Training Period for Explosiveness/Power

Long story short, I’m 6’2", rather lean 185lbs, 20 year old male, been training MT for about 4 years of which a bit over a year of dedicated training (6 days/wk, 10hrs+). Lifes going to be too busy and stresfull till June so I’m not looking to get anything extra on my plate, so currently I’m planning on getting in the ring this Fall when things hopefully are a little calmed down.

Due to my lack of athletic base which most people establish early playing sports, my lack explosiveness and speed has always been something I’ve despised, getting efficient with my technique and getting used to and relaxed in sparring has gone a long way helping with that, but I’d like to be able to maybe one day surprise some fucker by sprining a flying knee in his face or something so it surely wouldn’t hurt to be able to jump a bit higher.

What I’m looking to do is put together a 6 week training plan to improve my explosiveness and speed. Resources available to me are 2 gyms, one of them is rather small but has a barbell and plates and within a 5 min walking distance, one of them is bigger with bumper plates and a track but a bit farther away so basically can’t make it there in the mon-fri morning sessions.

My MT gym offers classes Mon-Fri evenings and Tue morning, Sat morning is competition groups sparring session so thats the most important training session of the week for me. What I’m looking to do schedule-wise is something like this:
Mon
AM - Off
PM - 2hrs of pads/mits with partner, hard
Tue
AM - Lifting
PM - 2hrs of pads/technique with partner, moderate
Wed
AM - Off
PM - 1-2hrs of pads/technique, depending on how beat I am, moderate
Thu
AM - Lifting
PM - Off
Fri
AM - Off
PM - 1 hr of technique, light/moderate
Sat
AM - 1,5hrs comp.sparring+intense conditioning
PM - Off
Sun
AM - Lifting
PM - Off

Think I should back off more on my MT training or will this kind of schedule give me enough time to recover, workout nutrition will be good and calories at atleast maintenance level, if not a slight surpluss on lifting days. On off mornings I like to hit a light ciruit of core excercises+few streches and activation excersises I’ve found to be helpful, but nothing to really sap my recovery abilities, probably the other way around.

What I should do in my lifting sessions is a whole another issue, one where I’d really appriciate some insight, I know Aragorn works with some combat athletes and a lot of you have experiences with your own training and guiding your students so all help will be greatly appriciated!

I have halfway decent technique on Oly-lifts, by which I mean that I can do them safely and efficiently enough to get the desired training effect without fucking myself up but no where nearly good enough to compete in Oly lifting any time soon :smiley: . Back squatting is out of question due to shoulder issues caused by first years of lifting being centered around bench+curls.

Long as I keep facepulls, pull apparts and chins in my program with great regularity it doesn’t hurt my MT training but for the same reason I’d love to keep my upper body pushing work to the minimum. Current estimated 1RMs would be around:
Clean 185lbs
Snatch 130lbs
Front Squat 220lbs
Bench 220lbs
Deadlift 300lbs
Pull-ups 20+ reps

From what I’ve been reading people seem to be loving oly lifts, contrast training, complexes, plyos and sprinting for this kind of situation. I’ve been training long enough to know that throwing all those things in the mix will leave my way too sore to do any serious MT training and will probably be too much to make any respectable progress either. Which one I should pick, I have no clue.

I do know there are plenty of great programs available here, but most of them seem to be geared towards people who can afford to hit the gym with great intensity 4 days a week or so, which is hardly the volume I am looking for. When it comes to intensity, I’d like to make Thu AM my most taxing session and Tue AM the least taxing.

Tried to keep it short but ended up rambling for quite a bit more than I meant to so thanks for everyone who made it to the end and thank you in advance for all the insightful responses I’m sure I’ll recieve :wink: .

I’ve always been very explosive and fast even early on in boxing, but had terrible endurance and cardio due to laziness, so take this with a grain of salt if you will, but my suggestion is not to worry about “programs” and just keep it simple.

By trying to be more explosive and faster, you will get more explosive and faster. higher-faster-sports.com is a great resource, and one of the things he establishes in many of his inquires from prospective athletes is the best way to get faster at a movement is to DO that movement.

Weight training will help, that much is pretty undisputed in the world of sports now, what with virtually all athletes with a strong component of speed-power (sprinters, combat athletes, high jumpers etc) having weight training as a part of their programs, but the core component still remains skill specific work - i.e actually doing the activity you are attempting to improve at, rather than focusing on supplemental activities.

The problem I think many guys run into is they get too caught up in trying to design a perfect program and get too focused on unimportant shit - at the end of the day one weight training program might impart more results than another, but its still weight training, the difference between programs might be only 0.5% (pulling figures out of my ass but hopefully you get what I mean). As long as you are IMPROVING in some respective aspect, the specifics are largely unimportant.

