T Nation

Demystifying My Workout


Hey I am new to this forum, not new to fitness, but very new to the Gym. Some questions have not been clarify yet although I have asked many coaches in the gym (maybe my university?s coaches which are probably just students that applied for a job there) do not know as much as I wish :frowning: I would appreciate a lot any help you guys can give me or tips, and if there is something I can help with my Martial Arts knowledge I would gladly help.

Well one of the things is to set a goal for the gym workout right? My goal is to gain strength and endurance for Judo, TKD (tae kwon do), and an all around fighting (mma).

I used to be part of the Mexican TKD team around 5 to 4 years ago, and back then I did not have to do anything, they would give me the shakes, the pills, the protein, the vitamins that I needed and all I needed to do was train. Now, without the millions and trillions of coaches I am left lost in the propaganda of the ?Magic Energy pills,? ?Super Bull?s nuts Protein? or the ?Testosterone Factory powder.?

Basically I need help developing a steady, nice, hard workout if the one I have is not correct to help me increase strength and endurance (now days judokas look as swollen as Arnold). The one I am doing right now leaves me sore every time I work that type of muscle so I assume it?s working. This is my 5th week so next week is my de-loading week. So if someone can go over my workout and say if it?s good for me or not i will be forever thankful.

Is the Pyramid workout right for me?

I am not sure what to do to raise my ATP levels ribose and creatine perhaps?

Also what supplements do I need, I am taking caffeine, green tea, isolate whey protein, multivitamins, and I have a good diet with 5 meals a day.

Besides the gym workout I do grappling (judo) a few hours, shadow boxing 10 min, sparring not sure about the time, 60 min cardio divided in 40 min and 20 min sessions. All of this leaves me depleted so I have hydro-pro and electrolytes to re-hydrate myself

My Rest time is ok I think every time I start a workout at the gym I am not sore on the muscles I will work, I sleep 6 to 8 hrs, take slushy baths when sore, contrast showers and ice massage. I am seeing good results with this gym workout; however I believe it can be changed to become a smarter plan, and I would like to stick to free weights to increase my core. And although I may sound to be very knowledgably about it?I am not. I am very confused as of right now. For example people say first I should do hypertrophy, then strength training, and I though I was doing both?.argh I have not idea what I am doing with this plan I have right now, any help enlighten me according to my goals will be appreciated?a lot, really a lot.

I workout at the gym 5 days a week and it goes like this

MONDAY is: biceps, triceps, and forearms.

Bicep Curls (5 sets, first 3 sets to 25 rep 4th and 5th set to 12 rep. I do pyramid training starting at 10lbs and moving to 35lbs on each side with the bar)

Triceps extension (5 sets, first 3 sets to 25 rep 4th and 5th set to 15 rep. Pyramid again starting at 5lbs and moving to 20lbs dumbbell)

One Arm Bicep Curl [isolation] (This one is done over one of those crystal balls. 5 sets, first 3 sets to 25 rep 4th and 5th set to 12 rep. Pyramid again starting at 10 all the way to 40 dumbbell).

Overhead Triceps Extension (5 sets, first 3 sets to 25 rep 4th and 5th set to 15 rep. Pyramid again starting at 5lbs and moving to 25lbs dumbbell)

Push Ups (2 sets of 15 of regular pushups with elbows close to body and hands in a fist. 2 last sets of clapping push ups)

Alternating Dumbbell Raises (5 sets, first 3 sets to 25 rep 4th and 5th set to 12 rep each side. Weight goes from 10lbs each hand to 30)

Forearm Curls (my hands are behind my back near my bottom and are done with the bar. 5 set, first 3 of 45 rep and last 2 of 40 rep. Weight goes from 5 lbs on each side to 20)

Reverse Bicep Curls (The ones done with overhand grip and then bring the bar to chest?not sure if I got the name right. 5 sets, 12 rep. Weight goes just as the forearm curls)

Bench Presss (5 sets, first set 30 rep, 2nd set 30, 3rd set 25, 4th set 20 and last set 15rep. Weight goes from 10lbs each side to 50 each side plus the weight of the bar?a total weight I think of 125lbs)

Triceps bench overhead (skull crushers) (5 sets of 20 reps. Weight goes from 10lbs to 25)

Bench Press close grip (5 sets, first set 25 rep, 2nd set 20, 3rd set 15, 4th set 15 and last set 12rep. Weight goes from 10lbs each side to 45 each side plus the weight of the bar?a total weight I think of 120lbs).

