T Nation

Program Critique for Busy Guy

Hello All,
Quick background-I’m 43, do BJJ average of 3 times per week (mon/Fri early am and Wednesday PM) I have several kids and a full time job. Used to work out with weights quite a bit in my late twenties/early thirties then got busy, fat (skinny fat) blah blah blah etc. etc. Starting doing BJJ about 7 years ago got in great shape over a few years, lost weight messed with mostly body weight stuff, KB’s and the like. Joined the gym for a while and did some lifting again a few months ago.

So Just got my Squat rack set up in the garage and I’m also working out with my wife so a more abbreviated program works best for me.(my wife will only be doing the MON and FRI workouts BTW). So with ALL that said, can I get a constructive critique of this program? Please and Thank you!

EXERCISE/ SETS/ REPS/ REST
MONDAY PM
Squat 5 X 5 90 sec
Bench Press 3 X 8 90 sec
Rows 3 X 8 90 sec
(P/U and Swings in alternating Fashion)
Push-up 3 X 15 30 sec
KB Swings 3 X 20 1 min

WEDNESDAY AM
Deadlift 5 X 5 90 sec
(SH and Swings in alternating Fashion)
Sledge hammer 5 X 15(5r,5l,5m)1 min
KB Swings 5 X 15 1 min

FRIDAY PM
Squat 5 X 5 90 sec
Overhead Press 3 X 8 90 sec
Chin up 3 X 8 90 sec
(P/U and Swings in alternating Fashion)
Push-up 3 X 15 30 sec
KB Swings 3 X 20 1 min

More info before critique.

  1. How are you going to progress the weights?

  2. Stats

  3. You sure this won’t interfere with your BJJ

  4. Hope you have good recovery or this will bury you if your not already in real good shape.

  5. How strong are you? IE: How much weight are talking here on the Squat/row/bench ?

I agree with Fischer, but will take it a step further. I think a 5x5 program will run most people after about a month, especially if you don’t start out very conservatively. It has become knee jerk for a lot of people on the PL section to recommend, but something you might give some consideration to is some form of 5/3/1 (full-body template, Boring but Big, Triumvirate, etc.).

Okay, thanks for the replys, for additional stats:

  1. weight progression slow. I was going to do 5 lb each squat workout and 10 lbs for the deads

  2. It’s been so long since I have hit the weights i do not even know what my 1rm or even 5rm’s are on any lift. I am 43 6’2" and 198 lbs.

  3. Not Worried too much about interfering with my BJJ (maybe just a bit) but I am only sparring once a week right now and the other classes are fundementals. I also do not expend NEAR the energy I used to in my first few years of training and focus on relaxing. Since we are not a compitition school and train in all areas and focus on self defense I am not expending near the energy as the guys training for timed rounds.

  4. I have great recovery when it comes to Rolling, running and bodyweight stuff for the most part but I don’t know at 43 how it will hold up to trying to put on muscle.

  5. I am basically starting at the beginning with everything. Last Monday I started at 125 on the squat and was thinking about starting the deads tomorrow at 135. It’s super light right now but that’s fine because I figured it would allow me to build up gradually and I can work on form and flexibility progressively. (I’m in for the long hall not the sprint)

I did get a copy of the 5/3/1 program but I just skimmed through it. Maybe I should go back through and reread it. It seemed a little more in depth than the 5 x 5 so I kind of dismissed it but will definitley look at it again if you think that will allow me more recovery time and a better bang for my buck.

Look into the Juggernaut system for BJJ by Chad wesley smith <-----best bet here I think

Since I am not there to analyze and judge your abilities/recovery its hard to see your weaknesses to help build a program/template to fix them. For athletes we always work the weakness first and foremost and everything else is programmed around that ie: lifts/movements/conditioning/mobility .

Make sense?

To take a stab I would train 2 days a week fullbody with 2 main lifts each upper/lower with a couple of assistance exercises.

Mon: Bench-Squat.
pullups
kb conditioning

Thurs: Deadlift–OHP
dips
kb conditioning

Thanks for the feedback, it is appreciated.

I have to remember to keep it simple. I originally was leaning toward a 2 day a week schedule before my enthusiasm got the best of me. I like your idea above, simple and effective.

I tend to not think of my BJJ training as ‘working out’ and yet it does tax my body and recovery abilities so it has to be factored into the whole picture.

Thanks again for the feedback!!

Fischer hit it dead on. You can get a lot done on a 2-day a week plan, as long as you pour your efforts into the big lifts and top it off with some basic assistance work. I forgot TJM had a BJJ program. Good call, Fischer.