Mike Tyson’s training program would make a lot of dudes on T-Nation through their computer at the wall - its largely THOUSANDS (literally) of traditional bodyweight exercises, yet it took a 180lb kid to a 220lb monster with incredible power and speed, and the ability to not get overpowered by men who dwarfed him. Yet according to dogma on weightlifting circles, he should be small, weak and punch like a wet noodle. Is it arguable he wouldve been even faster and stronger more so had he taken up a PL routine? Sure its arguable, but again, the difference is probably minimal. The fact he progressed is more important.

when shadow boxing, with movements you are already competent in (i.e not trying to learn a new combination or technique) you should always be practicing these as fast and as explosive as possible without losing technical integrity (so a super fast hook is no good if being super fast means you are now arm punching).

I do agree with that, I’m by no means looking to put together the perfect program that I’ll be following for an extended period of time, its simply that I’ve been doing about 8 months of hitting the gym for MT classes 10-15hrs a week with out missing more than maybe one week and a few sessions here and there, of course I’ve made massive improvements and still continue to progress every day as long as I keep my focus on what I’m doing, with the intention of doing every technique fast and explosive and trying to improve my technique nearly every session.

While its still all fun and I love doing it, I think it might be beneficial to put my body through a little period of focusing more on one aspect of my athletic development while trying to maintain and maybe make only slight improvements on the other areas I need to be focusing on. When the snow is gone (which should hopefully happen a week or two from when the said 6 week focus period on explosiveness would be over) I have every intention on getting back to more traditional type of training with a fresh mind and hopefully a bit more spring in my foot to get my ready for 10+hrs of MT and roadwork+sprints outside, keeping the lifting to the minimum.

Thanks for the link, lots of interesting articles I’ll have to read for sure!

A lot of things are involved with being explosive, I agree with Davo on a lot of his post. I would ask for more backround to make any kind of recommendation on the course of your training. Like what is your current mileage per week, how fast do you run the mile and get a feel for what your doing currently. Do you have a coach for the fight. If you don’t then get one. I don’t want to sound like I am putting you down but if your not that serious don’t get into the ring. You said you do intense conditioning on Saturday and then lift on Sunday. I guess whats your idea of intense. Please be specific.

Current workload is pretty much get in the gym, do about two hours of work with partner as coach tells us to, mostly pads, mits, technique drills, conditioning. Pretty much going full blast most of the week, might tone it down a notch if feeling too beat up.

So yes, I do have a coach, our gym has a pretty good team of coaches and our competitors have done very well mostly in amateur competitions, which is something I seemed to forget to clarify in the first post, not looking to make a pro debut :wink: . Its suposted to say sparring+conditioning, intense on sat, to give you idea of typical comp.group session its usually about 15-20min warmup, then 5 rds boxing, 5 rds MT, 10+mins clinching usually followed by 100 knees, 100 kicks both legs, as hard as possible, followed by some calistnetics etc depending on time left.

Sparring is not done full blast but the pace is high, so the workload does add up.

As Ive done some reading, I figured that since lots of people do recommend complexes to improve explosiveness and work capacity, and Ive read that some would consider them a good fit for combat athletes, that I cant go too wrong using them.

What Ive thought of when it comes to programming, is doing two complexes/week, one on tue am session and other on thu am, with sun session being optional depending on how fresh do I feel and will consist of low volume sprints (keeping total distance below 300m, focusing on short 20-40m sprints) and some light upper body work. Complexes would look something like this.
Tue AM
Ramp to front squat 5RM with 3reps (in other words no grinding and barspeed stays good)
Complex repeated 6 times with 60-90sec between excercises
Front Squat x3x5RM
Power clean x2x85% of Fr.Sq weight
Vertical jump x3
If time and energy left use it on core work and facepulls

Thu AM
Ramp to deadlift 5RM (same as tue)
Complex 6 times, same as tue
Deadlift x3x5RM
Power clean from hang x2x90% of tue weight
Jump squat x5x30lbs

Progressing with the same weight until week 4, when ramping to determine new weights, weeks 2-3 and 5-6 looking to add one more rep to first two exercises each set. With MT training changeing things around so that Tue PM will be light session (so one hour looking to get some sweat and work technique but not really pushing it and keeping the pace lower) and Wed solid two hours of work.

Workout nutrition Ive been thinking something along the lines of 100g carbs from banana and malto, 50g pro from whey and bcaas before and during and about 30g of casein PWO, followed by meal approx 30-40min, with about 80/50/30 c/p/f in grams. Workout is done first thing in the morning so big solid meal before is out of question, will keep mon and wed pwo meal higher in carbs though.

How would this sound? I know easy way would just be getting in the gym and fucking doing it and coming back in six weeks to report my results, but considering there are at least a few guys here who have trained athletes in the past Id appriciate every opinion I can get, mainly regarding the volume.

