T Nation

Do Meatheads Dream of Iron Sheep?


@punnyguy Thanks old-timer. Unfortunately, whatever wisdom I have isn’t enough to make a living that doesn’t involve going to work all the damn time.

@hel320 Thanks Harry!

@duketheslaya One more thought… Remember that drilling and rolling are forms of training. I think it is natural for competitive people to turn those things into little contests. Sometimes this is good, if done mindfully, like when a partner makes you work a little harder during the drill, or even just a good hard roll. Maybe he’s giving you a little puzzle to solve, like stripping his grip before you extend the armbar. This is good. What is not good, or at least not productive, is using these moments to try and seem tough or to make a point somehow. Especially with armbars. Remember that it is YOUR responsibility to tap at the right time, not your partner’s responsibility to not break or damage your limbs.

Tuesday 6/12/18

I was supposed to meet an old friend to lift, but he skipped out on me. No shocker there. I wasn’t going to lift today at all, but since I was there I got under the bar a little.



Some curls
Some cable stuff for arms
Some shoulder rehab stuff

20 min sauna
10 min hot tub

One thing that’s surprised me about am lifting days with pm jiu jitsu is how well I seem to be recovering. I’m not hitting a lot of volume on my lifts right now, but even still, jiu jitsu seems to be fulfilling this “active recovery” role I’ve heard so much about. Squatting two days in a row? Who’d have thunk? Good stuff!


Wednesday 6/13/18



I taught a friend how to deadlift tonight, so I kept things brief for myself. I finally figured out my figure 8 straps too. I like them A LOT now.

Side note for anyone curious, I’ve switched to straps for all heavy deadlifts. I’m pretty proficient with mixed grip and grip strength has never been a limiter for me on deads, on pullups or in jiu jitsu for that matter. I have been having stiffness and pain that always seems to crop up on my left side trapezius. Maybe it is from mixed-grip deadlifing, maybe its something else. I really have no idea for sure.

That said, I’d rather train with both hands pronated and my body symmetrical. It just seems more sensible and I don’t see any downside to training with straps at this point in my lifting career.

Plus I think I’ll be pulling like a motherfucker with them. I’m just getting warmed up right now.


Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in…

I’ve got both good and bad news for readers of my log. The good news is that I just accepted a new part-time bouncing gig in town, in addition to negotiating almost double the rate I was getting paid at my old place.

The bad news is that it is a new and much more upscale establishment, going for a speakeasy theme with prohibition-era cocktails and a pretty decent looking menu… I’m sure there will be interesting encounters there, but I will be surprised if I ever have to put hands on anyone. Who knows though, maybe I’ll have to whoop some suit’s ass!


Don’t do that to me! I thought you’re going to say that due to your new job, you will have to cut down on BJJ. Phew!

Uhhhh not sure how to word this without sounding like a cockhead… But they arnt exactly difficult to work out are they? I’ve been using them for awhile now mostly with SGHP and top sets of deads and really like them as well.


Is there dander in upscale establishments?


@Irishman92 Listen cockhead, nobody told me how to use them and I figured you just loop them around your hands and let the bar hang on the straps. And guess what? I deadlifted 545 doing it this way!

@ChickenLittle Well it’s a small town so chances are I’ll see her, but that super-hot trainwreck of a gal is back with her younger trainwreck lover boy who she was probably trying to make jealous when she was flirting with me. They share an STD, so this is probably the best possible arrangement for the community. I’m sure there will be plenty of other ladies who want to flirt with a big old meatsack of buff and fluff wrapped up in a security shirt.


Wow! Got to love a small town!


Lmao yeah man that works! I’ve found them to be a bit loose lately and I actually twist them 2-3 times before wrapping them around the bar so they are tighter around my wrists. Makes the more explosive movements feel a bit more secure.


I’ve never used lifting straps and not real sure what figure 8 lifting straps are. I guess it’s the way you wrap them on the bar.


@Irishman92 Are you sure you’re talking about figure 8 straps? What you’re talking about sounds like regular straps to me.

@hel320 Figure 8 straps are just two loops

I was just looping them around my wrists and letting the bar hang, which worked but I couldn’t ever get it perfectly even.

Here’s how I use them know, tightening them up off to the side, which feels rock solid and allowed for an even, consistent set-up the first time I tried it (last week).


Monday 6/18/18




4 sets of 95x8

Lat PD

3 sets of 12

Buncha light shoulder rehab stuff.

