Jon “Bones” Jones the UFC Champion earned a New York State Championship during his high school years in wrestling. It just took the UFC 3 months to notice Jones after tearing through his first six opponents. His first fight with the UFC was against Andre Gusmao as a late notice replacement. After his win against Gusmao, Jones impressed the UFC enough to fight the hall of famer Stephan Bonner. Jones ended up dropping Bonner with a spinning back elbow takedown and had the crowd ecstatic.
Jones is known for using high-tech equipment and dummies to mimic a real fight. He also intertwines a lot of explosive exercises that work his muscle fibers to fire faster. To keep his frame in shape Jones combines a lot of heavy compound exercises.
Jon Jones Training Regimen
Two months prior to any fight Jones starts doing 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.”
This is an average day of Jon Jones for regular training:
- Hang Clean is done in 5 sets of 5 reps.
- Barbell Push Press is done in 8 sets of 5 reps with a 30 sec. rest between each set.
- Lying Leg Curl is done with 6 sets of 6 reps.
- Depth Dumbbell Snatch is with 4 sets of 4 reps.
- Ring Twists is done with 3 sets of 4 reps each to each side.
- Clean from Knees with Jump is done in 3 sets of 10 reps.
- Medicine ball superset is done in a run the cycle three times for a total of three supersets.
- Medicine Ball Power Up is done for 5 reps
- Medicine Ball Sprawl and Jump is done for 8 reps
- Medicine Ball Plyo Push Up is done for 8 reps
- One-Leg Straight Leg Walking Dumbbell Deadlifts is done for 3 sets of 25 yards for each
Jones’ Water Aerobic Workout
Jones has incorporated swim routines in his training to give him the strength and stamina for his fights in the Octagon. . “I do an exercise called dive and swims, when you dive into the pool, swim across, pull yourself out and then dive right back in. Pulling yourself out of the pool is the workout. It becomes a question of working out when you’re going to breathe. I don’t enjoy it. I feel like I fight against the water.” His swim coach has a great philosophy that if you can compose yourself under water while struggling for air, you will be able to keep composed out of water anytime.
To enhance his mix of martial art techniques used in his fighting, Jones incorporates sprints in his water workouts. This is what his pool workout consists of:
200-yard kick set while holding a pool buoy with his arms
200-yard pull set while holding a pool buoy with his legs
An 8 x25-meter freestyle sprint
*Which entails being at one end of the pool, holding a plank for 30 seconds. Then, sprinting to the other end of the pool and perform 20 pushups.
Jones High-Tech Fight Training
To build his muscular endurance and cardio training Jones uses the treadmill. He utilizes the combination of Tabata training while on the treadmill. This is a high intensity interval training, which is 20 seconds of maximal intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is done eight times without pausing and this completed exercise only takes about 4 minutes with great results. Tabata training is named after Dr. Isumi Tabata who is known for his studies showing that short bursts of high intensity training had superior aerobic and anaerobic training effects compared to longer moderate intensity training. This type of training is used by various well-conditioned elite athletes.
Jones’ stamina is pushed with high-tech training equipment that challenges his muscles in ways usually reserved for fights. Tekin places a tackling dummy on top of a non-motorized treadmill (called the Tread Sled), then straps 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.”
Another unique tool Tekin used was the VertiMax—a platform with bungee cords attached to it that strap onto Jones’ hands, waist, knees and ankles. Tekin has him strap in, then do 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,” says Jones, “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.”
Jones focuses on eating clean and getting to sleep early to get the rest he needs to have his brain work fast. Clean eating helps the body keep up with his intense workouts to burn fat and build muscle. Getting plenty of sleep keeps his mind sharp in and out of the ring to be ready for anything.
Jones says his breakfast consist of “A five-egg, spinach-and-turkey omelet and oatmeal with berries. I’m looking for a high-protein, high-fiber carb combo. Plus I drink a couple glasses of water.”
When Jones is in intense training he will have protein shakes that contain Whey and Casein. These proteins are mostly for building muscles and keeping your energy level going. He will also eat more fruits than normally in his daily diet. His meals will consist of whole clean foods.