I know its a lot of work compared to what is recommended here to be done with any sort of lifting but the sportspecific training here is significantly less than what Im used to so I am sure I can get through this, Id just like to be able to show some results for the tradeoff.

What I mean by that is just pushing through the fatigue and soreness does have its benefits when you are playing your sport, mainly to get in the repetitions to perfect your technique and gain that mental toughness but developing your bodys athletic capacities dont exactly work in the same way, and this is where I could really use an educated opinion on how Id do by doing what Im planning to do :wink: .

If and when there probably still are questions I havent properly answered dont hesitate to ask, half the reason why Im posting this and why Im doing this in the first place is because I want to learn more about training my body (and mind) to do new stuff I didnt know it was capable of. Thats the best part about training, constantly improving and looking back and realising how far youve come (and how much more potential you still have left to achieve).

Fistie - Good post, your going to have to pay attention to your body and make sure first and foremost you get enough rest, (when younger I would use the fraise “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” ) not a good idea. Watch for overuse injuries, anytime your pushing a body hard you can be plagued with joint type of injuries, which in the long run will slow your development. I like the complex’s but instead of vertical jump and jump squat, finish instead with box jumps to a 24" box x10.

On Sunday I would change it up and look at doing some type of heavy strongman style of lifts , Dan John has some great inspirational stuff on his website along these lines. Sled pulls ,farmers walks and bag carries are all good ideas.You can also use Sunday as a rest day if you start getting signs of overtraining. You didn’t mention running, even some slow work to warm up for your classes is better than none.

Everybody has mixed feelings about running so I will leave it at that. As far as eating just stay away from sugars and try to keep it clean. Remember if your not improving then you may be overtraining. Keeps notes of weights and reps and total time of workouts, this will pay off big in the long run.Hope this answered some of your post.

That seems to be yet another thing I forgot to mention, its winter over here and running in the snow or icy roads sounds like something that will probably do me more harm than good. Roadwork will definitely make a comeback in my program soon as the snow is gone, which should hopefully be right around the corner around the time I’m done with this 6 week period. Warmups are half the time jogging around the mat, sideways, backwards, high knees, kicking heels to ass etc (probably not what these are called but hope you get the idea), doesn’t really stress my aerobic conditioning though, mostly about getting the body warm and ready to do some work. Loaded carries and sled pulling does sound like a good plan for Sunday, sprinting is probably another thing I’ll get to do plenty once the snow is gone. The gym where I’ll be hitting those complexes doesn’t have a box for doing boxjumps though, should I do vertical jumps/something else for sets of ten or do it as I wrote?

[quote]Fistiecuffs wrote:
Long story short, I’m 6’2", rather lean 185lbs, 20 year old male, been training MT for about 4 years of which a bit over a year of dedicated training (6 days/wk, 10hrs+). Lifes going to be too busy and stresfull till June so I’m not looking to get anything extra on my plate, so currently I’m planning on getting in the ring this Fall when things hopefully are a little calmed down.

Due to my lack of athletic base which most people establish early playing sports, my lack explosiveness and speed has always been something I’ve despised, getting efficient with my technique and getting used to and relaxed in sparring has gone a long way helping with that, but I’d like to be able to maybe one day surprise some fucker by sprining a flying knee in his face or something so it surely wouldn’t hurt to be able to jump a bit higher.

What I’m looking to do is put together a 6 week training plan to improve my explosiveness and speed. Resources available to me are 2 gyms, one of them is rather small but has a barbell and plates and within a 5 min walking distance, one of them is bigger with bumper plates and a track but a bit farther away so basically can’t make it there in the mon-fri morning sessions.

My MT gym offers classes Mon-Fri evenings and Tue morning, Sat morning is competition groups sparring session so thats the most important training session of the week for me. What I’m looking to do schedule-wise is something like this:
Mon
AM - Off
PM - 2hrs of pads/mits with partner, hard
Tue
AM - Lifting
PM - 2hrs of pads/technique with partner, moderate
Wed
AM - Off
PM - 1-2hrs of pads/technique, depending on how beat I am, moderate
Thu
AM - Lifting
PM - Off
Fri
AM - Off
PM - 1 hr of technique, light/moderate
Sat
AM - 1,5hrs comp.sparring+intense conditioning
PM - Off
Sun
AM - Lifting
PM - Off

Think I should back off more on my MT training or will this kind of schedule give me enough time to recover, workout nutrition will be good and calories at atleast maintenance level, if not a slight surpluss on lifting days. On off mornings I like to hit a light ciruit of core excercises+few streches and activation excersises I’ve found to be helpful, but nothing to really sap my recovery abilities, probably the other way around.

What I should do in my lifting sessions is a whole another issue, one where I’d really appriciate some insight, I know Aragorn works with some combat athletes and a lot of you have experiences with your own training and guiding your students so all help will be greatly appriciated!

