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Adapting Westside For BJJ

Hello all. About 8 weeks ago I decided to take up Brazilian Jiujitsu alongside my powerlifting training but have decided to devote more time to BJJ and cut down on my lifting a bit. I’ve been doing the classic WS template but my recovery has not been all that great, even with 8+ hours of sleep and good nutrition. I recall reading a couple of articles online that give examples of sled drags, belt squats, reverse hypers and zercher squats as part of a WS for Combat Sports but really have no idea how to adapt it into a coherent template.

Any help would be appreciated.

[quote]DmitryKlokovFan wrote:
Hello all. About 8 weeks ago I decided to take up Brazilian Jiujitsu alongside my powerlifting training but have decided to devote more time to BJJ and cut down on my lifting a bit. I’ve been doing the classic WS template but my recovery has not been all that great, even with 8+ hours of sleep and good nutrition. I recall reading a couple of articles online that give examples of sled drags, belt squats, reverse hypers and zercher squats as part of a WS for Combat Sports but really have no idea how to adapt it into a coherent template.

Any help would be appreciated.[/quote]

so basically you want someone to write you a program? good luck with that. Also, I think that if you want advice on how to orient your training towards combat and away from powerlifting, you should post this question in the combat forum.

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]DmitryKlokovFan wrote:
Hello all. About 8 weeks ago I decided to take up Brazilian Jiujitsu alongside my powerlifting training but have decided to devote more time to BJJ and cut down on my lifting a bit. I’ve been doing the classic WS template but my recovery has not been all that great, even with 8+ hours of sleep and good nutrition. I recall reading a couple of articles online that give examples of sled drags, belt squats, reverse hypers and zercher squats as part of a WS for Combat Sports but really have no idea how to adapt it into a coherent template.

Any help would be appreciated.[/quote]

so basically you want someone to write you a program? good luck with that. Also, I think that if you want advice on how to orient your training towards combat and away from powerlifting, you should post this question in the combat forum.[/quote]

Nah. I’m just looking for ideas/suggestions on exercises, rotation,etc. Once I get a broader understanding I’ll draw up something and go from there.

Is there a way I can get this moved to the combat forums?

IF you really want to devote more time to BJJ, cut lifting down to two days a week (5/3/1 is great for this) and don’t obsess about the numbers you put up. This is a tough call, but you need to be honest to yourself about your priorities.

I did Westside for Skinny Bastards III a few years and made tremendous gains in size and strength, however, when I started grappling, I couldn’t maintain the template and cut it down to 2 days per week. Basically, I would break it down into two days: day 1 - deadlifts/press, day 2 - squats/bench. I would de-load every fourth week.

Currently, I am doing 5/3/1 twice per week and feel it is better for recovery in the sense that you are using percentages of your max while still getting stronger. If you go this route, use a conservative max weight.

do the big lifts - cut down on accessory work
volume is sort of the problem here.

you can do this with 531 two day s a week or wsfsb can work too

but let me ask what do you mean about recovery?
like your sore for a day or so ?

I think a little more info is needed here.

if your doing two BJJ sessions a week- I wouldn’t change anything.
If your doing 4 or more sessions of BJJ - thats a different story.

if you are looking for exercises- specific for sports-
there arent any
yes some are better then others but really the basics work here.

Yesterday I spoke with Louie on the phone regarding conjugate training for grapplers and his methods are a far cry from what we’re accustomed to seeing

  1. Training is done three days a week with two days devoted to sled work+accessory and in between the barbell lifts revolving around sumo deadlifts, zercher squats, and good mornings and done for reps(surprise!).

  2. Louie said to pick a specific movement(i.e. forward walk, backward walk, side walk while holding a heavy med ball) for the rounds/time of your fight(5 min, 5 rounds). Afterwards you can do accessory movements like belt squats, DB Rows, Chins Push-Ups,etc. He also said that for the 1 min rest try to spar with a partner or do some kind of drill.

  3. You can also do 5x5 on the belt squat if weather makes it impossible for sled work.

  4. The barbell lifts are done for reps in the 10-15 range and for sets of 3-4. As with the sled, just pick one movement, go from there and do your accessory.

  5. Do reverse hypers on all three days, varying volume and intensity.

As you can see it’s definitely not something you’d expect to hear from Louie or WS related. Due to time constraints I wasn’t able to get all my questions answered but I will definitely call him back.

