It can be hard to introduce a new sports league into the lexicon of Americana and have it be popular. Many have tried with multiple football, baseball, soccer and other leagues without much success. Then, in the 1990’s, a new sensation came along. While boxing was starting its slow decline, there was a rise in mixed martial arts. This type of fighting incorporates many different styles, and became more appealing than boxing for a new generation.
At the forefront of the mixed martial arts (or MMA) movement has been the Ultimate Fighting Championship based out of Las Vegas. It has become the biggest promotion in the entire sport, and was recently sold for a record $4 billion. With monthly pay per views that have become must see television, the UFC has created a lot of superstars that people look up to.
Because of that, many people want to not only follow their favorite fighters, but also look like them. UFC has done a good job at promoting both male and female fighters, which has created a lot of people trying out the same fitness routines as the fighters despite not having any plans to get into the octagon themselves. UFC has capitalized on this by creating the UFC Gym that teaches people how to train like the best mixed martial artists in the world. Let’s take a look at the UFC Gym to see if they can offer the right workout solution for you.
Celebrities that Practice MMA
While they might not be heading to a specific UFC Gym, there are plenty of celebrities that have been influenced by the biggest fighting promotion in the world. Here are some of the celebrities that have trained using mixed martial arts techniques to get into fighting shape.
Joe Rogan – The comedian and UFC announcer has been spotted at the UFC Gyms, showing that he is a company man. With the help of trainers within the organization, Rogan has received his black belt in both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Taekwondo. He has also been trained in Muay Thai and fighting, making him the most in-shape announcer out there.
Ashton Kutcher – The actor from “That 70’s Show” and “The Butterfly Effect” trains in Beverly Hills to practice his Jiu Jitsu. Kutcher has received multiple belts in the art, and has even traveled as far as Brazil (where it was originated) to perfect his craft. If you ask Kutcher, he takes Jiu Jitsu very seriously.
Robert Downey Jr. – When he was making his comeback from addiction, actor Robert Downey Jr. (star of “Iron Man” and “The Avengers”) found martial arts to be a huge help. Downey has been practicing Wing Chun for more than a decade now, and credits the art for helping his career get back on track.
Ed O’Neill – It may come as a surprise that “Married with Children” and “Modern Family” star Ed O’Neill has been involved with mixed martial arts, but he is actually among the best celebrities out there in the art. O’Neill has been using Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for more than 20 years, and got his black belt in 2007 that he called “the greatest achievement of my life, apart form my children.”
Inside the UFC Gym
Even though UFC is based in Las Vegas, the growth of the sport has allowed the promotion to expand their gyms outside of Sin City (and there are quite a few there). There are now UFC Gym locations in just about every state as the popularity increases. Many people can be quite intimidated by the UFC label on these gyms, but it isn’t just for people that are training to become professional fighters.
The UFC fanbase doesn’t always have the best reputation, but the idea of the UFC Gym is to get away from that and welcome people of all ages and fitness levels. They have been doing that by offering up general fitness machines that you can exercise on, as well as classes with groups (and even youth classes). Personal trainers are also offered at UFC Gyms and you can learn functional fitness, which is focuses on interval training, stretching, TRX, kickboxing and more.
Finally, there are mixed martial arts classes, which is what really sets the gym apart from the average one that you could find. There isn’t just one form of martial art taught in the MMA classes, either. Here is the full list of the MMA classes offered at the UFC Gym:
- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
- Close Quarters Combat
- Krav Maga
- Muay Thai
- Self Defense
There are also classes that teach you overall MMA techniques, as well as courses specially designed for women. It’s a pretty impressive list to pack all of that into just one gym, but there are experts that will guide you through the courses. Most UFC Gym instructors are black belts in their respective martial art, with quite a few of them being former UFC fighters or competitors on their reality competition “The Ultimate Fighter”.
Now, one of the biggest things that people look at when it comes to a workout plan is the cost. We have already reviewed programs like Flywheel Sports, SoulCycle and others that can be quite expensive, but what about the UFC Gym? There are a lot of different options as some people will come in just to work out, others to get personal training and others that want to get the full MMA experience.
You can expect to sign a contract when you sign up at a UFC Gym, with certain levels having access to the MMA classes or personal training. The most expensive plans usually come out to around $60 per month, which is actually very affordable considering the full access you get. There have been reports that memberships can cost up to $100 per month, but that’s the starting price. There is not set monthly cost, and saying that you are ready to leave without signing up will almost always result in a lower price. If you just want access to the equipment and be around likeminded people, it’s actually very affordable as some people say they are paying as little as $20 per month.
Losing Weight With Mixed Martial Arts
If you sign up with the basic membership at a UFC Gym, then the amount of weight you lose will entirely be up to you as you dictate how much you are working out and eating. Getting access to a personal trainer will allow you to boost your weight loss, and is much more affordable than a lot of other chain gyms out there. The personal workouts are pretty intense, and will add the very least add muscle and definition that a lot of people are looking for when they see a gym with a big UFC logo on the front.
The UFC Gym has drawn a lot of comparisons to CrossFit in the way that people seem to be hooked in once they sign up. The overall focus at UFC Gym is to burn calories through cardio while also building muscle through MMA classes and full body exercises. Many of the gyms have weight loss competitions, so it’s not always about being the most ripped. One positive that people have seen over CrossFit is the culture, which is said to not be as intimidating at UFC Gyms.
Summing it Up
You really had to have seen a UFC event in the past to get the full idea of how good mixed martial arts training is for your body. Even looking at the heavyweights, you can tell that they are in fantastic shape. Many of the workouts are low impact, meaning that people of all fitness levels will feel comfortable training. If you think yoga is too slow or boring, then training like a UFC fighter does when not getting ready to compete might be more up your alley.
The UFC Gym is a nice balance between places like CrossFit and Planet Fitness, and is affordable for most people. One of the cool aspects of each gym is the fact that they have an actual octagon in the center, which is a big attraction for people that have wanted to step inside of one. It seems to be working as gyms are not only being added in cities across the United States, but are starting to pop up internationally.
UFC Gyms won’t be everybody’s cup of tea, however, especially with employees trying to get you to sign up then and there on the spot. Also, there are some serious competitors in a lot of these gyms, so the intimidation factor is a little higher than it would be in most gyms. Once you get past that, though, you’ll find that the typical MMA workout will help you lose a lot of weight. The combination of muscle building and cardio can make you leaner pretty quickly, with some people burning up to 1,000 calories in their training sessions. Overall, the UFC Gym is a good middle ground in the gym world.