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MMA Champion Mackenzie Dern In Workout Gear Is "Unstoppable"

Here are her training and fitness tips.

Brazilian MMA champion Mackenzie Dern's whole fitness (and fighting!) philosophy seems to be "never give up." The 30-year-old UFC strawweight fighter shared a picture of herself wearing black leggings and a blue sports bra, soaked in sweat and glowing with pride. "You become unstoppable when you work on things, that people can't take away from you. Things like your mindset, character and personality," she captioned the inspirational post. Here's how Dern got back into fighting shape after having a baby, and is now stronger than ever. 


Lifting Weights

Weight training is a key part of Dern's exercise regimen. "Strength training helps improve a woman's overall health in numerous ways," Emily Hill Bowman, MD, tells Nebraska Medicine. "Besides the many health benefits, women can also lessen their risk for conditions unique to them such as osteoporosis after menopause and pregnancy complications like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and postpartum depression."


Bike Rides

Dern loves riding bikes outside for fun during her down time, which is a great way to enjoy some fresh air. "Cycling is one of the healthiest and most low-impact forms of exercise – meaning it causes less strain and injuries than most other workouts," say the experts at the University of Montana. "So it's a hobby you can continue to enjoy throughout your long life."


UFC Training

Dern's preparation methods for UFC were more intense than her previous martial arts training. "One of the things I had to change were the Muay Thai training sessions — a session of just kicks and punches to get my striking sharp," she told Gracie Mag. "I also started doing an extra session of cardio, even to keep my weight below what I kept it at in BJJ [Brazilian jiu-jitsu]. And the stamina to fight in there for 15, 25 minutes is a little different. There's no way to rest during battle — only on the stool during breaks."


Postpartum Strength Training

Dern focused on building strength after welcoming her daughter in June 2019. "During my pregnancy, I didn't train at all," she told Women's Health. "I wanted to take advantage of those nine months and enjoy the time off with my growing family. I came back to the sport four months after giving birth to my daughter, Moa. I was still breastfeeding! The longer you wait to come back, the harder it is, I think. I dedicated myself 100 percent, but my training was different than before. I did more functional training, focusing on movements with dumbbells and cables, to improve my speed and reaction time."


Doubled Down On Training

Dern struggled to get fit after having her daughter, but soon got back into shape with intense training. "I was a little nervous for the first match after baby," she told Women's Health. "It ended up being my first loss—I was undefeated before that. I lost a couple of sponsors, too, but that only spurred me on. I doubled down on my boxing and strength training, to get the muscles back and to get to the next level as a fighter. I won my next two matches, and I'm proud to say I'm a better athlete now than I was before pregnancy."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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