Hammer curls (5 sets of 12 rep. Weight goes from 10lbs to 25)

TUEDAY: legs

I have this pretty much down with reg squats, wide squats, lounges, one legged lounges, one leg jumps, dead lifts, calf raises, glute ham raises, and rubber band exercises and kicking. My legs are pretty strong after all that time in TKD.

Wednesday: rest

THURSDAY: Shoulders, back, neck

Lateral Shoulder Raises: (5 sets, first 3 sets 20 rep, 4th set 15, last set 12. Weight goes from 10 to 30lbs) With Dumbbell

Neck Curls: (5 sets 20 rep. Weight goes from 2.5 lbs to 15lbs)

Upright shoulder raises: (5 sets, first 3 sets 20 rep, 4th set 15, last set 12. Weight goes from 10 to 30lbs). With Dumbbell

Mat Curls: (wrestling exercise to strengthen the neck. 4 sets of 12 rep)

Neck: (this consists of trying to push someone?s leg with my head to the right and then left. 4 sets each side with 15 rep)

Shoulder shrugs: (5 sets of 25 rep. Weight goes from 20 to 40) With Dumbbell

Overhead shoulder: (5 sets of 20 rep. Weight goes from 10 to 30) With Dumbbell

Military press: (5 sets, first 3 of 20 re, last 2 of 12rep. Weight goes from 20lbs on bar to 70 on bar.) With bar on back of head

Judo Pushups: 3 sets of 15 rep.

Military press: (5 sets, first 3 of 20 re, last 2 of 12rep. Weight goes from 20lbs on bar to 70 on bar.) With bar on front of chest.

Shoulder lifts: (This one is done by lifting the bar to your chin level?I do not know its name. 5 sets of 20 rep. Weight goes from 20lbs on bar to 40lbs on bar)

Arnold shoulder presses: (4 sets of 12 rep. Weight goes from 10lbs to 20) With Dumbbell

Good mornings (3 sets of 15 rep. Weight stays the same 50lbs on bar)

FRIDAY is legs

Saturday, and Sunday is playing soccer, basketball polymetrics, conditioning and rest.

My conditioning involves jumping squats and jumping lounges as well as level changes from Greco roman wrestling. And Some other exercises. So thanks for whatever help you can provide and for taking the time to read my post. Thank you.



I'm willing to try to help but we need to trim the question down a bit. If you want all those questions answered then you need to find a coach and pay them or get paid by them.
If you will go slowly I will do my best though.
First, there is a good article an this site ( http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1016556 ) that you need to start with. It isn't a workout, diet or anything else, it's a history that I'm sure ou know most of but it also has some goals at the end for you to work for. I would also wait for Part 2 of that article because it should have more workout type stuff or email the author directly.
First, your goal, from what I can tell, is to be an MMA fighter. Make that your priority. Make sure your lifting and cardio do not interfere with your studio training.
Next, figure out where you need to improve the most and make that second. Do you get winded in a fight? You need to up your conditioning. Want to punch harder? Well, that's more complicated. Are you just lifting because that is a component of your training and you aren't sure where to take it? When I look through your workout, I see the latter, which is ok but I want to make sure you are getting what you want out of a workout.
If it is the latter, as I suspect, stay off the supps. No creatine, no protein, maybe some Surge during workouts to keep the energy level up. Stick to your green tea and caffiene and I could argue against even those. If you want to combine those into one then go with Spike that is sold here, but DO NOT take all three together.
I only glanced over your workout, we can talk more about that later. What I do see is that your volume is probably too high. Since weightlifting is not your top priority don't wipe yourself out with it. Think about learning olympic lifts for more explosive power. I would also stick to primarily dumbell exercises and maybe some kettlebell, medicineball and sledgehammer work, but those are some of my favorites so I might be wrong there. I would also look around some MMA sites and see what they have listed for workouts. Ask other fighters here on T-Nation, I'm sure we have more than a few. See what they are doing.
Once you fill me in on some of the above we can continue, if you like or we can stop if I'm not headed down the road you like.


