T Nation

2-Day Minimalist Training

Looking to get some viewpoints on a sort of “minimalist training” where I would train the same core lifts twice a week in an A/A setup as opposed to A/B. Since I don’t compete in PL and my priorities are conditioning and BJJ-focused, what are your thoughts on the below?

Sunday and Wednesday
Squat: 5/3/1, then 3x5 SSL
Press: 5s Pro, then 5x5 FSL
Rows or chins: 50 to 100 reps

Off days
2 days conditioning, 1 day BJJ, and daily mobility/flexibility


I think you’ll be fine with that. Only thing I would consider, if you’re BJJ-focused, is the ability to recover when doing squats 2X a week. You might want to use front squats or zercher squats if you find heavy back squats are taking away your ability to recover and focus on your sport.

Another option: CT has a minimalist program that uses two lifts. His two are the Zercher squat and Bench press. This could be good option for a change up after running the above for a couple of cycles.

Try this, works very well…


For BJJ, deadlifting should have a high priority so I would definitely keep it. Keep the rows/chins and press, I think that’s a good idea. Type “BJJ Juggernaut” in youtube where CWS talks about combining lifting and BJJ, that should help you a lot.

Good luck!

How often do you train jiujitsu? Are you a beginner, an amateur competitor, etc.?

I train BJJ 2x week these days, and spend 2-3 days in the weight room, and hit the treadmill for cardio 2-4 times a week. I’ve used 5/3/1 programs (2, 3, and even 4-day routines - which I don’t advise if you train BJJ more than 2x) with great success following Wendler’s 2 x 2 x approach.

I really like this. Have you thought of trying something like:

Day 1

Squat 5/3/1 + SSL
Bench 5s PRO + FSL
Rows 50-100

Day 2

Deadlift 5/3/1 + FSL/SSL
Press 5s PRO + FSL
Chins/Pulldowns 50-100

I think Deadlifts (even trap bar) are important for martial arts, and personally prefer front squats to that end as well