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Jacked Athlete 31 For MMA

Hey Coach,

I’m nearing a close to my dieting phase and the Muscle Mass Blueprint. My plan after I am finished is to go into a weight maintenance phase for about 8-12 weeks before I start “maingaining”.

I’m newly entering into the world of MMA training and looking towards fighting in an amateur league.

The Jacked Athlete 31 Plan is right on time for me. I’ve read it several times and it seems to be a perfect fit for my new sport.

Here’s my question. I know you’ve worked with fighters either currently or in the past. How would you tweak this to fit the goals of a fighter?
I’m thinking something need to change to give room for more hard conditioning. Interval training and hours of sparring per week. Unless you already had this in mind when designing the program.

EDIT: My mma training is on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Should I move my lifting to Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday?

Also, would you be willing to help me make the best exercise selection for this program with fighting in mind?

Thanks for any help you can provide. I appreciate all the help you’ve given me over the years. I’ve never been as lean or jacked as I am today and I’ve got you to thank for that!

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Here is my current thoughts. It’s mostly the same, the greatest change is the use of the Saturday workouts.

BLOCK 1

Monday

  • Front Squat
  • Incline DB Press
  • Trapbar Deadlift
  • Weighted Chins

Wednesday

  • Highbar squat
  • Push Press
  • Toes up RDL w/band around waist
  • Bentover Row

Friday

  • Comp Squat
  • Bench
  • Sumo Deadlift
  • Pendlay Row

Saturday:

  • 20 minutes of circuit training in the speed-strength range

  • 30 minutes of conditioning (prowler sprints, hill sprints, carries, etc)

  • he speed-strength range

  • 30 minutes of conditioning (prowler sprints, hill sprints, carries, etc)

BLOCK 2

Monday

  • Comp Squat
  • Bench
  • Sumo Deadlift
  • Weighted Chins

Wednesday

  • Loaded Jump Squat
  • Medball throw from chest
  • Powerclean from hang
  • Battleropes or Sledgehammer striking

Friday

  • Power Clean
  • Front Squat
  • Push Press
  • Pendlay Row

Saturday:

  • 20 minutes of circuit training in the speed-strength range
  • 30 minutes of conditioning (prowler sprints, hill sprints, carries, etc)

BLOCK 3

Monday

  • Comp Squat
  • Bench
  • Sumo Deadlift
  • Weighted Chins

Wednesday

  • A1. Front Squat
  • A2. Push Press
  • A3. Snatch Grip High Pull
  • A4. Chest Supported Row

Friday

  • A1, A2, B1, B2 as written
  • Pairing C - Option 1 w/ Olympic lifts

Saturday:

  • Conditioning as written
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If Coach doesn’t answer, here are my 2 cents

Personally I would, yeah.

Here’s the exercises I would use:

BLOCK 1

Monday

Front squat
Incline DB Press
DB RDL
Weighted Chins

Wednesday

Zercher squat
Push Press
Toes up RDL w/band around waist
Bentover Row

Friday

Highbar Squat
Bench
Sumo Deadlift
DB Row

Saturday:

20 minutes of jumps and throws variations

30 minutes of conditioning (prowler sprints, hill sprints, carries, banded KB swings etc)

BLOCK 2

Monday

Highbar Squat
Bench
Deadlift
Weighted Chins

Wednesday

Loaded Jump Squat or vertical jumps variations
Medball throw variations (from chest, overhead, one handed, sideways)
Broad jumps variations
Banded KB swings

Friday

Box Squat
Banded sumo deadlift
Push Press
Pendlay Row

Saturday:

20 minutes of circuit training in the speed-strength range
30 minutes of conditioning (prowler sprints, hill sprints, carries, etc)

BLOCK 3

Monday

Highbar Squat
Bench
Sumo Deadlift
Weighted Chins

Wednesday

A1. Zercher Squat
A2. Push Press
A3. Snatch Grip High Pull
A4. Chest Supported Row

Friday

A1, A2,: use Banded squats or Box squats for A2

B1, B2 : use Banded landmine press for B2
Pairing C - Option 2 with Banded sumo Deadlift

Saturday:

Conditioning as written

Reasoning: explosivity and power are paramount in fighting sports, as well as isometrics strength, and rotation/anti rotation of the hips. This is why for instance the Zercher squat is a classic of any fighting sport training.

