Mike Dolce’s UFC FIT: The Review – Part 1 of 2
Seems to be all the rage these days with people trying to train like MMA fighters in the comfort of their own living room. Which brings us to UFC Fit, a product that has had a ton of requests to be reviewed by yours truly. Because I love you all in ways that are not entirely natural, I have no choice but to surrender to your desires. But with contenders such as Rushfit, Tapout XT and even non-MMA series such as P90X and Asylum, the big question is how does UFC Fit measure up? Fear not weary travellers, you have come to the right place.
What’s in the box:
For around $120, you get a large octagon shaped box that includes 12 DVD’s, a twelve week calendar, Lifestyle and Nutrition guide, and an alternate “3 Day Shred” program.
The program is broken down into 4 three week segments, with each segment seemingly more advanced than the one preceding it. So without any more delay, let’s see if I can get a title match against Georges St. Pierre after only 90 days of training.
Time: 44 minutes
Very oddly named as there is very little in the way of any punching going on. This is 8 rounds, 3 moves per round done twice. It’s total body core where the weights are light, the cardio light, and the ab work strong. Power Punch is mostly push ups, squats and abs, but in low reps. It’s really a core routine and not much in the way of raw intensity as I found this one fairly easy, but a good ab workout all the same. This workout is positioned in the first three weeks and is phased out in blocks 2 and 3 so it is not surprising it is meant to break you in, not break you down.
Initial impressions of UFC Fit are good. Mice Dolce seems like a nice guy and plays it light on the hokey attitude which sometimes got a little thick with Tapout XT and its “Jersey” flavour. Also, UFC fighters almost always make the worst cast members as once again, Tapout XT2 proved so convincingly well. Here the cast is obviously aware of the program and nobody is lost. Plus, all of their faces are intact, so I doubt many of them have actually been in the octagon which is a huge plus, because I honestly don’t give one hoot about what big names are in the cast.
CROSS CARDIO TRAIN
Time: 42 minutes
Five rounds, five moves per round done twice. No weights. You might consider this to be a non-sucky P90X Kenpo X. There’s a lot of kickboxing style motions such as kicks and squats.
I have to pause to comment on the music. It is excellent which is not something I can say about a lot of videos. Beachbody is pretty much the only company that gets post-production right so it is refreshing to see that UFC Fit also pays attention to the small details.
Time: 43 minutes
This is best put in the category of cardio-core. Yes, there are weights involved but it’s a mixed bag because although the weight adds an element of intensity to each move, it is not enough to truly get some serious muscle action. And because many moves involve legs and arms, it is difficult to increase weight for the arms and yet maintain the desired form for legs. That means it is unlikely the average person would go beyond 15lbs. You sort of have to take it for what it is.
That all having been said, despite coming up short for arms, Power Pull is a solid workout for legs and abs. In fact many of the ab moves are refreshingly new and absolutely effective.
Time: 39 minutes
One again, Mike starts the intro telling us we are at the UFC training centre in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Plyo is technically where an MMA style workout should really shine and Mike delivers big here with strength, cardio, and explosive action. It’s 5 rounds of 4 moves done twice with a good variety to keep things interesting. With killer moves like short blocks, ninja jumps ( jump -knee tucks ) and walking plyo push-ups, you will not have to worry about getting your moneys worth here. I have no complaints about Plyo Shred as it lives up to its name very well.
Something to consider: Mike betrays a small fact about what MMA training is truly like during mule kicks. He says his old instructor got him to do it for 45 minutes. So while UFC Fit indeed trains like UFC, you would technically have to take each 30 second move and bump it up to 15 minutes or more ( in some cases, much more ) to truly get to UFC training levels.
Time: 33 minutes
Pure cardio so no weights. Again, 5 rounds with 3 moves done twice. In keeping with the whole MMA theme it is obviously a lot of punches, kicks, squats and jujitsu style ground work. And like Mike says…it’s just like UFC!!
This is one of the shorter workouts timed at just over half an hour so in all honesty, it will probably leave you wanting. And there’s a big reason for that: being boxed in with the MMA mold. In trying to maintain an MMA flavour, Mike spends time doing things like floor sprawls which really are not the best use of time if you want to get a cardio sweat going.
If you have the option and still want a half hour workout, try out Focus T25 Core Speed because it kicks the pants off this thing by a mile.
Time: 20 minutes
Three rounds of 4 exercises each. The thing with ab workouts is that you inevitably just have your own flavor of crunches. Ab Assassin is no exception but it nonetheless goes right to the core and does what it intends to do.
