T Nation

Training MMA. Adjust Leader/Anchor Conditioning?

Hi Jim,

Recently got my copy of 531 forever and I noticed a lot of your leader templates recommend 2 or 3 days of hard conditioning maximum.

I currently train MMA 4-5 times a week. Would it be best to reduce assistant exercises to a maximum of 50 reps with these? Alternatively, what if i was to run anchor 3x then 7th week protocol?


Only you can answer that.

Would 5s pro SSL 3x5 as leader & 351 FSL 3x5 as an anchor make sense?

Yes, that would be a good setup. I hope to try SSL some time in the near future.

Why? It helps to add context to what problems you are trying to solve to get the best answer.

I assume you are “in-season”; in-season training is 100% based on:

  1. What you do off-season.
  2. Your practice/competitive schedule.

I don’t understand your question about conditioning? This has to be woven into your practice schedule and as always, everything has to be programmed together. Again, much of this is based on what you did in the off-season.

I can’t really tell you WHAT to do; as a coach, I am constantly monitoring the indicators of my athletes and adjusting the plan to make sure the outcome is ideal. I have a hard time believing you are a competitive MMA athlete and your coaches aren’t monitoring all of your training/recovery. If they aren’t, I’d ask for my money back. If you can’t find a qualified coach, you are going to have to learn all you can about periodization (planning your programming) as well as having certain indicators present to help you make decisions. But the bottom line is this; no one can tell you what you need to do outside of the people that you work with on a daily basis. It is literally impossible.

I prefer higher intensity, lower volume lifts which is what the anchor templates seem to be. The lower volume should also work in well with my conditioning.

I train at an MMA academy; I don’t compete in MMA but I do compete in submission grappling tournaments and help the fighters with their grappling prior to a fight.

I was more-so curious as to how you approach your programming for those who do a lot of hard cardio. Is there any issues in replacing 5s pro with 5/3/1 or 3/5/1 in any of the leader templates?

No - the entire point of 5’s pro is total control over volume and intensity - this is all explained in the Forever book. Essentially this is the coach’s best friend because you now have a light/medium/heavy week and can day-to-day adjustments based on your indicators. This is how I do it - monitor indicators for the group and adjust the training.

In-season training is very different than off-season training - I think I said this before. I assume this is what you mean by “hard conditioning”? If it is, then you adjust the training to fit practices. Your coach should also adjust practices based on his indicators too. This is Coaching 101; all coaches should work together for common goal.

Every coach should do what he needs to do but we were able to lift our heaviest weights at the END of the football season; we only reset 2 players in the in-season (on bench press) and there was a noticeable change in performance/attitude by using indicators as a guideline.

Thanks Jim. I appreciate the time you have taken to respond and answer my questions.