T Nation

Program Advice, Training MMA and Track

Seeking advice, read a ton of threads, used the search function, still could use some answers!

During the course of the week I train in MMA (sometimes feels like a total body workout) & Track (sprinting). I currently have scheduled just 2 days a week of moving weights. It’s possible to add another weight training session (making 3x week) but I’d like to avoid it IF I can.

  1. Can I gain strength/speed/endurance lifting just twice weekly?

  2. If I’m weight training twice a week for strength, is it better to do two full-body sessions or split it into an upper and lower day?

Any advice?

(And if anyone knows a good program for either of my two sports I’d appreciate the input)


Additional information:

Here’s my schedule as of now:

Monday: AM = Lift / PM = Sprint work
Tuesday: AM = Class / PM = Striking then Submission/No Gi Wrestling
Wednesday: AM = Lift / PM = Striking (or Sprinting) followed every other week by BJJ (bi-weekly school meetings on other days)
Thursday: AM = Class / PM = Striking then Submission/No Gi Wrestling
Friday: Conditioning and Flexibility class followed by MMA class
Saturday: AM = BJJ (unless I’m beat or cant wake up lol) / PM = Flag Football (basically sprint work -but fun)
I also throw in some occasional pilates work on campus and a morning jog on mon/wed (“self defense” class for an easy 2 credits)

Here’s a list of exercises I think would be beneficial: (obv cant do them all in 2 days though… I’m interested to see what the Friday class looks like too which could affect my plan)

Towel Chin-Ups (Back + Grip)
Knuckle Pushups, Depth Push-Ups, and/or DB Presses (Chest)
Bent Over Rows (Back)
Upright Row (Shoulder + Back)
DB Military Press / Arnolds (Shoulder)
Shrugs (Traps)
Dips (Tri’s)
Curls (Bi’s)
One Arm DB Snatch (Lower + Shoulder)
Single Arm DB Clean and Jerk (Lower + Shoulder)
Bulgarian Squat (Lower)
Suitcase Deadlift (Lower + Abs)
Walking Lunges (Lower + Hips)
Seated Hip Abductor (Hips)
Band Leg Extension (Hips)
Hanging Leg Raises (Abs and Hips)
Calf Raises / Single leg hops w/ DB
Reverse Calf Raises

  • ab work and grip/wrist/forearm

Give me hell!

Balancing sport/lifting can be a bitch,
especially if you don’t really have an off season, which I imagine is the way it is with you MMA.

I was training 3-4x week tkd/hkd, and doing two very brief full body sessions a week. I found if I tried to do another day my other training would suffer. After having a while off, I’ve managed to build my work capacity quite a lot, and now can train more often… having a much better diet now helps also, I guess.

My strength gains were reasonable over the period of time that I was training 2x week. Of course they are not quite as quick as if you were dedicating your time only to strength training, but nobody would expect that. Note, though, that I was (I guess still am) a beginner to lifting, and it was always going to be easy for me to make linear gains. If you are more advanced, you may find it more difficult to add strength doing 2x week sessions.

I think full body is probably the way to go if you only have two days…
but then, I know of a few guys who gain quite well doing 2x week on an upper/lower. I’m following the ws4sb’s4 template, and more often than not skip the DE Lower day to get an extra day of recovery when I need it. Which in effect makes me train lower body only once a week- I’ve been on this program for almost 6 weeks now, and have gained a moderate amount of strength.

And on that note, I’d go and check out ws4sb’s if you haven’t already, he includes templates for including running, and also has an “inseason” 2x week program that might suit your goals.

Hope this was helpful.

I have no experience training 2x a week, but I’d suggest looking up the 2 day a week version of 5/3/1.

Thanks guys, this input is helpful. I’ll check WSFSB in-season

I didnt know there was a 2 day version of 5/3/1 either, I’ve searched around and have only seen 3.

My advice would be to focus your weight training on strength, let your sports training take care of the other aspects. Don’t fall prey to the “I’m an athlete so I need to do foo foo exercises mentality”.

I found some info on 5/3/1 2x a week, but there were two diff options… one splits the big lifts up 2x each day and the other 2x each week… I assume this is because of the potential to add more “assistance” lifts with the latter?