Dear Coach: I Want To Look Like a UFC Fighter

In this week’s Dear Coach question a reader who trains martial arts wants to know how he can look more like a UFC fighter. Is it about the supplements, or is it about the food and training?

Dear Coach,

I would like some information on what one should take/do while training in MMA. I train about 4 days a week and specialize in Krav Maga. I am not a professional and do it as a hobby. I am currently taking Orange Triad, Fish Oil, on and off the PAGG stack by Tim Ferris, I also take BCAAs before, during, and after training. I am a larger built guy at 6’2″ and about 215. The slimmest I’ve been was post boot camp at 203 and cut so I don’t think that I would be under that in optimal shape. My main goal is to be cut like you would see a UFC fighter looking so I have no intention of trying to gain muscle. I eat what I want and try and do some IF dieting. I eat a protein bar after every workout. Forgive me if this seems disjointed and confusing. I feel that most of the things I read are geared towards smaller men becoming larger, muscle building, or leaning out through cardio.

Thank you,


Dear Clayton,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there are no legal substances you can take that would help you to look like a UFC fighter without actually training like a UFC fighter. You need to understand that for these guys it is very much their job and they are in the gym earning their living by training up to eight hours a day. Additionally, when you see them on TV they have been through a few months of dieting and cutting water to make their weight class for the fight. So what you’re seeing on TV isn’t how they look all the time. For instance, Forrest Griffin walks around at 230lbs yet fights at 205. GSP fights in the 170lbs class yet usually weighs more like 190lbs by the time he walks back in the Octagon, more than twenty-four hours after he weighed in. At 5″10″ 190lbs ia a LOT of muscle and it didn’t end up there by eating haphazardly or training in anything other than a disciplined methodical manner.

My advice is to get a better handle on your diet and training. Read this article about the importance of having diet firmly in place before worrying about supplements. With comments like “I eat what I want” it’s hard for me to be convinced you are looking for anything other than a short cut. Having seen firsthand what trying to “hack” training does for people, Tim Ferriss was my workout partner at RKCII, I will just say this – it doesn’t work. Real performance comes from putting in the time with dedicated consistent effort.

If you’re looking to improve your MMA I strongly urge you to seek out a smart and experienced strength and conditioning coach who has a proven track record for helping people improve their games. As for your diet – you need to start to be more disciplined with eating. A protein bar here and there or intermittently trying IF (intermittent Intermittent Fasting? I may have found an all new infomercial product) is not a solid diet plan.

Coach Andrew Read

(Click here for articles by Coach Andrew)