Mixed Martial Artist
Tyron ‘The Chosen One’ Woodley is one of 13 kids raised by a single mom. He grew up in a crime-ridden section of Ferguson, Missouri but did not let that distract him from his goals. He played football and became an All-American wrestler in high school and the first Big 12 wrestling champion to come from the University of Missouri. Woodley won his first professional fight in 2009, and subsequently joined Strikeforce where he continued to dominate. Woodley’s debut in the UFC was in 2013. In 2015, he faced champ Robbie Lawler in UFC 201 where he won in the fastest fight in UFC Welterweight history with a 2 minute, 12 second knockout. Woodley underwent shoulder surgery which kept him from fighting for most of a year. During that time, he tried his hand at acting and action stunts in several films, including Olympus Has Fallen and Office Uprising. Woodley has 4 children. He has over a million followers on social media. Woodley is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 200 lbs. in the off-season; 170 lbs. when fighting.
Tyron Woodley’s Diet
Diet is always an extremely important part of any athlete’s training routine, particularly in sports where weight matters and Woodley is no exception. He eats clean and focuses on lean protein, fruit, vegetables and complex carbs like oatmeal. He also makes his own version of bulletproof coffee with coconut oil for the health benefits it offers.
- Low Fat 20% 20%
- Low-Medium Carb 30% 30%
- High Protein 60% 60%
Quick & Easy Breakfast
Woodley doesn’t usually have a big breakfast. His go-to is often a protein shake made with fruit and almond milk. An alternative is oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar.
Woodley makes his own bulletproof coffee with raw sugar, Himalayan salt, and MCT oil made from coconut rather than the more typical butter.
Woodley eats plenty of protein, and it has to be as natural as possible: wild-caught, grass-ffed, free-range, and organic are his watchwords.
What to Eat
Nuts & Seeds
What to Avoid
Woodley on Coconut Oil
‘MCT is just a type of fat but it’s been linked to plenty of health benefits.’
Woodley on Mental Health
‘It’s so important to take a few minutes, just for yourself and breathe.’
Woodley on his Version of Bulletproof Coffee
‘I throw Alpha Brain in my coffee, which I know sounds weird but it tastes pretty good to me.’
Tyron Woodley’s Fitness Routine
Move the Weight
Woodley had one goal when he went to college: to be able to lift the most weight. At 165 lbs., he could squat 425 lbs. for 5 reps, bench 365 lbs., and deadlift at least 600 lbs.
UFC fights go 3-5 rounds, lasting 5 minutes each with a 1 minute rest. Because fighters may have to fight for up to 25 minutes, they need to have both power and stamina, which require very different styles of training. Woodley does both.
Woodley focuses on extensively on timing. Being patient and finding the right rhythm is key to his effectiveness inside the octagon.
Woodley has given up heavy weights completely. These days he focuses on agility, explosiveness and stamina.
Take It ‘Easy’
Woodley’s weekday routines are already tough, but his Saturday ‘light’ workout isn’t for the faint of heart either. It consists of high intensity interval training (HIIT) for the length of a fight (5 rounds x 5 minutes each), aka, until you’re ready to keel over.
Woodley does sprints on the Airdyne bike, going for 85 rpm for 30 seconds, then hops off and does 30 seconds of burpees or ball slams. He does not take any down time between exercises.
As brutal as his bike routine is, Woodley says the VersaClimber is the all-time winner for a brutal workout. He aims to do 150 feet per minute, and at least 750 feet in 5 minutes. If you don’t have access to a VersaClimber, Woodley recommends alternating jumping rope with other jumps, like long jumps. Woodley has a 43” vertical jump.
A Tyrone Woodley Routine
No rest between exercises in a circuit.
1A. Versaclimber sprint: 30 sec x 3 sets
1B. Swiss ball plank extension: 20 x 3 sets
1C. Banded back extension: 20 x 3 sets
45 sec rest
2A. Lateral band walk: 20/each way
2B. Forward band walk: 20/forward & back
2C. Lunge w/ external rotation: 10/side
2D. Walking hamstring stretch: 10/side
45 sec rest
3A. Trap-bar deadlift: 10 x 5 sets
3B. Vertical jump: 5 x 5 sets
45 sec rest
4A. Bulgarian split squat: 15/12/10 reps x 3 sets
4B. Lateral band abduction: 20/side x 3 sets
4C. Pull-up: 12 x 3 sets
4D. Banded face-pull: 20 x 3 sets
60 sec rest
Begin each set with 5-sec isometric hold at top:
5A. Inverted row: 15 x 3 sets
5B. Dumbbell raise series: 20 lateral, front, lateral with light DB x 3 sets
Woodley on his Training Secret
‘What gives me an edge is I don’t train just to be an aerobic fighter. My edge is my explosiveness, I have to train both styles.’
Woodley on the Human Condition
‘Some days I don’t feel like training. Some days I don’t want to fight. Some days I don’t want to run. I don’t want to get up. I think that’s part of being human.’
Woodley on his Physical Goals
‘I don’t need more muscle. I need endurance. I need explosion. I need quick feet. That’s why I’m hitting the agility ladder, pushing a sled, doing sprints and slamming the medicine ball.’
Woodley on Boxing
‘Boxing is really rhythm. If you’re a person with rhythm, and you’ve got patience, [you can box.]’
Woodley on the Versa Climber
‘There is no cardiovascular machine that makes me feel anywhere close to as exhausted as I do after a VersaClimb workout.’
Woodley on Confidence
‘I have to be confident. My right hand is my moneymaker.’
Tyron Woodley’s Supplements
Woodley puts a nootropic supplement that helps with focus and concentration called Alpha Brain in his morning coffee.
Another supplement Woodley takes before a workout contains cordyceps mushroom which boost endurance and cellular energy. He does not like to take stimulants as part of his pre workout because he says they mess with his heartbeat.
Tyron Woodley’s Lifestyle
Woodley is up at 6 am every day, no excuses. Sometimes this means he only gets 5 hours of sleep, although he usually tries to get more like 7.
During his time off from fighting, Woodley appeared as an analyst for UFC Tonight, acted in the film Escape Plan 2 and gave stand-up comedy a whirl.
Long Road to Recovery
Woodley spent the better part of a year recovering from shoulder surgery. He did physical therapy, stem cell injections and took platelet-rich plasma (PRP) shots, which are meant to rebuild muscle faster.
Woodley has plans to open a center for troubled youth in his hometown of Ferguson, MO. He also wants to do more acting, be a motivational speaker and write a book.
Woodley on Growing Up
‘Two things kept me on track when I was a kid: my mom and God.’
Woodley on His Fighting Spirit
‘I have to channel that young punk and remember what he was willing to do and sacrifice to get to where I am now.’
Woodley on his Reputation
‘I want to be remembered as somebody who came in with a clear mission to be the best in the world, worked his butt off to do it, and never really lost himself. We all lose ourselves a bit but what matters is if you can get back on track.’
Woodley on his Personal Style
‘My style is extreme. By that I mean I’m usually in sweats and workout clothes or I’m in a full suit. I’m hardly ever in between; that’s just my lifestyle right now. But I do love a good pair of Gucci sneakers.’
Woodley on Career Alternatives
‘I love fighting but it’s not my favorite thing to do.’
Arm & Hammer toothpaste