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New to MMA - Doing Too Much?

Hey guys, im new to the MMA world. I did boxing for about 4 months, then moved and never got a chance to get back into it. I just started BJJ last monday and will now be incorporating boxing and muy thai with the BJJ. Im having a hard time setting up something for conditioning/strength training so that I dont completely over do it and wear myself out quickly. This is what I was thinking:

Monday: BJJ/Total Body training
Tuesday: Bag Training, Cardio
Wed: BJJ/Muy Thai, Total Body training
Thursday: Bag Training, Cardio
Friday: Boxing/Rolling, Total Body Training
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

My goal is to keep most of my size/strength and get myself into great shape to use to my advantage.
The thing that sucks is I go to school full time and work part time, so time is a bitch for me. My question is I wanted to incorporate something a buddy showed me in BJJ class called the Randy Couture workout, where you do Bent Rowsx8, Upright Rowsx8, Military Pressx8, Good Morningx8, Lungesx8, Squatsx8, Deadliftsx8 without stopping, 3-5 sets. I wonder if i should do these on lifting days or cardio days? And on lifting days, should i alternate reps/volumes? Like Monday, low reps, Wed Mid-range, friday high reps?

If you guys could show me some pointers, I would appreciate it! I have looked around here and seen different routines people had, but wanted to incorporate my own and see what people thought.

Your friend is referring to barbell complexes. They are more of a conditioning tool than something you’ll gain max. strength from, just due to the nature of the number of exercises and number of reps you are doing.

Honestly, since you are just starting out, I wouldn’t even worry about lifting that much right now. Take a couple of weeks of classes, see how your body responds and then you can better determine how many days you can lift and when you can fit it into your schedule.

I would say with your schedule being as busy as it is, you’ll want to try and do more with less, if you know what I mean.

i gotcha man, thanks for the input i appreciate it. i just have that urge that i ALWAYS want to be doing something, i go nuts on my off days.

yeah, i agree with Djwlfpack. if you haven’t done this before, you’re going to be surprised the recovery demands that happen. i’d suggest just doing BJJ/MT for a while until you adapt, and then integrate your conditioning.

EDIT: just saw your response…you could also doing lifting/cardio on “off days” if you feel you need to do something.

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:
yeah, i agree with Djwlfpack. if you haven’t done this before, you’re going to be surprised the recovery demands that happen. i’d suggest just doing BJJ/MT for a while until you adapt, and then integrate your conditioning.

EDIT: just saw your response…you could also doing lifting/cardio on “off days” if you feel you need to do something.[/quote]

It took a long time for me to adjust to the point where I could weightlift more than once a week and not feel like my body was put through a meatgrinder by Sunday.

yeah i see what you guys mean haha… today after my bjj class, i went to try to lift and i had NOTHING. i could barely do half of what i usually do, so i just left. im taxed and i still have to go work 5 hours and do homework after!

Way to much for the moment… most important question is: do you want to fight professionally or is this just a hobby? Your level of commitment is going to depend on the aforementioned question.

If you have very serious aspirations for training combat sports I would do something like the following.

Phase 1:
Train your technique every available session, whether that be BJJ, Boxing, Muay thai, etc. Just be in there getting the technique.

Phase 2:
IF you have time for an additional section, I would spend that time performing mobility and flexibility work. Foam rollers,bands, prehab stuff grapplers toolbox, yoga type stuff, etc… all of that.

I would spend at least 6 weeks with this work 4-5x a week. from there I’d continue doing 1-2 ‘heavier’ sessions a week of that, but keep abbreviated work before or after training.

Phase 3:
The next minimum 6 weeks I would work on improving my work capacity & bf%. Sled drags, sledge hammer strikes, 3-5mile walks, Basic exercises: pushups, pullups, free squats, miscellaneous bodyweight exercises.

phase 4:
After this I would begin slowly working weights into my schedule. Probably start with just one or two lifts a day.

Day 1- Back Squats 5x10, jump rope 3 tabata rounds x 5min each

Day 2- Pullups/Dips superset 5x5, face pulls 3x15

whenever you’d like to include more than 1 or 2 days of lifting a weight go back to phase 3 and start increasing your work capacity in a manageable fashion. From there you’re training your technique as much as possible which is your FOREMOST priority, and then you can work on the myraid of other things from there.

There are various strength based attributes for you to work but imo the most influential are:

Total Body Power Endurance

For example not just doing a max power clean, but doing a single every 15 seconds for 5minutes. short complexes using singles or doubles are excellent here. Strongman medeleys are also excellent.

Maximal Strength

just what it sounds like. max strength work.

