If you’re an MMA fan — actually, even if you aren’t — then you know who Conor McGregor is. He is one of the world’s most recognizable athletes, thanks to his athletic prowess on the mat, his charisma in the ring, and his ability to draw a crowd with his personality. In 2014, he signed with UFC, a company that has been building its brand for over 20 years, and is now the premier fight league.
And it’s safe to say that his signature look has become as iconic as his hair, his beard, and his voice. McGregor’s popularity isn’t limited to the fighting world, though. As of this writing, he has more than 2.5 million followers on Twitter and more than 3.3 million followers on Instagram.
As a result, it’s no surprise that people want to learn what McGregor does to stay in such good shape. After all, if you’re the world’s most recognizable athlete, your diet and workout routine is going to be scrutinized by the media and fans. But McGregor has been doing this for a while now — in fact, he’s been training with some of the best fighters in the world since he became the UFC Lightweight Champion. So what does he do? What does Conor McGregor’s workout and diet look like? These are questions we thought we’d take a look at.
The Basics Of Conor’s Diet
The first thing you need to know about Conor McGregor’s diet is that it’s pretty simple. In fact, it’s not even really a diet. Instead, McGregor’s eating habits are mostly dictated by his body. His diet consists mainly of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. In fact, one could say that he actually eats less than most MMA fighters.
He is not a vegan, but he does try to eat a lot of greens. He said that it doesn’t matter if he’s preparing for a fight, his diet is always consistent. But he says he does eat healthily and rarely eats junk food or takeout.
When asked about his diet, McGregor once told a reporter that he doesn’t really have a set diet and that he simply avoids eating too much carbs and tries to limit sugar intake (because he admittedly has a sweet tooth) to his cheat day.
One of the things that McGregor does, however, is eat a lot of protein. Conor says he eats a lot of protein because it makes him feel fuller and less likely to overeat. Not only that, but protein also helps his body to recover from training. As an elite MMA fighter, he needs to be able to recover fast if he wants to be able to keep up with his opponents. He also says that eating more protein helps him maintain his weight.
For an Interview with Men’s Health, The Notorious had this to say about his eating habits:
“I don’t eat takeaways. I don’t eat none of that. I’ll eat good-quality meats, good-quality greens, good-quality carbohydrates like sweet potato and butternut squash, and that is it. I have a sweet tooth — that would be where I’d put on some weight out of fighting, if somebody brings in a pack of cakes and coffee.”
A Typical Conor McGregor Meal Plan
Tristin Kennedy, one of the nutritionists working in Conor’s camp, once shared for an interview what a typical Conor McGregor meal plan looked like, and it included proteins such as eggs, chicken, and beef, as well as carbs from herbs like basil and oregano.
Below is an example of Conor’s diet in preparation for UFC 257
Breakfast: oats with eggs and green vegetables
Morning snack: fruit and salad with organic honey
Lunch: chicken breast, rice, and asparagus
Midday snack: Whey protein shake with nut butter
Dinner: Irish lamb stew and potatoes
Evening snack: Whey protein balls and organic tea
How Many Calories Does Conor McGregor Eat in A Day?
You might not believe us when we tell you, but the answer is that Conor McGregor can subsist on 1,603 calories a day.
We can see your jaw gaping wide with incredulity, but it’s true. To be sure, that amount is below the recommended amount for an average-sized man, but it is what it is.
Before you think Conor to be a caloric-deficient individual: we fully admit that it’s not what Conor consumes on a daily basis and that the infographic where the little bit of trivia was taken was probably listing Conor’s caloric intake prior to a weigh-in, but still. It’s still amazing that an elite athlete such as Conor can subsist on so little when he needs to.
But going back to the question, we can estimate how many calories Conor takes in per day by looking at the meal plan one of his trainers shared above. A rough estimate would be around 2,800 to 3,000 calories a day — which is certainly reasonable for a man of Conor’s physique.
Conor McGregor’s Workout Plan
As anyone who’s seen Conor McGregor fight knows, the man is a master of different types of martial arts. From striking to grappling, it’s as if Conor can do it all.
When it comes to working out, it’s the same deal for Conor. He does different training methods to build muscle, improve endurance, and hone his fighting skills.
Stretching and mobility exercises are important things that Conor incorporates into his regimen. According to his trainers, Conor does this to improve his flexibility and increase his ability to resist injury. The fact that he does these exercises regularly is also another reason why Conor is so good at striking, and can seemingly strike from weird angles and catch his opponents off guard.
Conor McGregor’s cardio has often been criticized, but to be fair to the man, he puts in a lot of work on his cardio. When it comes to cardio, Conor is known to jog, sprint, and shadowbox. Indeed, he has a dozen photos of himself on Instagram doing exactly these things. Not only that, he also uses the elliptical trainer, stationary bike, and treadmill. Speaking of elliptical trainers, the elliptical trainer is one of the best tools for burning calories, and it’s also a great way to get your heart rate up.
