Jon Jones has one of the better physiques in the UFC and uses his strength and agility to his advantage.
Jon Jones trains like an absolute beast when it comes to his workout training routine. At 6’3, 205 lbs., Jones focuses on exercises designed to push his muscles to the uttermost limit while training them to work on his explosion and quickness.
According to an interview with UFC.com, Jones does his strength training and cardio three days a week. “We went by feel and used a lot of explosive exercises to train his muscle fibers to fire faster,” says Kelly Tekin, Jones’ strength and conditioning coach. “We also relied on a lot of heavy compound exercises to keep muscle on his frame.” Doing compound movements is the fastest way to gain strength and build lean muscle because it incorporates so many more muscles in your body. Jon “Bones” Jones has really gained more muscle over his career and his focus on explosion and compound movements is a major reason for this change in physique.
Jones works with high-tech training equipment to mimic that of a real fight. Some of the things that Jones’ coach does is placing a tackling dummy on top of a non-motorized treadmill (called the Tread Sled) and then strap Jones into a vest with resistance cords attached to it. “I would push the dummy as hard as possible, as if I was doing a takedown, for 5-10 seconds,” says Jones. “Because I was being pulled backward by the cords, it’s a strenuous exercise that really builds up your explosive strength.” Jones also works with the VertiMax, which is a platform with bungee cords attached to it. Using this unique equipment, Jones straps his hands, waist, knees, and ankles to it. He then does knee strikes, kicks, and punches for 30-60 seconds at a time, switching stances (from traditional to southpaw) in between rounds. “The extra resistance made it difficult just to keep my hands up, let alone throw a punch. After being tied into that thing, once I went to knee a guy without being strapped into the machine, it made my strikes that much more powerful in the Octagon,” says Jones. Resistance training like this is a surefire way to build power and explosion throughout your entire body while building strength and coordination in those stabilizer muscles.
Jon Jones has a very unique frame as an MMA fighter. He has long limbs and a very long reach at an unprecedented 84.5 inches. This body type, along with his strength, is a great combination. Long legs provide for more force to be generated since they allow more torque because of the larger fulcrum. He has used that to his advantage as he has dominated his competition with kicks and flying elbows.
On an average day, Jones does the following training regimen (shown below). As you can see, this is more of a full body workout with a big focus on the core muscles. Having a strong core is extremely important for these fighters because they need to handle punches and kicks to the stomach. In addition, all the power and explosion from your grappling and striking moves starts with your core.
1. Hang Clean (5 sets of 5 reps)
2. Barbell Push Press (8 sets of 5 reps: 30 second rest between sets)
3. Lying Leg Curl (6 sets of 6 reps)
4. Depth Dumbbell Snatch (4 sets of 4 reps)
5. Ring Twists (3 sets of 4 reps to each side)
6. Clean from Knees w/Jump (3 sets of 10 reps)
7. Medicine ball superset (run the cycle three times for a total of three supersets)
• Medicine Ball Power Up (5 reps) • Medicine Ball Sprawl and Jump (8 reps) • Medicine Ball Plyo Push Up (8 reps)
8. One-Leg Straight Leg Walking Dumbbell Deadlifts (3 sets for 25 yards each)
He also does Tabata training on the treadmill, which is a form of high intensity interval training. This kind of training is 20 seconds of maximal intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, done eight times without pausing. This entire process takes only four minutes, but it can produce incredible results. Studies show that this kind of training can build as much endurance and body fat reduction as 45 minutes of normal cardio training.
When it comes to athletic skill and toughness, Jones believes it runs in the family’s genes. According to an interview with The Baltimore Sun, Jon believes his eldest brother Arthur, a defensive tackle in the NFL, can be a successful MMA fighter. “I think my brother would do great in the octagon. My brother has been living with me for about three weeks now, and his wrestling is on a completely different level. I really don’t see anyone in the heavyweight division right now being about to punch with my brother and not get thrown. My brother has amazing Greco-Roman wrestling [skills], and since he has been here, my Greco-Roman has come back completely.” Arthur, who currently stands at 6’3 and 300 lbs., was a multiple New York State heavyweight champion wrestler in high school.
According to an interview with Yahoo Sports, Jon believes that Arthur has what it takes to be a UFC champion at half the time it took Jon. “If he dedicated one year to the twice-a-day training lifestyle, I think he could compete with the UFC heavyweight champion. He’s that special. It took me three years to get where I am, and Arthur is so special. He could get here in a year and a half.” In fact, Jon’s noticeable scar on his forehead was the result of Arthur hitting him with a crushed soda can during his youth. It’s a permanent reminder of the domination of his big brother. The two of them, along with their youngest brother Chandler (who also plays in the NFL), would fight each other as kids, which Jon believes toughened him up.