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Lifting Schedule for a Full Time Fighter?

Ok, I had no idea what forum to post this question in. Maybe a mod can move it to a more appropriate area. I thought maybe the combat forum but they all just talk about fighters and stuff.

So about a year ago I was training full time in Muay Thai. Then I took a lot of time off from it for school. In that down time I just lifted like a mad man. Living by the 5/3/1 routine.

Now I’m back to training full time again. Basically my schedule is Monday - Thursday + Saturday I train from 6pm-9pm. It’s a lot, I know, but fighting is my passion. But I also loooove lifting, getting bigger and stronger.

How could I incorporate 5/3/1 into my current schedule? I basically want to continue getting stronger and build explosive power/endurance. Size is kind of on the back burner now. Does anyone have some advice for me?

Not sure of your schedule(work and whatnot), but when I was fighting, I made sure to get my strength and conditioning work done in the mornings(I prefer lifting in the morning anyway), then did my skill work(and instructors always added some kind of sport specific conditioning) at night. The 8-10 hour break, along with proper nutrition and hydration, should recover you enough for the evening session.

When I first started out, my work schedule did not permit this, so I left work between 330-400, went straight to the gym, lifted, went home, took a brief nap, then hit the gym again about 730. I was also running and swimming at lunchtime 2-3 times a week at least.

Focus on one thing at a time while keeping other qualities high.
Lift for 2 months to gain your strength, then for 1 month turn your routine into a specific explosive phase.

I have what I think is the PERFECT thing for you as I am lifting and training fighting. Eventually to compete 2010 and get back in the game.

I think this will help you a lot.
Read the other stuff on the site as well, some great stuff on the site been following it for years…when things get complicated…this is the shit…simple, basic, to the point. Most importantly results.

One more thing read the FAQ as well…found here:

Courtesy of Joe D.
DAY 1

  1. Squat OR Deadlift - work up to 5RM week 1, 3RM week 2, 1RM week 3. (Rotate b/t squats & deads every 3 weeks.)

  2. *DB bench variation - 2 sets max reps. After a light warm-up set of 8 reps, choose a weight that you can get around 20 reps on the 1st set. Use the same weight for both work sets. (Shoot for a new record every week. Rotate b/t flat DB bench, Incline DB bench & floor press every 2 weeks.)
    *Superset the DB bench variation with mini band pull-aparts. How many reps you get on the bench will determine how many reps you perform with the pull-aparts. Perform the same amount of reps for each.

3A. Weighted Low Back raises - 3 x 10
3B. Seated cable rows - 3 X 10

DAY 2

  1. Barbell Bench or Barbell Floor Press - Work up to 5RM week 1, 3RM week 2, 1RM week 3. (Rotate between the 2 exercises every 3 weeks.

  2. Step-ups or Bulgarian split squats - 3 X 8-10 each leg.

  3. Pull-ups, Chin-ups or neutral grip (Rotate grips every 2 weeks.) - 3 X as many as possible

  4. “Shoulder Shocker”, holding DB’s, seated - 10 front raises, 10 lateral raises, 10 DB cleans. Perform all 3 movements in a row w/ no rest. Perform 1-2 sets.

Try this plan for a while then move onto something else.

You will have to very your schedule around your fights. It will also depend if making weight is an issue. Way too many variables to give you an intelligent answer.

What I would say is that IMHO Full Body Workouts are probably a better idea than splits and trying to have your technique work on the off days from your lifting is also a thought. You don’t want to be trying to work on technique when you are burned out from lifting.

One of the most important things is recovery between training sessions so you need a very good diet, lots of soft tissue work and the opportunity to totally relax and sleep between sessions.

Edit: you have me confused, I just re-read your post, you say you train 3 times per week 6-9 but also say you are training full time. Which is it? I train 6 days per week and when we open our new training facility I will be training twice a day most days, I also have a full time job so wouldn’t consider that I am training full time.

^ I meant I train Monday through Thursday plus on Saturday. The only days I don’t train are Friday and Sunday.

So I’m kinda thinking of just lifting like 2 days a week. Maybe in the Morning on Monday, and then on Friday, and just doing like one movement on those day. I’ll probably focus on the Clean

Principles to Train by:

  1. Fighting is your priority.
  2. Less is more.
    2a) Stay FRESH for combat training.

Phase 1: Get your conditioning in order. Skip the heavy lifting, focus on some complexes, circuits, running, medeley’s, tabata stuff, shit-ton of bagwork, padwork (focus mitts, thai pads), Blah blah blah. Whatever you have to do to get your conditioning to a fucking peak.

Phase 2: Use your fight training sessions to keep your conditioning as high as possible. There will be some leeway but don’t let it get too far out. Push come to shove you add in some extra conditioning shit AFTER practice. An extra couple rounds of getting pads held for you, or some sprints when you’re already tired after practice will do wonders for you.