Damn son, I got tired just reading that.


As far as supplements go, 5 good meals per day is by far the BEST 'supplement' ever. A good multi-vitamin and some extra protein-powder are probably the first two supplements I'd recommend, followed very closely with Fish-oil/Flaxseed oil. Omega-3 fatty-acids in fish/flax oil will help reduce any inflammation that you're experiencing, and can help you avoid injury. You can usually find this at GNC, and even at many grocery stores these days. Biotest also sells a good supplement on this site. One major question, are you eating enough? The list of exercises you're doing here will burn a ton of calories, so make sure you're getting enough to eat. Read-up on some of the John Bernardi articles on this site. As for other supplements, there's not much that they really do for you. Spend your time and energy training and eating right, not supplements.

As for training, it looks like you're on a basic body-building-style workout program; this probably isn't bad for your first couple of months of weight-training if you're going for a mix of strength + endurance. However, you'll probably start to plateau after 3-4 months. The other issue is if you're interested in competing in weight-class events, you might want to keep the hypertrophy under-control, as growing excess muscle-tissue might put you in the next weight-class. Keep in mind, muscle-strength and power isn't the dependant on just muscle size, you can get stronger without increasing muscle-mass and you can increase muscle-mass without increasing strength.

Since you're going for a mix of strength, endurance, and general physical fitness you might want to try doing full-body workouts with a "5, 10, 15" protocol. I.e. on workout #1 do 5 rep sets, workout #2 do 10 rep sets, workout #3 do 15 rep sets, each at your 5RM, 10RM, 15RM respectively. The 5-rep workouts will build one's strength, while the 15-rep workouts build endurance. Also, since you're going for Martial Arts, developing Power (i.e. the ability to generate force quickly) will be key, so I'd recommend working-in what's called 'dynamic' work, i.e. lift a lighter weight as fast as you can. For instance you can make the 10-rep lifts speedy; don't compromise on form or range-of-motion, but do each rep (up and down) as fast as possible. This is a classic Powerlifter training technique, search on this site for 'Westside' articles for more.

You're also rather devoid of actual core-work. I would add some twisting exercises into your program.

Here's a rough Push-Pull workout split:

Workout A ("Push" workout)

Overhead Press
Ab Crunches (hold a weight-plate on your chest to increase resistance)
Triceps Extensions (Since you're going to be punching people)
Grip-work - (Farmer's Walk, plate-pinch, or other grip-toy)

Workout B ("Pull" workout)

Pull-ups (weighted if need-be)
Cable-woodchoppers (Low-to-high and High-to-low)
Good Mornings
Bent-over reverse Dumbell Fly

Feel free to swap-out and/or add equivalent exercises if you're getting bored or need to change it up. Remember, you'll adapt to just about any program in 6-12 weeks, so you'll need to plan to make adjustments frequently.

A few other random points:
1.) Don't worry about how you look, work on improving how you perform. Keep track of your workouts in a workout log and check back every few weeks/months to see if you're improving or not.

2.) Set specific goals for some of the key lifts: I.e. "I want to squat twice my Body-Weight for 5-reps, and 1.5 BW for 10 reps".

3.) The main key here is to reach muscle-overload. How you get to overload will affect how the muscle recovers, and thus, what sort of results that you'll get.

4.) If you can find a good coach to actually train you in the lifts, Olympic lifts such as Cleans and Snatch?s can be wonderful for developing power. However, the form is critical, so I wouldn't recommend just reading a few internet articles and trying them out. Find someone who knows them and get trained properly.

5.) Whenever you read anything about training or nutrition, ask yourself the following question before you change anything in your program: "Is this new methodology going to help me get to my goals?" For example, there are a ton of bodybuilding magazines out there, some good, some bad, but most of them dispense bodybuilding advice, not MMA training advice. Always keep YOUR goals in mind.


