T Nation

Critique MMA-Based Workout

Hey guys,
I wanted to post my planned schedule for training for the next few months:

Sun: off
Mon: strength
Tues: endurance a.m.; BJJ p.m.
Wed: Muay Thai (home)
Thurs: endurance a.m.; BJJ p.m. (when possible)
Fri: strength
Sat: Muay Thai

I’ve been training Muay Thai for 6 months and have progressed nicely, moving my way into the intermediate/advanced level, which includes sparring. As for BJJ, I started off as a newbie and after 3 months was making good progress, but due to work schedule conflicts, I haven’t done any BJJ in 4 months. So, I’ll be starting over from scratch most likely in that regard.

Strength workouts:
Monday

  1. One-arm DB Snatch, 5x5 (explosive)
  2. Box Squat, work up to max of 3 reps.
  3. Incline BB Bench, work up to 3RM
    4A. Chin-ups, 3x3
    4B. Standing Calf Raises, 3x5
    5A. Hand walks, 3x5
    5B. Hammer Curls, 3x5
    6A. Reverse Wrist Curls, 3x5
    6B. Wrist Curls, 3x5

Friday
1A. Box jumps, 5 sets
1B. Clap push-ups, 5x5
2. Romanian Deadlift, work up to 3RM
3A. Standing DB Shoulder Press, 3x3
3B. One-arm DB Row, 3x3
4A. Preacher Curl, 3x5
4B. Close-grip bench press, 3x5
5A. Plate Pinchers, 3 sets
5B. Seated Calf Raises, 3x12

Endurance workouts
Tuesday
Barbell Complexes
4 sets of 6 reps:

  1. Bent-over rows
  2. Close-grip upright rows
  3. Hang cleans
  4. Good mornings
  5. Squat then directly into behind the neck press
  6. Lunges

Do 6-8 sets of sprints (30-40 yards)

Thursday
do either CW’s circuit or put together a circuit of sprints, farmer’s walks and BW exercises.

I followed something similar to this (although with no BJJ training due to work) the past few months and made some great gains.

I’m open to any suggestions to streamline or change certain exercises. The extra forearm/grip stuff is in there b/c that’s a major weak point for me.

Thanks,
Dan

What’s up,

Are you looking to compete, or do you do BJJ/MT as a hobby? I do it as a hobby, and your plan looks pretty similar to what I am currently doing.

The only thing I would change, for myself, would be the box squat. Why not try a single leg variation like lunges or split squats? I prefer unilateral movements myself, and I find them easier on my knees. If your grip truly sucks, try doing your chins with a towel. Throw it over the bar, and just grab it, and do some chins. These are ridiculously harder than a regular chin.

Anyway, I hope I helped somewhat. Good luck.

I’m just doing MMA as a hobby, although I’d like to enter some submission grappling tourneys in the future.

I’m doing box squats because I wanted to work on my posterior chain for a few weeks. Prior to this current routine I did a lot of pistols, and I’m sure I’ll go back to them at some point.

I always seem to forget about towel chins. You’re right, they fry the forearms and are great for grip strength. I think I’ll make that change next week.

hey, i compete in N.A.G.A. on a regular basis and also in m/t as well as mma.what kind of endurance/cardio are you doing?and also as far as you competing (make sure your cardio is a game)i have seen a number of people get gassed just waiting for a match.also another tip when you get ready for a tourn. leave a few weeks time to cut,don’t try to sweat it off that day.you will dehydrate and never recover in time just experience talking! hit me back for any questions i can help with!!!i have been training for a few years

[quote]scoob wrote:
hey, i compete in N.A.G.A. on a regular basis and also in m/t as well as mma.what kind of endurance/cardio are you doing?and also as far as you competing (make sure your cardio is a game)i have seen a number of people get gassed just waiting for a match.also another tip when you get ready for a tourn. leave a few weeks time to cut,don’t try to sweat it off that day.you will dehydrate and never recover in time just experience talking! hit me back for any questions i can help with!!!i have been training for a few years[/quote]

I’m doing sprints, barbell complexes, bodyweight circuits and the classes themselves for cardio/endurance.

