Preparing for Battle

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Excelling in combat sports requires a unique blend of strength, power, flexibility all coupled with phenomenal conditioning. For the past several months, you may have been following the entries entitled “Brazilian Ginger” in my training logs at Juggernaut Training Systems. All of this training has had one thing in mind, dominating the 2010 World Jiu Jitsu Championships in Long Beach, CA. I will have both black belts and blue belts competing next weekend, here is a glimpse at their final week of hard training going into the competition.

Sample Warm-up – all performed barefoot

1)   Jog and Skip – 200 yards

2)   Bodyweight Squats, Forward Lunges, Lateral Lunges, Jumping Jacks and Seal Jacks x 10 each

3)   Foam Roll – IT Bands, Calves, Hamstrings, Quads, Adductors x 20 – 30 passes on each

4)   Hip Mobility – Fire Hydrants, Forward and Backward Hip Circles, Cobras, Prone Scorpions, Mountain Climbers

5)   Walking Series – Knee to Chest, Thigh Pulls, Knee Cradles, High Kicks

6)   Animal Walks – Tiger Crawl, Gorilla Crawl, Crab Walk, Spider Crawl, Hip Escape

7)   Activation Drills – YTWLs (Scapular Retraction) and X Band Walks (Glute Activation) and KB Swings

Most of this warm-up is coming from the Parisi Warmup Method and Martin Rooney’s Training For Warriors.

Monday 5/24

1)   Trap Bar Jumps: 5 x 5 jumps with 95 pounds, 30 seconds rest between sets

2a) Cambered Bar Zercher Squats: Bar x 15, 95 x 5, 135 x 5, 135 + 1 Chain x 3, 135 + 2 Chains x 3, 135 + 3 Chains x 3, 135 + 4 Chains x 3, 135 + 2 Chains x 5, 135 x 5

2b) Mini Band Pullaparts: 20 reps between every set of squats

3a) Mixed Grip Pullups – 3 sets of near maximal reps

3b) KB Swings – 3 x 15, building up from 28 – 40kg

3c) Shoulder Horn – 3 x 15 with 5 pounds in each hand

4) Hand Over Hand Rope Pull+Pushups+Prowler Push+Pushups-Athlete would pull the prowler to them using a one-and-a-half inch rope, perform 20 pushups, push the prowler back, perform 10 pushups, jog back to the start and repeat with 18 and 8 pushups. This was done until the athlete performed 10 and 0 pushups.

This is a fairly typical Monday training session for my BJJ guys. It places emphasis on maximal strength and explosive power development. As we became closer to Worlds, my choices for ME exercises often involved accommodating resistance. This is because the priority for speed and power development outweighed the need to develop maximal strength. Sometimes complex training (Strength movement followed immediately by a plyometric movement) was utilized.

Tuesday 5/25

1)   Litvi-Prowlers – this is an idea I stole from Dan John, that he adapted from the training of all-time great hammer thrower, Sergei Litvinov. Litvinov would perform a set of 8 front squats with 200kg (440 pounds), drop the bar and immediately run 400 meters at around 75 seconds. In this variation, the athlete will perform an explosive or strength movement and immediately upon its completion perform a prowler sprint.

  1. BB High Pull x 10 + 30 yard Prowler Sprint
  2. KB Squat Jump x 10 + 30 yard Prowler Sprint
  3. KB Snatch x 6 each hand + 30 yard Prowler Sprint
  4. Plyo Pushup onto Box + 30 yard Prowler Sprint

In between each exercise, the athlete would walk for 30 seconds before performing the next movements. In between the four rounds we performed, the athlete would take three minutes of active rest, using either the neck harness or performing lightly weighted abdominal work.

2)   Treadmill Circuit x 2 rounds

  1. Burpees x 1 minute
  2. Run on Treadmill at 15 degrees for 1 minute
  3. Sledgehammer strikes on tire x 1 minute (30 seconds over each shoulder)
  4. Run on Treadmill at 10 degrees for 1 minute
  5. Battle Ropes (two hands x 20 seconds, alternating hands x 20 seconds, jumping jacks x 20seconds) x 1 miute
  6. Run on Treadmill at 5 degrees for 1 minute

This was done for six consecutive minutes (the length of their matches). Three minutes rest was taken between the two rounds.

Tuesdays are our Lung/Heart Rate day, these days have much less emphasis on strength development. Much of the training done on these days was inspired by the Hurricane Circuits utilized by Martin Rooney. In today’s training, we began with Litvi-Prowlers, which are very taxing to the athlete and will put them in oxygen debt for the conditioning work to follow.

Thursday 5/27

1)   Tire Flips – 350 pounds x5

2)   Burpee to Pullup x 10

3)   KB Swings x 15

4)   Sledgehammer x 20 (10 each side)

5)   Prowler Pull+Push x 75 feet

This circuit was performed for maximum rounds in six minutes. Three minutes of active rest on the neck harness was done between rounds. Four, six minute rounds were completed.

Thursdays are regularly comprised of strongman training and energy system circuits. Almost always, today’s training will focus on the time parameters of the athlete’s bouts. For example our BJJ blue belts (who fight six minute matches) will either perform 3 – 6 exercises for 1 – 2 minutes each or perform 3 – 5 exercises for prescribed reps the maximum amount of times in six minutes.

Thanks to all EliteFTS contributors, especially Martin Rooney, Joe Defranco, Zach Even-Esh and the Diesel Crew, whose ideas influenced this training. Good luck to all my guys at World Championships. Train Hard, Win Easy.

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