Work Out Like: An MMA Champion

New England MMA fighter Brett Oteri tells us how to train like a champion.

Brett-Oteri-2Brett Oteri at work. Photo provided.

Brett Oteri is a personal trainer at Equinox on Franklin Street, and he is also the World Cup Welterweight MMA Champion. That’s right, an MMA champion just happens to be moonlighting as a personal trainer here in Boston. And it turns out that he is just like us: He hates the treadmill, has to diet regularly, and loves running outdoors. We caught up with Oteri to find out what it takes to be an MMA champion.

What’s your weightlifting routine like?

Being a former pro bodybuilder I don’t do a lot of weight training for MMA, but I have done a lot in the past. I stick to the basic exercises like deadlifts, squats, bench presses, weighted pull-ups, and lot of core [ab] work. I train total body twice per week and focus on increasing strength and power.

What is your cardio routine?

I love to swim and run. I do not enjoy the treadmill. If it’s cold and I am in a place without a pool I will use the Ergometer or Versaclimber because they are both challenging and work the whole body. I normally train with intervals and do one to five minutes of sprints followed by 30 to 60 seconds of rest.

What’s the difference between your normal exercise routine and training for a fight? 

Training for a fight is very time consuming. I have to balance the strength training, cardio training, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and wrestling each week, while also managing a 20 to 30 pound weight cut. Nutrition is a huge part of being able to train multiple hours per day without overtraining or getting injured. Most weeks I try to do each of the five things listed above twice for an hour to two hours each session.

How often do you workout a week while training?

About 10 workouts and 15-20 hours of training a week minimum, all while dieting to ensure I make weight for the fight.