Lol I am a Personal Trainer and a Third Dan (Sandan) in karate and that question while totally up my alley was way too much effort for my personal time. For future reference, most definitely ask one or two questions at a time. People are extremely willing to help, but they wont take hours out of their day to do it.


I am very sorry for the long post. The thing is that I workout several times a day and go to school, so I decided to post a long one rather than one each day or so. In fact it was my gf that posted for me and she said the same thing "too f*** long." But for future reference this will be my first and last long post : )

So trimming my questions down.

1)Is that pyramid gym workout ok for me?

I feel I may be overworking myself with it.

2)Should I try more supplements besides caffeine and protein?

My TKD coached used to give me sodium carbonate an hour before a tournament (15mg) and ribose afterwards (mostly after a fight).

Tanks for the article starksman, yeah gym and cardio are somewhat interfering with my actual training but not for long as my cardio level increases then I will lessen the time on it.
I do get windy. I got really winded on my last tournament at A&M, I mean it was my first fight and I was like grasping for air...I think I did not warm up correctly and I was extremely cold and tense. The fights afterwards (judo) went just fine although I could not keep the fast rhythm as I wish I could. So I am working on my conditioning really hard.

My punches yeah that is really complicated but I am getting some help there.

And yes I am working out in the gym because it is a component of my overall training and I am not sure were to take it. I am getting results out of it yes, but sometimes I feel I am doing the exercises and reps just because.

Thanks for the help about the supplement. I did get some electrolytes and the hydro-pro to recover myself faster. I will look into Surge and Spike and I will not get creatine or try something else. Could you explain to me better why the 3 of them are bad? I won't try them but I have seem many people take a whole bunch of stuff at the same time and wanting me to try it. Oh fish oil too thanks john.

Yeah I do ketbells, sledgehammer and medicine ball (they go with part of my conditioning too) but I will certainly look into olympic lifts as well.

Oh and please continue I think you hit the nail, I just had a very confused and fast written post.



I will try the fish oil I've hear many things about it. I think I am eating enough...err I do count my calorie expenditure and replenish that. So on every 5 meals I try to eat carbs, protein, etc. I think I can do better there and I will certainly try.

I am pretty much in a basic body-building-style workout program like you said and I will need to change it I may need a bit of help there...And you bring an excellent point I do need to keep the hypertrophy down, although in TKD I am in Elite (no weight class), Judo I am above 200lbs (so I could be fighting a 205lbs guy or a 300lbs one), but thanks for the heads up.

You can you can get stronger without increasing muscle-mass? Really? Could you explain?

"Since you're going for a mix of strength, endurance, and general physical fitness you might want to try doing full-body workouts with a "5, 10, 15" protocol [...] Also, since you're going for Martial Arts, developing Power [...] so I'd recommend working-in what's called 'dynamic' work, [...] you can make the 10-rep lifts speedy; don't compromise on form or range-of-motion, but do each rep (up and down) as fast as possible. This is a classic Powerlifter training technique[...]"

This sounds really good should I change my plan then now? Or should I wait after my de-loading week (next week that is) or a few months when i reach my plateu?

"3.) The main key here is to reach muscle-overload. How you get to overload will affect how the muscle recovers, and thus, what sort of results that you'll get." I don't think I get this...

Thanks for the workouts! And the random facts I was forgetting a few of them on my training especially the "do not worry how you look" one. I appreciate your help, thanks.


Your questions first:
1)Is that pyramid gym workout ok for me?
No, you have a ridiculous amount of volume. You don't want big bulky muscles, you want power. So you are doing so much other conditioning I would keep to alternating 3X3 and 5X5. Anything over that is just interfering with what you are trying to do. There are a few other set/rep schemes that could be used effectivly but keep it at 25 reps total for an exercise.