Drop the low bar squat, make the high bar squat your main one. The top end is more important here like in rugby, so banded/chain squats and box squats should be your main variations.

Sumo should be your main hip movement. The other best exercises are Good mornings, Banded KB swings, Banded deadlift variations for speed (usually sumo)

Nothing against bench. Push press is great, as well as Landmine push press, and Banded landmine press for speed.

Lots of jumps (sometimes several different jumps in one go. For example : Kneeling jump + Broad jump + Sideway ball toss, the whole is holding a med ball) and ball tosses and throwes to develop explosivity and power.

Isometrics are important as well, focus on overcomings mainly.

For abs, don’t forget rotation: Russian twists, Weighted sit-ups with twists, Pallof press

If you want to delve on the subject, I suggest you check Phil Daru, one of the best coaches there is for combat sports, and he posts lots of useful stuff on YT / IG
If you like CT’s stuff, you’ll no doubt enjoy this as well. I almost wanted to join a combat sport ahahah

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Thanks man for the thorough response. A lot of the things you said make sense and will definitely have a lot of consideration. My friend says I have a band fetish so with plenty of band work I’ll be happy haha. Thanks as well for the intro to Phil Daru, I had never heard of him.

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I’ll second @aldebaran on lifting on days you don’t train MMA.

I’ll also add another source - though for MMA conditioning: Joel Jamieson, conditioning coach for Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and author of 8 Weeks Out. When I was an active competitor (BJJ, not MMA), his book was very helpful in getting in the best possible shape without being too worn out to do skills training (which should ALWAYS be the emphasis).

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huh, this looks cool. I had just written up my new B4B program but now I’m tempted.

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Coach,

I’ve tried working this out a hundred times and I just can’t seem to land on something.

Here are my training variables:

  • MMA: Mon, Wed, Fri evening.
    Some of these sessions are technical and not too intense, some days we spar and grapple so it’s fuckin brutal.
  • Weights: Jacked Athlete 31 (4 days)
  • Cardio: 60-90 min @120-130 bmp (3 days)

Can you please help me out? When should I schedule my lifting and cardio sessions so that I have the most amount of recovery possible and am able to give 100% to all of my training.

Which days should be 2 a days and in what order?

Heres my 2 iterations

OPTION 1
Pro: get a couple of active recovery days
Con: AM weight training could impact MMA training

Mon - AM Weights, PM MMA

Tue - AM Cardio (recovery day)

Wed - AM Weights, PM MMA

Thu - AM cardio (recovery day)

Fri - AM Weights, PM MMA

Sat - AM Cardio, MMA private session (1hr, more technical)

Sun - AM Weights

OPTION 2
pro: fresh for MMA training
con: after PM MMA there is 9 hrs before AM weights so weight training could suffer a bit.

Mon - AM Cardio, PM MMA

Tue - AM Weights

Wed - AM Cardio, PM MMA

Thu - AM Weights

Fri - AM Cardo, PM MMA

Sat - AM Weights, MMA private session (1hr, more technical)

Sun - AM Weights

Are you open for input from someone that’s not CT?

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Of course. I was hoping for his feedback directly but this is a knowledgeable community and I’m very open to feedback

I’ve also been considering removing the 4th “gap day” in Jacked 31 as it’s not particularly necessary for my goals. Which would reduce the weekly volume quite a bit.

To me, seemingly, MMA seems to be your main focus and that it’s potentially a recent addition to your regime? Or maybe you’re a long time practitioner, and then my suggestion doesn’t apply.

My suggestion comes from having read this in your other thread,

and that suggestion is lift two times per week full-body to maintain your muscle and use the extra time to practice drills on your own if indeed MMA is as much as a priority for you as I perceive it to be. After you’ve adapted and improved your conditioning as per

you can increase the frequency with which you weight-train. Might suck mentally but… will certainly allow you to fix your “weakness” :woman_shrugging:

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Are you doing MMA for fun or you are fighting?

Because if you are fighting you should consider a strength program 2-3 days per week max and perhaps do cardio after the strength training.

