Aljamain Sterling Workout and DIET 

MMA Fighter
Born: 1989

Aljamain Sterling is from New York City and took up wrestling in high school as an escape from the temptation to join a street gang. Sterling attended Morrisville State College where he also wrestled. His interest in MMA began when he met Jon Jones who invited him to train at TheBombSquad gym in Ithaca, NY. Sterling transferred to SUNY Cortland where he earned a degree in physical eduction and became a 2-time NCAA Division III All-American wrestler. ‘The Funk Master’ Sterling’s amateur MMA career began in 2009. He went pro and joined the ROC and Cage Fury Fighting before signing up with the UFC in 2014. Sterling is the current UFC Bantamweight champion. He has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. Sterling is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and fights at 135 lbs.

Known For:

Aljamain Sterling‘s Diet


Sterling’s training camp diet is very carefully calculated, but not so strict he gets fed up with it and quits. He’ll typically have 5 meals per day: breakfast, 2 lunches, dinner, and a snack. He eats clean but his food is not boring and he likes spices. His weakness is sugar, and admits to falling off the wagon when he’s not at camp. But he says being allowed to eat the things he loves is what keeps him going. He’s also serious about his water intake and drinks 5 one-liter bottles per day.

Estimated Macros

  • Low Medium Fat 20% 20%
  • Low Medium Carb 20% 20%
  • High Protein 60% 60%

Diet Details


Drink Up

Sterling drinks 5 liters of water per day, starting by downing his first bottle upon waking.


Scientific Approach

Leading up to a fight, Sterling’s meals are prepared for him. They’re calibrated to hit his macros and help him maintain his weight. His food is packaged and has the macros labeled.


Healthy Doesn’t Mean Tasteless

Sterling eats natural foods, but that doesn’t mean it has no flavor. He loves chimichurri, a spicy South American sauce.


Eat Your Vitamins

Sterling will often have salmon at the end of the day, not only because he loves it, but also because it also contains anti-inflammatory omega-3s.


Healthy Treats

Sterling’s meals are pretty lean when he is training, but he still gets little treats like a cookie made from nuts and eggs. He says they do the trick when he can’t have what he really loves, which is large amounts of sugar.


Food for Mental Health

Sterling admits to giving in to his cravings when he’s not training. He says this helps keep him going for the next fight.

What to Eat








Lean protein






Whole grains




Protein shakes


Sweets (treat)



What to Avoid


Junk food


Processed Foods


Empty-calorie foods


Fast food


Trans fats


Artificial ingredients


Chemical additives


Sterling on his favorite prepared meal

Salmon…so tasty!


Sterling on salmon

This is the dinner of champions.


Sterling on how he eats his meals

Ain’t got no fork. It’s just savage.


Sterling on treats

I got half a cookie here left over from lunch. It’s, like, almonds and eggs. It’s actually pretty good.


Sterling on sugar

I’m big into sweets, so I love chocolate, I love ice cream, I love chocolate cookies.


Sterling on cheats

If I have just this little bit amount, it will make me feel better mentally.


Sterling on freedom to choose his food & fighting

If I have to give up everything completely to do this sport, I don’t think I would be doing it, to be honest.

Aljamain Sterling‘s Workout Routine

Weekly Routine

Smart Choices

Sterling opted to join the wrestling team rather than get dragged into the gangs that plagued his neighborhood growing up, and that many of his brothers had joined.

Multitalented Fighter

Besides wrestling and MMA, Sterling has a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

High Tech Recovery

Sterling stretches but he also gets treated with a theragun to work out the kinks or muscle soreness.

Set the Mood

Sterling creates music mixes to motivate himself to work out harder. He digs hip-hop, Top-40 and reggae. J. Cole and Drake are two of favorite artists.

Daily Dose

Sterling’s first workout happens in the morning, and lasts for an hour.

Mix It Up

Sterling spars, does strength and conditioning routines, shadow boxes, does wrestling and stuff like handstands until he falls over as part of his training.

No Fancy Equipment Needed

Sterling can create a challenging full-body workout with a single 45-lb. plate.

Exercise Style


An Aljamain Sterling Plate Routine

Equipment: 45-lb. plate.
Perform each exercise for 30-40 sec, taking a 5-second break before moving on to the next exercise. Repeat the circuit for a total of 20 minutes.
Overhead press
Triceps extensions
Around the Worlds
Bus drivers


Sterling on his plate workout

I treat a plate workout like I would a fight.


Sterling on his plate routine, take II

This is a great workout if you find yourself getting bored in the weight room.


Sterling on HIIT training

That’s what it’s like in a fight because you explode, then you circle and catch your breath.

Aljamain Sterling‘s Supplements

Other than his fat burner, Sterling is keeping quiet on the topic of supplements. So, below are options that may benefit anyone following a similar diet plan.

Fat Burners

Fat Burner

Sterling endorses the fat burner brand Burn Lab Pro to help him burn fat and make weight while retaining muscle.


B Vitamins

Vitamin Drinks

Sterling also endorses the brand of sports drinks called Bodyarmor. It contains vitamins A, B, C and E, electrolytes, coconut water, and is gluten free, contains no caffeine or artificial sweeteners or flavors and comes in many flavors.

Protien Powder


It’s likely Sterling takes protein to build muscle, rev up his metabolism and burn fat.



Sterling admits to ‘falling off the wagon’ from time to time, and his training diet can be limited as well, making a multivitamin a smart choice.


Omega 3 Fish Oil


He eats plenty of fatty fish, but if you don’t, try adding omega-3s for their anti-inflammatory and brain-boosting effects.


Aljamain Sterling‘s Lifestyle

Get Your Zzzs

Sterling takes his time getting up in the morning, rising around 8:30. He heads into the gym around 9:30.

Rough Start

Sterling had a tumultuous childhood and endured years of physical and mental abuse by his father.

Mega Family

Sterling has 7 full siblings and at least 12 half-siblings.

Lucky Break

A chance encounter with MMAer Jon Jones caused Sterling to get interested in the sport, and changed the course of his life.

Unlucky Break

A neck injury lead to Sterling having an artificial disc placed into his neck in the spring of 2021. He opted to do that over a fusion to reduce stress on the neck while retaining more flexibility.

The Funk Master

Sterling earned his moniker for his unusual fighting style of kicking and grappling.

Dig the Curl

Sterling takes care of his hair. He wears a durag when he works out, and he likes to wear his hair a little longer on the sides to get a some good curl action, then picks the top to create a nice, tall ‘fro.

Helping Out

Sterling has a foundation called Fighters for Cerebral Palsy that helps children with special needs.


Sterling on his bouts

I’m not about trying to hand-pick my fights and tiptoe around the competition.


Sterling on fighting as a career

We don’t have the luxury of being paid like NBA, NFL…They have  that cushion where they can kind of hang out…But for us, we don’t fight, we don’t get paid, and that’s the scary reality to it all.


Sterling on his future

You can’t keep a star from shining, and my star’s going to shine bright.


Sterling on his neck surgery

I want to get this thing done and taken care of so that I can get back out to compete as soon as possible. It’s not going to be 9 months…But I’ve got to be smart about it.


Sterling on celebrity influence

You change the mind and world of 1 individual and that’s huge, man…That’s the one thing as an athlete we should all focus on doing and that’s striving to give back in a positive manner.


Sterling on his support team

We got a good crew.

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