the bench. Lie flat on the bench and grasp the bar at shoulder width. Lower it to your chest, then explode up to various heights. Hamid will hold his hand at different levels, forcing Weidman to explosively touch his hand with the bar then lower it back to his chest.

Benefit: “Having the band on the bar makes me give an explosive push off my chest,” Weidman says. “And when every rep is at a different height, it helps me react to unpredictable situations. I have to focus more on what I’m doing, and I also have to keep control over the acceleration and deceleration of the bar.”

These exercises first appeared in UFC 360. Click here to subscribe to UFC 360, the official magazine of  the Ultimate Fighting Championship, available now in print and digital editions. Photos by James Law.

Watch Past Fights

Sunday, October 26
3AM
CEST
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Media

Recent
Chad Mendes and host Jon Anik enter The Film Room to break down Mendes’ pivotal first fight with Jose Aldo, as the number one featherweight contender readies for a rematch.
Oct 20, 2014
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo talks about accomplishing his dream, and what his goals are for the rest of his career. He faces Chad Mendes in the main event of UFC 179 on Oct. 25.
Oct 15, 2014
For the first time in the competition two Mexicans teammates will have to face off in the octagon as Yair Rodriguez and Rodolfo Rubio prepare to go to war. Also, Coaches Velásquez and Werdum face off in the “Coaches Challenge”.
Oct 20, 2014
Top light heavyweight contenders Phil "Mr. Wonderful" Davis and Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson go at it inside the Octagon at UFC 112. Watch Davis battle Glover Teixeira in the co-main event at UFC 179 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Oct 20, 2014