Conor McGregor also loves to practice his striking — in particular, his boxing. This in itself is a form of cardio for him. He uses the heavy bag as well as sparring partners. More than just being an excellent cardio workout, boxing, because it requires quick bursts of energy and is essentially an endurance sport, also allows him to hone his striking skills and be an overall better fighter inside the ring.
How Often Does Conor McGregor Train?
You’ll be surprised to know that only Conor knows exactly how often he trains. To be sure, his friends and trainers might be able to give a good estimate, but when it comes to training, Conor outright said for one interview that he doesn’t have a set time and that he’s always chosen to be spontaneous.
Of course, he more than likely sticks to a rigorous training schedule when he’s got a big fight on the horizon, but on regular days, he trains when he feels he needs to, and that’s that.
That doesn’t mean, however, that he doesn’t train often because he does.
For his fight with Khabib, McGregor shelved spontaneity and stuck to a strict training schedule that, according to his head trainer John Kavanagh, involved boxing, kicking, pad work, Jiu-Jitsu, and endurance training.
For the strength and conditioning department, McGregor said he doesn’t put too much stock on weight training but uses free weights to build strength and balance.
Fighter Anaerobic System of Training (F.A.S.T)
This is a system of training that Conor McGregor advocates. Indeed, he claims it’s the training that made him as good as he is.
Fighter Anaerobic System of Training (F.A.S.T) is a training method developed in part by Dr. Julian Dalby, one of the people who regularly assist McGregor in strength and conditioning, that focuses on training the body by relying heavily on anaerobic energy systems for power. The main components of F.A.S.T are the following:
Anaerobic training: That focuses on exercises that work the anaerobic energy systems of the body such as sprinting, jumping, plyometric drills, etc.
High-intensity interval training: This focuses on short periods of high-intensity exercise followed by rest periods where the body has time to recover.
Aerobic training: This focuses on longer, more sustained aerobic activities.
Aerobic capacity: This is the ability to use oxygen for energy production.
Bodyweight training: This consists of using your own body weight as resistance in order to develop muscle mass.
Strength training: This is a form of resistance training where heavyweights are used.
Conor McGregor’s Fighting Style
Conor McGregor is clearly a master of several martial arts, and his fighting style is as diverse as it is powerful. It includes several striking techniques from boxing, kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, judo, wrestling, and more, but McGregor’s ability to adapt is what makes him so dangerous. We’ve broken down his fighting style into three categories: stand-up, ground, and clinch.
In terms of his stand-up game, McGregor is one of the best strikers in mixed martial arts today, but he doesn’t just rely on his stand-up. He has an arsenal of techniques, ranging from kicks and knees to throws and takedowns. McGregor’s stand-up game is one of the most exciting parts of his fights, and he has a wide array of strikes and counters to use against any opponent.
McGregor is just as good on the ground, however, and he’s a master at using the mat to his advantage. His wrestling skills are among the best in the sport, and he’s able to get his opponent on the ground and control the fight with ease. His submissions are also very effective. He can take down opponents with ease, which is something he’s known for since his amateur days.
Conor McGregor Does Yoga, Too!
Bet you didn’t know that Conor McGregor does yoga? Yes, he does, and in fact, does it every day. Indeed, for an interview with Men’s Health, Conor said “I do yoga every day. I’m perfecting my handstand, I like the tree pose with a side leg extension and the plank/side plank.”
(For those not familiar with the world of yoga, tree pose is when you put your hands on the ground and then raise yourself up on your forearms while keeping your body straight; side leg extension is when you put one leg straight out in front of you and bend the other leg back to form a 90-degree angle)
On second thought, why should this surprise us? Yoga, after all, is a great form of exercise, and, interestingly enough, it’s caught Conor’s interest in a way that probably nobody would have expected.
In an Instagram post, Conor McGregor said he’ll be going to India soon to study Yoga. Not just to study it, mind you, but to become a full-blown Bikram Yoga teacher. Sounds odd, we know, but Conor McGregor has always been one to do the unexpected. He’s done a lot of unexpected things in his life and career. But this latest development is just another example of how out-of-the-box Conor’s mind really is.
We all know Conor McGregor is a beast of a man. One look at him and it becomes clear that he’s as fit as can be — perhaps as fit as is humanly possible. There’s not an atom of unhealth in him that we can see, and we’re certain he’ll remain that way for years to come.
This is somewhat surprising given that his workout and diet routine while being relatively intensive, isn’t all that over-the-top.
It seems like he’s taken the basic principles of a CrossFit regimen and built on them to create something that works for him. We can’t imagine him ever stopping, even if he wants to. But if you’re looking for a workout and diet structure that’s designed specifically for his physique and fitness level, this is it. He’s one of the most physically impressive people in the world, and he makes sure that everyone knows it.