Help Me Build My Program for BJJ

Hi guys, i stopped lifting for about two years due to too many injuries and problems with my body.
I have been back for a little over a month and all is going decently well.

Now i wish i could just do one of the basic programs again, the problem is i have a lot of weaknesses and sport specific goals that i need/ want to adress which hold priority to me over getting stronger.

This ended up in one huge session i am doing twice a week, that especially in combination with my sport is starting to become inhumane.

I would like some help cutting up all my excerises into 2 or maybe 3 lifting days, because when i try to do it myself i keep getting stuck on which exercises i should drop to once a week and which exercises i should put together on a day.

So i would appreciate help on which exercises on what days.

Also going to squat once a week will be enough and i want to start doing frontsquats instead of backsquats.

Workout A:

Front Squat
Barbell Rows/ or latt pulldown or seated rows
Ab work, hollow holds knee raises, wheel rollouts
Hip thrusts
Serratus Exercises
Glute medius exercises
Reverse flys, shoulder extensor execises,facepulls.
Biceps ( leave me alone)
Grip work
Bridging progression

Workout B:

Leg extentions
Ab work, hollow holds knee raises, wheel rollouts
Serratus exercises
Glute medius exercises.
Reverse flys, shoulder extensor execises,facepulls.
Some single leg work

Some side questions:

*My sport is very pulling specific so it is important but i dont really get the difference between Latt pulldowns, barbell rows and or seated rows, which one(s) should i put in the program?

  • Is once a week enough to add biceps and triceps, just curls and skullcrushers. Is it fine to do it twice a week especially when the weight i am lifting is relatively still light and maybe when everything gets heavy again switch to once.

What sport? Is this supposed to be a powerlifting program (this is the powerlifting forum after all) or something else?

You have way too many exercises in one session. Just thinking about 5x5 skullcrushers makes my elbows hurt.

Bjj, Man you are totally right i even wrote down 5x5 and im not even doing 5x5 at the moment, but more bodybuilding rep ranges. Guess i automaticlly wrote that down since i used to do 5x5. Could a mod move this topic to " Bigger Stronger Leaner" ?
Or should i delete and reopen it there?
My bad guys.

I did you one better and put it where it’s most appropriate and where you’ll get the best info, in the Combat forum.

[quote=“Respeezy, post:3, topic:231834”]
i even wrote down 5x5 and im not even doing 5x5 at the moment, but more bodybuilding rep ranges.[/quote]
It’d be good to edit your post so folks can see what you’re actually doing.

It really does like you’re trying to throw the kitchen sink into each session. I get that you have specific issues to work on, but if that’s the case, then you can/should seriously pare down the rest of the work. What, exactly, are the special exercises you need to keep in and, more importantly, what are they meant to address?

Set some specific priorities and timelines. Rehab and get healthy for X months, add size for X months, then focus on basic strength for X months, focus on rolling and de-emphasize lifting for X months, etc.

What are your weaknesses and sport specific goals? If we don’t know then we can’t help you with your exercise selection.

Without that information though, I would just suggest dropping the smaller isolation work (biceps/triceps/calves etc.) and focusing on the bigger movements and more sport specific movements. Although, I don’t do BJJ and I don’t have your specific strengths and weaknesses so maybe these movements are necessary? Chris is right though, you’re doing too much in a session. Maybe even try taking some of the exercises out from those two sessions and putting them into a third session. This could make it more manageable and help with recovery.

Take what I say with a grain of salt as I am not a coach/expert.

Thanks Boss,

The thing is i have fulltime availability so i do want to take advantage of that and be as close to the max that i can do.

All exercises listed i need to keep in i have some other smaller stuff that i wont write down, but currently working on problems with glute activation, ab actvation, serratus activation. Knee problems probably due to not activating the quads enough, weak grip, some shoulder issues, serratus lower trap.

In the past i didnt prioritize these weak areas and it cost me a lot in injuries i aquired.
So it’s more like i have a recovery program of exercises and i want to add some lifting to it and bjj.

Yes dividing the exercises over 3 sessions has crossed my mind, so any suggestions on which ones together on what days are appreciated. I prefer Monday, wednesday fridays for lifting.

And biceps i will keep in for aesthetics!

If your going to lift, try three days. For your main lifts do 5/3/1. Keeps volume manageable especially if your competing in a sport. Maybe something like this could work:

Front squat-5/3/1
Bench press-5/3/1
Chin-ups- 3x10
*optional arm work

Single leg work-3x12
*optional ab work

Cable rows-3x10
*optional arm work

For your activation exercises that should be done as non-taxing work everyday. Though I feel all those things can be addressed through proper exercise execution

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Holy fucking shit. This is training ADD expressed in writing.


You don’t need to bench/ohp, you don’t need at least half the accessory work your listing. If u have that many issues, and main goal is BJJ, I doubt u need to do more than just one squAt/deadlift for a min. BJJ requires a lot of energy and flexibility, and can injure you if you really are fucked up.

I’d put
Session 1
Squat/Deadlift (I’d recommend squatting, but depends on Body type)
Glute Thrusts Supersetted with either goblet squats (if u chose dl) or hyperextensions (if u chose Squat)
Superset two prehab/rehab excercises that take care of specific imbalances but aren’t to taxing.
Stretch and LEAVE

Session 2
Jumping/Side to side runs/bounding
2-4 rounds
Do your bridge series (great for bjj)
Couple of hill sprints/sprints where you start jogging and accelerate hard once u hit the beginning of your distance. Do 10 x 40 yards, or 6-8

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Spend the rest of your time on mobility and BJJ

Thanks for the write up, i really hate 5/3/1 but i like your 3 day template and will try to use it to build upon.

You mean build upon by chucking biceps, triceps, Ab bridges, gluteus medius, serratus and calf work on to all the workouts?

You haven’t answered anyone who has asked you what specific exercises you need to keep in for your imbalances/weaknesses.

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Ok don’t mind me, I actually found this paragraph:

You realise that a lot of these areas can be addressed using a handful of really good compound movements? Doing 15 isolation exercises at best will tire you put and at worse, develop even more imbalances. The body is meant to work as a unit, even more so for athletes.

Bodybuilders need isolation, athletes need their body to work efficiently as a whole.

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Holy crap. That’s a lot of stuff.

When I competed in judo and BJJ I kept it very simple - deadlifts, weighted pullups, weighted dips (no shoulder issues) military/incline presses, front squats and some shoulder mobility work. I’ve been stronger that most of the other guys in my weight class.

Just keep the volume low and remember you’re not chasing PRs on specific lifts but trying to get stronger for BJJ so ease on the maximum effort.

That’s assuming you do the regular BJJ warmup stuff like bear crawls and duck walks.

I avoided direct ab work (front squats and deadlifts took care of them) as rolling with sore abs, especially if you spend a lot of time on your back, is a recipe for injury in my opinion.