T Nation

BJJ Training & Fitness Resources


What resources do you all use to develop your training plans? I use tools from Ross Enamait, CrossfitFootbal, Wendler’s 5/3/1, Steve Maxwell. Mindful Mover,Yoga for Fighters to name a few. Primary objectives are to hit BJJ, strength training, Metcon, flexibility and mobility work all twice per week. Interested to hear what others use.

Life for a Shorty Shouldn't Be So Rough

I haven’t been as active as I used to be in the last year but both Joe Defranco’s material and Jim Wendler’s work were well thought of last I checked. 5/3/1 especially because of the flexibility in templates and the forum support available here on the Biotest sight. I think this board tends to have a bit higher ages and “training ages” than some of the others so a bunch of us wind up spending time with rehab/prehab exercises.

I also can’t reply on any subject like this without forwarding KMC’s hierarchy of training, which is damn near the unified theory.

Skill Work
is more important than
which is more important than
Strength Work

All of them get trained hard, especially in the beginning, but when something has to give you cut down whatever is lowest in the hierarchy. So for BJJ anything that impedes with technique development would be facing the ax. Also if given the choice between two types of training the type with the greatest technique/skill payoff gets the nod.


Robert A


Follow Robert A’s advice always.

My training has to follow my work, so, It depends on where i am, and what equipment and facilities I have access to. Out in the field, it may be kata’s and made up crossfit stuff, such as carrying broken axles, tires, water bladders, etc. If I have access to a gym, I primarily stick to a lose version of 5-3-1. I am a big believer in Dan John, since simplicity is the best when training is the number one priority. I have used the below two programs when I had a stable schedule and modified when I did not. Yesterday, I tried Chris’s 40 rep workout and liked the combination of metcon and reps, I am going to modify this for use over the next 60 days, since it is fast and allows me time to workout. Some other suggested reading



Don’t know if you are aware, but, KMC suffered a severe knee/leg injury and has been rehabbing for about 9 to 12 months. I haven’t seen him around a lot and hope he is recovering. Changed his name to Brotardscience .


When training for BJJ, I cut my lifting to 2-3 days a week. I deadlift and clean/overhead press on day 1, squat/bench press on day 2 and do bodyweight and accessory movements on day 3. I end every lifting session with some form of metabolic conditioning. For sets and reps, I will work up to 1 really heavy top set of <5 reps, drop the weight by 20% and then do 3 sets of 5-8 reps for volume. I try to train bjj 3 days a week but that isn’t always possible due to my work and school schedule right now. At BJJ I try to roll with the most challenging people there to help build my technique, toughness and conditioning.

I hope this helps.


Thanks for the reply. That’s my general thought as well. Although I “think” I’ve seen articles that believe you should not sacrifice strength for conditioning, since strength training has its own anaerobic conditioning properties. Regardless, the consensus if that these 3 areas are most important, with skill work trumping all.

When referring to conditioning in this hierarchy, is it referring to sport-specific conditioning, or additional, general physical preparedness type of conditioning?

Thanks again


Good stuff. Thanks for the reply. I’ll check out those programs.



Thanks for the reply. Yes - this is good info. Not dissimilar to my program. Depending on my goals, I modify my overall program to put things into focus, or into maintenance. BJJ is always the anchor to my program though. Everything else is designed to make it better.



Right now I do 5/3/1 2x a week. The MMA version on his blog. I train 2x to 3x a day. I try to do mainly skill work. I had a very good base of strength when I started.


Thanks. I’ll check out the 5/3/1 for MMA. Skill work + strength training = potent combo.



I agree wholeheartedly with Robert and Idaho.

Skill training first, always. And when it comes to boxing skills, I trust my own boxing coach, then Ross Enamait and JT Van (on YouTube) for guidance. I’ve also found videos from other coaches I trust, such as Freddie Roach, have helped me piece together facets of my skillset that were otherwise lacking.

As far as lifting, I don’t go further than Jim Wendler and Dan John. All other strength coaches are superfluous.


I honestly took KMC’s words as applying across the board. I think a different poster referred to it as the Unified Theory of Combat Training.

So a lot of “skill work” amounts to sport specific conditioning. I am assuming you are BJJ focused because of your screen name so I think we could both agree that drilling techniques, “situations”(escape from _____, keep ____ position), or just rolling can all be physically draining and tax conditioning and strength. It still counts as skill work for the paradigm. I think KMC’s hierarchy also explains why so many high level combat athletes have such mundane “strength” or “conditioning” programs. The fight training eats up most of their energy/reserves.

There are a lot of articles and programs written by smart, dedicated, ethical coaches on this site that suggest or flat out state that fighters should be doing more intensive cardio/sprints and some really hard core maximal strength and “sustained strength” work. Then we see videos of Manny Pacquiao doing 3 sets of “a bunch” with light dumbells, Floyd Mayweather Jr. jogging for “road work” or Cro Cop squatting in a smith machine. I think the missing piece there is that if you already are training boxing/BJJ/wrestling so hard that you have to tuck your balls into your socks to keep from tripping over them you don’t have as much left for the “extra”/supportive work.

I remember KMC wrote about running long slow distances as “breathing work” when he was competing. It is worth noting that KMC competed in wrestling and judo at very high levels.

When I think that makes the most sense is with a very out of condition fighter/athlete or someone who is just beginning. If someone showed up on your gym’s mat with zero athletic background, can’t hang from a pullup bar grip strength, hast to do pushups on his/her knees core/upper body strength, and can’t talk after climbing stairs conditioning than I really think you reverse the hierarchy.

Someone that weak would need perfect technique to get anything done against a resisting opponent with bad intentions, and they aren’t perfect. If you can’t carry a meals worth of groceries across a parking lot being able to be weak as shit for a long time isn’t going to help as much as getting stronger, etc. I say all of this as a card carrying member of the “Technique is my religion, Pajama Warrior, Traditional Martial Artist” club.


Robert A



I hope that isn’t a new injury. I was in e-mail contact with him late 2014, early 2015 about his really bad injury. This was of course back when I was pulling my weight and answering e-mails in a timely fashion. If I missed something else I am going to feel even shittier about not finding the time to post much last year. I already feel terrible about fear’s log.

I would check Irish’s log to see if anyone has a bag similar to that kmc bro.


Robert A


What you’ll often find is that those articles are always written by strength coaches who’ve never fought a day in their lives.

Skill and conditioning are always your money makers. Anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell something.


I would put DeFranco in there. Especially for a younger athlete who is “off season”. Dan John’s article about strength guidelines for athletes is gold when this stuff comes up.

I would only add that if any of those is a “shouldn’t” make sure the reason is known and understand that such reasons may make competition sketchy. So if the benching guideline is not possible, a long career at a high level in combat sports may not happen.


Robert A


Push ups, planks, dips, pull ups and squats.

The fuck is your training so hectic for?


Just re-read that article. Awesome stuff.

Dan John is just so goddamn good at keeping it utterly simple - and utterly useful.