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My Return/Beginning of Training

So just got back from Thailand (that review of MMAPhuket/Tiger Muay Thai is in progress).

I now want to get back onto a positive track with training and dieting. Here is my plan.

I have been out of the country for nearly a year and pretty much been totally inactive and have been out of wrestling for nearly three. When I got out after eight years (two of college), I was fairly strong, but never really had done weights seriously or with any direction. I’d go in, move some weight around and leave. I had really poorly designed programs given to me by my coaches. I actually had a more knowledgeable coach my senior year of high school than in college. Then when I got out of college, I got into lifting but was never smart about it. My numbers were decent for a 155 pounder–350 squat, 310 Deadlift, 205 Bench. But I stuck with the 3x10 series for pretty much two years and was rarely consistent.

Then I herniated a disc in my back and went to China for a year at which time I was almost entirely inactive and ate horribly (this was mostly not a choice, there were very few healthy food alternatives that I could afford (especially on my Chinese salary).

But I have returned and I have spent much of the I had here educating myself and reflecting on my weaknesses. I have realize what I was really missing to get consistency was a drive to do better–I needed to train rather than workout. And I realized how much I really missed wrestling.

I want to get back into wrestling and enter MMA at least somewhat competitively so here I my plan. Tell me what you think.

While I’m still somewhat athletic, I’d pretty much consider myself at the beginner level at this point. SO…I think a good start would be the “Starting Strength Program” by Mark Rippetoe, slightly modified. If you don’t know the program is basically a 5x5 done twice a week in two splits.

Monday- Split 1:

Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift

Wednesday- Split 2:

Squat, Overhead Press, Power Clean

Friday- Split 1

(Split 2 next Monday)

The idea is to focus extremely strictly on form and simply continue to increase the weight by small increments every time. Rippetoe figures this will take some time with beginners as they can make rapid gains.

I will be modifying this program slightly, but it will be essentially the same conceptually.

Split 1: Squat, Bench, Deadlift
Split 2: Overhead Press, Bent-over Row, Weighted Chin-ups

I didn’t like the complete lack of back training (particularly as a wrestler), so I decided to replace the extra squat (which I don’t know why it was doubled) and the power clean with two compound back exercises. I will be working on my Olympic Lifting form, however, as I want to incorporate them into future programs.

My progression will be slightly different as well. I’ll be starting with a 3x6 program for all of my lifts (still with strict form–I don’t want any more injuries). Once I cannot progress any more, I will add one set instead of adding extra weight. I will try to continue to then continue to increase weight at the new set level. When I can’t go any more, I’ll move the sets up again. Once I can’t make any more progress, I will consider the program completed. I’m hoping this will take 6-8 weeks total and I can make some substantial gains.

While I am following this program, I plan on using my off-days (Tue-Thur-Sat)to get back into wrestling and drilling technique for submissions and hopefully improve my skill levels in that department concurrently.

When I wrap up that program, assuming I have made significant progress in both poundage lifted and muscle mass built (I will be eating heavy and according to Berardi’s Precision Nutrition system), I will move into Jason Ferrugia’s “Redemption Program”.

It’s too complex to write out, so I’m just gonna post a rapidshare link (if this is against the rules, someone let me know before a mod sees it).

http://rapidshare.com/files/90242197/CCS_Redemption_Files.pdf.html

My goals for this series is to build up my lift numbers and muscle mass (I would like to eventually put on about 20-30 pounds), and at the same time improve my MMA skills and conditioning. It is an ambitious plan, but doable I think.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Criticism? I’m open to it all.

Sidenote: I also hope to be putting together a quick mobility and pre-hab program that I can do in some down time as well)

looks fucking solid to me

Dude, did I meet you while you were here?

Not sure–I met a ton of people and they all sort of ran together. Did you notice the stud walking around that all the women wanted and the men wanted to be? That was me.

Seriously though, we might’ve never crossed paths…I assume you were in the advanced Muay Thai classes, whereas I did the beginner Muay Thai and some of the MMA classes.

[quote]Fiction wrote:
Did you notice the stud walking around that all the women wanted and the men wanted to be?
[/quote]

Just when I look in the mirror.

Hey man your program looks pretty good, what’s your cardio look like? I’d recommend you do some good steady state runs with some HIIT and sprinting. For my Muay Thai and boxing, I find that my cardio needs to be constantly improved. Run run run and run some more. My weight regime follows a similar structure to yours, as a suggestion I’d look into incorporating more compound movements like cleans, snatches, jerks. In addition to varying your squats to overhead and front ones well.

I used to be a bit apprehensive about doing too much cardio when I’d want to put on some weight, but supplement that with a solid diet. But I am sure you already know that.

Curious about where you trained in Thailand? I want to head out there soon and would like some more info from you guys who’ve been. What camps did you train at? Did you get the training you needed? Any fights? I heard Phuket was the best place to go though I’m open to opinions. Thanks dude, good luck with the training.

[quote]AquilaV wrote:
Hey man your program looks pretty good, what’s your cardio look like? I’d recommend you do some good steady state runs with some HIIT and sprinting. For my Muay Thai and boxing, I find that my cardio needs to be constantly improved.

Run run run and run some more. My weight regime follows a similar structure to yours, as a suggestion I’d look into incorporating more compound movements like cleans, snatches, jerks. In addition to varying your squats to overhead and front ones well. [/quote]

At this point, I’ve been so out of it, I don’t want to overstress myself. This plan, as I mentioned was just to get back to where I left off. I’ve been practicing my Oly lifts at very light weights, but I’m trying at the moment to get my “big 3” numbers back up to snuff and throwing on some solid weight before I start getting very sport specific.

Cardio I’ve kind of been working since I’ve been wrestling around back at my old high school helping out there. Not very hard, but it’s getting me back into grappling shape. I’m planning on giving this 6-8 weeks when I plane out and then switch into more intensive conditioning and sport specific lifting.

[quote]Curious about where you trained in Thailand? I want to head out there soon and would like some more info from you guys who’ve been. What camps did you train at? Did you get the training you needed? Any fights? I heard Phuket was the best place to go though I’m open to opinions. Thanks dude, good luck with the training.
[/quote]

I trained at Tiger Muay Thai/MMAPhuket. I actually have an entire review written on paper, but I’ve just been too lazy to transcribe it. My experience was awesome, but it was done more for the experience than for a specific training effect.

I just happened to be flying out of Bangkok (cheaper than flying from China due to the Olympics) and not being a big tourist kind of guy, I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to train briefly and to see if it was something I would want to return to do.

If you have any specific questions that you want answered now, feel free to PM me. Otherwise, I’ll hopefully get that review up here in a week or something.

Ok since you’re kind of REALLY just getting back into things this is my opinion.

Take an honest look at yourself and note areas that need muscle activation. If you sit on your ass a lot more than likely it’s your glutes. So stretch the fascia (stretching & foam rolling).

Improve your joint mobility/flexibility/etc. Someone mentioned doing overhead squats. Great exercise but 90% of people have no business even attempting that shit. It takes a high level of physical aptitude that most just don’t have. You need flexible hip flexors, shoulders, a strong lower back, balance, and if you’re doing it in flat shoes very flexible ankles.

I like the overhead squat as an indicator of physical preparedness. When you can overhead squat without pain or awkwardness and you’re just working on progressively getting your numbers up then you’re in condition good uninjured shape.

Your other shit you’re going about the right way but I would encourage you to…

  1. Correct any muscle imbalances you have.

for example most people can get a pretty thick upper back but your rear delts tend to be pretty hard to activate. So you might want to spend some extra time doing facepulls or reverse flyes so that you teach yourself to activate that muscle group when you do bent rows thus getting more out of your eventual tougher workouts.

  1. Improve your body mechanics through mobility. Cressey’s Magnificent Mobility is GOLD… I’m becoming a big stickler on this stuff especially for combat because while absolute strength can improve nearly all athletic attributes you can’t do dick as far as fighting if you don’t have range of motion. Think you’re going to throw a high kick with tight IT bands? Nope.

THEN start working on your strength.

But imo always always always be working your conditioning (always).

Thanks. Couple questions:

  • Why do you say always work on your conditioning? I’ve always found that my conditioning improves extremely rapidly as soon as I start to train it, whereas my strength improves much more slowly and progressively. I guess I’ve always felt like my conditioning would be there if I had a couple months to build it up, but my strength and technique needed more constant progressive work.

  • Less important, more just curious–how does the IT band come into play during a highkick? Considering it’s placement on the body, wouldn’t it shorten when a kick is thrown, rather than lengthen (a thus be inhibited by inflexibility)?

  • You always work your conditioning by pushing hard in your training. And imo, you can always do some sort of push. Continually keeping your conditioning at a maintenance level allows you to always improve on it and then maintain that new level…repeat. Eventually you’ll be able to work at a SICK pace completely outshine your opponent. But this is a debatable point and just my opinion… I’d work my conditioning before I work my absolute strength… but I’m naturally pretty strong so might be an individual thing. You said you’ve slowly been working it anyway, so you’re doing what i recommend anyway…

  • Honestly just threw out an example. I have no idea haha.

So you would say that conditioning can be improved in the same progressive manner as strength work?

It’s a point that would need clarifying but I do believe that is true.

“Conditioning”

is a debatable term and has so many different definitions we could argue it for hours. But to simplify yes I believe it can.

As you progress your strength endurance will go up, power endurance, v02 max, psychologically you can ‘relax’ more in the ring, you throw more strikes, work at a faster pace (or have the ability to), etc.

Imo its like the conjugate method if you keep all of these facets improving at the same time you don’t have to detrain any of them… you improve rather than meet your old level.

You might have a FOCUS for a while, but you never let your other attributes completely detrain.

IT Band helps with stabilization when you turnover your hip and pivot as you throw your kick, regardless of how high it might be.

IT Band helps with stabilization when you turnover your hip and pivot as you throw your kick, regardless of how high it might be.