Ronda Rousey: A UFC Fighters Workout Routine and Diet Plan

Last Updated: January 5, 2022

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“Everything is as easy as a decision” (Rousey). These are great words that Ronda use to make people go for what they want; life may be not easy but it turns easy when you make the right decision. Sometimes you just need to take a risk and start; no dreams can be reached without making decisions and going through them. 

This American wrestler grew up under this philosophy and has built such an amazing career. Let’s discover how she did it and how she keep those achievements from her workout routine and her diet plan.

Who is Ronda Rousey?

Ronda Rousey was born on February, 1st, 1987, in Riverside, California, United States, being the youngest of three daughters. Her parents are AnnMaria de Mars, judo champion, and Ron Rousey, who unfortunately committed suicide when Ronda was just eight after discovering he would be a paraplegic. 

Childhood was not easy for Ronda as she grew up suffering from apraxia (a condition that makes children struggle when trying to speak or pronounce sounds, she arrived at the age of six without being able to speak rightly). 

Due to her mother’s decision to take her on intensive therapy, Ronda was raised in Jamestown, North Dakota and after dropping out school, she got her GED (General Educational Development).

Ronda started her judo career when she was just 11; she used to practice with her mother until she was 13 when accidentally she broke her mother’s wrist. Four years later, she went to the 2004 Olympics in Athens but she lost against Claudia Heill (silver medal). She continued training and she won the bronze medal at the Junior World Championships as well as the silver medal at the 2007 World Judo Championships. 

The next year, during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, she won a bronze medal beating the record for being the first American woman to win a medal in judo since it was included as a sport in the Olympics. Right after these games, she retired from judo being just 21.

After a year working as a bartender in California, Rousey decided to start training mixed martial arts (MMA) through team Hayastan, where she had already fought while she was a teenager. At that time, she got frustrated for not being able to defeat a man bigger than her so she focused completely on judo. 

However, once she took up, she started defeating her opponents in an average of 23-24 seconds. After her debut in Strikeforce, she began to wipe out her opponents dislocating even Budd’s elbow to become the new Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Champion.

In November 2012, Rousey signed with the UFC and won her first fight at 4:49; her success extended until 2015 when she had accumulated a total of six fights, all of them victories. Her first loss came against Holm and after that, she was medically suspended; she stayed one year out of the sport and when she returned, she lost once again. 

Even if she did not announce formally her retirement, she stated that she would rather return to the Olympics for judo. In that moment, everybody knew it was the end of her career in the UFC.

Before we get into her workout routine, just take a look at how grueling it is:

Ronda Rousey's Workout Routine

In order to keep a balanced workout routine and meet her goals, Ronda established a set of principles to follow before a fight. The main idea behind them consists on going into a two-month training camp where she could get relaxed and work on both her physical and mental strengths and weaknesses. Another principle is to work out between three and six days a week, leaving Sunday as a free-day for recovery and therapy.

Rousey’s workout involves a series of different trainings focused on mixed martial arts, cardio, yoga, conditioning and building muscle. She distributes these exercises in the days of the week; this way, she will focus on a different exercise each day. All training are started with a warm up followed by a session of stretching and 10 minutes of skipping rope. The idea of this previous warm up is to prepare her body for what it is to come.

On Monday: This day is destined for boxing and cardio workout. In this sense, Rousey starts with a set of 12 rounds of simulated mitt work, back work, shadow boxing and a sparring session with her weight management trainer. For this part of the training, she uses bags and drills; the purpose is to hit them until failure (it is a backbreaking workout as it takes the best or the worst of you).

After that, she starts cardio training; she normally does stairs and swimming workouts. When she opts for the stairs routine, she is known as the monster of cardio because she goes to the Santa Monica staircase that has 400 steps approximately. 

She would start running the stairs one at a time; then, she runs the whole staircase again but performing side steps leading with the left leg and then the right leg. She continues by doing the staircase two at a time and she finishes repeating the whole routine. This will be more or less 24.000 steps in just one training session.

On Tuesday: The training is focused on a strength workout and weight training routine. To accomplish her first goal, she chooses exercises related to judo and jiu-jitsu in order to work her abs out. For the second focus, Ronda follows this routine:

  • Assisted Chin Ups: 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Bosu Ball Squat and Press: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Medicine Ball Pylo Push-Ups: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • High-Intensity Ab Work: 20 minutes of non-stop crunches, obliques, twists, and plank

On Wednesday: This day she repeats Monday training dedicating herself to boxing and cardio.

On Thursday: It is a combination of the Tuesday strength workout and cardio through swimming. Even though there is no much information about her swimming training, it should be as strict and demanding as her stairs workout.

On Friday: Once again Monday boxing and cardio workout.

On Saturday: This day is completely focused on cardio; it is a mix of stairs and swimming workouts.

On Sunday: Day to rest and recover.

The aforementioned routine can be modified according to Ronda’s decisions as there are some weeks where she trains six days and there are others where she just trains three.

Ronda Rousey's Diet Plan

Just as the common saying states, eat breakfast as a king, lunch as a prince and dinner as a beggar, Ronda has established a diet that follows this idea. Moreover, she has gone through blood tests to determine which food is best for her body as well as she has followed her weight management trainer advice to keep in shape. The following is Ronda’s diet based on the previous information:

For breakfast (her favorite food of the day):

  • A chia bowl (2 tbsp chia seeds, 2 tbsp oats, 2 tbsp hemp seeds, agave nectar, raisins, and cinnamon, and 1 tbsp almond butter).
  • A cup of coffee topping it with stevia grass-fed butter, raw coconut oil, and cinnamon.

For lunch:

  • Egg scramble on bread: Turkey bacon, red pepper, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, avocado and grass-fed butter.

For dinner:

  • Turkey chili: 6 ounces of ground turkey, red and green bell peppers, ¼ cup of beans, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, and avocado.

Some supplements to keep her muscle mass:

  • Multivitamin
  • Magnesium
  • Whey protein

Snacks and dessert:

  • Greek yogurt bowl with chia seeds

A Curious Fact About Ronda Rousey

For those who do not know, apart from being judo, MMA and UFC champion, Ronda has served as an actress. During her preparation for one of the fights in the UFC, she filmed The Expendables 3 (2014) playing a nightclub bouncer that is recruited by a group of mercenaries to join them. 

Also, she made part of Furious 7 and Entourage and then in 2018, she starred Mile 22. One year later, she acted in season 3 of 9-1-1 as a member of the Los Angeles Department. Another interesting fact is that actually, Rousey lost her seventh fight in the UFC due to the filming process of The Expendables 3 (2014) as she was not able to recover enough muscle mass to defeat her opponent.


Regardless of a difficult childhood and all the nights she cried in the middle of her own frustration for not being able to defeat a man, Ronda Rousey is a clear example of persistence and commitment. Just as stated at the beginning of this article, decisions have power, you can make things easier by making a decision. 

This is what Ronda did, she made the right decisions in the right moments and that allowed her to live great experiences and learn from them. 

She could know her better in every stage of her life and consequently, surpass herself in every fight, in every battle (both professional and personal). “Rowdy”, “The monster of cardio” or simply, Ronda Rousey has demonstrated that it is possible to overcome every obstacle by accepting, deciding, and dealing with those decisions.


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