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Getting Strong First for Jiu Jitsu

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
I've been doing kettlebells and bodyweight training for over a year now, and a few months ago I finally started keeping a log, and now I'm moving it to this forum. All of the log prior to this week is on the attached PDF.

For reference, I am 16 years old and train Jiu-Jitsu roughly twice per week. I competed in the 2021 Springfield BJJ Championships, and plan to continue competing in regional tournaments. The main goal of my training is to get stronger for my sport while maintaining my health and mobility.
I weigh 175lbs, and am 5'7" at this time. My main problem is poor technique in a few exercises, and switching programs too often. I thought moving my log here might help me actually stick to my programs.
 

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Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Monday 9/13/21: 5x50lbs getups, 5x5 50lbs 2H swings
Warmup: 2 sets of 5 haloes, 5x hip bridges, 1x prying goblet squat x 35lbs, 1x35lbs getup.
Everything felt smooth and easy.

Tuesday:
Warmup: Prying goblet squat single, 5x hip bridge, 5x halo, 5x Hack Squat, Rolling neck Bridge with 5 second hold at each position, 5x Jcurl x 50lbs - Repeat for 3 circuits

10x5 OA swings x 35 while standing in place to use time better (5 sets of 5 per arm.)
Cooldown: Decompress on bar, 5 haloes, cobra stretch, calve stretch, hip flexor stretch, S&S stretches (brief stretches)

Later that evening: goes to the Gym.
Conventional Deadlift: 185x5, 155x5, and some warmup/feeler triples. Not particularly hard sets, but technique felt off, back could have been slightly rounded. Should swap to sumo stance.
Flat bench: A little wobbly, but solid. 105x5,4,3,2,1, + a few warmup/feeler sets. Final sets pretty easy.
Chinups: 4,3,2
Machine dips- a couple reps from failure. Played around with bodyweight dips, military press 40 lbs, ect.
Weighted pullup single x 22lbs. Almost failed, arms tired.
trap bar farmer carry x 185 pounds for a few steps, bar twisted and turned in the hand.
80lbs OA KB farmer carry for 40 feet per side. Grip fatigued.
A few comfortable ab wheel rollouts from the knees, a failed attempt from standing.

Wed:
Glutes fatigued, grip fatigued, shoulders tweaked and fatigued from bad bench form. Back aggravated by Jcurls.
Warmup: Same as Tuesday, but skipped goblet squat and bridges in 3rd and skipped Jcurls in the last circuit as they aggravated the back.

5 getups per side
Attached a 50lbs bell to a cheap circular plastic sled with a cord, kinda hung from the front of the cord, pulled with a longer cord. Bell/sled jerked and tumbled when pulled with rope over shoulder, felt comfortable sprinting with rope tied around hips. Unfortunately, the sled cracked. Promising exercise, need better equipment.
Did (1,2)x3 pullups and pistols with short rest, felt a little hard due to fatigue.
Farmer carried 70lbs bell back and forth, setting down and switching hands every 15-30 feet, went for a few minutes that way without getting too tired.

Thursday: Hamstrings sore (I got a visit from the hamstring fairy!)
Did S&S Warmup (I hate extended warmups) with prying goblet squat single and 2x5 70lbs goblet squats.
10 sets of 5 OA swings x 35 pounds. Right hand feels snappy, left hand has infected splinter, so grip is making everything worse on left hand sets.
Getups: 24,32,24,32(¼),32(¼) - Finally working up to simple getups, took way too long to start.
30 minutes later: OA Farmer carries 32kgs, 20 feet left, 20 feet right, repeat with no rest for 5 rounds. Trying to do more heavy carries for strong grip and waist.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Friday: 1x prying goblet squat, 2x5 70lbs goblet squat, 2x3 halo, 2x5 hip bridges.
Dead Swings, two handed, 32kgs: 5 sets of 2
Getups: 24, 32(1/2), 24, 32(1/2), 32
OA swings: 5L,5R,2L-pressure on index finger reopens splinter wound.
35lbs suitcase carry- 2 laps around house on each side- almost to limit
35lbs rack carry- 1 lap around house on each side.- relatively hard
Decompressed on bar.

I'm going to start doing just heavy two handed swings and suitcase carries, to work around my finger situation. Just the time when I get serious about OA swings... Getups are doing great though.