2)Should I try more supplements besides caffeine and protein?
In my opinion, no. I might even suggest dumping those. If you use caffien before you train, make sure you use it before you fight. My understanding of competitive fighting is that there are weight classes and many people practically kill themselves to cut weight.That is why I am against the protein and any other growth supps. Those only make you heavier. Since you are more of a fighter than a body builder then you don't want weightlifting to take that number one spot. Just take in electrolytes (gatorade) and mabe a carb replinisher (gatorade, Surge, fruit smoothie).

You also asked why I said not to take Spike, caffiene and green tea together. That is a lot of stimulants. You get that much in you and your thinking will most likely be muttled and your reactions will be off. You need to keep you body balanced. You also need to train in a similar state to what you compete in. So if compete after having caffiene then train after having caffiene and so on.

When I read everything together, it looks to me like lifting should be the smallest componenet of your training, but you are investing a lot of time in it. Just like when you spar too long and you get tired and your form breaks down. Too much lifting will effect the rest of your workouts as well as expose you to possible injury.

If I were to start up TKD or something else at you level, I would lift 3 or 4 days a week. If I lifted three days a week, I would spend an hour each session doing a full body routine. Maybe like the following:
Mon: all lifts 3X3
Straightleg Deadlift
Barbell or Dumbell Rows
Push Press
Weighted Pull up
Weighted Dips
If you have time left some curls or wrist curls

Front Squat
Good Morning
Decline Press
High pulls or upright rows
Incline Press
Side Raises
Front Raises

Fri 2X5 or 1X5 depending on how aggressive you feel
Pull up
Press of your choice
Row of your choice

If you want to go four days a week take the same concepts and break them into upper and lower body days or into pushing and pulling days. Keep the reps low. With all you conditioning and practice you get more than enough high rep work done. For this stuff, you don't want to die under the bar, you should be able to complete each and every rep.

Spend at least four days a week doing heavy condtioning. I would get some sled drags, weighted vest, hill running type work and if you want to be a bad man do it all at once. One thing I recently fell in love with was loading some plates and my kettlebells on a sled, dragging the sled to the park (yead I drag sled through a major city, and no one screws with me about it) and do my kettlebell workout there. Then you get to load it up and drag it all home. Btw, my sled it a tire that I got used, for free from a service stations. So if you don't have a sled, that is your best option.

I just went back and read John3103's post. There are a couple minor areas where he and I differ but I can't say he is wrong about any of it. So make sure you take his advice into your mind as well. Also, I would still implore you to seek out MMA fighters and sites. Those will offer you workout from guys who do this for a living.


As far as I understand then, weight isn't the main factor, he's already over 200lbs and probably doesn't want to cut below and his TKD has no weight classes.

I'd say boost Max Strength first...after all, you don't want to endure or strike at a low level forever, it's better to hit harder isn't it? I say that because you seem to be a beginner at weights.

The 3-5 Method is good (see Staley's latest article for a far better explanation then I can offer) along with say burpees and the GPP methods offered by other people

As to the overload: basically, weight training is forcing your body to adapt. There are two ways of adaptation here: neurological and physical. In the first instance (purely neurological) you get strength but no size. Your body is simply learning to do a movement more efficiently and utilise more motor units (I forget the technical name) basically, your muscle contracts harder.

in the second, you get a bigger muscle. This is as much a function of calories as how you work out so you know...just eat if you want to grow.

Any more questions?


missed that in there. So not a being a martial arts guy, someone fill me in. 220 is considered heavy weight basically? What is the next class down?


curious, what are you using the Sodium Carbonate and Ribose for?

From my little bit of searching, Sodium Carbonate is largely a manufacturing chemical that is used as a detergent. I found that most water purifying systems try and remove it, not at it in and it is thought to lead to hardening of the arteries.

Looks like ribose is just a carb. Some people say it reduces stres so you may like that but it looks like you would be better with gatorade.


Sure! Here's the deal: How much power a muscle can develop is dependant on how many individual muscle fibers can 'fire' at the same time. The average lifter's nervous system is not able to fire every fiber the muscle has at the same time, meaning they can't get 100% of the muscles actual strength due to limitations of their Central Nervous System (often abreviated CNS)

So to get more power you can:

A.) Grow more muscle fibers, and in the process, gain more weight and need to lug around more muscle-mass

-- OR --

B.) Train your nervous system to fire more fibers at the same time.

