T Nation

Fighting at Forty


This will be my first go at a log on here.

Last year I got a hair up my ass and after a break of six or seven years, decided that I'd like to take another mma fight before I turn forty. Well, I'm 38 now and have just under 2 years before the big 4-0.
Before I trained in any combat sports I lifted weights and this has always been a constant in my training. I'm going to use this log to record how I get myself in to some sort of shape to fight without being an embarrassment!

At present I'm training two sessions a week at Leicester MMA, splitting between MMA striking and submission grappling. I'm also doing two strength sessions a week and two to three conditioning sessions.

My strength training is based around 5/3/1. I say based as I substitute trapbar deads for squats and do all my pressing with a swissbar.

For conditioning I use sled dragging, fight specific circuits and bag work.

Last week's training consisted of:

5/3/1 '3' week:

Bench + Kroc rows & Dumbell bench + Ab wheel

Trapbar deads + Swissbar press + swissbar Yates row + hanging leg rasises.

Two bagwork sessions 10 x 2mins rounds muay thai.

2 mile hike with a 30kg loaded backpack.

Alongside this I trained two sessions at Leicester MMA - one focusing on clinch/knees the other on submission grappling, mainly around the 'Whizzer' position.

I'll try to keep this log updated as well as adding more detail and different thoughts to my blog.



Welcome to the O35s.

This should be a very interesting log to follow.



Very cool, welcome and good luck Ill be following.



I played wrestled and played Judo til my early late 30's til I got laid up.
You will do fine here and good luck


Welcome, Humpty.


Wow! Thanks for the kind words guys, so nice to not get flamed on a forum. I'll do my best to make this interesting. There'll be more stuff on my blog http://fightingatforty.blogspot.com/


Welcome ya old bastard (how's that for flaming?)




I like to dabble in the fight game. Im just getting started in the organized stuff over the school yard stuff of yesteryear and have a new found respect for the 5 minute round.

looking forwards to following you blog and picking your brain a little


Good training last night at Leicester Shootfighters. 2 hrs of submission grappling and mma. For those of you that train, we're spending this month working front headlock to chokes and taking the back and clinch range fighting, in particular, knees.

A couple of quick learning points from this. Going for two hours after work can be tiring and make it difficult to concentrate, particularly when trying to learn, not just go through the motions. For me, ensuring that I eat right during the day, stay hydrated and get enough sleep the night before. This might seem a bit over the top for 2 hours training but last time I didn't I struggled to retain any information, which brings me to my second point. I've started writing down what we go through after each lesson in order to try to retain a bit more.

Anyway, good food directly after and 8 hrs sleep which should set me up for today - 5/3/1 "1" deadlift day, with cleans as assistance.




Welcome. Looking forward to following this. I have three boys, 27,22,7. The only one I wrastle with these days is the little ones. I can still take the older ones, but the price is too high.

Good luck on your adventure!


Had to shuffle the training around a little this weekend. I had planned on a clean and deadlift workout on Friday but due to a family emergency and other commitments things had to change.

Sled dragging. 60lb.Sled approx 1 mile. There's a meadow near my house where I walk my dog. I carry the sled on my back about 1/4 mile to the meadow before dragging. Usually I sprint but today I just went steady, forwards and backwards. The grass makes this tough and this was increased by the fact that snow melt has made the meadow very muddy and sticky. This was a good session as I needed to walk the dog and had little time ? all done in 30 mins, good training economy which is essential for us old 'uns with families, work, etc.

Got the clean and deadlift workout in.

Warm up: 2 mins shadow Muay Thai, resistance band separations, dislocates, tornadoes and face pulls. Fire hydrants, mountain climbers, hip flexor stretch, glute/piriformis stretch.

Power cleans, 5 x 5, 47kg, 67kg, 77kg, 82kg, 67kg.

Deadlifts. 5/3/1 '1' week. Working up to 12 x 120kg.

Anti-rotation barbell twists. Sets of 20.

