Okay, so maybe not the exact Randy Couture Grappling, but I am quite sure that he would approve. This is the Funk Roberts version of the workout. I have been asked countless times to do this workout with dumbbells only. The nice thing is you can rip through this workout at home, if you have dumbbells.

Workout Instructions – See Below for the Full Exercise by Exercise Breakdown

My suggestion is to use this on your Strength and Conditioning Day after your technique training, or as a stand-alone workout twice per week.

8 Exercise Dumbbell Complex Circuit – Complete 3-5 Full Rounds

Perform each exercise in succession for 8 reps each without putting down the dumbbell.

After you complete all 8 exercises or one round in succession you will rest for 2 minutes. Then repeat for a total of 3-5 rounds.

Bent over Rows x8
High Pulls x8
Military press x8
Stiff Legged Deadlifts x8
Lunges x8 (each leg)
Squat x8
Deadlifts and Clean x8
Bonus Bodybuilders (8 count burpee)

Here the workout breakdown and remember you can’t drop the dumbbells

Bent Over Rows x8 – this exercise targets the back in general, but you should feel a burn in your lats, especially in the later sets of the workout. When bending over, keep the hips back and the core tight. You can perform the movement at the same time or mimic a punching down motion by doing alternating rows. Keep the dumbbells close to your body.

High Pulls x8 – this is a power and explosive movement will help with overall grip and overall strength. Keep your elbows high when pulling up, explode upward with each rep and keep the dumbbells close to the body. By the end of this set, I started to feel my forearms burn and grip loosen a bit.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press x8 – now we take it the press. This builds overall shoulder strength. Here is another opportunity to perform this exercise one of two ways. Press the dumbbells up at the same time, or alternate them (once again mimicking the punching motion, this time upward). I find alternating presses a bit tougher, as you are holding the dumbbells up for a longer period of time, keeping tension on the muscle. NICE!

Stiff Legged Deadlifts x8 – this exercise offered a break for me. The SLD’s hit your HAMMIES, and you WILL feel this exercise the next day. Even though it seems innocent, it’s a silent killer. Even though it the exercise is called “Stiffed Leg”, I always tell people to soften and bend the knees slightly during your descent. On the way down, you want to keep the dumbbells close to your thighs, shins and finally down to the shoelaces, before slowly coming up.

Lunges x8 (each leg) – did you know, a lot of your explosive movements needed in MMA are generated from the glutes? This is a fantastic exercise to strengthen your glutes plus it hits the thighs and adductors too. You can do these stationary or alternating. Even though I think I did stationary in the video, the alternating front lunges will add the extra work on the quad, forcing you to explode back up form the lunge position. Make sure you don’t drag your foot, on the way up and your knee does not extend past your toes.

Squat x8 – Just when you thought we were done with the leg exercises and along come the squats. This is the most effective leg exercise you can do and it’s no exception when you are using dumbbells. Make sure your hips are back; you go down deep into the squat position and explode up through the heels. This is so crucial as most people are on their toes during this movement but the power starts in the heels. Drive those suckers into the ground as you explode up! Oh and during the third set my legs were blowing up!

Deadlifts and Clean x8 – okay this was the exercise that my hands, wrist and forearms were screaming at me to drop the dumbbells, especially during the third set. My mental toughness and will to finish this workout had to come to the fore-front and get me thorough this. This exercise is an overall strength and explosive power movement. Your legs and grip will be telling you to quit, but think of this exercise as the final round of a fight. You actually have to go harder at this point. Keep your technique tight. You can go a little slower if you need to. It’s all about quality here. Remember hips and shoulders back during the deadlifts drive up through the heels, and then use your explosive power to clean the dumbbells to the top position.

Bonus Bodybuilders (8 count burpee)
Hey! You’re not done yet. For those of you that think your BADASS, add the Bodybuilders or 8 count pukees, I mean burpees to at the end of each set. I love this full body cardio/conditioning exercise. Here is the breakdown by count: This is really a burpee with a jumping jack on the ground. The 8 counts are: (1) squat with the hands on the dumbbell on the ground, (2) kick your feet back, (3) kick your feet out to form a Y shape, (4) bring your feet back together, (5) down into a dumbbell push-up, (6) up part of the push-up, (7) bring your feet back under you, (8) jump in the air with the dumbbells.

Good Luck

Leave a comment if you like this breakdown for future posts!

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