Program Review for BJJ/LEO

Program for BJJ/LEO

Hey guys want to get feedback on my plan for someone that is a law enforcement officer and does BJJ a couple of times per week.

Two workouts A-B-A/B-A-B format. Based on Jim Wendler’s WALRUS workout challenge. Goal is strength/conditioning for law enforcement and BJJ.

Both workouts - 5 circuits must be done in 30 minutes.

Workout A: All done with weight vest in a circuit. 5 circuits total.

  1. weighted pull-ups (5-10 reps)
  2. weighted dips or weighted decline push-ups (10-15 reps)
  3. Goblet squat vest+Kettlebell (10-15 reps)

Accessory work: core/Facepulls

Workout B: No Vest-KB only

  1. Double KB clean & press (5-10 reps)
  2. Double KB bent over row (10 reps)
  3. Double KB Front squat (10-15 reps)

Accessory work: KB Carries

Current state: 30lbs weight vest, 36kg KB for Goblet squat. 24kg KBs for everything else.
Goal: 50lbs weight vest. 32kg for all kettlebell work. Goblet squat seems good at 36kg + vest.

Thoughts on programming/suggestions/concerns greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Hello, and welcome.

First, some bona fides, such as they are. I’m graded as a three stripe white belt at a BJJ school that emphasized sport and I have about twice the mat time with my current instructor, mostly in small groups or one-on-one at his home mats. Belts have never come up, so I remain graded as a three-stripe white belt. He is a four-stripe brown belt at a BJJ school that prioritizes unarmed combat. The black belts there are almost all accomplished competitors as well.

I also spent a few years bouncing part time where I’ve had success, such as it can be measured. Nobody ever whooped my ass and I never had to stand in front of a judge to explain my actions at work.

I got 500/350/615 lifetime natty strong at about 270lbs prior to beginning BJJ in my late 30’s, so I can’t comment on how best to strength train while also getting your mat time in. Your strength goals seem very reasonable to me, especially if you’re following a Wendler methodology. I mostly ran pretty standard 5/3/1 over the years, doing very little aside from getting stronger and shedding fat.

Being strong is great, don’t get me wrong, especially when the disparity gets significant. Your mat time is still where you’ll get the most benefit. It is here where I’d encourage you to look closely at your training priorities and school selection, if you have such options. In simple terms, if you find yourself suspecting that what you’re learning may be useless in a fight, is probably is. Don’t waste time training sport-only stuff in your rolls, either.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have a good answer for someone’s shin-to-shin butt-scooting x-guard entry, but that was never a priority of mine. Luckily that situation has yet to materialize off of the mats for me.

Can you arm-drag a chump to take his back on your feet? Great. Now catch blue belts with it too and choke the shit out of them, so they might better understand their folly.

Can you get to a clinch with a chump who might be swinging on you? Great. Now get to the same position with blue belts and go to work.

Can you put that chump on the ground reliably? Great. Now get it to work on blue belts.

Can you advance to mount and hold mount? Great. Now get it to work on blue belts.

Can you maintain a floating pin with knee on belly? Great. Now get it to work on blue belts.

Can you get out of the guard and back to your feet or advance to a dominant position? Great. Now get it to work on blue belts.

See where I’m going with this? The basics are the basics for good reason. You don’t need to resort to elaborate grappling when the adrenaline kicks in and you start running the algorithm you’ve created with your mat time. As my instructor says, try the front door first. It is open more often than not.

Don’t play the weight class game, either. Seek out a goon of a training partner like me and get to work.

Good luck with your training and with your work!


Looks good to me

Your program looks very reasonable as an overall program. Three days/week strength training and I’m assuming 2-4 hours/week BJJ. The exercise selection looks like it is hitting the main lifting parameters.

I’ll assume the bjj is quality instruction and the set/rep/load is challenging for you at this moment. What I don’t know is: does the program meet your needs? As an example, if you have a maritime function, you may want to throw in swimming. I include running in my training because my team has a running component in our PFQs. Also do you have specific goal (not just weight on lifts) or need to shore up specific performance?

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I’m looking to improve in BJJ as the primary “physical focus”. I’m currently on a tactical team and our fit test consists of a 800m run. Another test is a 1.5 mile. The times are so lenient that IMO anyone that trains BJJ a few times per week can easily pass those requirements.

The KB weight is good but I feel my front squats and rows require a lot more weight than KB overhead press. I used to do more zercher squats and bench press so I may incorporate those exercises in the future or I’ll have to keep buying heavier kettlebells.

This is totally normal. Overhead press, especially standing on your own two feet while you do it, will be the weakest compound lift by poundage for most normal lifters. Almost everyone who has ever lifted to become stronger will bench more, row more, squat more, deadlift more, and even good-morning more weight than they can overhead press from their own two feet.

A kettlebell is a fixed-weight cannonball with a handle. Nothing more, nothing less. They’re great. There’s no need to tie your OHP performance to your performance on other movements with the same fixed kettlebell weight.

Lifting is a lot easier than grappling. Just bust ass and do more than you did before. You can measure it by absolute weight lifted, reps done at a given weight, less rest between sets, or whatever metric resonates best with you. Progress is progress.

I’m way late to the party however if you’re still around looking for weight lifting tips, I’d recommend checking out JTS for BJJ.

In saying that I’d recommend looking at exercise selection vs their actual volume recommendations. They talk about prioritizing selection and limiting shoulder strain as often as they can. (Think ssb or belt squats vs low bar squats and floor press vs full bench)

In my personal bjj journey I have almost stopped lifting except 1-2 full body’s a week. They aren’t strength based but more pump and muscle endurance. I have started dead lifting again but it isn’t anything heavy. Just reps moderate weight.

Honestly we have some naturally strong guys but even being out of the weight room I can out muscle most of our fellas except the bigger guys if I needed to (I’m 185) I try to stay away from muscling as it was all I did early on.