They often say that success leaves clues. As a former world champion, it is obvious to state that Rich Franklin is successful, and he wants to teach you how he did it.
ONE Championship’s Vice President may not be active in competition anymore, but he obviously still keeps in shape, having spent decades refining the workouts necessary to be a champion in the cage, and healthy in day-to-day life.
When you are juggling all the things necessary to be a world champion, your conditioning needs to be efficient and effective. When you are juggling life, such as work, family, or studies, you also need exercise to fulfil the same criteria, because time is precious.
Franklin states that compound movements are key to this efficiency, and making the most of the time you have.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the former champ’s simple yet undeniably effective strength and conditioning workout, and how you can go through the gears to improve your fitness to reach his level.
The Deadlift Workout
A staple of the lifting world, the deadlift can be used as a tool for building strength, muscle, endurance, power, and almost everything else. Here, Franklin is using it to build up his renowned gas tank, with a workout that is sure to hit the spot.
“What we are aiming for is your body weight plus 10 per cent,” he notes on the targeted deadlift weight. “So, if you weigh 70 kilograms, your ideal lift weight would be your initial 70 kilograms plus 7 kilograms, so 77 kilograms in total.
“Start off by doing 30 repetitions (reps) with one minute rest, 20 reps with one minute rest, and finish with 10 reps. When you are in good shape, you can work up to 50 reps with one minute rest, 40 reps with one minute rest, and then 30 reps. You can work your way up to that point in increments of five reps.”
If a minute’s break is not enough between sets, feel free to take as many breaks as you need to complete everything, and ideally reduce downtime to just one break of one minute.
Not Enough? Let’s Introduce The Push-Ups
Following the exact same routine as the first workout, you can add some more excitement – or delicious suffering, depending on how you view it – to the proceedings by adding push-ups into the mix.
The mind of a champion never leaves them, so despite being a retired athlete, Franklin loves to keep his mind and body healthy with exercise, and he still values the efficiency of his workouts to fit in with his busy day-to-day schedule.
Here is the regimen Franklin follows regularly to maintain his fantastic physique. As above, you can start with a lower number of reps and more rest to start off, and improve progressively.
50 deadlifts (body weight + 10 per cent)
1 minute of rest
1 minute of rest
… and breathe!
Rich’s Top Tips
It is important we use our exercise to keep us healthy and in shape, so follow this advice and train safely in a smart manner. Doing it under the supervision of a professional is advised until you are more well-versed with the bar.
1. “Do a proper deadlift, do not allow your back to round!”
2. “Use a grip with one hand facing inwards and one outwards so the bar does not roll.”
3. “Start using as many breaks as you need to complete everything safely, and try and reduce them as you gain more strength and fitness.”