View Full Version : yet another S+C for BJJ question

Yael Grauer
12-29-2011, 07:21 AM
Is it ever possible that someone training in BJJ might need very little or no additional S+C work?

Here's my overall training schedule:

Monday through Thursday, I do BJJ for about an hour a day. I'm taking fundamentals classes (Alliance curriculum). I'd say that class consists of maybe 15 minutes of warm-up and partner drills, 30 minutes of instruction and more drilling and 15 minutes of either positional drills or rolling. The class is very technical and so I'm not sore/dead every day like I was in my old gym with stupid musclehead wrestlers (no offense to wrestlers. I love wrestling), and my coaches make sure to pair me up with guys around my size-ish who are usually blue or purple belts. So it's not like it's balls-to-the-walls training, but we do a lot of judo throws, takedowns, sweeps, etc. so my hip adductors are always in need of stretching. I'm not sore every day but I can definitely feel that I trained, and I sleep about 1-2 hours/night more than I used to.

Friday and Saturday, I do open mat which is just live drilling. Almost all of my opponents are bigger than me, though most are still very technical (I get confused more than I get smashed) but of course there's always a strength element and there's always new guys, too. Open mat is usually 1.5-2 hours, but the weeks where I've counted how much actual training I get it's usually only seven 8-minute matches (so just under an hour) due to rest time, warm-up time, odd numbers of people rolling, etc.

I was hoping to incorporate some S+C in after my body adjusted to training 6X/week (my old gym I tried to get 3 classes in, 4 was the max amount they offered and 1 would always get canceled, and even though the classes were longer and I'd show up early to drill takedowns and stay late to roll...there was an awful lot of chatter going on instead of drilling and many of our drills were useless. like endless pummelling drills that were more about flow than actually anything effective or that took actual work.) Anyway, so 6X/week has been an adjustment physically. Originally I'd hoped to train 2X/day but that might not happen any time soon. By the time Sunday rolls around I am very happy to have a rest day, and every other week I need to take an additional Saturday off as well.

So I'm trying to figure out whether or not to incorporate S+C, and if so, which exercises to prioritize. I don't feel like I need much conditioning since I am rolling so much (in addition to our warmups), and the specific areas which need the most work are already getting lots of it (e.g. my hip adductors, core, grip strength, plus I can feel my legs getting stronger from the guard work and the throws).

I guess the only things I feel like might be useful would be more hip-dominant work (sumo deads, KB swings), core training (esp. rotational, cable chops, etc.) and maybe finding something to strengthen my midback...plus LOTS and LOTS of stretching for my front of shoulders and hip flexors. But it feels like a cop-out to do a strength training program with only like 5 exercises....


Oh yeah, a few other things... I am probably not competing for a while since I really want to focus on fundamentals and am rehabbing an arm injury, so my focus for the next 3-4 months will just be on these fundamentals classes. After then, I'll be allowed to do the advanced classes, which are also an hour long with lots more conditioning. I think 2 hours in a row will be easier for me than trying to do 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening, which is a lot.

Anton Emery
12-29-2011, 12:59 PM
Thats alot of training. Wish I could get in and do BJJ that much. I hope it keeps going well for you.

As far as extra conditioning if you are not gassing on the mat perhaps just leave it out. With that much rolling you should be getting plenty of sports specific conditioning.

If you wanted to do additional strength work perhaps take a look at Dan John's blog or Wendlers 5-3-1? I know they have some templates for two day a week training. Something low volume like 3 x 3, 2 x 5, 5 x 2 perhaps. Pick one push, pull, squat, and posterior chain movement. Keep the intensity high enough to at least maintain strength but not so high that you are fried for grappling. If you are doing this two days a week maybe do different movements for the second day.

Just my thoughts. I thought about a similar program for myself but in the end concluded that I need to work on my condtioning more as I am gassing when rolling. Perhaps I will emphasize strength later down the line.

Let us know how it goes.

Yael Grauer
12-29-2011, 01:32 PM
Thanks! It's a lot of days but not really a lot of hours... only 8 max. I was hoping to train twice a day but I'm not ready for it yet. But at my old gym we had 6:30-8PM classes Tues/Thurs/Fri but I'd get there at 5 or 5:30 to work takedown drills and stay sometimes 'til 9 to roll so I was spending about 12 hours at the gym/week (not including the Saturday classes, which got canceled more often than not because the instructor was out of town or hung over). Though I'd guess probably half of those 12 hours were spent talking, since it was a small-town gym with mostly terrible instructors (except for 1) and the drills we did often involved a lot of time standing in line. But yeah, it's not more hours just more focused hours, I guess....