I feel kind of bad for Mike in this video because his cast is obviously very well tanned whereas he looks like he fell asleep in the tanning bed given that his skin is noticeably sunburnt. No, I mean really sunburnt. That having been said, I doubt anyone would say this to his face so I guess he’s in the clear.
CONCLUSIONS THUS FAR…
Initial impressions are good for UFC Fit. The production values are excellent with well timed music which is synchronized with the action ( Tapout XT2 music was just plain awful ) and a cast that is very likeable and familiar with the program. There are a few things that are missing though. There is no timer bar that so many of us have become used to. Instead, a small clock pops up when there is only 10 seconds left in a move. It’s just an observation and not a deal breaker by any means.
Another thing ( and this is just me here ) I appreciate that the ladies are tastefully attired and not squeezed into one-size-too-small tops. Tapout XT is kind of a workout by people who are a little too into themselves. UFC Fit seems to have a lot more class with a cast that is not so self-absorbed their egos can barely fit on the set. But then again, this is only half of the workouts reviewed and there is a lot more to go through before giving UFC Fit the final score. How does this compare to other fitness programs and can UFC Fit deliver on what it promises? The answers are one click away…
April 1, 2022 at
Can this program give a metoblism boost like weight training can
September 18, 2016 at
UFC fit or Rushfit?
Which will better asset or enhance Martial Arts training?
And, will UFC fit increase muscle a bit?
September 20, 2016 at
I would think the results would be similar. Rushfit is more serious while UFC is a bit “cheerleader-ish”. Both will increase muscle strength but neither is truly positioned to be a mass builder.
March 28, 2015 at
I have one question… What is “Mike Dolce’s 3 Day Shred” program. Is this a part of UFC Fit’s nutrition plan or is it an additional UFC fit’s workout DVD??
July 12, 2014 at
This is just coming from an average guy who owns pretty much all of the most popular workout DVDs going back a couple of decades, and who has a strong background in physical therapy, medicine and sports, including bodybuilding and powerlifting, as well as having been a personal trainer… but still, this is a subjective opinion based on personal experience and not a scientific assessment:
If I had it to do all over again, the only DVD I would purchase is the UFC FIT.
Why? Because it is motivating and ENCOURAGES you, without being in-your-face nor condescending. It has a positive energy. The “supporting cast” all have a story and a positive and SUPPORTIVE “TEAM” aura about them, which means you remain focused on the workout and not the “scenery” or personalities.
The attire varies, but it is every day gym/workout attire that I’ve seen in the gyms and homes for more than 20 years. Sure, the ladies are lovely, and Heather is my FAV by far, because she modifies, as I had to do (LOL) so I connect more to her workout style and pace, but the guys are not showoffs and they’re real people with real connections to UFC in many cases. Their backgrounds actually enhance the point that UFC FIT training is for anyone and everyone.
As for my real “WHY???”, well, because it’s the first DVD that I’ve completed on schedule. I NEVER felt overwhelmed because from the start, Mike makes the point that it’s OKAY TO MODIFY – BUT KEEP WORKING, so I don’t feel bad if I can’t do something YET, and I honestly don’t get on myself if I have to stop a few seconds early.
Over the course of my 12-week journey with Mike and his team, I lost 38 pounds over all – 32 in the first SIX weeks. Weeks 6-8 were a transition and plateau point and Weeks 8-12 were small weight loss but MASSIVE drop in body fat!
That is a very normal cycle of events for me, and most people. Consistency is the key and this workout allows for steady gains over time, especially MENTALLY.
Where I saw the biggest gains were actually outside of the workouts. These short workouts made a tremendous difference in my walking and coping with the Texas heat.
I’m a disabled Gulf War veteran coping with chronic fatigue, chronic joint pain, injuries, fibromyalgia, and most importantly for me healthwise, the BOUND TESTOSTERONE level of a dead man SINCE 1991. If you think male andropause is a joke, it is not. It is the real physiological life cycle of men and when the body binds testosterone, it is NOT available for the body to use.
Now my situation stemmed from chemical exposure and, as scans have shown now in affected Gulf War veterans, and altered portion of the brain. The brain runs everything from pain management and sensory processing to body chemistry and metabolism, so when a portion is altered, that’s probably not a good thing and it results in the odd and varied collection of symptoms (and deaths) in GW veterans.
So why the autobiography? Because general principles are the connections that bind us all, and the point is that there are many people who try workouts and find that they are overwhelmed or do not get the improvements they hoped to get.
