How Fighters Stay In Shape On The Road

Staying fit and working out on the road could very well be the most difficult thing a person, let alone a fighter, has to deal with. Any variation in a person’s schedule often sends up a green flag to skip training and dive in to some good eats. UA asked a few fighters of old to share secrets to their success on the road. Here is what they had to say…

Jessica Ross: “Staying active and ‘in training mode’ while traveling is probably harder than fighting itself! (Laughs) No really, it is very difficult, but of course every hotel has a workout facility, and of course, you can always run. I find myself using a lot of training drills-things I can do on my own to prepare.

Actually, when I’m on the road, it really gives me a chance to mentally get ready. Half of the fight is the mental aspect. I think getting away from the usual routine and training is great before a fight. It gives me a chance to really think out situations and mentally prepare.

The hardest thing for me when traveling is eating! You never seem to get what you can prepare at home-especially for me being a vegetarian. I am forced to improvise. This is always a challenge. Depending on how long I will be away, I like to pack some food that I can’t get from the hotel with me. I’ll always pack my protein, my supplements, etc. I try to maintain my pattern of eating as if I were at home.”

Josh Thomson: “The things that need to be taken into consideration are the time differences and the altitude. If these things are not in the equation, the rest is easy. First, make sure the place you’re traveling to has a local gym near your hotel for cardio reasons.

Second, make sure there is a food mart near your hotel as well. This comes in handy when you need last minute things to take to the fight: Vaseline, tape, water, etc. The last thing is to try and contact a local gym that you maybe able to use their facilities for last moment strategies, not to mention to get a good grappling session in before your fight.”

Travis Lutter: “[Training and staying in shape on the road] is the hardest thing for me. I just try to eat as clean as I can [and] run.

Jim de Sousa: “Here are some things I do while on the road:

Always go to a supermarket for lunch and dinner: cans of tuna and chicken, protein bars, salad bar, fruit and many other low fat foods can be found there. Stay away from the restaurants if you can.

For exercising, I personally don’t mind paying the one-day fee at the local gym to get a work out in, but other things I have done are:

1. Run the stairs at your hotel/motel
2. Do conditioning drills in your hotel/motel room

  • 6 or 8 count squat thrust
  • Jump squats
  • Push-ups and a full ab workout
  • Striders

A drill to do in your room is pyramid up using the above exercises for example.

  • First Set: 10 pushups, 10 jump squats, 10 6-count squat thrust, 10 striders.
  • Second Set: 20 pushups, 20 jump squats, 20 6-count squat thrust, 20 striders.
  • Third Set: 30 pushups, 30 jump squats, 30 6-count squat thrust, 30 striders. Etc…

Then, finish off with a long set of abs.

3. Jump rope in the parking lot
4. Find the local high school, and use their track for sprint workouts and runs. I would rather run on a track in an oval than on the roads of an area that I don’t know. It is hard to get lost on an oval track!
5. Do your research before going to a city, and find out if there are any clubs in the area that train MMA. Most clubs are open enough to allow you to train with them while you are in town.”

Many products are available to consumers, helping to simplify the difficulty of training on the road. Bodylastics and Lifeline USA are two examples of an in-your-room gym. With take-apart bars, power cables and exercise bands so small they fit into your suitcase, fighters can continue to stay in shape on the road. More information can be found about these products at and