Lifting weights in the 8-12 RM range is a good way to stimulate your body to grow more muscle. On the other hand, lifting in the 2-3 RM range, and/or lifting in the 8-10 RM QUICKLY is a great way to stimulate your nervous system to gain more capacity. Since you're new to lifting, I would recommend training with a 5X5 protocol to avoid injury for the first few months. Once you've got some more lifting experiance under your belt, change it up and do some lifting in the 2-3RM, and possibly even try some 1RM lifts. (The main risk is trying to lift too much and injuring yourself, so try and balance that into your own training equations) I'm borrowing here from classic powerlifter training, you might want to search around here for articles by Dave Tate, or head over to http://www.elitefts.com/articles/Powerlifting/default.asp and read-up on some of the powerlifting articles there. Much of what's been written about powerlifting can be applied to other lifts besides the big-3 powerlifting moves.

As you're progressing through your various trainings, just keep the following in mind:

1-5 RM for Strength/Power
5-12 RM for Hypertrophy
12-18 RM for endurance (lactic-acid tolerance, not areobic endurance)

This is a bit of a simplification, but if you feel you are lacking in any particular area, change-up your program to compensate.

As far as when to change your program, I would probably wait untill after your planned de-loading week. As a beginer, you're going to progress with just about any program for right now. You might also want to take some time and test-out what your current strength levels are, i.e. find your 5RM, 10RM etc.

Keep in mind here, I'm not an expert by any means. I'm just a guy who reads articles and is re-writting some of the relevant points for your convience.

Train Hard.


For most TKD and Karate once you are over 200 or so you are heavyweight, If he is 220 he is doing good and doesnt need to drop as long as he can retain his flexibilty and power.


Lemme try and explain this one a bit more. If you go to the gym and lift a light weight for a couple of reps, you're not going to get any progress. You've got to push your muscles harder than they are accustom to, that will stimulate them to grow stronger/faster/bigger whatever. Keep in mind, your body doesn't want to get stronger. It's biologically expensive to maintain stronger/faster/bigger muscles, so your body isn't going to do it unless you've given it a damn good reason. You don't need to train to failure (i.e. for each set, lift until you can't possibly lift any more), but you do need to be constantly pushing yourself further than you've been before.

Ideally, you should be trying each workout to break a personal record, i.e. lift the same weight for one more rep than you previously lifted, or lift 1-2 more pounds than you did last time.

Hope this helps!



Sorry for the late responses you guys I I am taking your advise seriously but have limited time right now to get on the computer so I print the comments, read them, and come during a break or at the end of the day to reply.

25 rep per exercise sounds so much better, it takes a lot of weight out of my shoulders. Should I do the 3x3 like pyramid or just take the weight I can do 12 rep with and stick to it?

About the supplements I do not have to worry about dropping weight I am more concern about bettering the ATP synthesis process or alleviate the lactic acid levels on my muscles. I do not like Gatorade though, I have the hydro-pro, pedialite, and trace minerals.

Thanks for the workout plan, I'll change it a bit and add a few exercises. For running I strapped my gf to a tire that is attached to my shoulders and chest and then run with her. She gets a happy ride and I get my workout. I usually hold a medicine ball and some metal rings on my wrists (Chinese rings), and since in Austin TX there is like a hill every 20 meters then I get my up and down hill sprints.

I do get some help from people involve on MMA, but most of them differ on gym workouts, and since I am training for different sports it is a bit harder and tricky.

Well ITF has some tournaments and I am in Elite (meaning I been there too long, and I am still kind of good), but they still classify it; 84 kg and over is Heavy and below 84kg is middle. So I go in Heavy.
In Judo above +100kg is heavy and 90kg to 100kg is half heavy, here it gets interesting because my weight is 220, so if I lose a few pounds I go to half heavy, and if I go up some few pounds I go heavy. I do not really find much difference really in weight, so I train basically for 90 to 100+ and so far no problem. Well one time I fought a 300lbs guy...oh man he was heavy.

