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Help Designing New Workout for BJJ


Hey guys,
I've been training the past several months towards competing in some submission grappling tournaments in Oct. and Nov.

Recently my work schedule has changed to the point where I'm working a lot of split shifts, so my training time is limited.

Before the change I was working out 5-6 days a week, with 3 of those days devoted to actual BJJ training, and the others being 2-a-day workouts of conditioning and strength.

With the new schedule, I won't be able to workout twice a day, but I do want to keep my conditioning up.

I'm kind of stuck on ideas as to how to incorporate both strength and conditioning into one workout, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.


hey dude good to see you getting into comps. Obviously the best conditioning for BJJ is things like take down drills on 2+ partners (one then the other right away, then they shoot, you sprawl and sit out on each guy for about 3-5 mins).

Another goody is BB complexes and high rep oly lifts. I like the idea of starting with a complex or a DB/BB oly lift for 100 reps. Then pick a quality move (Squat, DL, High pull, Chins etc.) and get some good sets in at higher (8-12) rep ranges. I find thing like 12 rep squat sets tend to help me develop 'balls' and the ability to bridge hard.

Also Dan John's "Litvinov" training is great as well. You rock the front squats or some other easily dumpable big move and then sprint like hell for 400m afterward.

You got your blue yet?



I was definitely thinking of complexes. I forgot all about Dan John's "Litvinov" training. I need to go back and re-read that article as that could be a good one to use.

I don't have my blue belt yet. It's only been these past 3 months that I've been able to get to class consistently. I have to make a real effort to get there now, as a lot of the sporting events I cover for my job of course fall on the same time schedule as class.

I have made improvements in my game, though, and am looking forward to competing.


Something similar happened to me in my last year of university, i had little time for str and con training. I was using strongman Work twice a week for both strength and conditioning, working on Heavy lifting events (Neutral Deadlift, tireflips, plate lifts) and ending workouts with medleys/dumbell runs and farmers walk runs for distance and time.

Complex's and Bodyweight circuits are a good idea also, but tend to lack that focus on absolute strength.


Check out Charlie Lysak's Primal Strength stuff.


His "crawl" routine is phenomenal for building strength endurance and once you get the hang of it, only requires 15-25 minutes to complete.

The benefit of the routine over bodyweight circuits is that the resistance is progressive. So, once you master the routine using a certain resistance, you then increase the resistance and work towards mastering that.

It's by far the most effective strength endurance routine I've ever done and everyone who I've put it through and Shihan Charlie has put it through swears by it.

I have a friend who coaches wrestling who I do it with (he puts me through it and I put him through it) who absolutely loves it. He even has several of his wrestlers doing it.

And not only does it build supreme strength endurance, but it also builds that "never say die" warrior mindset that is essential for things like grappling competitions and of course actual combat. Basically it causes you to think on a goal based mindset (as in I'm going to keep going until I finish this) rather than a time based mindset (which a lot of routines do).

Honestly, if you don't feel like you're going to puke the first time you go through it, then you're not doing it right. And that goes for even well conditioned athletes.

Hope this helps.



Sounds like an interesting routine, but I don't have any extra $40 lying around to get a look at it.


Yeah, I understand. Well, if in the future you do find yourself with a little extra cash, it's well worth the investment.

Good training,



if it was me i would run every night before bed around 3 miles that should take under 30 mins.Get your subs you like down and drill them non stop until you have hitting them one after another.On non drilling days do alot of explosive movements and hit atleast 25 reps on eveything.maybe think of cuting to the next class lower if your doubting your strength training id hit the cardio and the cut should be easy i like competing close to 10 lbs of my walking weight.After all that if you have any doubts or questioning your prep i wouldnt compete.


I'm not sure it's worth cutting weight for a regular BJJ tourney. Just try and be in the most popular weight class so you get the most experience.

I'd also say that it's less a matter of drilling sub missions than it is a matter of drilling escapes. Every time I see guys who are new to comp BJJ the fight usually comes down to who gets on top first for the points. If you have good escapes you can actually get to the positions you need to be in to begin submitting. All you really need is one (yes one [1]) good sub such as straight or bent arm lock and you will be fine. Get good a the one sub and train to get good movement to the corresponding position and you will win. But if you get stuck under some wad and you can't get out even though he can't tap you you still lose.

And at a beginner level there is no reason to not compete. You have nothing to lose. Training super hard for BJJ comp is for purple/brown/black comps with big players. The only beginners that lose at a BJJ comp are the ones who don't go in. The ones that do enter will learn exponentially faster after competing.

Also, don't run 3 miles before bed. sounds like a great waste of sleep time.

Wrestle hard,



I agree with you completely.


What about CrossFit workouts?


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I'm kinda in the same boat as you are, Judo instead of BJJ. I work offshore so for 2 weeks at a time I have no access to the dojo.

I have used alot of conditioning ideas from Rosstraining.com and Grapplersgym.com. "Never Gymless" and "Infinite Intensity" travel with me everywhere. I used to box so this is stuff I'm familiar with. Anyways, been bored lately offshore and I've begun experimenting. Barbell Complexes for time.

Read (Re-Read) Cosgrove's "Complexes for Fat Loss" and Frisch's "Combos for Power and Size". Choose any compound or complex that tickles your fancy. Set a timer for 2 minutes and get lifting. Don't stop moving the bar until the timer beeps. Rest 2 minutes and go again. It smokes a body good.

1. Keep the weight light. I've used 95-135lbs. It all hurts.

  1. I've used 90 - 120 sec rest periods. It goes by way too fast.

  2. If you make it past 4 rounds congrats, you're tougher than me.

Not saying this is the way to train, but they are pretty fun. Hopefully I will see some marked improvements when I'm back home next week.


thats nice...we have done that before with 20-25 lb dumbells pummelling for the first rnd then ricochet cleans for the second and jabs for the 3rd and straight rights for the 4th then lead leg kicks and rear leg kicks using 3 min rnds and 30 second rests i can make it through but its very sloppy im not on that level yet maybe when i can push through it i will move up to normal cleans....so you use 2min work and 2 mins break i think your using more complex moves then us but 4rnds sounds sweet.....have you ever tried on a stationary bike 20 seconds of all out and 10 seconds of normal pedaling i can do that for the 4 minutes but my last bust is not so hard but it has improved over 3 weeks!!


I've done drills like that before and still do them on the heavy conditioning days at the dojo. I use various ring drills (2-3minutes On / 1minute rest) for my own roadwork/conditioning.

I've played around with tabatas quite a bit since reading Dan John's article on them. Sprinint and bikeing works well with that scheme. DB Thrusters are pretty tough too. Once nearly drowned myself doing Tabata sprints in the pool.

Like I said I have no access to a dojo right now so I started farting around with complexes.

Example 1: 95lbs Barbell Complex 2min On / 90 sec Rest 4 rounds
Hang Clean - Jerk x2reps
Power Clean
Front Squat x3reps
Push Press x3reps

Do the movement for required reps then go to the next movement. Repeat the whole cycle until the time is up, and try to keep the bar moving the whole time. Pulled 3+ a partial cycles in 2 minutes

Example 2: 115lbs Barbell Complex 2min On / 90 sec Rest 4 rounds
RDL x5reps
Hang Clean - Front Squat - Push Press x5reps
Lunge x3reps

This was an absolute killer.

Example 3 95lb Barbell Complex 2min On / 2 min Rest 4 rounds
Hang Split Snatch x2reps
Hang Snatch
OverHead Squat x2reps

This one was alot of fun. I had one of those epiphany moments and suddenly was able to pull a smoother faster snatch.


nice ill try it later this week thanks!