My goals as of right now, are to work up to 10 sets of 5 OA swings with 70lbs (grip is a big weakness for me), and get Simple Getups, and maybe do a kettlebell mile with 70lbs.
My reason for drastically reducing the swing volume, is that I simply hate 10x10, my workouts suck. I get a bad headache from doing the volume, and I've been unable to make progress on 10x10 in the past. I did 5x10, 8x10, then moved to 10x10 over the course of a week or two, and I rested longer than I probably needed too, and the volume still disagreed with me.
S&S is supposed to be an 'Easy Strength + Conditioning' program, but 10x10 is not easy for me.

After simple getups I'm going to go after the kettlebell press, which should be pretty soon. I can C+P 24kg for an easy double right now, I will be working up to 70lbs after I get my simple getups.
Gym Variety: I'm able to go to the gym once or twice a week, so I've made those my variety days. I'm doing a mix of barbell, bodyweight, and kettlebells there. I think my mains lifts (and secondary goals) will be: Barbell clean+front squat, sumo deadlift, Chinups, Kettlebell press (eventually barbell press), and the trap bar farmer carry.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Saturday:
I did the S&S Warmup, but with 3x5 70lbs front squats and sets of 3 haloes.

7x7-8 reps x24kgs 2h Swings.

The day before, I watched Dan John's kettlebell workshop on youtube, and I picked up the que of "pushing the knees apart" during swings. I tried it, and the bell flew. Every swing felt smooth and natural, up to the last set.
The 2H swings actually challenged my grip a little. Probably because the weight was heavier and swung faster than my 16kg. Was a comfortable workout, my finger problem feels like it's getting better, although the discolored portion has expanded, but is also shallower.


Getups: 24,32,24,32,24
The floor press has always been the hardest part for me with the 70lbs. I can press it, but not very easily.

Kettlebell Mile: 35lbs, half a mile out, half a mile back, in 18:17 minutes, at a moderate walk pace.

Was very difficult, had to switch hands constantly. Grip got smoked by the end, I would have quit if I was on a track or treadmill. Neck is sore from looking down at the ground/kettlebell for much of the walk (gotta remember to keep the head up).
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Saturday:
I did the S&S Warmup, but with 3x5 70lbs front squats and sets of 3 haloes.

7x7-8 reps x24kgs 2h Swings.

The day before, I watched Dan John's kettlebell workshop on youtube, and I picked up the que of "pushing the knees apart" during swings. I tried it, and the bell flew. Every swing felt smooth and natural, up to the last set.
The 2H swings actually challenged my grip a little. Probably because the weight was heavier and swung faster than my 16kg. Was a comfortable workout, my finger problem feels like it's getting better, although the discolored portion has expanded, but is also shallower.


Getups: 24,32,24,32,24
The floor press has always been the hardest part for me with the 70lbs. I can press it, but not very easily.

Kettlebell Mile: 35lbs, half a mile out, half a mile back, in 18:17 minutes, at a moderate walk pace.

Was very difficult, had to switch hands constantly. Grip got smoked by the end, I would have quit if I was on a track or treadmill. Neck is sore from looking down at the ground/kettlebell for much of the walk (gotta remember to keep the head up).
When doing the KB Mile, my traps and shoulder also got fatigued.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Saturday cont.: 5 chinups, 3 pistols. Decided to test how far I could touch past my toes after a minute of contract/relax stretching.

Sunday: Sport specific strength+ strength flexibility circuit, repeated 3 times: 35lbs Jcurlx10, 3lbs dumbbell shoulder extensionx5, neck bridges x10 second hold.
Later that day: Hamstring Stretch- forced relaxation, Hip Flexor stretch- forced relaxation, front split training, forced relaxation alternated with prying/waiting out the tension. Got to ~6" above the floor. Tried the Brettzel (and other Flexible Steel drills), got my shoulder to graze the floor on both sides.
 

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Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
*Forgot to mention sets of 5 hack squats in the circuit on Sunday*
Monday:
Glutes, hamstrings are sore, Obliques mildly sore. Hips a little bit too loose.

Warmup: 3x5 70lbs Goblet Squats, 3x3 glute activation practices (practicing the standing plank glute activation), 3x3 haloes.

5x5 50lbs 2H swings
Going light, due to fatigue, also planning to cycle between light-heavy-medium days with heavy swings.

Getups: 24,32,24,32,24
First getup was sloppy, second was good, practiced on the next two sets of the 24 as if they were the 32. The 32 was even smoother and stronger. Much more stable than a few days ago.

Decompressed on a bar.

50lbs OA suitcase carry: ~60 feet x 5 per side, single-leg deadlifting the bell each time, resting 5 seconds per hand switch.
Going to start SLDLing my bells whenever I have to carry them around.