Dynamic strength

ballistic/speed work. less emphasis on moving weight more emphasis on the speed of your actions.

strength endurance

similar to power endurance (both have a lot of crossover) but (if we were to stick to the prior example) more reps and less weight. traditional complexes work well here

Outside of that, for conditioning the stuff that seems to work the best are ‘crossfit’ type exercises. But periodized specifically for the time you’ll be fighting.

example:
Sprint 100m
10 one arm snatches per arm
repeat for 5 min, rest one minute, repeat

or

3min round:
30s- jump lunges
30s- speed jumprope
30s- dbbell swings
30s- mountain climbers
30s- tuck jumps
30s- speed punching on bag

[quote]skimmy_jimmy wrote:
yeah i see what you guys mean haha… today after my bjj class, i went to try to lift and i had NOTHING. i could barely do half of what i usually do, so i just left. im taxed and i still have to go work 5 hours and do homework after![/quote]

That sounds about right, especially since you tried to lift AFTER your BJJ class. I am so spent after my classes, the last thing on my mind would be lifting.

Xen, as always, provides a wealth of knowledge on the subject. I think I used less words :slight_smile:

i would love to fight professionally, but i just dont see it happening with everything else going on… school, our daughter, my back/shoulder/rib problems. when im doin BJJ i have a hard time doing many things because of previous injuries.

but its still something im going to try for and see what happens, i know i would be great at it. but until i know im at a level where ill actually be doing fights, i guess you could say its more of a hobby to get better for the time being.

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:
skimmy_jimmy wrote:
yeah i see what you guys mean haha… today after my bjj class, i went to try to lift and i had NOTHING. i could barely do half of what i usually do, so i just left. im taxed and i still have to go work 5 hours and do homework after!

That sounds about right, especially since you tried to lift AFTER your BJJ class. I am so spent after my classes, the last thing on my mind would be lifting.

Xen, as always, provides a wealth of knowledge on the subject. I think I used less words :)[/quote]

If i just say, “what Djwlfpack said”, threads would be less interesting :slight_smile:

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:

There are various strength based attributes for you to work but imo the most influential are:

Total Body Power Endurance

For example not just doing a max power clean, but doing a single every 15 seconds for 5minutes. short complexes using singles or doubles are excellent here. Strongman medeleys are also excellent.

Maximal Strength

just what it sounds like. max strength work.

Dynamic strength

ballistic/speed work. less emphasis on moving weight more emphasis on the speed of your actions.

strength endurance

similar to power endurance (both have a lot of crossover) but (if we were to stick to the prior example) more reps and less weight. traditional complexes work well here
[/quote]

Adding to Xen’s advice, I say pick your weakness in the above qualities and work on that. If you’re already strong as fark, skip the strength work and focus on what you’re lacking.

Xen has some good advice up there, a lot of it I ascribe to myself. However I think his timetable is a bit conservative unless you were total cookie dough when you started.

My two cents: BJJ is by far the most technical of the three disciplines you are trying out. I am assuming you are training with a gi, if not you should be. To quoate Marcello Garcia “When preparing for ADCC I trained no gi 1 day a week” Anyway, I would focus on BJJ exclusively for at least six months. There is a lot to wrap your mind around in the beginning… half-gaurd to butterfly to arm drag sort of stuff. And to put it bluntly 2 days a week is what we call the 20 year black belt approach.

My training approach: I took a year off after tearing my rotator cuff at the 2007 Mundials (world championships)followed by a long stretch of other shit. Needless to I say I was the aforementioned cookie dough when I came back to training. After 2 weeks of light training I went back full force.

Morning: First four weeks, 20 min solid cardio followed by a two 4 move circuits back to back 3 sets 6-12 reps 1 min rest per circuit interval
Such as
Pull ups
Box jumps
Burpee Pull ups
Ring push ups

Over head squat
KB Snatch
Lateral shuffle over a box
Floor rows on rings

Week four on: switched to a 6 move 4 set routine with more reps

Afternoon: quick cardio if I had time… the rowing machine is a bjj players best friend.

PM. BJJ

Lifting 6 days
Cardio 6 days maybe 10 sessions
BJJ 4-5 times

After 8 weeks I am back into minimum competition shape.

Caveat: I have over 5 years of BJJ experience.

What I did for my brother who has 3 little girls aged 2-5 and commutes 40 min.
Bought
2 ring bolts which I screwed into the studs in his garage.
2 quick release cargo straps from which I removed the s-hooks
2 3" pieces of pvc in 6" lengths
various anchors and snap links
Some nylon runners (fixed loops)
These I made into a set of gymnastic rings with fore arm destroying BJJ grips.These let him do killer push up dips pull ups ect.

I made him a 24" plyo box
Bought him a jump rope and 2 26lb kettle bells.

