Yoel Romero’s Workout & Diet (Exercise Like an MMA Champ)

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: May 10, 2024
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Yoel Romero is a household name in MMA circles, and has maintained an incredible level of fitness and explosive power despite the challenges that come with his age.

But, what does it really take to maintain such peak physical and mental condition beyond the prime years?

As a certified personal trainer and strength coach for all types of athletes, I was interested to find out how he achieved that physique.

Imagine you could emulate the transformation by following in the footsteps of a true fighting icon. Read on and be amazed by his incredible holistic approach to fitness.

Yoel Romero Stats

  • Born: April 30, 1977
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 205 lbs

Yoel Romero’s Workout Routine

Yoel Romero working out

Yoel Romero is a beast of a fighter. His training regimen is a testament to that. He has a careful plan for his MMA workout routine to get and stay in shape which includes plyometrics, Olympic lifts, and functional exercises.

This holistic approach to fitness optimizes both his agility and strength. They help him stay in shape and win fights to solidify his legacy in the sport.

Here’s an example of what we believe his fight preparation workout involves.

Monday: Cardio Endurance

To start off the week, Yoel Romero will do some endurance work that mixes cardio and high-intensity interval exercises [1].

I've incorporated this regimen into my own workout routine, and it's a game-changer for stamina and endurance.

Here’s what you could do: 

  • Weighted sprints (5 sets of 20 seconds)
  • Medicine ball wall throws (5 sets of 30 seconds)
  • Jog or sprint alternates (12 times 30+30 seconds)
  • Treadmill, rower, or elliptical (30 minutes alternating intensity)

Tuesday: Strength Training

Man doing strength training

Now we’re moving onto some targeted compound movements that create strength and power both for fighting and avoiding injury from an opponent.

I have incorporated most of these targeted compound movements into my weekly routine. So I can attest to how intense they are, yet very beneficial for building power and strength.

Here’s what you can do: 

  • Deadlifts (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Olympic lifts (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Military press (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Triceps pushdowns (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • T-bar rows (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Back squats (3 sets of 12 reps)

Wednesday: Plyometrics

Today is all about getting airborne with plyometrics to build up more endurance energy and some kicking power [2].

Here are some fun workout options to try out: 

  • Box jumps (3 sets to failure)
  • Clap push-ups (3 sets to failure)
  • Dumbbell lunges (3 sets to failure)
  • Burpees (3 sets to failure)
  • Lateral squat jumps (3 sets to failure)

Thursday: Strength Training

Man working out

Here’s another strength workout that targets all muscle groups for more power while MMA fighting.

  • Olympic lifts (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Lateral raises (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Romanian deadlift (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Hack squat (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Hanging leg raises (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Bench press (3 sets of 12 reps)
  • Overhand barbell curl (3 sets of 12 reps)

Having tried these exercises myself, I can vouch for how effectively they are in targeting those big muscle groups for that added power when fighting.

Friday: Endurance Training

And to finish out the MMA preparation, let’s work on more endurance power to last more than a few seconds in the octagon:

  • Treadmill, rower, or elliptical (30 minutes alternating intensity)
  • Jog/sprint alternates (12 times 30+30 seconds)
  • Medicine ball slams (5 sets of 30 seconds)

From my experience, endurance training ensures you're not gasping for air a minute into a fight.

Weekend: Active Recovery

Yoel Romero's active approach to rest and recovery is something that I've personally adopted into my own routine. He does some light martial arts skills and outdoor workouts and activities. While these sessions are less intense, they are just as crucial.

They also serve as a recovery tool and a way to refine his techniques.

“No one wants to work for what they have, to achieve a goal. No one wants to step outside of the house and go for a long run and sweat. Everybody wants to run inside the house, the treadmill, but they don't want to diet and train.”

- Yoel Romero

What’s His Diet Plan?

Close up shot of healthy vegetables

Yoel Romero has a diet plan that will heavily focus on clean nutrients and an ideal balance of calories and macros. I personally tried a similar diet during my peak training days and the boost in clarity and energy was unparalleled.

He hasn’t shared any specifics about what a typical meal plan would look like, so I got my dietitian to come up with a sample.

  • Breakfast: Fruit salad with cuts and seeds and scrambled egg on brown toast
  • Snack: Protein shake
  • Lunch: Grilled chicken or fish with vegetables and rice
  • Snack: Protein shake
  • Dinner: Turkey or beef with salad and sweet potato

Does He Take Supplements?

Close up shot of various supplement pills

Yes, it’s very likely that Yoel Romero takes quite a few supplements to support his diet.

When you exercise that hard between weights and MMA skills, you need a lot of nutrients that you might struggle to balance with food.

First of all, he’ll need a high-quality whey protein powder to improve his muscle protein synthesis and stay lean.

The better the quality, the better the impact is on muscles.

And he’ll also need to consider a pre-workout supplement.

These can provide a small boost of endurance and strength to help you get a bit more out of every session. And those small benefits add up a lot over many weeks and months.

Related articles:


References:

  1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/high-intensity-interval-training/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5260592/
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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