BJJ is the anti-thesis of heavy weight training.

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
BJJ is the anti-thesis of heavy weight training. [/quote]

Says who? Strength, while not the end be all in BJJ, has its place alongside technique. The hip strength that I got from good mornings, box squats, sumo pulls, etc has helped me with my takedowns, reversing a mount, guard and throws. To say strength is irrelevant is stupid.

this works

[quote]DmitryKlokovFan wrote:

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
BJJ is the anti-thesis of heavy weight training. [/quote]

Says who? Strength, while not the end be all in BJJ, has its place alongside technique. The hip strength that I got from good mornings, box squats, sumo pulls, etc has helped me with my takedowns, reversing a mount, guard and throws. To say strength is irrelevant is stupid.[/quote]

You started BJJ 8 weeks ago. If you think you’ve already mastered takedowns, escaping a mount, and guard throws? (maybe you mean sweeps) there’s not much more that you can be helped. In addition, if you think strength plays the biggest role in any of those that you mentioned, I suggest you at least get some stripes on your white belt and get back to us.

Heed this one advice. Don’t be the meathead on the mats.

Purple belt of 5 years here.

Jarvan has the right idea.

lifting isn’t that important. You need to do it for injury prevention obviously. You don’t want to be pulling groins and hamstrings on the regular, or tweaking your back after all. All that said, I am a much better (and stronger) grappler now with a shitty 120kg squat, than I was with a 150kg squat. BJJ is about technique and endurance (both cardio, and strength endurance). Strength helps, but not as much as those, AND you can develop a decent amount of strength through simple methods like hard drilling/sparring, calisthenics, sled work etc.

FYI: Best guys I’ve rolled with? None of them lift for strength (I’m talking world class grapplers). Strongest guys I’ve rolled with? No heavy weight training.

So yes, he’s correct, heavy lifting is essentially the antithesis of BJJ training. Powerlifting and grappling don’t really complement that well, especially when pursued seriously.

Anyway, if you want to do both, Larry’s link up there is money. Paul Carter also wrote a good entry on training for MMA on his blog.

Ross over at rosstraining has a few good articles on there as well. His stuff is great if you’re looking to focus more on the grappling.

Personally I’d advise you to lower your training volume, on either the sparring or weights, if you need to. Rolling hard 3-6 times in a BJJ class is deceptively hard on the body, just as playing soccer or basketball is. If you start feeling beat down, you know something is up.

Good luck brah.

I am going to once again cite the wisdom of KMC

Technique: Being good at what you are doing
is more important than
Conditioning:not getting tired or stronger for longer
is more important than
Pure Strength: Absolute/max strength or pure weightroom work

Initially, they should all be trained.

I have never met a competent fighter whom I would describe as weak as hell. Even guys known for sucking in the weightroom have serious mat/ring strength even if they can barely bench their own weight. If someone is de-conditioned/weak as fuck than weights may be a huge benefit. I have seen several examples of even for shit weight programs making huge improvements when teaching open enrollment classes. In one case Body for Life was an absolute game changer.

At some point diminishing returns happens and continuing to get better requires too much focus, and that takes away from the others.

KMC’s advice was/is to work them all, but when one starts to interfere with the others you decrease/slight the lowest priority work. So weights get decreased first. Never short technique.

To the OP, I would search and internalize any posts by kmcnyc, Xen Nova, or Jelly Roll on the subject of training for grappling. They all have extensive, high level experience, and have written excellent, clear, and informative posts in the past.

Regards,

Robert A

[quote]DmitryKlokovFan wrote:
Yesterday I spoke with Louie on the phone regarding conjugate training for grapplers and his methods are a far cry from what we’re accustomed to seeing

  1. Training is done three days a week with two days devoted to sled work+accessory and in between the barbell lifts revolving around sumo deadlifts, zercher squats, and good mornings and done for reps(surprise!).

  2. Louie said to pick a specific movement(i.e. forward walk, backward walk, side walk while holding a heavy med ball) for the rounds/time of your fight(5 min, 5 rounds). Afterwards you can do accessory movements like belt squats, DB Rows, Chins Push-Ups,etc. He also said that for the 1 min rest try to spar with a partner or do some kind of drill.

  3. You can also do 5x5 on the belt squat if weather makes it impossible for sled work.

  4. The barbell lifts are done for reps in the 10-15 range and for sets of 3-4. As with the sled, just pick one movement, go from there and do your accessory.