I have halfway decent technique on Oly-lifts, by which I mean that I can do them safely and efficiently enough to get the desired training effect without fucking myself up but no where nearly good enough to compete in Oly lifting any time soon :smiley: . Back squatting is out of question due to shoulder issues caused by first years of lifting being centered around bench+curls.

Long as I keep facepulls, pull apparts and chins in my program with great regularity it doesn’t hurt my MT training but for the same reason I’d love to keep my upper body pushing work to the minimum. Current estimated 1RMs would be around:
Clean 185lbs
Snatch 130lbs
Front Squat 220lbs
Bench 220lbs
Deadlift 300lbs
Pull-ups 20+ reps

From what I’ve been reading people seem to be loving oly lifts, contrast training, complexes, plyos and sprinting for this kind of situation. I’ve been training long enough to know that throwing all those things in the mix will leave my way too sore to do any serious MT training and will probably be too much to make any respectable progress either. Which one I should pick, I have no clue.

I do know there are plenty of great programs available here, but most of them seem to be geared towards people who can afford to hit the gym with great intensity 4 days a week or so, which is hardly the volume I am looking for. When it comes to intensity, I’d like to make Thu AM my most taxing session and Tue AM the least taxing.

Tried to keep it short but ended up rambling for quite a bit more than I meant to so thanks for everyone who made it to the end and thank you in advance for all the insightful responses I’m sure I’ll recieve :wink: .[/quote]

Data is always important.

IMO if you are looking for athletic ability and explosiveness/reactive power training then you are looking to train speed and explosiveness in the gym rather than on the mat with technique.

I think 100% you should still keep your MT up where it is, however if all the oly lifts, contrast training, complexes, plyos and sprinting is making you too sore then you need to rethink your fitness level and/or your program design/volume. You should be able to handle all of those in some capacity without becoming too sore so either your nutrition and supplements need to get fixed or your program needs to get fixed.

I think it goes without saying that you shouldn’t dump all of them into the mixer at full speed right at the beginning (of course you’ll get too sore). But 1) 3 of the 4 need to be there in some kind of capacity and 2) you need longer than 6 weeks to do this.

The least necessary for speed and explosiveness are complexes. Those are more for conditioning than speed the way most people do them.

Regarding explosiveness development as a general athletic trait (rather than a fight specific skill), work capacity is NOT the goal of training. You must first build the quality to work on maintaining the quality–in other words, you cannot build speed if you are tired. For example, if a sprinter wants to build top speed at the 100m, the very last thing they are going to do is going to do a sprint “complex” of 100m, rest 10s, 100m, rest 10s, 100m, rest. That would be murder, and would be sport specific endurance work for them. They will work on certain aspects of sprinting with 2 minute rests in between to stay as fresh as possible.

In general it is possible to MAINTAIN a capability such as speed while increasing work capacity, but not to really BUILD IT UP. You may notice small improvements, but dramatic changes happen as you build your ability to fire explosively when relatively fresh, and only then your ability to maintain that power as you get tired. You must first have a quality in order to be able to work the capacity of that quality. :slight_smile:

Lifting 2-3 days a week is fine, but if you have a big gym with bumper plates you can only get to in the evenings, why are you wanting to only training in the mornings? Just curious.

Your program depends on a) how often you would be willing to train even a little bit and b) how solid your technique is as well as your weak points (for some it is coordination, for others ab strength or hamstring strength, etc).

Regarding replacement for box jumps, bounding and broad jumps as well as vertical jumps and jump squats are all good replacements, some much better for power than box jumps (loaded jump squats). Bodyweight jumps and bounds can be used pretty frequently and without a ton of oversight—daily jumping or bounding of some kind is good as part of a warm-up.

Again, I would reiterate that if you feel unable to handle 2 weight workouts and 1 sprint session a week I would consider your anaerobic fitness as subpar. I would not make the Sunday sprint day optional unless injury prevents you. That is play weight and play volume. This isn’t to make you feel bad, it’s just the fact of the matter. Make Sundays mandatory and focus on recovery from each workout and mobility. People seriously underestimate the power of frequent mobility practice and recovery methods, as well as the power of frequent weight training at low volume. Just the practice makes you better and more prepared. Of course I certainly understand if schedule problems prohibit spending every day in the gym lol. That is not the part I wish to emphasize.

FYI, I would not use casein post workout. Use more fast digesting whey if you are on a tight budget for supplements. You want to get protein in your blood stream quickly not slowly before, during, and after a workout. Casein should be used at bedtime or prior to a long fast if you know you won’t be anywhere near food for a long time.

