Nate Marquardt: Strength/Conditioning Circuit

Seasoned veteran Nate Marquardt has found success in a number of divisions including middleweight and, most recently, welterweight. The former Strikeforce champion is set to put his skills on display this weekend at UFC 158 where he’ll face Jake Ellenberger. While Ellenberger is definitely a tough draw, and “Nate the Great” is always in shape, the challenge is even stiffer than usual based on the late notice involved given Marquardt’s status as last minute replacement.

The help prepare for the tilt, Marquardt has been putting in countless hours at the gym including time spent on the following workout (courtesy of trainer Loren Landow via the UFC’s website):

Move: Central nervous system sprints

Sets: 5 sets with 45 seconds rest between each set

How it’s Done: Marquardt starts on his back or stomach. When Landow signals, Marquardt quickly gets up and into a fighting stance, where he’ll move his feet in an “in and out” pattern as fast as possible. Then, after Landow signals again, he’ll perform a 20-yard sprint.

Landow says: “This works on Nate’s reactive ability, and it’s also helping his nervous system fire at a faster rate.”

Move: Hurdle hops

Sets: 3 sets with 90 seconds rest between each set

How it’s Done: Six 36-inch track and field hurdles are lined up in a row. Marquardt will hop through them in succession looking to minimize how long he spends on the ground while maximizing his height over each hurdle. On the final jump, he sticks his landing in athletic position.

Landow says: “These focus on explosiveness. Also, when Nate sticks the landing it’s helping with injury prevention to the ankle, knee, and hip joint.”

Exercise Pair #1: Deadlift and Vertimax multiple response jumps

A Vertimax multiple response jump is, essentially, stepping onto a platform that has elastic resistance bands attached to it, and performing a vertical jump while holding the bands.

Set 1:

Deadlift – 5 reps (275 lbs.)
Vertimax multiple response jumps – 5 jumps
Rest – 3 min.

Set 2:

Deadlift – 5 reps (315 lbs.)
Vertimax multiple response jumps – 5 jumps
Rest -3 min.

Set 3:

Deadlift – 3 reps (335 lbs.)
Vertimax multiple response jumps – 5 jumps
Rest – 3 min.

Landow says: “You can also sub the deadlift for a trap bar or barbell squat.”

Exercise Pair #2: Close-grip pull-up and SandBell slam

SandBells (rubber sandbags) are a good alternative to medicine balls for some exercises because A) they won’t roll away; B) they won’t bounce up into your face; and C) you can achieve full power on every rep (a medicine ball’s rebound can often translate into performing a half rep).

Set 1:

Close-grip pull-up – 5 reps (50 lbs. around waist)
SandBell slam – 6 reps (15-pound SandBell)
Rest – 3 min.

Set 2:

Close-grip pull-up – 5 reps (75 lbs. around waist)
SandBell slam – 6 reps (15-pound SandBell)
Rest – 3 min.

Set 3:

Close-grip pull-up – 5 reps (100 to 110 lbs. around waist)
SandBell slam – 6 reps (15-pound SandBell)
Rest – 3 min.

Exercise Pair #3: Flat dumbbell press and medicine ball drop

When doing medicine ball drops, a training partner will stand on a bench (or any elevated platform) that’s perpendicular to Marquardt, who is on his back with his head toward the bench. The partner will drop the medicine ball to Marquardt’s chest; he’ll catch it with both hands, quickly touch his chest with the ball, and then throw it back to his partner as explosively as possible.

Set 1:

Flat DB press – 5 reps (85 lbs.)
Med-ball drop – 6 reps (10-pound ball)
Rest – 3 min.

Set 2:

Flat DB press – 5 reps (100 lbs.)
Med-ball drop – 6 reps (10-pound ball)
Rest – 3 min.

Set 3:

Flat DB press – 3 reps (110 lbs.)
Med-ball drop – 6 reps (10-pound ball)
Rest – 3 min.

Exercise Pair #4: Physio ball rotations and SandBell power rotations

For SandBell power rotations: Get into an athletic stance near a wall, grab a SandBell, and do a trunk rotation, generating as much force as possible before releasing the SandBell into the wall at the end of the movement. For an explanation on physio ball rotations, go here.

Set 1:

Physio ball rotations – 5 reps (each side)
SandBell power rotations – 5 reps (10-pound SandBell)
Rest – 3 min.

Set 2:

Physio ball rotations – 5 reps (each side)
SandBell power rotations – 5 reps (10-pound SandBell)
Rest – 3 min.

Set 3:

Physio ball rotations – 5 reps (each side)
SandBell power rotations – 5 reps (10-pound SandBell)
Rest – 3 min.

Landows says: “We’re working on rotary strength and power here. That will help Nate in areas including kicking, punching, takedown defense, and submission attempts.”

Cooldown

Marquardt completes the workout with a foam roller, putting much of the emphasis on his legs; he also engages in active isolated stretching (AIS).

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

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