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:
Hey guys,
I wanted to post my planned schedule for training for the next few months:

Sun: off
Mon: strength
Tues: endurance a.m.; BJJ p.m.
Wed: Muay Thai (home)
Thurs: endurance a.m.; BJJ p.m. (when possible)
Fri: strength
Sat: Muay Thai

I’ve been training Muay Thai for 6 months and have progressed nicely, moving my way into the intermediate/advanced level, which includes sparring. As for BJJ, I started off as a newbie and after 3 months was making good progress, but due to work schedule conflicts, I haven’t done any BJJ in 4 months. So, I’ll be starting over from scratch most likely in that regard.

Strength workouts:
Monday

  1. One-arm DB Snatch, 5x5 (explosive)
  2. Box Squat, work up to max of 3 reps.
  3. Incline BB Bench, work up to 3RM
    4A. Chin-ups, 3x3
    4B. Standing Calf Raises, 3x5
    5A. Hand walks, 3x5
    5B. Hammer Curls, 3x5
    6A. Reverse Wrist Curls, 3x5
    6B. Wrist Curls, 3x5

Friday
1A. Box jumps, 5 sets
1B. Clap push-ups, 5x5
2. Romanian Deadlift, work up to 3RM
3A. Standing DB Shoulder Press, 3x3
3B. One-arm DB Row, 3x3
4A. Preacher Curl, 3x5
4B. Close-grip bench press, 3x5
5A. Plate Pinchers, 3 sets
5B. Seated Calf Raises, 3x12

Endurance workouts
Tuesday
Barbell Complexes
4 sets of 6 reps:

  1. Bent-over rows
  2. Close-grip upright rows
  3. Hang cleans
  4. Good mornings
  5. Squat then directly into behind the neck press
  6. Lunges

Do 6-8 sets of sprints (30-40 yards)

Thursday
do either CW’s circuit or put together a circuit of sprints, farmer’s walks and BW exercises.

I followed something similar to this (although with no BJJ training due to work) the past few months and made some great gains.

I’m open to any suggestions to streamline or change certain exercises. The extra forearm/grip stuff is in there b/c that’s a major weak point for me.

Thanks,
Dan[/quote]

I like the schedule, low volume, seems well balanced. Just be sure to watch your CNS, and not over train that cause you seem to be going fairly heavy and a lot of that can be draining.

So if you don’t have energy throughout the day or have a hard time winding down to sleep at night, or your sex drive is noticeably dropping… your central nervous system might be fatigued and you need to cut out something.

  • You identified a weakness (grip) and you’re taking steps to improve that. Good. I would cycle in towel pullups or use your gi instead. Thats really unbeatable for gripwork.

Also if you can get the little tampon thing that people put around the barbell when they squat. You can use that on a curl bar and grip that to do curls with.

Also, go to walmart or some discount store and buy one of those foam tube things that kids float on in pools. Cut that to the length of your dumbbells, cut a slit half way through it and hole it out a little bit.

BAM, instant thick dumbbells, relatively little cost. 1 arm snatches, 1 arm push presses, and just about any movement you do can be improved by doing this. After a while because you’re grip improves and you can squeeze the bar harder your lifts w/o the thick bar will improve too. You’ve been around T-Nation long enough to have seen the articles and stuff about this.

Do wrist curls with the plate instead of with a barbell. Just my opinion.

Check out dieselcrew.com for more info on gripping strength. They’re pretty much the kings of the shit.

  • for endurance work, complexes like that are great, but I think you need something a bit more like tabata rounds. a 5min round of tabata sprawls or thrusters is something that can take you from zero to hero very quickly. (google it or search here for more info)

20seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest… moving at a VIOLENT pace, you really have to channel the anger (like Dr. Berardi’s cool tip says) to keep up.

PM me your email address if don’t have a timer. I had a friend who’s good w/ protools make me a MP3 that plays chimes at the 20s/10s intervals. So you can just burn that onto a cd and play it on a stereo or onto your mp3 player and listen on there.

Check out rossboxing.com as well for very cool ideas as far as shit to do for conditioning.

a really simple one is to go to a track or somewhere with a nice 100yd of sprinting room. put a dumbbell or kettlebell at one end and a jumprope at the other (or nothing and just do bodyweight exercises. So you have 2 stations.

