Skip to content Skip to footer

Share Us

Daniel Mesa

Gordon Ryan Workout Routine & Diet

gordon ryan workout routine

Gordon Ryan is well known around the world for being the greatest Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) competitor of all time. With dozens of competitions won and over a hundred submissions, Ryan has forever established himself as a legend of the sport. 

However, another aspect of Gordan Ryan that has garnered massive attention is his incredible physique and transformation. Ryan literally has the physique of a Greek god. In this guide, we will go over the exact Gordan Ryan workout routine that was used such as incredible transformation. 

BONUS: Download The FREE Gordon Ryan Workout Routine PDF

Gordon Ryan Stats

  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 225 lbs
  • Occupation: BJJ Competitor

Gordan Ryan Physique

Gordan Ryan Physique

Even for someone involved in combat sports, Ryan has a remarkable physique. 

Gordon Ryan Workout Principles

Unlike bodybuilders or other athletes just trying to get as strong or as jacked as possible, BJJ is a unique sport that has different requirements. With this in mind, Gordon Ryan designed his workout routine around a few key principles. 


Consistency and discipline is a given for any athlete at Ryan’s level but he likes to take things a step further. He is known to be borderline military-like when it comes to his daily routine. He likes to do everything at the same time to maintain consistency. Even things as simple as the car he drives, he like to remain constant so he can stay locked in. 

Daily BJJ

Ryan does two daily BJJ sessions in preparation for a competition. Of course this to help perfect his skills. But this is also serves as conditioning or cardio. Ryan believes that the cardiovascular demands of BJJ are unique. 

Meaning that while other cardio activities such as swimming or running can get your heart rate up, they do not compare to actual BJJ when it comes to getting in shape.

Focus On Upper Body

Ryan prefers to focus his weight training sessions on his upper body. He believes that that having strength in the arms, back, shoulders, and chest is crucial for competing with high level BJJ competitors. 

For his legs, he does some work to build strength and stay athletic. But he avoids training his legs too much as he thinks larger legs can reduce mobility and be a hindrance for his style of BJJ. 

Repetition Effort Method

For his specific training style, Ryan actually steals a page out of the book of legendary strength coach, Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell. 

The Repetition Effort Method focused on using lighter loads for higher reps. Namely this helps build muscle size and strength while also strengthening then tendons and ligaments. Something that is crucial in BJJ for avoiding injury. 

Gordan Ryan Workout Routine

Gordon Ryan has actually been fairly transparent about his routine on social media and interviews. As we mentioned above, he uses the Repetition Effort Method which results is most of his workout resembling bodybuilding workouts due to their higher volume. 

He usually lifts around four times per week with each workout being focused around a specific muscle group. 

LAST CHANCE: Download The FREE Gordon Ryan Workout Routine PDF

Gordon Ryan Workout Plan

Day 1: Chest and Triceps

  1. Bench Press: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  2. Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  3. Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  4. Tricep Dips: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  5. Tricep Pushdowns (with rope attachment): 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  6. Skull Crushers: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Day 2: Back and Biceps

  1. Pull-Ups or Lat Pulldowns: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  2. Barbell Rows: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  3. Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  4. Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  5. Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  6. Preacher Curls: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Day 3: Rest or Active Recovery

Take a day off or engage in light activities like walking, yoga, or stretching to promote recovery.

Day 4: Shoulders and Traps

  1. Standing Military Press: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  2. Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  3. Bent-Over Rear Delt Flyes: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  4. Upright Rows: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  5. Shrugs: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Day 5: Arms, Core, and Legs

  1. Close-Grip Bench Press: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  2. Hammer Strength Machine Preacher Curls: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  3. Tricep Rope Pushdowns: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  4. Leg Press: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  5. Romanian Deadlifts: 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  6. Leg Raises: 4 sets of 15-20 reps
  7. Russian Twists: 3 sets of 15-20 reps per side

Gordon Ryan BJJ Workout Routine

Gordon Ryan trains BJJ daily. Sometimes even more than once a day. He is routine for grappling sessions. 

Gordon Ryan Diet Plan

Gordan Ryan diet

In the aftermath of his recent injury, Ryan revealed some more details about his diet. He clarified that he likes to stick to protein and mixed vegetables. So definitely on the lower carb side of things. Here is potential meal plan following these principles.

Bottom Line

Gordan Ryan has developed a workout routine that suits his lifestyle and profession perfectly. Everything is designed to assist him in his goal of becoming the best BJJ competitor of all time. 

However, any BJJ enthusiast can likely learn something from this routine. Especially those who are unsure about how to combine their grappling with their strength training. 


How often does Gordon Ryan lift weights?

Gordon Ryan lifts weight 3-4 times a week with each session focusing on a specific muscle group.

Why has Gordon Ryan lost so much weight?

Gordon Ryan was battling a severe strep throat infection. He was unable to train or eat properly for months which led to his weight loss. 

Why does Gordon Ryan do bodybuilding?

Gordon Ryan does a bodybuilding style routine because he believes it allows him to get stronger while limiting chances of injury. 

How much does Gordon Ryan weights?

Gordon Ryan weighs around 225 pounds when he is competing.