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How to Get Killing-Machine Legs Like Edson Barboza [VIDEO]

If you’re like most people, you neglect your legs when you go to the gym, preferring to focus on your GMs. Edson Barboza is not most people. The undefeated UFC lightweight — who returns at UFC 146 against Evan Dunham on May 26th — understands that it requires intense cultivation to turn your legs into tools of destruction. Fortunately, has just released a video with Barboza’s strength and conditioning coach Joe Mullings that runs down his 45-minute leg routine. Follow these seven steps, and soon you’ll achieve the “suddenness” required to do this to somebody’s face. Here we go…

1. Deep squats with IronMind belt (5 sets of 12 reps), which looks uncomfortably similar to this.

2. Single-legged step-ups (5 sets of 12 reps)

3. 30-pound medicine ball 21′s (5 sets); a “21″ set consists of seven reps in the bottom half of the range of motion, seven reps in the top half of the range of motion, then seven reps of the full exercise.

4. Resistance band sprints with jump squats (4 sets)

5. Cable pulls with lateral jumps (4 sets of 9 reps). If possible, try to ignore the chick with the big booty at the video’s 4:28 mark.

6. Inverted back-ups, or whatever those things are called Back extensions! (4 sets of 12 reps)

7. Hanging stretch to finish

Related: Check Out Tom Hardy’s ‘Warrior’ Workout

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VasyaDC- March 16, 2012 at 7:29 am
I agree with many of the above comments; this isn't circuit training light, not a real workout worthy of a high-level athlete. I mean, to hear them sell it on the video, you'd think they were targeting particular muscle groups via an MMA-centric muscle development system or something, but it's really just a lot of fluff regarding a much lighter workout than my non-athlete sister does 5+ days a week. I honestly now think less of Edson Barboza because of this.
wade56789- March 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm
very good
jyveturkey- March 15, 2012 at 11:21 pm
this whole comments section is absolute faggotry. i do this and i do that, and that is wrong, and that is weak and blah blah. if you only knew how embarrassing you sounded.
MonkeyBoner- March 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm
You guys are nuts. Everyone should probably be focusing on the blistering track that's inspiring me to go out and do a stupid leg workout
Rampages Conscience- March 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm
Most importantly... that music is gay. I hope he doesn't work out to music like that.

Also, I agree all of the shortened range of motion and generally inefficient movements going on here. Edson is still young, but he is training his body for failure. Squat, deadlift, and do high boxjumps. Oh yea, and kick shit all the time.
Anhonestmoose- March 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm
Jesus, am I the only one on this site that isn't a professional trainer?
mikelphone- March 15, 2012 at 11:35 am
I've been working out for over 15 years and have done legs once a week, every week for that time.
Stiff leg deads and ATF (Ass to floor) squats won't destroy your lower body.
If you have good form, you won't have any problems, it's people who have no idea what they are doing that hurt themselves.
Nintendong doesn't know what he's talking about.
He just uses bad form
orka- March 15, 2012 at 10:42 am
Also, although I practice BJJ I'm actually not a fan of 'functional exercises'. I'm fine doing calisthenic circuit once a week, but I still like to perform heavy compound lifts with free weights for most part. It's likely that my split is not optimal for a martial artist. But at the same time, I get really annoyed when dweebs that can't even deadlift 300 lbs preach about 'functional strength'.
Sloppyspray- March 15, 2012 at 9:06 am
@Nintendong, JesB, Orka - Agreed on all counts. Especially in regards to my workouts (non-mma fighter) will, and should, be drastically different than an mma fighter's. But yea, once a week on legs is good enough for me as well Orka.
orka- March 15, 2012 at 8:41 am
If you neglect legs in the gym, that probably means you don't know what the hell you are doing the rest of the time as well. That being said, as Nintendong stated you don't wanna overwork legs either. I personally only train legs once a week (since they also tend to recover the slowest), but my split is closer to a bodybuilder's than a fighter's.
ExpectJesusBro- March 15, 2012 at 8:29 am
Is this the same coach that trains Timmah Silvia?
JesB- March 15, 2012 at 8:07 am
Don't know this fighter, nor his trainer. So my observations are solely based on the video. I normaly do not offer assessments ofa coaches' training program unless I'm being paid to do so, but in order to prevent others from replicating this program, here goes:

This kind of program is one of the main resons MMA athletes sustain a high level of injuries and/or overtraining. First, the goal of any strength trainign program is to reduce the incidence of injuries, especially those inherent in the sport. The partial range of motion exercises executed in this video will ultimately lead to compensation patterns and/or tendonitis. Second, using weights to train a fighter's "cardio," is a waste of time. The best method for training a fighter's "cardio" is by having them rolling on the mat and boxing in the ring. The "cardio" built in the gym, will not cross over to MMA, it is sport specific. This explains why Lance Armstrong, 7 time Tour de France winner and said to possess the highest VO2 levels in recent history, took 3 hours to run the NYC marathon. This is also why triathletes train in the pool, on the bike and on the road, instead of only training one specific event.

It's a matter of getting hte most bang for your buck, or in this case, training smart to make the most use of your training time/availability.
LukeTheDuke- March 15, 2012 at 8:01 am
Or just train your kicks/shins regularly...OH?
Fried Taco- March 15, 2012 at 7:59 am
Thanks, but I prefer this work out:
Nintendong- March 15, 2012 at 7:57 am
Personally excessive legs work outs (especially "stiff leg deads" and deep glue to heel squats) is the easiest way to destroy your lower body.

I see so many meathead MMA guys putting them selves on the bench for days, weeks, months, because they overwork their legs. At the end of the day I will always choose endurance and technique over size and power.
Ringo- March 15, 2012 at 7:46 am
fuck the work out, i want to see more of that chick at 4:28, DAT ASS!!
Sloppyspray- March 15, 2012 at 7:34 am
@Smitty - yeah I agree with that. It's just too bad that this is presented as a kind of stand alone work out to get horse legs...which we all know that nobody wants b/c you will then inevitably be hunted down by Overeem.
mikelphone- March 15, 2012 at 7:20 am
comment section is so shitty.
no fuc$ing spaces between lines, everything is all jammed together.
who's running this site?
mikelphone- March 15, 2012 at 7:19 am
Squats, Deadlifts, Stiff leg Deads and Jump squats.
Lots of Protein, lots of food.
Power legs!
AND inverted back-ups???? are you serious???

They're call Back Extensions.
Smitty- March 15, 2012 at 7:14 am
@ Sloppyspray, I think the point is more, he does this on top of the ZILLION other martial arts & excersizes he already does as a freakin MIXED MARTIAL ARTIST that fights in the UFC, that could beat the shit out of any professional athlete, you, me, my mama, both our fathers, our brothers, mike tyson, jesus..........Ok maybe not jesus, but the other people for sure.
Smitty- March 15, 2012 at 7:11 am
I don't agree with this guy ^ but then again, Im a pussy.
Sloppyspray- March 15, 2012 at 7:08 am
Sorry if that came off as too high horse "I work out, I strong, I lift"ish, but seriously this would be an introductory work out and people shouldn't be tricked in to thinking that this is actually something that will get you kicks like Edson Barboza, considering much of kicking is the kicking technique itself not necessarily how strong the legs are. Hopefully someone else can back me up on my above comments.
Sloppyspray- March 15, 2012 at 7:04 am
I have a harder workout when I take a dump. a) those aren't deep squats, he's barely going parallel to the ground, def. not ATG which would be a deep squat. Standing on boxes doesn't change that fact. b) with that weight hanging from his belt he should be doing 5 sets of 25+ reps. c) at least he's using a high box for the step-ups, d)those cable pulls with lateral jumps might be the stupidest thing I've ever seen. God, I hope noone at the gym I go to sees that and starts doing them. This is also a mix of a leg exercise and a back exercise, I guess to transition in to the back extensions. e) the back extensions on the roman chair...anyone who has ever worked there back before does that with a 45lb plate, if you haven't worked your back heavy you do it with a 25lb plate, my fiance does it with the rubber dumbbells that he was doing it with. CONCLUSION: This is a lame ass workout that anyone who has ever trained their legs before would crush. This is NOT indicative of a professional athlete. I give this a C-.