Jon Jones' Coach Reveals How the Fighter Achieved His Heavyweight Transformation

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How Jon Jones Bulked up for Heavyweight FightGetty Images

It's been three years since we last saw Jon Jones inside the UFC's Octagon. Back then, the fighter nicknamed ‘bones’ was a 220lbs light heavyweight. But now, as he prepares to enter the heavyweight ranks, with a fight against Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 this weekend, his physique has been transformed thanks to a gruelling regime that consisted of a 4500 calorie diet and heavy powerlifting sessions.

One of the men brought on to oversee Jones' dramatic transformation was 2010 Mr Olympia World's Strongest Pro Bodybuilder and creator of the Vertical Diet, Stan Efferding.

In an interview with The Sun, he explains how the key to Jones' new 260lbs frame was getting the athlete into a calorie surplus, which was ‘easier said than done’ due to the amount of energy the UFC fighter expends during training.

To do it, Efferding created Jones a specifically tailored plan – taking particular care of his macros and micronutrients – and had him chowing down on 220 grams of protein a day and a whopping 4500 calories overall on heavy training days.

‘The 4500 would be on high-fatigue training days and the 4000 or 4250 would, say, be on the weekends, days off or days when he did only one low-fatigue session,’ Efferding said.

The other key component to Jones' transformation was his training. Workouts were split into high and low-load days, with wrestling or kickboxing being practised alongside powerlifting.

Training has never been a problem for Jones, and in his latest camp he would consistently bench over 300lbs, the only task was to stop him from burning himself out.

‘Jon is one of those guys, when he gets in the gym, he goes 110 per cent,’ Efferding said. ‘There's just no quit in the guy. And you actually have to hold him back or design a programme that causes less fatigue but is still challenging.’

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