UFC Gym Isn’t Just for MMA Fighters
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) isn’t for the faint of heart. As the premier promoter of mixed martial arts, it presents sweaty, often bloody battles between two fighters in an octagon. The opponents trade punishing karate punches, muay thai kicks, and judo throws as they grapple their way toward a result.
But as the sport has soared in popularity since the 2000s—adding female fighters and coming in at second just behind boxing in the ranks of pugilistic sports—more and more people want to achieve the athleticism and strength of their favorite MMA fighters. UFC seized on that opportunity, creating the UFC Gym brand in 2009. The international chain has rapidly expanded to more than 135 locations (another 80 are in the works), becoming the standard for MMA training along the way.
Fans from around the world head to the gym to train at the same level of their favorite fighter, such as "The Notorious" Conor McGregor, "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler, and “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey. However, as we found from a member of the UFC Gym team, you don’t have to be an MMA enthusiast to feel fulfilled by working out at one of their locations.
Don’t be thrown off by stereotypes
You might think all of UFC Gym’s members train at the highest level, learning popular MMA moves such as the Superman Punch and the Flying Knee and engaging in testosterone-fueled sparring. Some do. In reality, though, most of them spend more time parenting than punching.
“Once you come inside, you see that a lot of our members are women and moms,” Nate Chang, the company’s franchise market manager, told us via email. In fact, roughly 40% of the gym’s members are women, and the same percentage have kids. As a result, “we have created a family environment with many classes for kids or the entire family,” Nate said.
Regardless of their age or experience level, all members can channel their inner warrior during workouts and benefit from UFC Gym’s training philosophy—which emphasizes mixed martial arts and top-of-the-line equipment—without ever stepping into the octagon. Indeed, each gym has enough general fitness options that members never even have to engage in fighting-related exercise if they prefer not to.
Take advantage of all the offerings
Group fitness classes
“Group classes are great,” Nate said. “I always feel pumped when I walk in, and my workout routines never get dull, old, or repetitive.”
His favorite workouts include kickboxing sessions and Daily Ultimate Training, UFC Gym’s signature high-intensity interval-training boot camp. In addition to mixed martial arts and functional fitness options, the schedule of fitness classes includes traditional workouts ranging from high-energy cycling to restorative yoga.
In one of its many efforts to make it more convenient for parents to hit the gym, UFC Gym offers a dozen types of youth fitness classes. Led by certified instructors, sessions focused on martial arts, wrestling, or yoga are designed aim to improve kids’ agility, speed, and strength while keeping them motivated both inside and outside the gym.
Like many gyms, the chain provides self-defense classes, where women especially feel empowered while learning to strike punching bags and assess potential threats. But UFC Gym goes one step further in training female members inspired by UFC champions Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm.
“Ronda Rousey has unquestionably brought an influx of young girls and women into MMA and UFC Gym,” Nate said.
The schedule at each location also includes women’s classes in mixed martial arts such as Brazilian jujitsu and boxing conditioning. Expert trainers teach proper technique for takedowns, submissions, escapes, and boxing in an environment where women feel comfortable and ready to take on all challengers.
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