5x5 chinups with 3 minutes rest. Biceps fatigued, near limit, but did the volume.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Tuesday 9/21/2021:
3x5 70lbs goblet squats, 3x3 haloes.

7 sets of 5 50lbs 2H swings. Focused on power and tension in the standing plank, noticed power went up significantly with plank pressure. Trying to vary swing volume by at least 20% day to day (and eventually week to week and month to month).

Getups: 24,32,24,32,32 -realizing I need better shoulder mechanics and movement, especially on the left side. Focused on anti-shrugging shoulder in the last set.

Tried to do waiter carries with 70lbs, quickly realized my shoulders weren't ready.

Did 40 feet x3 OA 70lbs carries.
Did 100 feet x 2 waiter carries x 50lbs. My shoulder mobility was only good enough when I opened up my chest. Shoulder ached for the rest of the day.

Wednesday: 9/22/2021
Shoulder seems mostly recovered.
3x5 70lbs Kb Squat, 3x5 KB Haloe

10 sets of 5 50lbs 2H swing.
Felt strong, but got a bit of a headache through the last sets. Maybe try to keep to 7 sets and under.

Getups: 24 32, 24, 32, 32
Feeling more stable.


Suitcase carried 50lbs bell out ~100 meters out on left hand until grip about to give out, same distance back.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Thursday:
3x5 70lbs squats, 3x3 haloes
Superset:
5x5 50lbs swings
Getups: 24,32,32,32,32
70lbs suitcase carry: 5x ~20 meters, switching hands on the way back

70lbs ankle raises (rising up onto my toes while holding a bell): 20,10,10.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
5x5 chinups with 3.5 minutes rest, considerable fatigue. Should probably switch to ladders for more volume and less fatigue.

Later in the day: At the gym: Superset barbell military presses, front squats, ab and grip work and isometric drills for BJJ.
Following this program.

Sets of 10 MP: 45, 45, 55, 55, 65 (Sets were very hard, especially the last one, nearly failed.)
Sets of 6 F-Sq: 95, 105, 105, 115, 115 (Sets were pretty hard, but not as bad as MP. Technique was shaky.)
Other: 3x ab rollout from knees, 30 OA feet carry w/ 80lbs, 30 second isometric squeeze with yoga block in Rear naked hold, triangle hold, guillotine hold, both sides. L sit raises x 5, 30 more feet with 70lbs, Ab rollout from knees x 3, hollow hang x 30 seconds, 20 second isometric Rear Naked hold.

Isometrics trashed by biceps, I realized that I would be better off sticking with general strength work than the sport specific drills. Going to cut them out of my training. I went way too heavy/high volume in the squat, and especially the press, where I only eeked out the last rep.

I learned a good deal from the school of hard knocks today.

I trained no gi Jiu Jitsu, deviating from my normal monday/wednesday-or-thursday shedule, and in spite of my fatigue. Thankfully, grip and general strength isn't used to much in no-gi.
Maxed at 7 pullups in what is basically suspended rings made of straps, at my BJJ gym (as if I didn't overtrain enough already), and I did a moderate set of 3 pistols.
 
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Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Making up a plan for the next 8 weeks leading up to competition on Saturday.
Going to gradually taper down volume/weight, especially in the later weeks while increasing BJJ training frequency and intensity.
Must register by Nov.


Easy Strength style in all sessions.

Mon: OA Swings, and Getups + hill sprints and carries:
Tues: Rows and Deadlifts, KB light Presses
Wed: SF Roadwork and leg raises
Thurs: OA Swings and Getups + hill sprints and carries:
Fri: Squats, and KB hard Presses + medium chinups
Sat: SF Roadwork and leg raises.
Sunday: light chinups and optional stretching.

Grip training schedule:
Wed:
Slow Fiber Hard day (sets attached below)

Sat: Slow Fiber easy day (sets attached below)

Weeks 1-4- training at easy strength intensity. Will tolorate some soreness from combined load from lifting and training.
Weeks 5-7- Taper down volume and weight.
Week 8- No lifting in competition week, no stretching, no conditioning, no intense sports. No training on Friday (and possibly Thursday) before competition on Saturday.

I keep changing this... And I just made it. Trying to keep it simple and relatively easy.
 

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Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Saturday: Did a bodyweight hang for 15 seconds and then 10 seconds. Did sets of 6 one legged ankle raises.
Did a hill sprint, decided the hill was too small to be worthwhile, going to use a larger hill nearby later. Did a 70lbs suitcase hold, hung from a bar on one hand for 5 seconds.
More one legged ankle raises, sets of 5/6, with varying degrees of rest.

