“I want to find the place where people quit. I want to be there as much as possible and push through it.” – Connor McGregor
These are the words of the mighty Conor McGregor, one of the most controversial UFC fighters of all time. When UFC is brought up in any conversation, his name will ring in, be it in a positive light or not. And as I always like to describe this fella, you either love him or hate him.
With his quirky antics, Mr. Notorious seems like a very loose gentleman and would often misconstrue him as having no discipline at all. And that’s where a lot of us are wrong. Despite the kind of persona he portrays, Conor McGregor follows an extremely strict regimen that requires a deep level of dedication.
With the help of his nutritionist, he has been able to formulate a diet plan that helps Conor stay snappy, strong and sharp in the arena. Beneath the luxury robes and lavishness of a rich bad boy, his consistency and different approach to fitness is worth emulating.
Read on to find out more.
Who is Conor McGregor?
Born from his humble home in Dublin, Ireland, Conor Anthony McGregor is the only son of Tony and Margaret McGregor. At an early age, he was already showing promise as an athlete when he started as a football player. At 12 years old, he had already begun training at the Crumlin Boxing club in order to protect himself against bullies.
He first made his name in the mixed martial arts industry when he won against Kieran Campbell for the Irish Ring of Truth. It was a TKO win in the first round. You can say that his career just took a skyrocket speed from here.
In 2008, he had his first MMA bout, which he won again via TKO. He had many fights both wins and losses at the featherweight division and he continued to power on until he was signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship for a multi-fight contract. He is the second fighter from Ireland that made it to US soil fighting grounds.
Probably his biggest fighting bout that made all eyes lock on the screen was the controversial, highly promoted fight against Jose Aldo at UFC 194. At that time, Aldo announced his big comeback to the ring after 30 years of retirement. More than a physical fight, many experts say that the loss of Aldo can be attributed to McGregor’s mental attacks.
Another highly-anticipated fight was the one he had with Nate Diaz. This fight broke the UFC record once more making it the highest PPV at that time with 1,650,000 buys. In 2017, another media frenzy wreaked havoc as McGregor and Floyd Mayweather were scheduled to fight.
If there’s one thing to be said about McGregor in his career, is that he talks a lot but he walks the talk, too. This is one of the reasons why his rise to fame was undeniable: he’s a good character on TV and a great fighter in the ring, too.
Conor McGregor's Diet
First let’s check out his statistics.
Height: 5 foot 9 inches
Weight: 155 pounds (approximate)
Age: 31 years old
Connor, who has been rumoured to make another comeback after his recent fight last January, is put on a strict program by his nutritionist dietician, Georges Lockhart. Lockhart says that a single program does not work on all athletes, and it has to be curated for each one.
The main principle of Lockhart’s diet and nutrition plan is consistency, and that there are certain types of food that can be consumed depending on the period: is it training season? Cutting? In competition?
Before a fight, Lockhart ensures that the following takes place:
- Take McGregor’s mass level and calculate
- Depending on the result of the muscle mass levels, his carb intake is computed
- Carb intake, based on the computation, is spread out throughout the day’s meals
- Meal times depend on the time of the fight
McGregor also likes variety and while he was donned as the advocate of the Sirt diet— which is a diet consisting of foods such as dark chocolate, green tea and citrus fruit— he didn’t stick to that for a long time. Lockhart says that these diets often deprive McGregor and that is not an overall healthy situation to be in.
Instead, he puts McGregor on a diet of protein, vegetables and certain kinds of starches which are most likely butternut squash and sweet potatoes. He’s all about having a clean diet of whole foods and he purposefully veers away from anything that’s taken out.
In a nutshell, his daily meal plan looks a little bit like this, according to his interview with Business Insider and I quote :
- Water – Hydration before fasted cardio
- Coffee or Americano – The Irish UFC fighter gets his morning jolt by way of fresh coffee or an Americano, the latter of which involves mixing a shot of espresso with hot water.
- Eggs – Eating an omelet or poached eggs is one surefire way to avoid excess carbs.
- Smoked Salmon – McGregor is often known to incorporate an additional protein into his breakfast or brunch.