Bam… home gym for the bjj/mma guy/gal with not much time.

Bigjitsu, can you come install these at my house?

You competed at Mundials? That’s cool shit.

[quote]Djwlfpack wrote:
Bigjitsu, can you come install these at my house?

You competed at Mundials? That’s cool shit.[/quote]

… hi jacking thread…
Lol, as he was my brother he tolerated several expermental holes in his ceiling until I found the studs.

If you want I can give you a shopping list of materials. I put a pair together for around 25 bucks. I use them as well, but without the fixed bolts. I just loop them over the cross beam in the squat rack or over a pull up bar at the gym.

I swear by them. After 5 weeks of using them I was messing around and went to bench, hit 335 five times no fuss. Mind you this was after a year of zero working out… and I only do push ups for my chest.

… thread un-hijacked…

imo you need about 6 weeks to really solidify any gains that you make. But like you said thats really if you’re a beginner. For instance in your case you just needed to get back to where you were. So you’re already at a high level he sounds like a complete new guy… in which case it’s better to err on the side of longevity rather than being over anxious.

Regarding BJJ being the most technical I think that really depends on your previous background and natural affinity. Standup is the most technical for me. I have a very very keen kinesthetic sense so I pick up wrestling and jiujitsu moves very easily, as well as clinch movements. But combining that with the timing, footwork and balance required in proper standup techniques is more difficult (and thus often times more rewarding) to me than ground work. I agree with you on one thing certainly though. BJJ twice a week is definitely not enough. 5-6 days a week for both ground work AND standup is minimum imo if you have serious aspirations. Add in your other shit (mobility, conditioning, strength, etc) after those.

Great post by the way. I agree with 99% of what you’re saying. 335x5, shit stronger than me!

[quote]Bigjitsu wrote:
Djwlfpack wrote:
Bigjitsu, can you come install these at my house?

You competed at Mundials? That’s cool shit.

… hi jacking thread…
Lol, as he was my brother he tolerated several expermental holes in his ceiling until I found the studs.

If you want I can give you a shopping list of materials. I put a pair together for around 25 bucks. I use them as well, but without the fixed bolts. I just loop them over the cross beam in the squat rack or over a pull up bar at the gym.

I swear by them. After 5 weeks of using them I was messing around and went to bench, hit 335 five times no fuss. Mind you this was after a year of zero working out… and I only do push ups for my chest.

… thread un-hijacked…[/quote]

Please post shopping list…I’m going to buy some rings and i need to know how i can find a stud and building something to rig up to strap the rings to so i can get workin on my iron cross :-p

Shopping list and instructions forthcoming. I’ll do a seperate post.

Xen you made me realize that I should have clarefied that Im pure bjj with the gi. I have maybe a year of Muay Thai under my belt spread out over the years. By technical in reference to BJJ, I was thinking of the mental overload that whitebelts experience the firt few months they train with my profesor. Heck, just yesterday I was learning some super effective escapes from 1/2 guard when your opponent has cross body, and I was baffled for about 4 reps, before my ah-ha moment.

On side note: Royler seminar coming up… so pumped.

[quote]skimmy_jimmy wrote:
i would love to fight professionally, but i just dont see it happening with everything else going on… school, our daughter, my back/shoulder/rib problems. when im doin BJJ i have a hard time doing many things because of previous injuries.

but its still something im going to try for and see what happens, i know i would be great at it. but until i know im at a level where ill actually be doing fights, i guess you could say its more of a hobby to get better for the time being.[/quote]

I can’t add anything to what Xen said, I’ll not even try; but I can contribute on the notion of being a pro fighter.

Up until last year, I owned three MMA schools, and saw literally thousands of guys that said that they wanted to fight pro. I’m not saying this to put you on a downer bro, please do not think that. cool?

The reality is that to make it to the top ranks, and not be just another one of the meat grinder guys that you see in the UFC, Elite, etc; you’ll need to do nothing but train. No college, no nothing. Which also means, very little $$ to live on, no insurance to take care of the injuries that will happen. And no back up plan when there are really no rewards for fighting. You’ll be starting out behind the 8 ball once your done fighting.

The sport is already getting watered down because there are so many guys that the shows can use as meat for the mill. Which also means that the quality of training out there is seriously lacking as well. I’m shocked to see whats being passed off in some schools. Hell, I’m shocked seeing some fights, the fighters are so bad. They get props for being in there, but it lowers the level of the sport as a whole.

If you’re cool with all of that, and it is the tip of the iceberg, god bless ya!

My apologies if that came off as a buzz kill… Just been around this stuff for longer than a lot of current “fighters” have been alive… :slight_smile: