T Nation

My Fitness Plan Critique


I'm starting bjj in about a week or two and would like you to critique my routine.
Basically 2 or 3 days tops I want to get into the gym and the basic set up would be...

A Routine
Quad Dominant- Bulgarian Squats (Single leg becuase my left leg is literally an entire inch bigger than my right.
Vertical Press- Military Press
Vertical Pull- Chins (Couldn't barely do 1 at the beginning of the year but I got one of those doorway bars and can get about 7.)

B Routine
Hip Dominant Power Clean or Power Curl which one do you guys think.
Horizintal Press- Cable Press
Horizontal Pull- Row of some sort

After I want to do some type of work capacity work any tips on this, I was thinking some calisthenics, but in your guys experience whats best to develop this, KB's, complexes etc...

My goals are to get better at grappling, this why I want a straight foward routine. Thanks for any help.


honeslty, i'd suggest a serious look at the Complex article.

btw, how many days are you gonna be doing BJJ?


Youll probably get enough calisthenics via bjj,

what is your training like now- is this a big departure from your normal training?

meaning do you train?

I think you can do a little more-

you could add some zerchers or front squats on the first day
and add RDL or snatch grip Deads on the second day- pretty big results from just adding two movements.
do unilateral work both days. and I might suggest DB's for your pressing rows etc.
and I would suggest some shoulder pre-rehab and some ab work.

so your days would be something like this

A front squat/zercher
B BSS with db's
C1 pull ups
C1 OH press (preferabley db's neutral grip)
E seated db power cleans
f twisting ab junk

A snatch grip dead/RDL
B power clean/curl
C some hip dominant unilateral work
D1 some type of DB press , floor press, etc
D2 what ever your row is
E facepulls
F hanging leg raises/dragon flags

or you could read cosgroves article called hacking your routine, he goes even further into
how to manipulate 2 workouts over several weeks- by variying load, rep and set schemes.

do some bb complexes
if all you did was variant of two or three good complexes youd likely be fine

but what do I know.



It's only 10 minutes away by bike so as much as I possibly can. I want to lift in the morning on days my classes allow me too.


Thanks good advice, my goal was a very basic workout ala renaissance body development but I see I can probably do more.


Listen to the man,
the routine kmc suggested is better than what 99% of people are probably doing. That being said your original program looked pretty solid, but I definitley think deadlifts are important, and doing a squat variation (other than a uni-lateral) will do wonders for strength.

I think it's important to note that kmc suggested db press's, over cable press. This is a much superior choice. I feel floor presses are brilliant for grapplers, it's more "realistic" than a bb bench, plus it's alot healthier on your shoulders. I'm actually making the switch myself, bb or even "normal" db bench hurts my shoulders like hell, the next day. Combat sports people, hell- athletes in general, tend to be hard on their shoulders. So the inclusion of shoulder health crap is added insurance too, I know it's helped me ALOT.

As far as power clean vs. power curl, I prefer power cleans, although I use the term "prefer" lightly, I actually "hate" any clean variation, much like I hate running- Love the benefits, hate the doing. Personally I do power high-pulls when I get the motivation; a clean without the racked position. Easier on my shoulders, I find, plus I think the racking of the bar is the most technical part of the lift. That might just be me.

KMC (or others)- I don't know if you can add any insight to this, but why would someone choose zerchers over front squats or vice-versa? Of course they could always be rotated in and out of the program, but just wondering if one is better for a specific need over the other. My semi-educated guess is that zerchers would allow you to use a higher weight, and have better leg-strength potential, and that front squats would have better core-strength potential. Of course they are both brilliant for both, but that's just my gut feeling about it..?


All the 35 and over boys use the zerchers, either from the floor or pins in the cage,

Louie simmons from west side is a huge advocate for them, for a few reasons you get all the benifits of a back squat, front squat,and deadlift in one movent.

They are a great movement for quads, low back and posterior chain (hams glutes back)
also they deload the spine- no weigt on your shoulders, or the clean position.

Really I learned allot of this here check the cosgrove article on hacking your routine-
its better.



Good post. Absolutely agree. If you've got the capacity to lift heavy twice a week, go for it, and make the sessions worth it.

I would throw in a little grip work as well. Can never have too much of that when you're grappling.


rope climbs, pull ups/chin ups, farmers walks, and rope pulls will help with the grip work. Here is some other stuff I found on YT that I havent tried.

But Farmers walks with like 50lb kettles did wonders for me and also, something carried over from my baseball days; get a rope, broomstick handle and a weight of your choice, tie the rope to the weight and to the broomstick and roll the weight up and down over and over.