  5. Do reverse hypers on all three days, varying volume and intensity.

As you can see it’s definitely not something you’d expect to hear from Louie or WS related. Due to time constraints I wasn’t able to get all my questions answered but I will definitely call him back. [/quote]

This post is awesome man! Thanks a lot for sharing this info here!
Did you talk again with Louie?

Also chech out Chad Smith’s Jiu Jitsu Physical Preparation Manual. It combines heavy lifting with everything else a grappler needs.

[quote]Robert A wrote:
I am going to once again cite the wisdom of KMC

Technique: Being good at what you are doing
is more important than
Conditioning:not getting tired or stronger for longer
is more important than
Pure Strength: Absolute/max strength or pure weightroom work

Initially, they should all be trained.

I have never met a competent fighter whom I would describe as weak as hell. Even guys known for sucking in the weightroom have serious mat/ring strength even if they can barely bench their own weight. If someone is de-conditioned/weak as fuck than weights may be a huge benefit. I have seen several examples of even for shit weight programs making huge improvements when teaching open enrollment classes. In one case Body for Life was an absolute game changer.

At some point diminishing returns happens and continuing to get better requires too much focus, and that takes away from the others.

KMC’s advice was/is to work them all, but when one starts to interfere with the others you decrease/slight the lowest priority work. So weights get decreased first. Never short technique.

To the OP, I would search and internalize any posts by kmcnyc, Xen Nova, or Jelly Roll on the subject of training for grappling. They all have extensive, high level experience, and have written excellent, clear, and informative posts in the past.

Regards,

Robert A [/quote]

Thanks Rob. My main focus right now is BJJ, I enjoy it very much and plan to do it 4x a week(gi and no gi) as well as compete down the line. I did speak again with Louie and he said that my main focus should be rolling, max strength(i.e. 1RM) does not necessarily transfer over to BJJ, MMA, that it is possible to get stronger doing heavy/light sled work along with the three lifts mentioned in an earlier post and that the conjugate method is not limited to bands, chains, max effort and box squats rather a training protocol that needs to be adapted to one’s specific goals.

As of right now I’m sparring and drilling 4 days a week and the sled work in the morning before work. So far its great, I definitely enjoy the classes and everyone is more than willing to help one another. I’m hooked.

DmitryKlokovFan, why don’t you start a log here at T-Nation? You will get plenty of help and it would be nice to see how you combine those two and the results you will get!

[quote]P0SEID0N wrote:
DmitryKlokovFan, why don’t you start a log here at T-Nation? You will get plenty of help and it would be nice to see how you combine those two and the results you will get![/quote]

Sure will man. I’m writing this on my iPad with a semi good WiFi connection so once I get home I’ll start up a new log. In other news I got my first submission on Thursday.

I made a similar post a while ago i had trouble with recovery from 5/3/1 and 3 BJJ classes a week. I switched to a body-weight routine with a few KB exercises and my Jiu jitsu improved a huge amount.

Yes i dropped about 3Kg’s but i feel a lot fitter. Plus if your looking to compete being too heavy for your bracket is a bad thing!

  1. Practice BJJ

  2. Focus on your strengths and build your style around them

  3. Find where you are lacking and improve it through any means available

This may involve weight training and it may involve catching rabbits with your bare hands. Improving at sports is simple. Improve your weaknesses and highlight your strengths. Increasing your lifts has nothing to do with any sport except for weightlifting. And getting a stronger squat does not mean you will be stronger at BJJ.

Thank guys. I’ve recently switched schools as of two weeks ago and started training again for the following: Five days after my last post(7-26) I contracted ringworm and had an outburst of really bad zits on my entire right side that luckily wasn’t any form of staph infection. It turns out that the school did not clean their mats before closing time and in addition some of the younger kids had ringworm and either kept quiet or were still given the go ahead to roll while infected(talk about gross). I subsequently cancelled my membership with them and took about three weeks off from any BJJ doing only running, sprints and calisthenics at home while I recovered(I also avoided my other gym to prevent anything from spreading) .

As of now thankfully everything is cleared up and I’ve been training for two weeks now. My new gym has a good training atmosphere, instructors are very knowledgeable and the owner is very anal about mat and personal hygiene and you will be banned if you spread any kind of infection with prior knowledge.