Speed Kills…and UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrius Johnson is the proof
Small size and low weight are largely accountable for the display of speed and agility seen in many flyweight fights, but the ability to maintain an unwavering pace isn’t solely attributed to genetics. No matter what his weight, a fighter must have a solid conditioning routine to last even one round of a fight. UFC Flyweight Champ Demetrious Johnson trains 40+ hours a week (like it’s his job), and with the help of his strength and conditioning coach Joel Jamieson, he gives us a small sample of what it takes to set an unmatchable pace in the Octagon.
1) SLED POWER PUNCH
Purpose: Develop rotational power and core strength
Grab a rope attached to a moderately weighted dragging sled with one hand and assume a solid, balanced, striking stance. Rotate through the torso and throw a punch with the hand holding the rope. Walk forward, returning the hand to the beginning position, and repeat.
3-5 sets of 4-6 reps
2) BAND RESISTED SHOTS
Purpose: Increase takedown speed and power
Attach two or three resistance bands to a stationary object or a partner, step into them, and walk forward until they are tight. Explosively perform a shot, driving all the way through the resistance until you are back on your feet.
4-6 sets of 2-4 reps
3) LATERAL CONE SHUFFLE
Purpose: Develop explosive footwork, change of direction, and lower body power Set up 3-5 cones in a row, spaced 5-6 feet apart. Explosively shuffle through the cones, focusing on the proper footwork to maintain balance at all times. Perform shuffles for 5-10 seconds at a time, rest for 30-60 seconds.
Repeat 5-10 times.
4) KETTLEBELL SQUAT JUMP
Purpose: Lower body explosive power
Hold a moderate to heavy weighted kettlebell in both hands, and begin in a deadlift position. Keeping your arms straight, explosively jump as high as possible, then land and repeat. There should be no pause between jumps, and the goal is to get as high as possible in each jump.
4-6 sets of 6-8 reps
5) BARBELL SQUATTING HIGH PULL
Purpose: Improve total body explosiveness
Begin with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, arms straight with hands holding the bar. Explosively drive your hips up and forward, forcing the bar to lift off the ground in a vertical line toward the ceiling. Finish by fully extending the hips as the bar rises to at least shoulder height before it returns to the ground.
3-6 sets of 1-3 reps