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Old 12-29-2011, 08:21 AM   #1
Yael Grauer
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Default yet another S+C for BJJ question

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....

Thoughts?

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.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:59 PM   #2
Anton Emery
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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.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:32 PM   #3
Yael Grauer
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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.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:25 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:26 PM   #5
Anton Emery
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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.

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Old 12-29-2011, 04:34 PM   #6
Yael Grauer
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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.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:29 PM   #7
Yael Grauer
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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...
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