  • Do a Complex at Station 1
  • Sprint 100 yards to station 2
  • Jumprope, or do some bodyweight moves
    @ station 2
  • Sprint back to station 1

Repeat 3x, then rest for 1-2min and repeat again two more times.

If you have a sadist friend who would hold thai pads for you, then you have an even better tool to put at one of the stations.

Cool ross style complex:
5 1 arm presses/arm
5 1 arm snatches/arm
5 1 arm jerks/arm
5 1 arm swings/arm
10 burpees

crazy 8’s bodyweight drills:
8 chinese pushups
8 reverse squats
8 diamond pushups
8 Mountain climbers
8 v-ups

x2-3

[quote]scoob wrote:
hey, i compete in N.A.G.A. on a regular basis and also in m/t as well as mma.what kind of endurance/cardio are you doing?and also as far as you competing (make sure your cardio is a game)i have seen a number of people get gassed just waiting for a match.also another tip when you get ready for a tourn. leave a few weeks time to cut,don’t try to sweat it off that day.you will dehydrate and never recover in time just experience talking! hit me back for any questions i can help with!!!i have been training for a few years[/quote]

2nd this totally but if you dont plan on competing for a while don’t burn yourself out on cardio (yet)

Xen,
Good stuff, as always.

I’ve read about Tabatas and they sound brutal. Should I pair that with the complexes? Do 4 sets of complexes then finish with one, 5-minute round of Thrusters (20 sec. w/10 sec. rest)? Or would that be too much work?

Well, I answered my own questions. You definitely can’t do much of anything after going through a Tabata.

I did 5 min. of Tabata thrusters with 20-pound dumbbells and was worn out. I did 4 sets of sprints afterwards and was completely spent. I came very, very close to puking after this workout.

Very short but very intense.

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:
Well, I answered my own questions. You definitely can’t do much of anything after going through a Tabata.

I did 5 min. of Tabata thrusters with 20-pound dumbbells and was worn out. I did 4 sets of sprints afterwards and was completely spent. I came very, very close to puking after this workout.

Very short but very intense.[/quote]

Yup, 10-15min to make you think your heart will explode.

First time I did 5min sprawls, 5min thrusters, and 5min sledgehammer with a partner I TRULY thought I was going to die. I couldn’t get my heart rate down for so long, I just layed in a puddle of my own sweat haha

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
Djwlfpack wrote:
Well, I answered my own questions. You definitely can’t do much of anything after going through a Tabata.

I did 5 min. of Tabata thrusters with 20-pound dumbbells and was worn out. I did 4 sets of sprints afterwards and was completely spent. I came very, very close to puking after this workout.

Very short but very intense.

Yup, 10-15min to make you think your heart will explode.

First time I did 5min sprawls, 5min thrusters, and 5min sledgehammer with a partner I TRULY thought I was going to die. I couldn’t get my heart rate down for so long, I just layed in a puddle of my own sweat haha[/quote]

Sounds very similar to what I did. It took a while for my HR to go down but once it did, I felt fine.

Funny thing was, I was OK after the first few minutes after the workout, then once I got home (I live right next to the gym) it hit me and I probably laid on the couch for a good 20 minutes until I felt somewhat normal again.

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:
Xen Nova wrote:
Djwlfpack wrote:
Well, I answered my own questions. You definitely can’t do much of anything after going through a Tabata.

I did 5 min. of Tabata thrusters with 20-pound dumbbells and was worn out. I did 4 sets of sprints afterwards and was completely spent. I came very, very close to puking after this workout.

Very short but very intense.

Yup, 10-15min to make you think your heart will explode.

First time I did 5min sprawls, 5min thrusters, and 5min sledgehammer with a partner I TRULY thought I was going to die. I couldn’t get my heart rate down for so long, I just layed in a puddle of my own sweat haha

Sounds very similar to what I did. It took a while for my HR to go down but once it did, I felt fine.

Funny thing was, I was OK after the first few minutes after the workout, then once I got home (I live right next to the gym) it hit me and I probably laid on the couch for a good 20 minutes until I felt somewhat normal again.[/quote]

What tends to help that is either a sick amount of carbs and/or 2-3grams of L-tyrosine

(main ingredient in Power Drive)

Yeah, a drink with carbs would’ve been nice. I had mine all set and ready to go and then ran off to work without it. Definitely could’ve used them yesterday.