Great and detailed response Aragorn, thanks a lot! I’ll try to write a bit more detailed answer a bit later today, but to address few of the issues you brought up real quick:

I guess I can manage a little training every morning and evening +3 times weekends if little means 15 min at most, these days I do a short circuit of abs, back and other core muscles every morning with a few facepulls. Schedule prevents me from making it to the gym on Mon and Wed mornings and possibly some Fri AMs, other than that its all good. If it honestly were up to me I’d be doing MT for something close to 15-20hrs a week and lifting every day, but I just feel like this is one of those quality over quantity things, and something I’m not that good at evaluating, other than the obvious pain and soreness+stalling lifts and horrible sessions.

I wish to hit the gym in the AM to keep my MT training up, no classes in the AM but the mentioned Tue and Sat. Schedule might cause me to miss occasional PM session as well so keeping these AM would be better for consistency.

What would you suggest instead of these complexes for those 3 weight sessions? Start with plyos, then some contrast training or just oly lifting? Sunday session plyos and lifting before or after sprint work? How high should I go with volume? If stuff starts to go to shit where should I start cutting volume is schedule prevents extra mobility/recovery work? And how long should I look to spend with this program? Thank you for your time, its greatly appriciated and please do fire away with questions if you need any more info!

Well, honestly you need to be making mobility/recovery stuff as much a priority as the actual training man. That’s what lets you stay healthy and limber. And not as sore lol. It doesn’t take much, 5 minutes here 5 min there throughout the day besides your training times. Couple minutes during commercials. Seriously. Move blood through whatever you just worked out in the easiest nonchallenging manner possible.

I’d suggest working your main workouts as so:

  1. Warm-up: foam rolling calves/IT band, upper back, quads–>mobility–>dynamic activation circuit (whole body, low volume, explosive)

  2. Olympic lifting and plyos OR Strength contrast training with plyos leading into it and in between each set

  3. if time, work capacity based on unilateral movements and core. This is for physical balance and to bring up any weaknesses that will limit your ability to explode (just like in bodybuilding, if one leg is really weaker than the other your squat will get stuck but when you bring up the weak leg in comparison to your strong one and make them even your squat will skyrocket)

Your goal will be to never miss a lift and make the concentric portion of each lift as crisp, photo-perfect and reproducible, and faaaast as possible. Eccentrics will be controlled for perfect technique but not necessarily slowed down or anything.

Sunday sessions can go either before or after sprints but I tend to feel that sprints are best done when fresh until you are used to the workload. Then you may switch if you like. Sprinters such as Ben Johnson have done strength work before sprinting, but then they are used to the workload.

Sprint workout for explosiveness (as opposed to conditioing/work capacity) could look something like this:

Warm-up

  1. high knees, butt kicks, walking lunge hip flexor stretch, X band walk (glute medius activation), each 20 yards in a circuit. X band walk would be half distance each side for a total of 20 yards, 2 times through the circuit

  2. karaoka, then skipping 20 yards each. repeat once

Workout:

  1. sprint starts 10 m acceleration x 6-8. Just 10 m then coasting deceleration. Goal is to start slow to warm up and gradually get faster to where your last 3 ‘reps’ are hitting full speed at the 10 m mark.

  2. sprint starts 10 m then bounding for 15 m ish, total 25-30 m x 6 reps. Think triple jumpers. Goal is to plant each foot and bound as far as possible off of each foot contact, and do it 2 or 3 times on each side (left, right, left, right, done decelerate).

  3. sprint 30 m x 6. Focus on hitting full acceleration at 10 yards and carrying speed all the way through the finish. Depends on track length of course.

  4. Finish with some sort of loaded carry/farmers walk for whole body strength. 3-4 carries or 5-10 minutes max.

This would be an introduction type phase to get you used to the . Alternately you can substitute sled pulling sprints for #5. Light weight, 15-30 lbs max. If you had a training partner and jumpstretch bands you could really get some good work in, but I dunno if you have that stuff. That would replace the sprint starts on #3 and/or part of a superset for #5

I’ve got more ideas of course, but off the top of my head this is a basic thing that occurs to me to do and no more time at present. I’ll try to put something up regarding weights but the general layout above is one I would adopt. The overriding idea is that this is to get you used to working with weights and sprinting in order to prepare you for more challenging work in terms of volume of sprinting or whatever have you, so it is meant to not be permanent.

Thanks a lot for the informative post Aragorn, really appreciate it!

Defnitely need to focus more on mobility/reco stuff, going to go and buy myself a foamroller so there is no excuse not to do that daily before/after bed. Looking forward to get the ball rolling next week and planning on hitting the first session on Tue, any guidelines on reps/sets/loading will be greatly appreciated if you got the time!

This is going to seem like a less intelligent answer. Ive done some Bjj and Ametuer boxing and what always worked for me was Basic Powerlifting or strongman style lifting. Reason being with so much of your training time devoted to skill work you only need a few basic lifts that you can improve quickly and will give you the most in the same amount of time. I suggest focusing on squats and DL’s. If you are doing three days a week I would do squat, bench and deadlift on their own days and then throw some sort of pull at the end of each.