Just a tip regarding the cardio if you are fighting. You do not need to do a ton. Work 2 miles as a start and increasing the speed. 2 miles should be doable at 20 mins no matter your conditioning level. Elite marathoners do a mile for 4-5 mins. Your goal should be to be able to reach 3 miles for 3 rounds of 5-6 mins with a minute rest to simulate MMA fights. That is doable post strength training.

I’m reading Joel Jamiesons book “Ultimate MMA Conditioning”. Something I’ve found interesting is that his blocks actually correlate with your Jacked 31 blocks. To me it says the both of these training methods are founded on real results and real science.

The major difference is the length of blocks. His conditioning blocks are 8 weeks, your strength and performance blocks are 4 weeks. My weakness of the strength and conditioning variables is most certainly the conditioning side.

My question, is it possible to alter the Jacked 31 into 8 Week Blocks so that it goes along and complements my conditioning training? I will say that the hypertrophy week can be foregone or made into a deload/recovery week. I’m already about as max muscle mass as I can be in my weight class so hypertrophy is less of a concern. My primary concern is performance.

Thanks for the reply. I mostly agree. My reasoning behind wanting to do Jacked 31 is to increase strength and power, and therefore, performance in the ring. For me, because I’m pretty aware of my body, I know what I can handle. At the moment that looks like 3 days of weight training (Jacked 31 minus the 4th “gap” workout). 3 sessions a week following Joel Jamiesons protocol for MMA conditioning. And 4 sessions on MMA skill training per week. My main issue now is figuring out how to put all the puzzle pieces together as efficiently as possible.

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Power to you, good luck.

If you find it doesn’t work I would link you this,

Notice how Coach starts with the most important stuff and only adds when applicable. I imagine dealing with someone that’s only lifting (no other sports) it’s entirely feasible to start sketching things out assuming an average trainability/recoverability.

But, in the context of athletic training you’d want to start at assuming the lowest form of trainability/recoverability. Not because the athlete lacks it, but because their other training is already a stressor.

Again, this is all just guesswork for me.

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Thanks for linking that. I’d not seen that one. That’s useful information

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These are great points. You have to pick what you want to emphasize. If you are “off season” for your sport, you cut back on the time spent practicing it and can up the lifting sessions and volume per week. If you are focusing on your sport or competing, that is your priority and you might weight train 2x a week. You cannot equally emphasize both or you will not make much progress in either.

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I had a couple of threads moved into one. In an attempt to clear things up.

My 2 questions

  • What’s a smart way to modify Jacked Athlete 31 to go from 4 to 8 week blocks?

  • I would like some feedback as to how I can arrange my training in the most efficient way possible. You can find the variables above.

Again… are you fighting or you are a white collar doing MMA for fun?

That is an important question.

Because when I was doing fight sports it was for fun. And it was pretty easy to get a good strength program going on.

Now when I am doing soccer competitively, which is another high burning sport and injury full sport like fight sports, I implement strength work in a different way.

How are your MMA classes scheduled? Do you do more technique in pads and partner stricking drills, or you go more heavy with wrestling, bag work for stand up and sparing. How is your sparring session - is it more of a shadow boxing sparing or heavier?

Looking at the jacked athlete I do not think it is good for MMA. It has lots of shoulder and arm work. It would be good for a sport like soccer. I have done plenty of boxing to know boxing with stiff shoulders or upper back ends up in injured shoulders due to recovery issues. Been there done that in sparring sessions while counter jabbing with stiff shoulders.

There may be issues with the wrists - punching a heqvy bag and working the biceps with a bar is a big no, no as well.

So share if your fighting. If so when is your next fight. How is your MMA schedule in details. That is how at least I can help. I am not a coach, nor the perfect athlete, but can share from experience and working with some good coaches.

I’m probably like 10 months away from any fights (COVID is a bitch)
My training is Mon, Wed, Fri for 1.5hr. It’s a mixture. Some days it’s high intensity grappling, some days it’s just drills. So there really isn’t a consistent schedule as far as which days are intense and which aren’t. More often than not 1 day is high intensity, 1 medium, 1 lower. On Saturday I spend 1hr in a private session with the coach. This is usually pad work or grappling drills.

As far as too much shoulder work. I would tent to agree. However in my exercise selection I have minimized this a lot. Preferencing the floor press and landmine press over benching and overhead pressing.

I am also very intentional about the mobility work to keep everything feeling loose.