T Nation

Thoughts on My Routine

I just wanted to get you guy’s thoughts on the training program I’ve set up. I’m a jiu jitsu practitioner and my goal is to win my division at the next grappling tournament in March. I’ve finished 2nd or 3rd in the last couple tournaments and conditioning has been the main factor in my not finishing strong. My technique is usually better than my opponents, but I end up wearing out and being out muscled in the finals.

Here’s the plan:

Monday: 1 hour jiu jitsu class plus 1 hour open mat

Tuesday: Maximal Strength - 5 sets of 3 of Deadlift, Bench Press, Front Squat, Chin-up, Barbell Press

Wednesday: 1 hour jiu jitsu class plus 1 hour open mat

Thursday Morning: Max Strength & Strength Endurance ? 3 sets of 3 plus 1 set of 30 for each; DB Incline Press, Bent over row, Pull-up (assisted PU on the 30 set), Power Clean, Back Squat. Thursday Night: BJJ Class plus open mat

Friday: Off Day

Saturday: Kettlebell & Bodyweight Circuit ? 4 minute rounds, as many as I can handle. I’ll also go to another BJJ class on Saturday?s when I can get away from the family.

Sunday: Unilateral day: One Arm DB Bench Press, One Arm DB Row, One Leg deadlift and squat, one arm db press.

This is my plan for the first few weeks. After that I plan on possibly removing to one max strength day and adding more conditioning circuits. Also, as my conditioning improves I plan on adding kettlebell, sandbag & bodyweight circuits on BJJ days.

I also plan on working flexibility daily. I’ve never worked on flexibility at all and I think that could really help my game.

Am I on the right track?

The guys at my school who have won the Mundials and the Pan-Ams have two things in common, they train BJJ 5-6 days a week and they don’t lift weights, maybe a couple sets of push-ups or pull-ups a week, that’s it. Probably because they are so fatigued from all the training.

I don’t think you need to avoid lifting, but training should be your first priority.

Right now you are doing 4 days of weights/conditioning and 3-4 days of Jiu-Jitsu, it looks like lifting is a bigger priority than martial arts. I would go to 5-6 days of grappling and 2-3 lifting sessions. Same amount of work, but bigger focus on grappling.

My best finish in a tournament is 2nd and I’ve done pretty much what you outlined and gassed as well, I’m making an effort right now to focus on martial arts.

JMO

I forgot to mention that I have mats in my basement, so I usually get together with a couple people and roll for a couple hours on the weekend. It’s not scheduled though, it just happens when it happens. As for training more at my school, that’s not really an option because of family and work obligations. I usually do my weight training in the morning before the wife and kids are awake, plus I have a home gym in the works which makes conditioning workouts easy to do at home at any time. Believe me, I would train BJJ every minute of the day if I could.

[quote]Bram Wiley wrote:
The guys at my school who have won the Mundials and the Pan-Ams have two things in common, they train BJJ 5-6 days a week and they don’t lift weights, maybe a couple sets of push-ups or pull-ups a week, that’s it. Probably because they are so fatigued from all the training.

I don’t think you need to avoid lifting, but training should be your first priority.

Right now you are doing 4 days of weights/conditioning and 3-4 days of Jiu-Jitsu, it looks like lifting is a bigger priority than martial arts. I would go to 5-6 days of grappling and 2-3 lifting sessions. Same amount of work, but bigger focus on grappling.
[/quote]

^^this is what u need to listen to. lifting weights isn’t bad but in bjj its not all that important. very low on the totem pole of shit to be doing. you’d be better off with 2 days of conditioning and 1 day of max lifting.

jiujitsu 6 days a week…

mon: conditioning- kbell circuit
wed: squat + pullups OR press + dl
fri: conditioning- bodyweight circuit

something like that…

^exactly

I can’t train BJJ more than 3-4 days, but I could tack on another class right before my Thursday and Saturday classes, so I could do the White Belt and Blue Belt classes in a row plus open mat. That may help with conditioning and let me work some new stuff on the white belts.

The reason I had 2 strength days was because I have the extra time in the morning. Plus, I enjoy lifting heavy things, but maybe I’ll just knock it back to one strength day and add an extra conditioning day instead.

I wrestled extensively and while BJJ has different goals the conditioning requirements are near to identical. Find a way to use as much of your body simultaneously as possible. Jumping burpees are excellent for instance. Doing as many as you possible can for 5 minutes could simulate a round. We conditioned on non-mat days for tournaments at my last school and we always were able to outlast others.

My school only offered classes 3 days a week. The other 3 days we conditioned. An example of what we did follows:

200 Jump Rope reps
10 Pullups (vary grip doing some with gi over bar for grip)
20 Hindu Pushups
20 Hindu Squats
20 Situps
20 Dips

Circuit was done as fast as possible increasing rep count when it can be done under 5 mins. 1 min rest and repeat for a total of 5 rounds.

We had a concept 2 rowing machine and we rowed for 5 mins with 1 min rest for 5 rounds. Each time trying to get a higher total distance.

We would run around a neighborhood sprinting a telephone pole jogging one and walking one for two circuits which totaled 4 miles. We continually tried to decrease the number of walking intervals eventually eliminating them.

Tabata Burpees was really hard for us too. 20 secs many as you can followed by 10 sec rest for 5 mins 1 min rest repeat 5 to 8 times.