Thanks for chiming in Tim, I have done that kind of training (few cycles of 5/3/1 and some basic loading schemes) but coupled with lots of skill training I hardly progress with my lifts and only feel like it hurts my performance during training. I feel like my explosiveness is at a level that I might still experience something relative to beginner gains by adopting the kind of training I haven’t done before. I don’t intend to focus on more than a few lifts at most, unless Aragorn or someone else has better ideas. Anyways, just sitting and chewing my postworkout meal so time to write a little what I ended up doing this morning.

Did a solid 45min session of foamrolling and lacrosse ball last night after training, definitely felt much better this morning. Hit the gym and started with a little mobility circuit, 2 rounds:
Broomhandle dislocations x10
OHS with broomhandle x10
Excercise to open up the hips, don’t know a name for this, x5 forward and x5backward both legs
Mountainclimbers x10
Scorpion sctretch x10
Same thing but lying on your back, x10

Then a short bodyweight circuit of bodyweight excercises, done as explosive as possible, repeated twice
Push ups, hands leaving the floor, x6
Hip thrust x6
Back up x6
Jackknife x6
Jump squat x6

Then to weights. Started working with power cleans from hang and vertical jumps. Did two circuits for getting the movement down on powercleans (5 RDLs, 5 CG-Highpulls, 5 powercleans from hang, 5 front squats), first with the bar and second with 44lbs. Then started the working up with doubles from 110lbs, hitting a set of 3 verticals between every set, breaks between sets of cleans were about 2 mins. Weights were as follows (in lbs):
110, 121, 133, 143, 154, 133, 133, 133, 133
Felt like speed started to decrease on the last set so called it quits. I noticed on verticals that when trying to explode as much as possible, I had my body turn a little to the left before landing. What I mean by that is that there was no terrible ammounts of rotating and shit but I was facing in a slightly different direction than when I started. So obviously there are some imbalances there that I need to start working on.

After cleans I went to the unilateral excercises. Time was running short so I decided to pick pretty light weights for every excercise, cut the sets few reps shy of failure and focus on keeping my core thight and technique perfect. Did these pretty much back to back with little to no break in between sets, repeated twice before running out of time (could make more time by prepping the PWO meal in advance…).
Lunge x8/leg x60lbs (30/hand)
1Arm Db Benchpress x8/side x30lbs
1Arm Db Row x10/side x60lbs

Felt like my antirotational strength is better when hitting the 1ADbBp on the right side, need to be squeezing the ass and core harder while hitting the left side. Might this be the problem with the verticals as well?

Any thoughts and feedback on this is appreciated as always, going to hit my next session on Thursday. Also starting next week I think I might be able to squeeze in an afternoon session on Mon and Wed, if this would change the way I should train.

Did some sparring with the open group yesterday, felt fucking great. Its funny how getting your ass kicked a couple of sessions and having to work like hell just to stand your ground can take a toll on you mentally, and with a few exams coming up just felt too drained mentally to hit the comp sparring today, and schedule probably won’t allow that anyways.

Got in 5 rounds of boxing where I hardly even got tagged, focused a lot on movement and actually felt pretty smooth slipping punches and countering. Afterwards did few rounds of pads and few on heavy bag, got home in time to catch last two rounds of mens Olympic hockey Sweden - Czech and did a whole bunch of foam rolling (about 45min) while watching the game and BAM! Waking up this morning I could hardly tell I had trained the night before, was ready to hit the gym.

Started up with same mobility&activation circuits, then worked some triples on power cleans from hang, with jump squats w/ 30lbs dumbell.
110, 121, 133, 143, 154, 133, 133, 133, 133, 133
154 was probably too heavy, had to squat lower on the last rep because bar speed wasnt as fast. Anyways got in good 5 sets with 133, hitting sets of 3 gave me more time to get the movement pattern down on the ramping up sets. Followed up with 3 rounds of following ‘circuit’:
Overhead squat x10x66lbs
1 Arm Dumbell Press x10x30lbs
Weighted chinups x5x33lbs

1ABbPr I’ll probably cut the weight down a notch to better focus on the position of the shoulder, to help with the shoulder issues and prevent aggravating them. Few reps in the tank on every exercise never the less.

Called it a day and just finished PWO meal, now time to start focusing on team Finlands opening game (6 goals in the first round thus far lol), super setted with some aggressive foam rolling :wink:

Small update on the situation, was planning on hitting the sprint workout Friday but track was reserved for some physical testing and whole gym was closed for the weekend. I was pissed but went on to do my regular warmup, after which I tried to hit cleans and at least match my reps from Thursdays workout but from the first warmup sets I felt I was severely lacking with the speed so did few sets of 5 with 110lbs to focus on technique and like a retard went on to do some heavy strength lifting (some heavy RDLs for sets of 3 followed by some benching for sets of 3, after which I did a bunch of situps and wrapped it up).