Well as I recall. The body uses the ATP and creatine phosphate in the very first 7 minutes, then they are used up. Glycogen is the used and is broken down to produce more CP that catalyses a reaction to produce ATP. During that process, glycolosis, lactic acid is produced.

C3H6O3--> gives off a hydrogen ion H+

The resulting binds to a Potassium Ion K+ and forms a salt.

So after glycolosis the cell contains a lactate compound and a H+ for each lactate acid produced. H+ caused pH to decrease becoming more acidic. The acid causes the uhmm the calcium-binding (I think that is how they are called) to decrease limiting muscle contraction. After that some lactate is send to the liver to synthesize glucose, and what is left acts together with our oxygen to re-synthesize ATP via anaerobic metabolism

So the Sodium Carbonate raises the pH thus limiting the acidic levels = lactate.

Yeah ribose is just sugar so I think I am better off . Thanks for your help.



Yeah I am cool not cutting weight down. And I am beginner at weights (not sure if you can tell), been on and off you know, squats, machines, but most of my coaches made more emphasis on training and getting a sport specific gym workout. The later is very tricky and harder so I opted for an overall workout (well at least I tried to come up with one).

And yes I would like to boost my strength, but also power you see I can give a punch really hard...but really slow. So somewhere in between would be cool. Here they have mention me to lift the weights explosively for that.

Thanks for the overload explanation. One thing I do for bench press too is to lay in the floor and someone would lean on top of me in a push up position and I push them off, then move them down and repeat (30 or 45 sec) trying to simulate the movement of me escaping someone else?s side control...So since i saw pretty good results without an actual growth in muscle size I think I see it now.

I?ll read up Staley's article, and try to come up with a workout. I am sure I will have more questions after the readings I will do. I will post them promptly.



It seems then I am looking to train my nervous system more then and I should be doing a 3 to 5 RM and then later change it to a 12 to 18 RM. I will wait after my-deloading week I need a break, recover from injuries that I have, and measure my strength fully recovered.

Yeah I knew that much about the gym, I think it applies to everything. So every time after each workout I am sore in the muscles I worked that day, so I am doing that right so far. I do it with reps rather than weight.

Hopefully this workout will train my fibers quickly because once the burn sets in, oh boy it's hard to make it go away ; )

Thanks for your help


A couple of thoughts here:

1) Your attitude is great. It's nice giving advice to someone who wants to listen and work.

2) You have a pretty decent biological overview of ATP synth/glycolysis.

3) "Sport-specific workout"--means many things, and can be a dangerous word game. Good trainers and athletes use the term to mean energy demand specific training, and/or movement specific training. But a lot of people use the term to mean crazy bosu ball balancing exercises and a lot of other worthless "functional" crap. Stay away from that. To make progress, as a poster above said, you have to push your muscles and/or your CNS and/or your endurance hard enough to make it adapt. Then you have to back off and recuperate (down weeks), and do it again.

Ok, here's what I would do, in very general terms. I realize some of this may start to confuse you, but you've received some good advice on this thread already. It will start you off, and you can experiment and ask questions as you progress:

1) Train the nervous system to make you stronger, more explosive, and faster.

Because you are a relative beginner at weight training, this means establishing a base of solid training knowledge and work capacity, as some have already posted. Then working on grinding out heavier weights (2-3reps/set) and light weights (8-12 RM) for 2-3 explosively fast reps per set. Key there is bar speed and form. If speed suffers, stop.

But in order for you to be a good judoka or mma guy, you can't just concentrate on lifting max weights or lifting explosively. After all, you have to repeat your efforts for a few minutes at a time each round, and then do it again the next few rounds. So you'll have to work on muscle endurance and lactic acid tolerance.

So far, most people here are posting (and I agree with them), that you need a strength base first. So get strong, then get fast and enduring. You're only as strong as your weakest link, and right now that's probably strength. Later you can switch up.

