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Stipe Miocic: Daily Routine

On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.

For most UFC champions, when they win a world title, they go out partying. Just ask Conor McGregor what he got up to in Vegas after unifying the featherweight champion in 2015. Actually, never mind, what happens in Vegas and all that.

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For reigning heavyweight champion and part-time firefighter, Stipe Miocic, after he knocked out Fabrício Werdum in front of 45,000 stunned Brazillians, the first thing he did was scrub the toilets at his fire station.

“That’s the big one,” said Jamie Meklemburg, Miocic’s friend and fellow firefighter. “We make sure that his first shift after his fights, he knows we’re going to have him clean the toilets. He’s tried to avoid it, but we save that for him.”

Miocic sees himself more as a firefighter who fights in mixed martial arts on the side, rather than, you know, the UFC heavyweight champion of the world. He loves his job so much that he’s been trying to get hired full-time at the Valley View Fire Department, where he began working over 10 years ago. Though, it’s certainly not for the money. Miocic has made over $4 million in combined career earnings since winning the title back in 2016.

“I love what I do, man. I work real hard here, and I love especially helping out people. Why would I give it up? Plus, it keeps my mind off MMA,” Miocic told ESPN. “I just tell people I’m a firefighter. I’m not looking for any acknowledgement. A lot of people still don’t understand the sport. They’re still learning.”

“He enjoys being a fireman. That’s who he is. He loves the guys at the firehouse, they’re brothers,” says Miocic’s wife Ryan.

I love what I do because I go train, then I come here and it’s a total 180. It’s calm, collected. We talk about fighting but we also talk about work, about life, what we’re having for dinner. It breaks me off from fighting, and it keeps me grounded. These guys check me a lot. I don’t act like I’m better than anyone, but they keep me grounded.

UFC Heavyweight Champ Stipe Miocic Balances Life as Fighter and First Responder | Bleacher Report
Stipe Miocic juggles being the most successful UFC heavyweight champion in history with his duties as a firefighter. Credit: Michael F. McElroy for ESPN.

Stipe Miocic’s training routine & diet

As a part-time firefighter and UFC champion, Miocic has to balance his gruelling MMA training schedule, five to six days a week, often with double daily sessions, and his work at the firestation — three days a week, 12-14 hours per shift.

Mondays are dedicated to boxing and kickboxing; Tuesdays are for grappling; Wednesdays are for pad work; Thursdays are MMA drills; Fridays are focused on perfecting different techniques; and Saturdays are for wrestling and jiu-jitsu.

For his strength and conditioning, Miocic is a big fan of pool workouts, preferring them over the traditional roadwork most fighters and boxers include in their training. These days, when Miocic goes for a run, usually no more than 3-4 miles once or twice a week, he does it on an anti-gravity treadmill to ease up the wear and tear on his body.

“I use an anti-gravity treadmill which lifts me up so I don’t put all the pressure and weight on my legs,” Miocic said. ”It makes me feel a lot lighter than I really am. It helps.”

Miocic also avoids traditional weightlifting, opting for functional training with a focus on muscular endurance. “I don’t so much do deadlifts, squats or bench,” he said. “It’s more jump squats, pullups, lots of ligament strength, functional strength, stuff like that.”

“You can lift all the weights you want and be as strong as you want but if you don’t have the endurance you’re going to get tired fast. I do a lot of five-minute rounds with one type of exercise.”

At 38 year years old, Miocic can no longer go all-out in training like he did in his 20s; the champ has to be smarter about his training and recovery routines, looking at every aspect holistically, rather than trying to squeeze every last mile during a session.

“I think just being really diligent with what you do, and understanding your body helps a lot,” Miocic told Heavy. “As you get older, you learn more about fitness because you’re not a spring chicken like you used to be.”

On the occasion that Miocic feels too worn out to finish training for the week, he’ll take a break. “By Thursday, I’m exhausted. I’m beat up. I’m sore. My coaches will sometimes tell me I’m done and to take the rest of the weekend off,” Miocic said. “On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I rest up. I eat good. I stretch out.”

For his diet, as a heavyweight Miocic doesn’t need to keep as close an eye on his nutrition as the lighter weight class. After all, he came into his most recent fight, the rubber match against Daniel Cormier, at a lean 230 lbs, 35 lbs under the heavyweight limit. “I’m a heavyweight, so during camp I just eat clean,” he said. “I have my cheat meals here and there. I go for pizza or something like that. Especially with sausage, oh, it’s so good.”

It also helps that he employs a sports nutrition coach, Dr. Paul Biondich, to keep a close eye on his diet. “The majority of my nutritional focus was on how to optimize and maximize both his anaerobic and aerobic systems,” Biondich said in an interview about Miocic’s diet.

“In combination with his physical training program designed by his strength coach Bob Kaleal and with a specific nutritional and supplemental program to maximize endurance, Stipe has not only gone 5 rounds three times but also set the UFC record for most punches thrown and landed in any weight division.”

Miocic credits his nutrition and recovery routine for his latest victory, a decision win over fellow heavyweight great Daniel Cormier at UFC 252. In an Instagram post after his successful title defense, Miocic wrote:

The outcome [on] Saturday night was a result of an extreme camp, physically and mentally. The biggest adjustment I made this time around was keeping precise focus on my diet and supplementary nutrition. The results speak for themselves. We were going hard twice a day almost everyday, so I needed focus my energy toward making sure [my] body was fueled properly, avoiding the breakdown camp normally brings.

Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocic) | Instagram

Before you go…

Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.

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