In the PM did some skipping, about 5 rounds of bag work and some 20 mins playing around boxing with a friend who I outweight by some 40lbs, took turns pressuring one and other but felt slugish as fuck due to straining in the gym so good reminder not to do dumb shit like that again. Sat morning did hour of mits (some 5 rounds with partner) and few on bag, today hit basically the same workout as last Tue but increased the weights on cleans by 10lbs so 1 more ramp up set followed up by 4 sets of 2 with 143.

Felt good and technique is getting there, I think I’m going to keep on hitting the clean 3 days/week for at least 2 more weeks to get better at the movement.

Also there is going to be a slight change in my life as I’ll be moving out from folks, my apartment is going to be a tad closer to Uni and my MT gym so I’ll probably start hitting the gym at Uni and start working more sprinting in to the program once the snow is gone (which might not be as far away as I tought, its mostly just wet as fuck now, not that slippery so roadwork might be making a comeback next week!).

Aragorn, if you find the time and interest to post up something regarding the weight training I’d be very eager to learn, mainly regarding the choices I’ve made and weather I should be doing more or less volume and what kind of frequency should I look to establish eventually.

Your help thus far, both in this thread and others, has made a tremendous difference (especially telling me to quit fucking around and start foam rolling lol) and I can’t thank you enough. Learning about this stuff is almost as big of a passion to me as actually doing it, so what ever links or sources you might have regarding the subject, feel free to share.

It’s my absolute pleasure to help sir! I love learning and applying this stuff and I love coaching.

I’ll tell you the same thing I told donnydarkoirl, mobilitywod is a great resource for anything and everything related to soft tissue. In the absence of actually being around somebody I can coach and adjust permanently it is probably the best place to get info on how to properly do self maintenance. Just google it, have a couple tennis balls or lacrosse balls handy, and be ready to enter the pain cave haha.

One general point I’d like to make is that it is not entirely bad to be fatigued and feel sluggish when sparring like you just mentioned. What it means is you are forcing your body to adapt. Obviously you don’t want to feel like that all the time, or especially if you are working on technical aspects and learning/perfecting technique. But if you’re prepping for a fight a lot of times it just comes down to pushing through–and a certain amount of sluggishness is normal. You will always go through a 2 week period of sluggishness until your body adjusts to the workload (sometimes longer, up to 3). This is normal and not worrisome unless it lasts longer than 3 weeks. If after 3 weeks that continues then you want to lighten the week up to about 65% of overall volume and weights to recuperate and ramp it back up gradually. Overtraining is not something most people can realistically put themselves into after only 3 weeks, even training 2 disciplines. A recovery week and a gradual ramp back up over a few weeks is fine.

In general I would say is that for the foreseeable future you should focus on these goals (strength/power/explosiveness) instead of trying to make it just a 6 or 8 week period of focus. If you feel that your lack of athletic attributes is holding you back then you need to make it a strength–look at GSP for a model. He is naturally athletic it is true, but he trains like an Olympian and puts a lot of effort into building overall athletic capacity such as you are wanting to do now. Obviously your life schedule is different and that’s fine :).

It will take time but if there is one thing I know it is that the body can handle a lot more than we give it credit for–as long as proper soft tissue/mobility recovery work is done and enough workout nutrition is taken in. RDLs for sets of heavy 3s is not bad and won’t kill you.

I like what I am seeing with your general layout. I would say add some rotational elements to your ab training (I posted a rotational med ball throw in donny’s thread), and some anti-rotational stuff like pallof presses and landmines.

Also use overhead lunges as part of your dynamic warm-up. Hold a plate overhead WITH ARMS LOCKED OUT right behind your ears, NOT forward. Elbows must be locked out because that will fatigue your arms less, and you must take long steps. Say only 5 steps/side. It will help with overhead stability, ab stability, and mobility throughout the kinetic chain. Most of the teen girls in my brothers gym do this with 35 lbs, so I think you’d better to that at least. :slight_smile:

Order of operations in a gym session goes like so: warm-up>>plyos and power exercises>>max strength>>hypertrophy/work capacity/endurance. The most explosive exercises always go first unless you’re doing a contrast set (like squat/box jump or squat/jump squat), or deliberately working them in a fatigued state (not recommended for your individual position right now)

Thanks Aragorn, your posts deliver every time!

I’ll definitely be checking that mobilitywod site out, and good point about sparring while not 100%. I think thats something of a habit I got when I was just starting to do sparring couple of years ago, I hated getting my ass kicked so day before sparring I’d take it easy and on sparring day I’d make damn sure I got in proper good pre-workout meal and got to gym at least 30min early to work some shadowboxing to make sure I’m in the zone so to speak and ready for war :wink: . Definitely not an issue these days, as most guys who are as good or better than me are smart enough to realize sparring is not about winning every exchange and more about both getting in some good practice (obviously focus shifts a little when fight gets closer).