A couple final notes: first, lifting explosively will not DIRECTLY help you punch faster. That has a lot more to do with being able to relax your punches so you don't have to fight your own muscle tension to strike out (think whiplike). Explosively lifting will help you train your CNS for more explosive movement in general, but specific MA techniques are generally going to be best trained directly.

Second, as far as muscle endurance and lactic acid training, the general idea is to train the same type of bodily energy system you'll use in fights in the gym. Say you have 5 min rounds with 1 min rest between. So, will running for 60 minutes straight help you very much? Probably not. The last 55 minutes of your endurance exercise are mostly wasted, because you only have to fight 5 minutes. So work endurance in 5-10 minute intense time periods and try to gradually reduce rest periods to at or below the amount of rest you will get in competition. After you're doing well with that, try to gradually increase the amount/intensity of the work you do in your 5-10 minute rounds of endurance training.

Third, as Charles Staley is fond of stating, don't seek fatigue, manage it. Soreness and being drained are not always good indicators of a productive workout. They can be, of course, but it's not a hard rule.

FINALLY, don't jump into everything we've said all at once. Do some more reading around here and at other sites like elitefts.com. We don't want to give you paralysis from all this information (even though I tend to ramble on). It's there for you to think about.

COMMON SENSE will explain a lot of what I've said here, and others before me--what is required to get stronger? Heavy weights. What is required to get faster in general? light weights moved for a few very explosive repititions, plyometrics, sprinting, jumps, etc. Anything that involves rapid change of direction or rapid generation of muscular force. What is required to punch faster? Relaxation and technique work. And finally, how long will I be working in the ring, and how long will I have to recover between rounds? That is the time period you should work at. A little long endurance work is ok, but really most of it is a waste, IMHO.

Ask questions, get answers. Read, verify, practice, repeat.

Good luck.


Yeah, that's about right. Back off weeks help a lot with life in general.

And also, we shouldn't need to tell you, form comes before weight. You don't want to be a walking injury waiting to happen. Especially in your game. And btw, if squatting, or exercise Y or whatever hurts when you do it, stop for a while then go back and try to relearn it from the ground up. Often times we learn things wrong and we don't even know it.


Sorry for my late reply. Since this week was my de-loading oh man the bed, the doctor, and the sport massage were my favorite places to be in. Turns out I have a metatarsal fracture on my right foot, a turf toe on my left. Some old elbow injuries and a small bicep injury too. Most of them are not that bad since I did not noticed the pain, but the doctor sure noticed. Man I feel as if I am a walking ice cube with all that ice on top of me.

I like to learn I am not great on the gym but learning it will help me develop things I may not develop fast (or at all) at the dojo and my regular training. So a good attitude means faster learning! My ATP overview is ok, thanks for the compliment I wish I knew a lot on how to train it.

About the sports specific I do some swiss ball things, medicine ball (like push up, catch, send it back, back to the floor to do a push up), I stay away from ketbells since, well, I am skeptic about them. What I do I use a curl and put the weight on only one side and practice some throws, it helps a lot, and also hammers to improve my hooks. I do a lot of sport specific during my cardio. And I keep all cardio and endurance to 30 min, then 20 min and a last 15 min.

1)So is sport specific training bad?
2)Don?t kill me for asking this, but what about those jumpsoles?
3)I do like plyometrics but I'll rather put tape on the floor instead of buying a tiny little plastic ladder for 69$. Is there any difference?
4)Now about plyometrics I am a stupid for not buying all that they sell for "plyometrics" I mean I can pretty much jump on and off on a bench rather than their fancy buckets , rung dragging my gf instead of a fancy parachute. Take a backpack and put weights on it etc etc...I mean am I not being a cheap moron and putting wallet before quality?

You answer a lot of things I was wondering, thanks. I am starting to work on my plan for the next 4 weeks. But I think I may even take a few days off of next week since my metatarsal is starting to bother me greatly, and that takes a lot from me since I have pain sprinting, sprawling, ect etc. : ( so back to the doctor and coach for me.

As I am working on my plan, I will let you know future questions. Thanks a lot for your help and I am looking forwards to out all of everyone's advise into practice!