During this period I would time whenever you want your second workout session of the day (lifting for instance) to be. If you like to lift Su, Mo, We, Fr… Then on those days get some sled dragging in or some body weight conditioning and stretching. This is a transition period. you want to get your body used to two training sessions a day.

Phase 3: 5-3-1 is pretty damn good if that’s the protocal you want to keep. I personally recommend cutting down the volume (a lot). Most of Wendler’s recommendations are for 5x10 on assistance work. I say cut that in half, do something like 3x8. Hell 2-3x8 might be enough. Also I’d recommend using the 3x/week training protocal rather than 4x a week, just to keep yourself fresher but that all depends on how you recover… 4x/week might be fine.

During the last period while you lift your fight training SHOULD (for most intents and purposes) keep your cardio fairly decent. It’s YOUR job to make sure you push yourself though and keep a pace that enables you to skirt by without extra conditioning work. Again, a simple jog or some intervals after practice does wonders. I’m not sure how wendler would feel about this (and take his advice over mine) but on your deload week I would drop the 5-3-1 and instead focus on some conditioning work for a week. Your conditioning shouldn’t ever drop too far if that’s the case. Every 3 weeks you basically maintain it. But trust me your conditioning will drop MUCH faster than your strength.

I personally would lift a little differently. I prefer a slightly different lifting protocal. Though I did experiment with 5-3-1 a while back (way before the book, when it was just a section in the first e-book he put out). I like it but for myself (and this is just a personal thing) I feel like I can focus much more on very specific athletic attributes using a conjugate protocal. ie, adding in jump squats, 1 arm snatches, etc. Not that you can’t using 5-3-1 but imo you start changing it far too much. I’d rather keep it as close to how it originally was created as I can.

if two days week is ideal for you (as you mentioned) then what Drew H posted (the DeFranco stuff) is the fucking tits. Only thing I would change is make the pullups weighted and do 3x5-8 as heavy as possible

Oh the other benefit is that when it does come time to fight, you’re already used to training twice a day. You can just switch over to conditioning work (instead of heavy lifting) while you prepare for your fight with little transition because you’ve already built up your work capacity.

[quote]rasturai wrote:
Focus on one thing at a time while keeping other qualities high.
Lift for 2 months to gain your strength, then for 1 month turn your routine into a specific explosive phase.

I have what I think is the PERFECT thing for you as I am lifting and training fighting. Eventually to compete 2010 and get back in the game.

I think this will help you a lot.
Read the other stuff on the site as well, some great stuff on the site been following it for years…when things get complicated…this is the shit…simple, basic, to the point. Most importantly results.[/quote]

Not to be disrespectful, but I disagree completely. If you focus on strength for 2 months…then speed for 2 months…then endurance for 2 months…then power for 2 months…it will be a year before you do another strength phase. Thats bullshit.

First off, you must realize what are your strengths and weaknesses. Do you have good punches and kicks but clinch work kills you? Do you have good power but you gas quick? When you gas is it your muscles or your heart?

Once you know your weaknesses or what you want to improve, then you know what to train for. Following a cookie cutter program is nonsensical and will get you nowhere. By this i mean “hey dude go run 4x400m sprints with a minute rest and youll kick ass” or “im a badass cuz i do tabata”. No one person is the same, as I said before everyone has strengthts and weaknesses and you must also realize where they come into play in your sport. Do you want to move up a weight class or improve your explosive striking?

That being said, periodize. You should always peak for a fight. I generally combine blocks of aerobic training and maximal strenght training as they dont necessarily conflict. For those of you that dont believe aerobic training is necessary I would refer you to Joel Jamisons site. So if my resting heart rate is good but my muscular endurance is terrible, im going to focus on the demand side of the equation, the muscles. Once i establish a good aerobic base and maximal strength base, I tailor those down towards competition time to an explosive strength block both in the weight room and on the bags. Then I go to applying that with incomplete rests at the very tail end of the pre fight time span. Thus you should be able to be more explosive and for longer periods of time than previously.

Long story short, learn your weaknesses and the goals for your sport, then train accordingly in a periodized manner.

Not sure where this idea that you can’t train strength and technique on the same days came from… I did it for years. I’m not saying you should go in the gym and crush yourself everyday, but if your schedule allows lifting/etc in the morning and skillwork at night, then there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to get some kind of S&C done in the morning, and be fully recovered by class that night. Like I said, I did it even with a full time job(military) in between the two.

Obviously, every one is different. Pay attention to your body and see how you feel. If you try my recco and feel like shit, then change it. If you only lift 2x a week and don’t feel like your getting any stronger or in better condition, change it. And linear periodization has been proven to be inferior over and over. Checkout elitefts.com, they have a whole slew of articles dedicated to physical training for fighters and grapplers.