And I definitely do gas on the mat. Or at least I need to take a breather after every 2-3 8-minute rounds to catch my breath. But I figure if I do it more, it'll get better. Or, it doesn't make sense to me to do non-grappling conditioning work to improve conditioning for grappling.

I'd heard Dan John or Mike Boyle programs might be good for me but wasn't sure which one/where to find it/how to adapt it/etc. I'll look at Wendler's.

Blair Lowe
12-29-2011, 03:25 PM
When my dad was a judoka, judo was his conditioning and he did some standard lifting every other day. His ideas on lifting were probably pretty mainstream of just pressing or squatting from his HS days.

Currently one of my friends is doing BJJ as sort of his fun time get to beat on people outlet+active get back in shape conditioning (he's also a former wrestler and judo is hard to find where he is). I think he is either doing some basic lifting which is probably SS-like since that is what he likes (besides he is/was a firefighter [just an EMT now until he can find another FD position]).

Maybe see about asking Gant Grimes on this.

Nothing bad about just doing a strength program with 5 exercises, just depends on which ones.

Anton Emery
12-29-2011, 03:26 PM
Yea, I go back and forth on doing outside conditioning or not. My conditioning is definitely my weak point so i feel I should focus on it, but i dont have alot of time for extra gym work these days. 2 hours of S&C a week is barely doable in addition to jits and life. I think Joel Jamieson's program is probably the most logical thing to follow but it seems like it requires alot of extra time off the mats. If I neglect conditioning I could probably do what I need in two half hour strength sessions a week and save the rest of my time for mat work.

Sorry for the slight thread hijack.


Yael Grauer
12-29-2011, 03:34 PM
I tried to do some Joel Jamieson-inspired stuff and it was so complex and confusing trying to figure out how to follow his recommendations into an actual program that I just kind of gave up on it. I also don't really have a lot of say over what I do in BJJ. Like, I can't go in and tell my coaches that I can only do 6-minute rounds with my heart rate not over a certain amount and a certain rest period (etc.) the way a full-time fighter may be able to do.

Anyway, I think there's a difference in the amount of strength work needed based on size, rank, etc. There can't be a one-size-fits-all prescription.

Hmmm. Let me think on this more.

Yael Grauer
01-02-2012, 10:29 PM
Okay, just read 5-3-1 and I like the 2X/week option a lot; I don't think I could realistically commit to much more than that if I'm doing BJJ 4-6X/week, even if it is just 4-8 hours.

So let me see if I got this straight.

Figure out my new 1RM and create a fake working max that's 10-15% lower.

Warm up with 1X5 at 40%, 1X5 at 50%, 1X3 at 60%

Week 1: 3X5 at 65, 75 and 85%
Week 2: 3X3 at 70, 80 and 90%
Week 3: 1X5 at 75, 85 and 95%
Optional back-off week: 3X5 at 40, 50, 60

Day #1: Squat, Bench, 3X10 chins, 3X15 back raises, 3X10 db bench, 3X20 rear laterals

Day #2: Dead, Press, 3X10 db rows, 3X10-15 dips, 3X10 good mornings, 3X10 curls

Add 1-2 assistant lifts/day (is this optional?)

Conditioning, stretching and foam rolling on days off. (For now, BJJ = conditioning.)

Do I need to add any more posterior chain work?

Anything else I am missing?

I have a little rehab/prehab I want to throw in there, too... just wondering if I need to add assistance lifts and more posterior chain work or even substitute anything...

Anton Emery
01-03-2012, 09:12 AM
That format looks correct, though i think week three is 1 x 5, 1 x 3, 1 x 1(or amrap) I dont have the 5-3-1 PDF front of me at the moment. I think as far as assistance work he presents a variety of options. What you are doing looks ok assuming the volume does not feel like to much. I dont know that I would add more posterior chain work what with the squatting, deadlifting, and good mornings.

Thats just my general thoughts. I think 5-3-1 is pretty flexible. For example, you could just do the main lifts and call it there if you are beat up from rolling.


