2 Day Strength and Conditioning Plan for BJJ & Wrestling

Hi guys looking for some feedback on my plan, I am a 24 year old male, weight 70kg. The goal of this programme is general physical prep for training and competing in Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well as building a strength base that will allow me to move on to more specific power and speed training for competition. Working up to Dan Johns strength standards of a 1xBW Bench, 1.5XBW Front Squat and 2xBW Deadlift as a marker for when a decent strength level for a combat sport athlete has been reached.

I have replaced the big 3 lifts with as many joint friendly alternatives as possible and will use mostly bodyweight exercises for assistance to make my time in the weight room the least taxing on my sport specific training as possible. I have also bagged overhead pressing on the recommendation of coaches like Defranco and Joel Jamieson.

Day 1

Warm Up : 5 Minutes on Treadmill/Agile 8

Explosive: Medicine Ball Overhead Slam 30 contacts

Main Lifts : Front Squat 5/3/1
Bench Press 5/3/1
(4 way Neck resistance band isometrics in between sets)

Assistance : Chin Ups 3x8 - 12 (will use different grips for each set mainly pull up, neutral and towl/thick bar for some grip work)
Ab Wheel Rollouts 3x8-12
Sliding Leg Curl > Body Curl progression 3x8 - 12

Conditioning: Alactic sprints Power focous 8 weeks out from competition, Capacity focus from 4 weeks out.

Day 2

Warm Up: Treadmill/Agile 8

Explosive : Lateral Medicine Ball Wall Throws 30 Contacts

Main Lifts : Hex Bar Deadlift 5/3/1
Defranco Shoulder Shocker
(4 way Neck resistance band isometrics in between sets)

Assistance: Dips 3x8-12
Seated Cable Row 3x8-12(will programme in and out grip/grip trainers variation for extra grip work)
Single Leg Split Squat 3x8-12

Conditioning: Alactic Sprints

Any feedback would be appreciated

Only two things. First is the rep ranges, for increasing maximal strength it may suit you better to go lower rep, higher intensity/weight, unless your looking to go up in bodyweight and hypertrophy is your goal.

The second thing is the possibility of separating the sprints from the lifting dependent on your general fitness level. Obviously this may not be possible due to time.

I’m not entirely sure of the link sharing rules on the forum so I’ll just recommend you search for Joel Jamieson, Strength AND Conditioning: 3 rules for combining both… Good article regarding training strength and conditioning together.

Apart from those two things it looks pretty solid.

Good article from Joel thanks man, I used allot of his methods when I was doing MMA. Yeah I have come to the same conclusion, I think instead of using conditioning as a finisher I will try and get to the gym a third time a week and do a session solely focused on alactic drills, this means I can really attack them and do more than just one set. I will do some prehab stuff as a finisher for my lifting days, band good mornings, pull aparts, grip and neck stuff. I like 5/3/1 reps because I find I stall pretty quickly on liner progression and lifting as heavy as you can for 3x3 or 3x5 is a killer when you have a wrestling or Jiu Jitsu class a couple of hours later. The main goal is to get stronger but I wouldn’t be against putting some weight on. Thank you for replying.

I’m going to play devil’s advocate a little and argue that, until you reach a decent strength base (I think those numbers are a bit high for “decent”) that you should stick to higher rep ranges. Yes, low reps will get you strong, but if you focus on them prematurely or too much you will throw your muscular to connective tissue strength ratio out of balance and put yourself at greater risk for injury.

Think about what the most common complaint is of people who follow low rep high weight workouts for extended periods of time: namely joint pain/tendinitis. Why do they run into this problem? Because while the muscles are able to largely adapt (gain strength) at a fairly high rate to the demands placed on them during such programs; the tendons (which lack a direct blood supply) are starved of the essential nutrients they require to adapt and fall behind strength/recovery wise. Eventually the tendons become inflamed and either the exerciser is smart/lucky enough to stop and only requires minimal (maybe a couple weeks) recovery time till their tendons can heal. Or they develop a serious case of Tendonitis which could take them out of training for an extended period of time (month or more) or worst of all wind up tearing a muscle (almost always at the musculotendinous junction) which could take them out for months, years, or even permanently.

This isn’t to suggest that low rep strength work is inherently dangerous/harmful, but instead as a cautionary tale against not respecting the body’s natural athletic/systemic balance and the difference in both physiology and recovery rates of different tissues involved in that system. You need to “earn” the right to do low rep strength work, and you do that by building up a solid foundation of connective tissue strength and mobility.

Also, don’t drop overhead work, at least not permanently or if doing so causes you no pain (dropping it temporarily until you can regain painfree overhead motion is ok). If you cannot comfortably press overhead, it means your shoulders are dysfunctional/fucked up. For all intents and purposes you are injured; ignoring/avoiding addressing that injury will not make it better but worse with time. The shoulders are designed to allow for Shoulder Fkexion/overhead work, and in fact should allow for circumduction at shoulders width (which far exceeds the mobility demands of simple overhead work). If they will not, then it means that something is wrong. Fix the problem so that you can regain proper function, don’t just close your eyes to it’s existence, avoid addressing it and accept your “new” dysfunctional body as the new “norm.”


Really great advice from Sentoguy. You would be wise to follow it to the letter.

I would only add that in most cases the only thing that connects you to your opponent in any form of grappling is your grip. So, make sure that you train it on a regular basis.