- Fruit and Veggies – Perhaps some kale, avocado, baked apple slices, or a side of cherry tomatoes.
- Greek yoghurt – Throw in some nuts for good measure.
- Red Meat – McGregor loves “high-quality” meats and that likely means grass-fed beef or steak.
- Fish – When not in the mood for red meat, he helps himself to fish.
- Chicken Breast – No list of quality protein is complete without chicken breast, which McGregor is known to enjoy.
- Salad – A lunchtime staple, salad is one terrific way to get your veggies. In keeping with the Sirt food diet influence, McGregor reportedly eats lots of kale.
Snack #2 (Pre-Workout)
- Nuts – Conor McGregor diet coach Georges Lockhart recommends eating protein before a workout, as it will help manage insulin levels and trigger the body to unlock fat for energy burning.
- Fruit – In lieu of a protein, fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, apples, strawberries, and grapefruit will also suffice. Each one contains fructose, which gets metabolised in the liver and doesn’t cause dramatic insulin spikes.
Snack #3 (Post-Workout)
- Protein Shake – Conor McGregor and diet supplements are less synonymous than one might imagine, but he is known to down the occasional protein shake while recovering from a workout.
- Coconut Water – Hydration is essential.
- Carbohydrates – According to Lockhart, it’s okay to eat carbs after a workout as a means to replenish. Think sweet potatoes, rice, oats, and maybe a glass of milk.
- Chicken – Another important meal means more protein for McGregor, who eats impressive amounts of chicken in one sitting.
- Fish – From sushi dinners to tuna steak to baked cod, McGregor enjoys himself plenty of fish.
- Steak – Please remember that you should eat one and not all of these protein sources for dinner.
- Green Beans – Here’s a side that no nutritionist will argue with.
- Sweet Potatoes – McGregor’s a big fan.
- Rice – As per McGregor’s Instagram feed, his dinners often incorporate rice.
- Beer, tequila, or whisky – We’re not going to resort to Irish jokes, but McGregor definitely partakes in the occasional beer or shot.
- Hot tea
Below are some of the specific meals he has eaten in the past:
- Baked apple slices with peanut butter, avocado, and eggs
- Scrambled egg with jalapenos, spinach, and meat along with sliced potatoes
- Ginger, honey chicken with rice
- Rice curry with fish
- Sliced potatoes, apple, chicken, and avocado
- Smoked onion, spinach, paprika, and egg with sliced avocado, potato wedges, and bison, topped with Sriracha sauce
- Tequila chicken, lime shrimp, rice
- Sliced avocado and potatoes, scrambled egg with cauliflower and spinach
- Tuna steak with chili powder, salt, pepper, and smoked paprika”
Conor McGregor Workout Routine
With McGregor’s very specific and planned nutrition plan, he also sticks to a workout regimen. But this is not the typical one you’d suspect.
McGregor believes in a lot of things, and a few of those are:
- Give your body variety or else you will tire of boredom
- Do not go overboard. Being a man who frequently gives in to anger and trash talks all the time, knowing when to stop is a great indicator that he knows what discipline looks like.
- Movement is life so always stay mobile.
- Using equipment is not necessary. As he mentioned sometimes, you can use your own body weight to train yourself.
- Follow a diet of clean and whole foods.
McGregor’s workout routine is varied and depends on what he wants to do for the day. He could be doing one of the following:
- Dynamic Stretching – neck bridge, muay thai knees, leg swings, shoulder rotations
- Static Stretches – back rolls, seated butterfly, lying leg stretch
- Locomotion Condition
- Circuit – pull ups, push ups, muscle pull ups, air squats
- Fight Training
While there are a lot of resources on how he goes about his training, there is not much to clarify what he actually does before a fight. All we know is that most of his training programs he does at the UFC Performance Institute.
He is also an advocate of the Fighter Anaerobic System of Training (FAST) that’s both high intensity and endurance exercises. For his most recent training, he is adapting what he did before, which they believed was more structured than any other program. And they do this morning and evening, rain or shine.
Simply put, this is what it takes to be Mr. Notorious.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.