Blair Lowe
01-03-2012, 09:57 PM
You are correct. Week 3 is 5-3-1+

There are many flavors of 531 from the old book and there is a new 2nd version out as well (since the 1st one got pirated on smart phones and Jim decided to update a lot of it).

In 2011 I ran 5 cycles of 531 from Feb-Aug. Maybe it was 6. There was a back injury in there.

I used a 2day split for the first 2 cycles. Eventually I added in FrontSquat and GoodMornings so it was 3 lifts per day for 1 or 2 cycles and eventually split that into a 3rd day where I would go in and do DB assistance work and DB complexes.

Whether to include more PC work depends on the type of squat you may be using. GluteHamRaises if you have access one would be good or RDL's.

I mainly kept to a simple no assistance version of 531 as I was in the gym tumbling and working events 5d/week besides my time being limited. Getting in and doing 2 or 3 lifts and getting out was very doable in 45 minutes to an hour.

Yael Grauer
03-22-2012, 08:04 PM
Well, quick update on this. Still training BJJ 4-6 times a week, but I found that this schedule doesn't leave a lot of time and energy to lift weights, even if it was something like 5-3-1. When I did do anything outside of the gym, it was mostly stretching.

I actually don't feel like my level of strength is an issue, maybe b/c we drill a lot of throws and things, and my conditioning seems okay... I get tired after a hard roll during open mat, but I also recover quickly.

Anyway, I finally got cleared to do advanced classes, which = more rolling, so am trying to figure out a new schedule. Leaning towards sticking around and doing fundamentals 2X/week, plus 2 days of advanced and 2 days of open mat. Fundamentals are pretty easy, I can control the pace a bit more at open mat, and then I'd have 2 hard days.

As far as S+C, from only doing jits, I think my biggest area of weakness is explosive/ballistic. I can't jump from my knees to my feet during warmups and when we jump over people who are turtled up I always have to use my hands b/c I don't think I can keep jumping that high.

I'm not sure if this affects my BJJ, though. It may just mean I suck at some of the warmups...

Anton Emery
04-04-2012, 08:38 PM
Cool, wish I had time to train that much. With the day job and wanting to do other things too I have been rolling 2-3x a week and doing strength work twice a week. The grappling is usually some form of judo or jits class. For strength work its just been the two day a week 5 3 1 template. Squats and bench on one day, Deadlifts and Press on another. Ill also throw in some assistance work in the form of chins and dips usually after the main lifts. I do these workouts before jits class, that way I dont have to go somewhere after work every night of the week. The lifting does not seem to affect jits afterwards, though sometimes a heavy deadlift session is taxing, so I will move it to a non grappling day.

Its not the most exciting program but it keeps me steadily building strength, perhaps a bit of muscle mass, and leaves me plenty of time for grappling.


Yael Grauer
04-05-2012, 12:02 AM
I am actually thinking of doing 4 days a week instead of 6. We are going to be doing intermediate classes, so I want to double up on beginner and intermediate 2X/week, and 2X of advanced and/or open mat is probably enough. Save me 2 hours of driving, allow me to cook dinner during the week, etc.

I want to figure out what to do during the 3 other days; one or two strength days I'm thinking.

Derek Simonds
05-02-2012, 05:35 PM
I am really late to the party. I really like Chad Smiths Juggernaut program. I am slowly working my way back into that program and will use it to prepare for my next tournament.

Anton Emery
05-08-2012, 11:09 AM
I am going to switch gears and emphasize more conditioning for 8 weeks or so. Ill probably keep in one strength day a week but I never feel strength is my shortcoming when rolling. I just get tired and gas. I need more mat time and some extra conditioning/strength endurance work when I can.

I was doing two day a week Wendler 5 3 1 before jits practice. It was going well but I am sort of burned out on low rep heavy lifting at the moment. It will be nice to do some higher rep stuff plus conditioning work.


Yael Grauer
05-21-2012, 05:08 PM
So I feel like it's hard for me to follow programs outside of BJJ because BJJ is so dictated-to-me, like my coach tells me what warmups to do, what drills to do, who to work with and for how long, etc. Also, since I'm doing so many technique classes and not allowed in advanced yet, I'm not going to compete anytime soon.

For the next month or so I'm just going to mess around with lifts when I feel like it, I guess, and trying to meet some overall strength goals. But I don't want to do too high of weights and kill my legs or anything... Cressey had a good post recently which I linked to on lower body lifts to do in-season which I may look at.