How To Train Like UFC Star Jon Jones

How To Train Like UFC Star Jon Jones

Jon Jones is one of the most skilful fighters to step into the octagon in UFC history.

He’s a two-time UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and has regularly featured at the top of the pound-for-pound rankings throughout his career.

A naturally gifted athlete, Jones started out as a state wrestling champion in high school and has combined his talent with a vigorous work ethic.

It’s his approach to training that has enabled him to get to the top of his sport, taking a learning mindset to every session and putting a huge amount of hours in.

Here, Built for Athletes takes a look at the key pillars of Jon Jones’ training programme.

Always Working On Skills

Repetition is one of the major reasons Jon Jones has been so successful. He has a learning mindset and is always looking for new ways to improve.

Once he finds a new skill, he takes the time to sit with it, ask all the right questions of his coaches, and then drill it until he’s mastered the technique.

He’s always had an inquisitive mind about the sport and actually started learning by teaching himself through MMA videos on YouTube.

In a typical training camp, he’ll spend hours rehearsing skills in the early weeks, and then gradually practice things that are more specific to his opponent as it gets closer to the fight.

Altitude Training

Jones trains in Albuquerque, New Mexico which sits at an altitude of more than 5,000 feet. He’ll also regularly go running up some of the mountains nearby, which he says gives him a big training benefit.

Training at altitude causes the body to create more red blood cells due to the lack of oxygen in the air, which means you can perform better when you come back to sea level.

This could be why Jones is able to so often outwork other fighters and look so fresh in the later rounds.

Interestingly, he doesn’t do a lot of long slow jogging like some other fighters. Instead, he does short intervals and hill sprints, which he believes is more similar to the work you do during a fight.


Jones says swimming is the most brutal component of his training regime, which is somewhat surprising. But when you dig into the nature of his swim workouts, you quickly realise why.

He’ll start off by warming up with some 800m repetitions and then go into some resistance swimming, tying a bungee cord around his waist. A coach will hold the bungee cord until Jones gets really exhausted, and then let go of it so he has to finish by sprinting to the other side of the pool.

Jones has another drill which he calls diving swims where he’ll dive in from one edge of the deep end, swim a width across to the other side, pull himself out and dive back in again. He’ll keep doing that for a set amount of reps.