How to not get bulky lifting weights, Part 3

I remember when I first met one of my fighters and I asked him about how he was working out and he said, “I like to blast my chest, I’ll do bench press, then dumbbell press, then flys, then pushups.”

As I shook my head in disgust, I replied, “If your goal is to go on stage with a fake tan wearing red underwear, then you’re on the right path.”

If you train like a bodybuilder, you’ll look like a bodybuilder.

But if you’re interested in training to be athletic like a mixed-martial artist (and look the part), then pay attention to this final tip…

Tip #3 – Create a Program Based on Movements, not Muscles

If you train based on muscles, you do exercises for your chest, quads, hams, delts, lats, rhomboids, low back, calves, biceps, triceps, etc.

But if you train based on movements, you do exercises based on 7 fundamental patterns:

  1. Lunge
  2. Squat
  3. Bend/Deadlift
  4. Push
  5. Pull
  6. Twist
  7. Core stability

You will be using some of the same exercises, but the overall program design will be different.

Your goal is to have exercises from each of these patterns in your program.

From an efficiency point of view I recommend working out 3 days a week, alternating between 2 different workouts. For example:

Day 1

  1. Reverse lunge
  2. Dumbbell press on ball
  3. Woodchop
  4. Chinup
  5. Prone bridge

Day 2

  1. Barbell squat
  2. Pushups
  3. Stiff-leg deadlift
  4. 1-arm dumbbell row
  5. Side bridge

There you have every movement pattern in 10 exercises, split up into 2 workouts. This program I’d do for 4 weeks, then switch it up.

The thing is, you’re hitting every muscle in your body in the way that it was designed to be worked, instead of strapped into a chair straightening your legs out like a leg extension!

My upcoming MMA Ripped Fat Loss Program is based on movements, not muscles, and if you want to train for athleticism and leanness, I recommend you do the same.

The program launches in less than 10 days, and I’ve got some ultra-cool bonuses as part of the launch promo. If you’re considering picking up a copy, get it right when it launches to take advantage of the launch promo.

Stay lean,

Eric Wong, BSc, CSCS
MMA Performance Coach

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[…] How to not get bulky lifting weights, Part 3 – Eric Wong Then get 2 FREE workouts and a 45 page manual HERE. It's the best place to get a quick feel of my fitness philosophy and workouts and how they'll get you in … […]

11 years ago

Hello Eric,

can you please give me some answers, because I like the routine but still have these questions.
Take care

11 years ago

I am a martial arts for a long time and never bordered to much about strengthtraining. Now I know its important to spend some time on it. So the routine you have written looks very good, have a few questions. What is a good rule for sets and reps if you dont want to bulk up to much, just get a little more athletic and have more strength for MMA? And is there an other exercise for the woodchop or can you do this with a dumbell orso (please explain). And when you have to do sets off 3 for 5 reps for example (I dont know what your answer is on this one) but how many push-ups is then adviseble because I think 3 sets off 5 is not that much. Hope you can help me with this. Or maybay there are guys outhere who have great routines witch… Read more »