So would you consider a smart plan for the future now that roadwork soon becomes and option and sprint sessions can be done as soon as I step out of the door something like 8-10hrs of MT, 2 lifting sessions similar to what I’ve been doing but adding those rotational elements and maybe a strength excercise after the explosive work for few sets, about 2 sprint sessions with moderate volume and 1-3 times 3-5km run, tempo depending on how my body feels and whats up for training in the PM. I’m thinking that should be doable for most of the time, exam weeks tend to be pretty busy so might have to tone it down a notch every two months but guess thats not so bad anyways if I spent the time wisely (more mobility work and stuff). Oh, and the stupidity of those triples was more the fact that every set of those RDLs was all about grinding and grunting, I’m not excactly sure if these work the same way as regular heavy ass deadlifts but when I was doing them on weekly basis I noticed that after really heavy sessions it sometimes took up to 3 days to get my performance back to where it used to be, way longer than it took for the soreness to go away. Luckily my Sunday lifting session felt very solid so I don’t think I messed anything up too badly.

Considering the fact that I’ll be paying all the bills myself starting next month I’ve just been making the most of the last few weeks of free food, probably has helped a bit with putting up numbers in the weight room. At least my morning weight is up but don’t feel like there is any need comparing it to the weight of few weeks back, there is some very noticable bloat going on, partly cause I’ve been stuffing myself after every training session and mostly because schedule has been shitty so I haven’t had as much time to hit the MT classes as I would’ve liked. Anyways once I’ll be doing all the cooking and buying it’ll be real easy to stay focused and discaplined and I should be back to where I was in terms of weight in a month or two, hopefully with some extra beef to put some torque in to the machine :wink: . Hopefully I can make it to sparring tommorrow, always a good indicator on figuring how your body is liking the weight gain.

Changed things up a bit to get in some more volume cause I missed the MT class today, ramped up hang cleans x3 from 110lbs–>155, then hit 5x3 with 143lbs, superset with jump squats with 22lbs weight. Definitely feels like I can get my legs to fire better on these, cleans weren’t going as smooth as I tought they would but I’ll blame that on the little bit of a flue I’ve caught.
After that decided to work some upper body explosiveness, so I hit push press 5x5 with 110lbs superset with ‘reactive pushups’ (don’t have any idea what these are called, but basically setting up so that you’ve got two 44lbs plates stacked, starting with hands on the plates, dropping down to floor and looking to explode right back on the plates) for sets of 7-10, trying to stay explosive. Probably not going to be making push pressing a part of the routine, shoulders felt good enough during the set but definitely feel I shouldn’t have done them when shadowboxing. Its the eccentric part of the lift that I really suck at controlling, I always lose the tention from the upper back the moment I start to lower the bar. For some reason benching works much better for my shoulders, but the more I focus on boxing the less my shoulders and elbows give me options here so need to be carefull with this stuff.
After I was done with pushing I hit single leg RDLs with sort of a lunge stance, I think it was Ben Bruno who mentioned these in some of his articles. Pulled from about one inch below the knee, 5 reps a leg, 110lbs, superset these with chins+22lbs x5, for five total sets of both. After went ahead and hammered the core for 10min straight, called it a day and stumbled in the shower. My grip definitely got worked pretty good, I use hook grip on cleans but especially during the superset of RDLs and chins I felt real fucking miserable trying to squeeze the bar lol. Still can hit 20 solid BW pullups after boxing (tried yesterday), so I guess my weight is not catching up to me too fast or at least its not all fat :slight_smile: .

The overhead lunges will definitely be making an appearance in the program next time, I’m kind of starting to enjoy having skinny folks staring in wonder (or terror lol) while I huff and puff doing jump squats and dropping the bar after last rep of cleans, working my ass off for the last sets while they spent their time supersetting bicep curls with lengthy conversations.

So did a short morning run just to celebrate the fact that the snow is mostly gone, made it to sparring almost in time, only missed two rounds of boxing to warm up. Actually felt much better than I expected, right now I’m feeling like this thing is working excactly as it should, I’m feeling noticably stronger and harder to push around already and I feel like pretty much the only thing that has taken a hit with the weight gain is that my footwork feels a little clumsier than it should but I could also blame that on the low volume with skill training for last two weeks.

I’ll probably be hitting gym tomorrow, I feel like I could use an offday but I’m not sure if I can make time for training on Friday so I’ll rather make sure I’ll get the work in and do it the best I can, it’ll just add up for more rest before the next session after that.

I should probably start a log before this turns in to one…

Btw sorta tested my vertical again today, don’t have any accurate measurements but I’d assume I’ve already added about 2 inches to it inspite of the weight gain, which is a very pleasant surprise :).