Courtesy of Morgan Gold
It will be difficult for you to find a more exciting fighter in the octagon than Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone. The 36-year-old has created some of the most popular highlight reels in the UFC, setting the most UFC records of all fighters: 23 wins, 16 wins, 18 follow-up bonuses, 20 losses and seven head-shot losses.
Perhaps you will be a little shocked to find that Cerrone is as boring as possible in terms of strength and condition.
"I would say that my training (methods) is boring," says Cerrones strength and conditioning trainer Shara Vigeant, who played an important role in preparing Cowboy's upcoming fight with "The Notorious" Conor McGregor, who … will take place Saturday, January 18 in Las Vegas.
Vigeant has worked with fighters for over a decade and says that training for MMA used to be rudimentary: "It was just conditioning, conditioning and conditioning." Nowadays, serious athletes like Cerrone know that investing in their strength and conditioning programs is beneficial only lead to stronger muscles, better transmission of their abilities and longevity. And Cerrone is serious about his education.
The Albuquerque, NM transplant not only works with Vigeant, whom he met while filming in Alberta, Canada, in 2017, but is also a co-owner of The Performance Ranch, a New Mexico-based training facility that is different from his strength and Strength trainer Lawrence Herrera is operated. As a result, Cerrone is the most active and successful fighter of all time in the UFC.
Compared to McGregor, Cerrone has had 15 fights in the cage since the Irish's career-winning victory over Jose Aldo in 2015 and five since Mystic Mac's last appearance. Vigeant attributes the durability of Cerrone to his work ethic and insane conditioning. "He's a tough guy by nature, so let's just build on that."
The Alberta, Canada-based strength trainer stays in the gym with what she calls pillars: "pulling, pushing, hinging, crouching, falling out and carrying." These six movement patterns are included in every Cerrone workout, but how they are depends on where he is in his training camp. For example, Vigeant focuses early on strengthening his strength and strength so that she loads these movements with heavier weights. As the battle draws closer, the focus is on maintenance and injury prevention. So she will relax a little.
Cerrone works with tools such as medicine balls, kettlebells and dumbbells. For his conditioning, Vigeant says he is a beast on the Airdyne bike and works his way up to 130 rpm with a whip-quick recovery time.
To get an idea of how Cowboy prepared early for his fight with McGregor, Vigeant offers two sample trainings from his UFC 246 camp. Try it for yourself – the opportunity to kick your ass is not included.
"Cowboy" Cerrones training plan
The cowboy usually trains two to five days a week. Here are two examples of what Cerrone's training looked like at the beginning of his camp. The focus here is more on strength and performance. Do one triset before moving on to the next, and rest a few minutes after each.
Exercise sets repetitions 1A. Kettlebell swing 3 8 Tri-set with 1B. Medicine ball slam 3 8 Tri-set with 1C. Shoulder wall slide 3 12 2A. Zercher Squat 3 6 Tri-set with 2 B. One-arm row of dumbbells 3 8 Tri-set with 2C. Kettlebell Deadbug 3 12 (each side) 3A. Barbell stud press 3 6 Tri-set with 3B. One-leg deadlift 3 8 (each side) Tri-set with 3C. Plank drag 3 12
Exercise sets repetitions 1A. Split squat jump 3 6 Tri-set with 1B. Sprinter medicine ball breast pass 3 6 Tri-set with 1C. Pull the resistance band apart 3 12-12 (up and down) 2A. Roll bar deadlifts 3 6 Tri-set with 2 B. One-armed landmine press 3 8 Tri-set with 2C. Side row of planks 3 12 3A. Weighted inverted TRX line 3 6 Tri-set with 3B. Raised back squat 3 8 Tri-set with 3C. Increased stability Ball Roll Out 3 20