Jon D. Jones is the UFC Light Heavyweight champion (as of 2019, having held on to that title for two years. He is also the pound-for-pound top rank, which makes him one of the best MMA fighters in the world, if not the best. How does a champion like Jones ensure that he stays fight-ready at all times?
The answer lies in a top diet, vigorous training, and a healthy lifestyle. It is often said that success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. If you want to achieve the kind of things he has achieved with his body and mind, you can borrow a few things he does that are proven for excellence.
As a fighter, Jones has to think about such things as strength, body weight, and stamina among others. His training is geared towards helping him attain these levels. He likes to train 3 times a week, for an hour or an hour and a half each time.
His typical weekly routine will usually involve the following routines.
Jon Jones relies heavily on compound exercises to keep his muscles strong, as part of cardio and for overall body coordination. He especially likes to deadlift for extra strength.
Some of the compound exercises he likes are the barbell bench press, the barbell push press, and the ring twist.
Advanced Gym Equipment
As well as the traditional exercises, Jones makes use of some hi-tech equipment to keep on top of his game. One such machine is the Vertimax, which a kind of heavy platform with Bungee cords attached. It can be used for various ways such as improving vertical jumping ability, lateral movement, and shuffles, among others.
Jones attaches cords to his arms and waist and then does several rounds of pad work to make his punches powerful.
Another machine that he uses is the TredSled, which is a non-motorized heavy-duty treadmill customized for athletes. It helps him maintain endurance and stamina.
Jon Jones will naturally do a lot of shadow boxing, to keep his legwork, head and arm movements fluid.
Typical Jon Jones Routine
- Hang clean – 5 sets with 5 repetitions each.
- Barbell push press – 8 sets with 5 repetitions each, with a 30-second rest between sets.
- Lying leg curl – 6 sets with 6 repetitions each, taking a brief break between them.
- Double dumbbell snatch – 4 sets of 4 repetitions each.
- Ring twist – 4 repetitions for each side, for a total of 3 sets.
- Clean from knee – 10 reps done for 3 sets.
- Medicine ball superset – 5 reps powerup, 8 reps ball scrawl with a jump, 8 reps plyo-push-ups. Repeat three times.
- Single leg, straight walking dumbbell deadlifts: Go for 3 sets doing 25 yards each time.
The routine can be completed with V workouts for the core. 20 of them should do, or until you feel exhausted.
The light heavyweight UFC MMA champion needs to watch his weight like a hawk, as he only has a 13-pound (6 kg) leeway. At the same time, he needs to make sure that his energy needs are well met.
His diet is very high in protein with a lot of lean meat, fish, eggs, milk, and poultry. He keeps away from junk food religiously and drinks a lot of water. And eats a lot of fruit and vegetables while at it.
On a typical breakfast, Jon Jones eats 5 eggs, spinach, turkey, and oatmeal all washed down with several glasses of water. This is a power breakfast that helps him to start the day with explosive power. Note the copious amounts of protein and carbs.
That trend more or less repeats itself over lunch or supper. High protein, high carb foods dominate his plate, with a lot of vegetables and a few glasses of water.
He will eat the occasional cake but will have to take something out in its place to compensate. Jones is big on health and says that he has no cheating day. Indeed, he considers health one of the greatest assets a man can have.
In his list of things to be avoided at all costs includes refined foods, sugar, hydrogenated fats, and food additives. Instead, he prefers eggs, turkey, chicken, salmon, lean steak, oatmeal, bananas, olive oil, among others.
Jones was born into a family of fighters. His preacher father was once a wrestler, and two of his brothers are professional football players. His elder brother, Arthur, is also a heavyweight wrestler and was runners ups in the New York State championships in 2004. Jones thinks that Arthur could do very well in the UFC, even better than him.
Suffice to say that his background since childhood has prepared him for the fighting life. He says that they used to fight with his other two brothers as children, and has a scar from his elder brother to prove it.
Even then, he has had his struggles. The only dent in his career so far consists of a disqualification he was given in a fight with Mark Hamill for repeated downward elbow strikes.
Between 2015 and 2017, he was also suspended, stripped of his titles for those years and eventually reinstated for a hit and run charge and then after being found positive for banned.
Jones himself has admitted to having had marijuana problems in the past, but he has worked hard to be clean and to stay that way. Since he came back in 2018, he reclaimed his title and defended it once.
These incidents are powerful reminders that no one is perfect, and that no one is handed a perfect life. Every success, no matter how small, comes as a result of hard work and commitment. Jones says that his drive and desire for success are second to none.
The final word? Hear it from the champ himself. “The biggest thing I want people to take away from my story is that they can achieve their goals as well. There’s nothing special about me, really. I was a guy who made up his mind to do something and did it, despite all the criticism, despite all the people who said I couldn’t do it. I followed my heart and dreams. I was comfortable being uncomfortable: A lot of people, once they feel uncomfortable, will simply stop whatever they’re doing. But I believe in order to succeed at anything, you need to be comfortable being uncomfortable.” (from an article by Ben Court in Men’s Health, Dec 8 2011)