GTGing with bar hangs and One-legged ankle raises, eventually decided the foot training was not worth GTG, focusing on various grip training drills, such as hanging from my bjj belt for 5 seconds.

Did some math, I'm getting roughly 6 hours of sleep per night- not ideal
I have also decided to swap from the BB MP to the KB Military Press, and from the BB FrSq to the BB Zercher Squat.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Sunday: Hung from a bar for a minute, grip was nearly toast, but BW hang with palms on the bar was not heavy enough for slow twitch training.

Forced Relaxation for hips, hamstrings and shoulders. Did Front Split training, got to less than 6 inches above the ground. Forgot chinups, and roadwork, unfortunately.

Realizing I might not have time for steady state endurance on Sundays, moving them to Saturdays.

I weight about 180lbs, available weight classes are 175 and 190. Starting fasting window.
 
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Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Monday, 9/27/21:
Warmup: 6 pistol singles with short rest
50lbs swings: 2H, 2H, R, L, 2H, 70lbsx2Hx5
The OA swings were not strong, grip was limiting, like a fast grind.
Getups: 24, 32, 24, 32, 32
50lbs OA carry 50ft, repeat x 5.
Hill sprint x 3, a bit more than half way up the hill. Rested briefly after the first, then longer after the second, as I got a pain where my ribs meet by abdomen. Going to rest longer and use do more volume next time.

Started intermittent fasting today, skipped breakfast and lunch.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Tuesday:
Pistols: (2,1)x3 with easy rest.
8 sets of 5 2H swings: 24, 24, 32, 24, 32, 24, 32, 24 Grip giving out on the 32 sets, shaky reps.
(1,2,3)x5 bodyweight rows (inverted pushups?). Grip was a large limiting factor, bar was wobbly due to makeshift bar, grip was thin.
24kg KB Press x 5 singles, superset with 4xL-sits with 5 second holds. Right side was strong and confident, left hand was weak and unstable.

Grip training:
bar hang to failure+50lbs after 50 seconds.
42 second hang to failure with 66 pounds (sweet spot)
35 second to failure with 66 pounds
66 Pound hang, didn't make 30 seconds, aborted.
50lbs hang for 33 seconds to failure. Slow fiber training done for the day.

I'm realizing swings, rows, deadlifts, pullups, ect are sufficient for fast-twitch grip training, so I'm eliminating any more specific grip work.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Wed:
StrongFirst Roadwork: 1.84 miles of somewhat hard walking in 35.22 minutes. Did sets of pushups, then archer pushups, alternated with pistols, occasionally doing both, every couple of minutes. Did 1-3 reps on each side of archer pushups and pistols. (Adding roadwork on Wednesday)
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Thursday: 9/30/21
Hill sprint x 4- same distance as Monday, but on the farther, steeper side of the hill (but not by much).
Superset with suitcase carries x70lbs, walked all the way home and back between each sprint. Carries went basically across the lawn, stopped the workout when chest pains were starting to last until I reached the 70 at my house. Focusing in rotation/twisting while sprinting.
GTG OA Swings: 4x3x35lbs, 4x4x35lbs, 4x3x50lbs, 4x5x35lbs, 4x3x35lbs
GTG Getups: 50lbs, 70lbs, 70lbs, 70lbs, 70lbs, 70lbs.

Got my left arm wrenched a bit in a kimura, going to take it easy on the shoulders tomorrow, focus on stability
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Friday:
Superset:
35lbs OA pressx (1,2,3,)x5, somewhat hard. Could have done ladders to 4, maybe 5.

Pistols: 5x3

Hanging L-sit holds for 5 seconds: 3 sets. Shoulders ached a bit when hanging, couldn't quite keep them in sockets I think. Maybe should be separate from chinups/pullups. Probably also need more shoulder mobility, going to do more shoulder stretches on Sunday.
 

Stephen B.

Level 2 Valued Member
Saturday:
ST grip training light day: 50lbs weighted fingertip hang (as opposed to palms), for 36 seconds to failure.

Sf Roadwork: Ran for about 30 minutes, did 3-4 pistol singles, 1,2,3,2 Archer pushups. Mixed in some running, usually ran with flat feet, pulling the ground with hamstrings and pushing a little with the toes at the end of each step, keeping hips extended. Didn't pound the ground too much, because it was all hamstrings (until they started to fatigue, then I felt a little pounding through my thin training shoes.) Hamstrings and feet got fatigued.

GTG Swings: 10x50lbs, 4x3x50lbs, 4x3x50lbs, 4x3x50lbs, 10x50lbs.
 
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