Boxing & Muay Thai on the top & bottom ball and heavy bag. 14 x 2min 30 sec rounds with 30 secs. Rest between rounds.

Ab wheel rollouts, sets of 10.

Monday rest ? I take my youngest daughter to Judo and don't get in until 9pm. Feeling good despite little sleep last night, tonight should be bench night though assistance work might be from Wendler's 'Jack Shit' template....


Shitty training last night, just tired and little time so did the minimum. Reading Dan John's take on less than good training sessions has helped me get my head round this. Anyhow:

Warm up.

Swissbar bench, 5/3/1 '1' week working up to 9 x 73kg.

Grappler press a la Diesel Crew working up to 10 x 40kg.

Not great, ah well, on we go....


I see some solid work
and your taking your daughter to judo - that is awesome.

I used to use a notebook all the time - particularly with new things
in wrestling you are learning things in a series-
kind of like BJJ where you are learning all the permutations of one
'move' and it was alot to remember
or if I was training someplace new- or different which was frequent.

and I used a small voice recorder for some of the stuff


Thanks fella. I like the idea of using a voice recorder to get things down straight after training, maybe using the recorder on my phone. Just the act of writing things down helps to fix them in my head.


Some great training at Leicester Shoot this week. Thursday evening was spent in a two hour session covering mount escapes followed by striking in the clinch. I enjoyed some good light rolling in the first class and although I'm still getting owned by those who've been training consistently for a while, I can feel my basics coming back, and on the physical side my conditioning is improved. The warm up doesn't gas me any more!

The clinch fighting left me feeling like I'd been run over the next day... although we were only drilling the underhook and thai plum + knees and punches, my back and neck really let me know that I'd been through the mill.

Yesterday, as I've been reading a fair bit of Dan John's writing recently for motivation, I decided to do some loaded carries. The weather was beautiful so, following Dan's advice, I got out there with my farmers walk implements, yoke and rock. I've got a stretch of my garden that is about 50 feet in a straight line including a set of three long steps. I tend to use this for a carrying medley:

Farmers walk x 6 lengths.
Yoke x 6 lengths
Rock carry x 6 lengths.

The implements don't weigh a lot ? the yoke (home made) is only 200lbs unloaded ? so it's more about taxing the heart & lungs. This is especially true of the rock carry which seems to squeeze the air out of me. I did a few sets of the medley and felt great. Today I plan to train muay thai.

More on the blog. fightingatforty.blogspot.com


Lifting today:

Nice steady warm up/mobility:
shadow thai boxing, band separations, dislocates, tornadoes and face pulls. Fire hydrants, mountain climbers, hip flexor stretch, glute/piriformis stretch.

5/3/1 '1' Trapbar deadlifts, worked up to 6 x 143kg

5/3/1 '5' Swissbar press, worked up to 6 x 61kg

Ab wheel rollouts.

Long day at work with minimal food, not feeling strong at all, but getting the work in is the main thing.

Boxing and grappling tomorrow!


Two hours of great training at Leicester Shootfighters tonight - boxing and grappling. I'm binned & off to bed. Night all!


I've enjoyed my training over the last few days.

On Friday I did Bas Rutten's thai boxing workout on the heavybag. If you've not come across this before it's basically Bas shouting out combinations for you to perform on the bag, pads or shadow. You can check it here:

This is one of my conditioning 'go-to's when I'm not sure if I can drive myself through a session. Having Bas shouting the combos tends to make me do it. Also, it's definitely one of those workouts that I go in to thinking 'I'll just do 6 rounds, I'm tired' and then end up doing the lot. Plus I get to work my striking and conditioning at the same time. Make no mistake though, this is about condition rather than good technique for me.

Today was strength:

Warm up and stretch.

5/3/1 deadlifts '5' week, working up to 12 x 112kg.

Power cleans, 5 x 45kg, 5 x 55kg, 3 x 5 x 65kg, 5 x 70kg.

Felt good, nothing tomorrow - little one's Judo class.