20 min sauna
10 min hot tub


Monday 6/18/18

BJJ 90 min

Holy shit it was humid in the gym today. Like training inside of a dog’s ass. My gi was basically a weighted vest and sauna all in one. I should have called Trump to drain the swamp under my balls.

After warm-ups we practiced breakfalls. I paired up with our senior purple belt for everything tonight, and he’s a 24 year-old tank at about 5’8 and maybe 240. He’s definitely the best person for me to train with in class by a long shot, but I would have really liked to train with one of the beanpole guys under a buck fitty today. We did a fun drill called shove each other and don’t fall like an idiot. Over and over. Like violent burpees.

Side control escapes were what we drilled today. First up was knee-to-elbow escape to make space and replace the guard. Key details today were to remember to take “little steps” and control legs and hips. After the knee is replaced I need to hook their inside leg with my other leg, then shift my feet to their hips and then replace guard. Don’t try to go from a replaced knee right to closed guard, I need to work on the little steps in between.

Second escape was my bread-and-butter, the Gorilla Roll (or re-roll, as my instructor calls it). Key detail today was to take my frame out of their neck and grab the gi/belt to assist in the roll. Other key detail was to roll towards my hip, not over my chest. I’ve been getting away with a lot of slop on this and still having success because of my attributes and generally good timing. Tightening this up will just make it higher percentage on better and better guys.

Third escape was digging for the far-side underhook and getting your dick in the dirt. Same stuff here, no new details absorbed today.

Fourth escape was an escape that’s set up as your guard is being passed. Take the arm of the side that they’re passing with using your same-side arm. As they pass, stuff the arm in between their legs, rotate your other elbow onto the other side of their head, grab a gi/belt whatever and then walk your legs around so you’re hips are aligned with theirs, then roll. Simpler and faster than it sounds. This could be a good escape for me.

Two more variations on that involving slightly different set-ups.

I only rolled one round with our senior purple belt. He got me in an armbar after I successfully escaped his preceding armbar. The rest of the round I did better, passing his guard and holding side control. Couldn’t put anything together but held the position.

That’s it.


Tuesday 6/19/18

BJJ 90 min

Open mat at my brown belt friend’s house. Nobody else showed, so I got a private lesson.

We just rolled for about half of the time. Main take-aways for me was a better recognition of the lead-ins to the kung-fu choke, along with the various grips that can be used to achieve the same basic principle behind the kung fu choke. It is a lot like how you can finish a cross collar choke with both hands in the collar or one hand tugging on the gi fabric. Same choke, several different ways to tighten it. I also escaped his side control once and had my four or five seconds in the sun, doing my best to hold him in side control before he had me back on my back.

Technique for the day was back to basics with hip-outs and moving effortlessly into a stacked position with your legs over your body. Think trying to stand on your neck and touch your toes to the floor. I’m almost there, but I’ve got a little ways to go before I can assume this position without much effort or strain.

I also need to stop hipping out with my heels and start using my toes. This is very important and a bad habit I need to break.

After all that we split a bottle of Apple Jim Beam and now I’m here trying to coherently log my jiu jitsu thoughts at midnight on a Tuesday.

That’s it and that’s all.


When I took Taekwondo in Daegu, Korea it was in an upstairs Dojang with no heat or air. In summer I would be sweating like a pig and the Koreans might have a couple of beads of sweat on their foreheads. Attributed it to the red meat in our diet vs the Asian diet. In winter you really didn’t want to kick anyone/thing to hard because your feet were so cold


@hel320 I think there’s a lot to be said about the value of training in less than ideal conditions. Hot, humid, cold, wet and especially when you’re exhausted. The absolute most grueling rolls for me are when my brown belt instructor makes me tap him out. I’m not sure how long the last one ran. 10 min or so. And I didn’t tap him out because I beat him, I tapped it out because I finally grabbed the carrot he was dangling in my face the whole time. He just makes me work, and he could probably keep it up indefinitely.

Like your Korean buddies, this guy is in such good shape and so skilled at the movements of jiu jitsu that it no longer counts as cardio for him. He’s usually not breaking a sweat. Same age as me too. Amazing.


Thursday 6/21/18

BJJ 90 min

Side control was the subject of the day. First up was a counter to someone framing your hip. Grab the elbow and pull their hand off the floor and go to Kesa-Gatame. Replace your knee in their armpit even tighter and go back to side control.

Next up was an armbar from Kesa-Gatame. From Kesa, step over the head and scoop their arm. Straight armbar right there. Answer the phone.

