Density Bodyweight Training and Abs/Core Finisher

Density Bodyweight Training and Abs/Core Circuit

Back in 2005, trainer Charles Staley [1] came out with a simple yet effective training system involving high intensity circuit-style training designed to ramp up the calorie burn and your work capacity, all while preserving or building muscle mass.

It was referred to as density training. Density training is defined simply as the amount of volume done over time. It’s a GREAT method for building muscle and shedding fat.

It is also great for fighters that need to increase work capacity and overall conditioning.  We know that anaerobic training (HIIT) is more beneficial than aerobic training (slow long distance) for fighters.

Most martial arts, especially MMA, is anaerobic and this type of training will help to improve both aerobic and anaerobic training systems at the same time.

By using Density Training, you will be preparing your body to be able to give highly intense efforts even after it’s done a lot of work and fatigue has already set in, just like the later rounds of a fight.

In today’s workout, for example, you will set your timer for 20 minutes and you’ll do as many sets as you can of four exercises one after the other for specified reps. The goal is to go through the circuit until the time period is over.

You have to keep track of how many times you go through the circuit and focus on trying to beat that number the next time you do that same workout, hence the title, escalating density training.

Density Circuit
Perform each exercise for the prescribed reps and complete AMSAP (As Many Sets As Possible) in 20 minutes.

Density Circuit

  1. Dips x 5 reps
  2. Jumping Lunges x 10 reps (each leg)
  3. Ring Chin Ups/Pull Ups x 5 reps
  4. Jump Rope Sprints x 20 (each leg)

Abs and Core Finisher
Perform each exercise for 45 sec-15 sec one after the other. Rest for 2 minute and repeat

1. Abs Roll Outs/Swiss Ball Roll Out
2. Reverse Mountain Climbers
3. Side to Side Plank Leg and Arm Raise
4. Flutter Kicks
5. Side to Side Bridges


Staley, C. (2005). Muscle logic: Escalating density training. Rodale Books.

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