Rafael dos Anjos Inspired Workout Routine (Explosive!)

February 16, 2016 by VAHVA Fitness

Rafael dos Anjos is a Brazilian mixed martial artist and the current UFC Lightweight Champion. He'll fight Conor McGregor on March 5, 2016.

Rafael dos Anjos became the UFC Lightweight Champion on March 14, 2015 when he defeated the reigning champion Anthony Pettis in a devastating fashion.

Since Rafael dos Anjos has defended his belt successfully against Donald Cerrone and is now fighting against the current UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor on March 5, 2016 in a big superfight between two champions. 

What makes the matchup immensely interesting is the differences between fighters: both are strikers but their styles are very different.

Conor McGregor is more about fight IQ, accuracy, timing and fluidity. Rafael dos Anjos is like a truck without brakes: he is an explosive power athlete who is superbly strong and hits hard. Dos Anjos also possesses a high level of technique and fight IQ.

rafael dos anjos vs. conor mcgregor

Rafael dos Anjos (left) vs. Conor McGregor (right) staredown.

We covered Conor McGregor's training regimen in our Conor McGregor workout routine video. 

Because Rafael dos Anjos is an explosive power athlete, his training mostly consists of training that improves his innate natural ability - his strength and conditioning is mostly plyometric work.

This is not necessarily the best way to train for everyone. For example, for Conor McGregor the movement based training suits him the best, but for Rafael dos Anjos this kind of plyometric training is likely the most beneficial.

We have compiled a Rafael dos Anjos workout routine based on his Instagram and training footage.

The key with plyometric work is to focus on quality, not quantity, like we've stated in our previous plyometric article. What does it mean? Try to stay fresh and generate the most power possible.

This means that you should do low reps (1 to 5) but high amount of sets (5 to 15). The Rafael dos Anjos workout regimen below is mostly plyometric work except for the abs. 

Rafael dos Anjos Workout Routine

Plyometric Push-Ups

rafael dos anjos push up workout routine

Rafael dos Anjos push-ups are plyometric which means they really train the explosive power of the upper body. 

The key is to generate the most pushing power you humanly can: you can jump through the air, clap your hands or touch your feet with your hands with every repetition.

It really doesn't matter how you do it as long as you get the explosive pushing done. In Rafael dos Anjos' training regimens we have seen him doing plyometric push-ups by touching his feet and jumping through the air. 

Rafael dos Anjos' push-ups will improve the power of the upper body and possibly allow him to strike harder.

Push Press

rafael dos anjos push press
rafael dos anjos training regimen

Push press is an exercise that Rafael dos Anjos does a lot. The point of the exercise is an explosive vertical push. 

You can use machines that allow you to do a heavy push, but you can also use a barbell, dumbbells or a medicine ball. 

The key to push press is to use your entire body to generate the explosive pushing power and push the weight up explosively. 

Oblique Twist

rafael dos anjos abs exercise

Oblique twist is an exercise where you hold the half-sit-up position while you rotate left and right with your body.

Rafael dos Anjos has used a stick to improve the rotation and it works. The rotational strength built with oblique twists will translate into more kicking and punching strength.

This exercise is an excellent way to condition your abdominal muscles as well.

Plyometric Jumps

Plyometric jumps will develop the explosive power of the lower body and thus allow you to generate more power with your kicks.

Many of the drills we've seen Rafael dos Anjos doing also improve the agility and speed of the lower body and as a result allow dos Anjos to move quicker and freely inside the octagon.

You can do fast and small jumps over hurdles like in the video, or do explosive box jumps instead. Knee jumps are also excellent.

This workout is otherwise complete, but lacks a pulling element. Consider doing explosive pull ups or using cable machine for explosive pulls. 

Train hard, stay safe.

samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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