My uphill battle is worst than most but not nearly as bad as a good many. In the end, I got incredible results that are clearly visible, BUT I STILL DO NOT LOOK LIKE MIKE!
The important thing to HEAR from Mike in these DVDs is that you TRAIN RIGHT SO YOU CAN TRAIN AGAIN THE NEXT DAY… and you work to get 1% BETTER EACH DAY.
You set realistic, everyday person goals. You build your body without realizing it.
I was doing high mileage with my walking, but now I’m doing more lower mileage walks with some longer ones thrown in, and actually have INCREASED my overall mileage and average miles per walk, while improving my time AND LESSENING my pain and recovery time.
Why? Because UFC FIT is not about teaching you to fight… it is about training the muscles in a way that helps fighters, but is interesting and meaningful to the everyday person. We all think about self defense at some point. We all love a good fight on TV. We all imagine ourselves to be a Giant Killer at some point.
UFC FIT built up my core, strengthened my legs, feet and ankles, improved my heart and lung function, and increased my flexibility – WHICH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR AS WE AGE! There are 50-70 year old men and women out there running 5-minute miles… just keep up with Runners World or Running Times and you’ll see the articles and spotlight inserts. THEY ALL POINT TO FLEXIBILITY as the key.
Bodybuilders have long known that bodybuilding gets better with age… muscle maturity, increased responsiveness, etc., which is all tied to MUSCLE MEMORY. Those are very real medical and physiological facts that we can harness.
Pretty soon, I was keeping up on most things, but I’m not able to do everything, even now.
Guess what… I OWN the DVD set and I can, and I will, REPEAT the 12 weeks!
Why invest in something, see it work, enjoy it and then stop using it?
Now, I stack more workouts on the same day than the plan outlines on its schedule. For instance, on Day One, I might do Days 1-2 or 1-3; then on Day Two, I might do Days 2-3 or 2-4, etc.
I often put short walks in between each workout and then wrap up the day with a long walk after all of the workouts are done.
Now, this is my only MMA/UFC style workout and because Mike is tied to the UFC, and has the credentials and resume of success that he has, I understand why he’s always talking about the UFC. Now I see why people use him as a trainer and why he’s had so much success.
For me, it’s been the most effective training program with 38 pounds of weight gone, 16% body fat gone, slimming of my chest, waist and hips by 8″+ each, and gains of 4″ on my shoulders and 2″ on my calves, while first slimming, then gaining size (lean muscle) on my thighs. Even my arms, while slimmer due to loss of body fat, have gained size… WITHOUT BEING BULKY.
My nurses were so impressed that they started walking 2-3 times every day, and together at lunch (support group!!) and have now purchased UFC FIT because they were able to witness my 12 week journey in person since they see me every Wednesday.
I was not a typical “fat slob” but I was considered “morbidly obese” by medical standards and in the highest category, which at last glance is Stage/Level II – once you’re there, your body is the equivalent of having the Smart Car motor but trying to haul a tandem trailer rig… up the Smoky Mountains… on ice… it’s just not meant to be that way.
My weight has fluctuated but remained low. I still am gaining muscles, but losing body fat as I now start to repeat the UFC FIT program and continue my walking.
I also throw in the Tony Horton 10-Minute Trainer for upper body, which further explains the increased changes in my physique.
I love the Tony Horton and Shaun T workouts. I own them all, but the UFC FIT is the best investment that I’ve ever made and it’s the trend of Full-body Intensity Training that everyone’s workouts are now moving towards. The Intensity depends on each person, but honestly, even if you start out like a slug, you end up gaining intensity naturally because you become more and more aware that you’re doing things you’ve either never done or not done in a long time.
My fatigue and pain still hinder me, but I provided all of this information for people who think their own weight, pain or fatigue make this workout impossible.
I promise you that no matter how little you can do, that I started right there with you and have seen the results. While some might be disappointed that the program ends without a Mike Dolce-like body (or Heather, Jersey, Rachel, etc.), I have to remind you that those people did not get their bodies in 12 weeks either.
Consistency… every day… and it adds up, even when it seems like it might be “too little” and not worth doing.
So make like Nike and “Just Do It!”
November 18, 2016 at
This is amazing! Can I reach out to you about the program?
February 19, 2014 at
Interesting, haven’t heard of this one, still working my way through X3 right now though
February 17, 2014 at
Great review! Looking forward to part 2!
February 17, 2014 at