If they push out of that, there’s an Americana with your legs if you stuff their hand under your bottom leg.

If they stuff or frame your face, drag the arm and get your head behind the elbow for an armbar.

First roll was with a big strong white belt who’s basically the same size as I am but a few years older. He’s a great guy to train with when he isn’t trying to give advice on something he’s literally never done before. I let him have top, rolled him easily, took mount and he tapped to moderate pressure. I let him have top again and tried to work escapes I suck at. We changed positions a bit but he did a pretty decent job of stuffing my escapes. He’s a big strong motherfucker, just like me.

This is a good indication that some of my escapes still suck. I NEED to be able to do all of these basic escapes on a white belt my size with minimal grappling training. My bread-and-butter stuff works fine but I want more bread and I want more butter.

Second roll was with our senior purple belt. I passed his guard but ended up in half guard for most of the match. I played it well and stuffed his escapes for almost the entire round, but I foolishly extended my left arm and he attacked with a Kimura. I defended by stuffing my arm in front of my belly, but that opened the door for the sweep. He tapped me with a kung-fu choke with 5 seconds left in the round. Good roll. Pretty happy with that whole sequence.


Saturday 6/23/18

Bouncing 540 min

First full shift at the new bar. The upper crust of my working class town came out, waited in line patiently and had a good time. I only had to bounce one guy who groped some guy’s wife as she was coming out of the restroom, leaving her really shook up and in tears and the husband enraged. Whatever confidence he had when he groped that woman was gone the moment I told him it was time to leave.

I found out shortly afterwards he’s getting slapped with a serious sexual harassment lawsuit for similar behavior at his former job. I’m sorry the woman got groped, but it does feel good bouncing scumbags.


Monday 6/25/18

BJJ 100 min

We did a fun little breakfall drill to start things up. Walk/shuffle backwards and a person gets in front of you at random so you trip unexpectedly. Then do your breakfall. On one of these I didn’t tuck my chin and bopped my head on the mat. Good way to learn.

Technique was a review of June’s attacks from side control.

Paper-cutter choke first. This is the same idea that my brown belt instructor teaches as “kung-fu choke”. Americana next. Power out of that, go to figure 4 armlock next. If they rotate out of that, switch to a kimura grip and go to Kesa-Gatame and finish the kimura by lifting them off the mat and rotating the arm back.

Next up was the straight armbar from Kesa. Step over the head and answer the phone. After that was an odd little Americana you can do with the legs. Finally was another armbar that’s there when you shuck their arm over the side.

First roll was with a new white belt I’ve been meaning to roll with. Now that I know how to really, really go easy on guys I feel fine with whatever initial terror I might be subjecting this poor fellow to because I know I’m not going to hurt him or even give him much pressure. I let him have top and work for a bit before I escaped, took side control, then mount and then high mount, tapping him with a simple armbar. Rest of the round was spent on some mount defense basics.

Next roll was with my black belt instructor. He was working a north south choke for a while on me. I played dumb to keep him working it but still tried to stop him from getting it really set in. It worked. I eventually rolled him out of side control and took it on him. I nearly got him in a paper cutter choke, but it wasn’t to be my day to tap out a black belt. He defended by getting up on his side. 5 min draw.

Purple belt next. Just lots of position trading with him, also tried getting him in a paper cutter choke. He also defended by getting up on his side. 5 min draw.

Blue belt next. Same basic story. Same choke attempt, same defense. 5 min draw.

Definitely getting good at my escapes. I spent the first half of all of those rounds on my back but escaped and held top till the bell, getting close to a few upper belt submissions.


Wednesday 6/27/18



Buncha light shoulder stuff

10 min sauna
5 min hot tub


Thursday 6/28/18

BJJ 90 min

Wrapping up side control for the month and reviewing our escapes.

Make space escape (aka knee-to-elbow) escape. Nothing new here
Re-roll escape. Key detail is to roll towards hip, something I learned earlier this month but failed to apply today.
Forget-the-name escape. Dig for far-side underhook, trap the knee with your other hand and get your dick in the dirt to drive them over.
“Troy Twister”. Stuff the posting arm between the legs as they go to pass your guard. When they’re passing reach around their head and grab the belt, then roll them. Two variations on that, same principle.

First roll with purple belt. 5 min draw. Pulled off a good sweep but spent a lot of time on my back.

Second roll blue belt. He got me in an armbar but I did some good things in the round. High mount escape was very well done.