T Nation

Hello- Long Time No Speak


This is Jeff Roark, we spoke on the phone years ago and used to communicate a bit through email. I was digging around on some forums recently and someone made a reference to “grey pubes”, I laughed and thought classic Wendler. This past week after loads of Judo throws and digging too deep too many times I got myself a minor low back injury during deadlifts. I have been doing very good on my lifts the past two months but at 40+ years old, the too heavy over and over with 2 hard session of Judo and BJJ per week just caught up with me. I knew better to be going so hard and heavy after a night of being thrown hard countless times, but flying by the seat of my pants and not listening to my body caused me to pay the price. On top of this my BJJ coach and I had talked about training and he said he sticks with 5-3-1 as it keeps him within his means. All this sent digging for the grey pubes stuff.

I quickly realized that the TM is the main thing that I am missing in my training. The TM is the control that I need especially with the age and other activities. I have accurate gym maxes to base my training max on and I’m going to start at 85% and enjoy the ride. While looking on your blog I read a post where you gave a program just doing to main lifts with 5-3-1 and then following up with body weight work. Last year when I started BJJ all I did was run and BW exercises and let me tell you I didn’t lose much strength, if any. What I did seem to lose I had it back in record time. So, I’m going to take that articles advice, along with my own experience and make my assistance work body weight only.

Here is a few of my recent lifts. If you notice on the board I have 5, 3, and 1 maxes, but they are true RM. Been gunning at them and it got me! Anyway, here are a few recent vids of recent PRs.




thanks for the good training info you have shared over the years. I’ll be using the TM tool now to make sure I do no harm with my training. Speak later and I’ll try to contribute a bit along the way.

Good stuff man. Nice work, nice lifting.

Thanks man. Just hard work on the basics with hardly any assistance work. Pretty much the only thing I’ve done as far as assistance is roman chair situps, hyperextensions and neck harness work.

It’s wild how dudes will try ANYTHING to get stronger. Anything but taking a little weight off the bar.

I heard of a guy who made a board press helmet for overhead pressing.

Hey I forgot all about that! I can’t believe that so many people fell for my board helmet for Board Military Pressing. You know, as goofy as most are anymore it wouldn’t surprise me if someone hasn’t actually tried it. I wish I could see that thread again.

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Jeff - good to hear from you!

The T.M. can be manipulated for any use but is especially important for athletes, older lifters and people that don’t want to be out of shape (want to actually run a lot, etc). It’s always apparent to me who is lazy and who isn’t.

Anyway, good luck, be smart and do only the minimum in each training area to make awesome progress.


Thanks for the response. My weight training has been extremely minimal due to the cardio conditioning work I do. I ride the Airdyne bike 2-3 days per week for 45 minutes and 2 hard Judo/BJJ sessions. I have been playing off the old JP Sanchez program that alternates squats and deadlifts, Press and Floor Press every week. I read on your blog that you suggested basically the same thing. I have been working up to some heavy weights for me, actual 1-5RM for 1 top set but its been taking a toll on my body with all the other beatings I take. It didn’t take long for my body to tell me to back off the intensity, sending me digging into my grey pubes looking to use a TM.

Let me ask you a question. Since you were a combat athlete yourself, have you found any type of exercise that tends to make one more resilient? I can’t say that I have found heavy lifting makes me more resilient for Judo/BJJ. Sure extra strength and muscle is bound to help some, but don’t feel like its made me any better. It felt like the bodyweight type work was more beneficial but I can’t say for sure. Do you have any input on this from your own experiences?