We got creative and tried to perform as close to all out as we could for 5 5 to 8 min periods.

And on open mat days we knew who was going to the tournament and we always rolled 5 to 8 5 min periods with 1 min rest between each time trying to put a fresh guy on the guy going to the tournament.

Other than that if you find yourself being overpowered you can train for power but that should be done prior to 6 to 8 weeks out from a tournament in my opinion. Concentration on conditioning closer to the tournament. Tournaments are unique. Early matches are usually quick and easy if you are good. Later matches being much longer and more challenging as skill level equals out. Also finding a way to replenish energy between matches is essential. Finding light easy to digest replenishment is a must. I used Surge Recovery last tournament I was in and I thought it worked really well. I used 6 servings in one weekend. I ate very lightly besides that just to keep from being hungry, mainly breads or some kind of carbs.

This may not be the best way but it worked well for us and used some of the stuff I remembered from wrestling mixed in with stuff I read here. I won quite a few matches through better conditioning and good defense in the beginning.

Great advice! I’ll definitely work some of those ideas in. Thanks!

Right now I’m 12 weeks out, so I may keep the 2 strength days until 8 weeks out and then replace it with another conditioning day.

I will have to agree with almost everyone here and say that you need 5 if not 6 days
to win this

Why do you think that bench press is useless for those arts? I have wrestled for a long time, and locking up with people if I can get double unders have nice bear hug strength really helps, and benching helps immensely with that. I don’t mean to sound rude, just wondering your reasoning there.

[quote]USMCpoolee wrote:
Why do you think that bench press is useless for those arts? I have wrestled for a long time, and locking up with people if I can get double unders have nice bear hug strength really helps, and benching helps immensely with that. I don’t mean to sound rude, just wondering your reasoning there.[/quote]

its not rude… I only started benching later in the game.
well after college and I suck at it.

a big bench will make you stronger overall and its a big compound movement that does lots of good for the body.

the push press is far superior for grapplers if you must push at all.

benching does not develop “bear hug” or squeezing strength

or the strengh used in pummeling
if people wanted to “push” me they usually flew.
in fact I usually encouraged and entrapped people into pushing

there is far far more pulling, squeezing in wrestling than
any useful pushing
and in greco or international its a far far more physical sport then in the US.

maybe i misunderstood some of this, but you said you tend to wear out, and then get out-muscled, and your technique is solid. that prolly means you’re not quite as strong as you need to be, and are working harder than you need to.

i guess i’d combine some max-strength, along with circuit “finishers” afterwards to help with endurance…

maybe i’m confused though.

I don’t know if out-muscled is the right way to put it or not, maybe out conditioned would be better. Basically this is how my tournaments have gone.

Match 1: I win with a quick submission
Match 2: I win with a submission later in the match
Match 3: I win or lose by points
Match 4: I lose by points and spend most of the time fighting for control from the bottom

I’ve yet to roll against anyone in a tournament who has out techniqued me. I tend to just get fatigued and weak in the later fights and in gi my grip wears out to the point where I can barely make a fist, so that’s something else I definitely need to work on. My goal is to have my conditioning at a level where I can compete in several different divisions and remain competitive.

if your grip is failing
it is a conditioning issue.

we used to joke that
you can run a marathon and write fine.
do one grappling wrestling or whatever match
and you can barely put an X on the bout sheet.

barbell complexes
will sort that out.

[quote]kmcnyc wrote:
USMCpoolee wrote:
Why do you think that bench press is useless for those arts? I have wrestled for a long time, and locking up with people if I can get double unders have nice bear hug strength really helps, and benching helps immensely with that. I don’t mean to sound rude, just wondering your reasoning there.

its not rude… I only started benching later in the game.
well after college and I suck at it.

a big bench will make you stronger overall and its a big compound movement that does lots of good for the body.

the push press is far superior for grapplers if you must push at all.

benching does not develop “bear hug” or squeezing strength

when are you ever pushing someone away when its not more
like passing a basket ball or using a med ball?

or the strengh used in pummeling
if people wanted to “push” me they usually flew.
in fact I usually encouraged and entrapped people into pushing

there is far far more pulling, squeezing in wrestling than
any useful pushing
and in greco or international its a far far more physical sport then in the US.

exercises that open or extend the hips do so much more.

what I think wrestlers need

pulls deads,Romanina deads, high pulls
snatches , single arm , power snatches, full snatch not so much
pull ups
row, row, row,
power cleans
power cleans
power cleans
front squat
grip and neck

ball slams
plyos

plenty of real ab work
plenty of single leg movement.

When I went to colorado at the OTC.
no one on the greco team benched. except for fun or bragging rights and they had to go to a different teams area
in fact there where no benches for benching
there were a few boxes or benches to do other stuff on.

the things they really emphasized
were
hips extension or openers
one arm snatch, snatch ,push press RDL step ups lunges etc

unilaterl work
bulgarian split squat more lunges

plyos
box jumps power cleans, med ball crap.
then in far less frequency
front squat
deadlifts
full snatch
Oh press.

not to much else.
Later I found out that few as in zero of the european and mid eastern wrestlers bench or go past dips for any thing close to it

kmc

[/quote]

Thanks, I am now going to completely redo my workout haha. I really do appreciate the advice though. Just wondering though, what are hip extensions and openers? Sorry for the hijack