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  #1  
Old 07-28-2010, 01:11 PM
BlackNoir BlackNoir is offline
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Glenn, I originally PM'd you this routine on Sherdog. You told me to post it on this forum so you could give me advice on my routine.

I am 43. I train martial arts twice a week(BJJ, Thai Boxing and Kali)Jog 2 - 3 times a week and weight train three non-consecutive days per week. I am not a competative fighter by any means. I just want to develop my limited abilities as much as possible. This is my routine at the moment:

Wednesday: Push-Press 5-4-3-2-1
Upright Barbell Rows 4X5
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4X10
Bent Over Dumbbell Raise 4X10
Close Grip Bench Press 5-4-3-2-1
Skullcrushers 4X5

Friday: Squat 5-4-3-2-1
Single Leg Extension 4X10
Single Leg Press 4X10
Leg Curl 4X10
Chin-Ups 3XMax
Dumbbell Curls 4X10

Sunday: Bench Press 5-4-3-2-1
Incline Bench Press 4X5
Dumbbell Bench Press 4X10
Bent Over Barbell Rows 4X5
Pull Ups 3XMax

PS: Apart from the Squat, the other leg exercises are part of a re-hab/pre-hab program I was given by a physiotherapist after a knee injury. It is this injury that made me reluctant to use the otherwise excellent Starting Strength program.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, Glenn. I would welcome and appreciate any advice you can give me.
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2010, 03:08 AM
glennpendlay glennpendlay is offline
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Here is something that I posted elsewhere giving my thoughts on a strength program for combat sports... The main difference between the routine I am cut and pasting and what you are doing is that I am taking out all of the "extra" weight training movements, and leaving in only the bare minimum, only one exercise per workout for each basic body movement class. One pushing exercise, one pulling exercise, and one leg exercise. Then, instead of the extra work you are currently doing via your upright rows, laterals raises, DB bench, etc, I am having you do a 10 minute session where you do a wide, wide variety of "odd" movements, with the emphasis on doing a large variety of stuff.

I think this is extremely important for combat sports. If you think about it, although the bench press is great for getting stronger, what you do when bench pressing is the EXACT same movement, same range of motion, usually same speed, on every rep. You need variety to balance this out if you aim to use your increased strength in a sport where force has to be displayed in an almost unlimited variety of positions, directions, and speeds.

As far as the conditioning exercises listed, they are just suggestions. Different people have access to different equipment... I think if you just had a kettlebell or two you could think of some different things and get along just fine. A KB and a sandbag would be great. Just use what you have and get your body used to doing "odd" stuff and not just having a bar in yoru hands.

Anyway, here is the cut and paste, look forward to hearing your thoughts...


Monday
Squat, 3 sets of 5
Bench Press, 3 sets of 5
Rows, 3 sets of 5

Wednesday
Deadlift, 3 sets of 3
Military Press, 3 sets of 5
Chinups, 3 sets of 10, add weight if neccessary

Friday
Step-ups, 3 sets of 10
Push Press or Incline Press or Dips, 3 sets of 5
Power Cleans or Power Snatches, 5 sets of 3


I dont know why an MMA guy would do much more than this. Given all the other things that must be done to succeed in MMA, I dont think your body can benefit from much more heavy training than this.

I am also not sure why an MMA guy would do the same exercises if variations are possible. If you really want a big bench, sure, bench 2 or 3 days a week. If you just want to be overall strong, then pick 3 or 4 different exercises that work the same muscle group and rotate them. This would be more useful for MMA.


Add to this about 10 minutes of a fairly heavy conditioning exercise. These should also be rotated. Remember, the goal is overall strength and condition, not to get good at any one particular thing. Find 5 or 6 exercises that work for you and rotate through them, using one per workout. Keep track of the reps you get in 10 minutes on each exercise, and try to improve. Here are some good ones...

1) Push a prowler. use a set weight and distance, and try to increase the number of trips you get in 10 minutes each time you do the workout.

2) Kettlebell clean and jerks. Try to pick a KB that you can initially get about 50 reps with (25 each arm) in 10 minutes. When you achieve 100 reps, get a heavier KB.

3) Walking Lunges. Use a pair of KB's or Dumbells, and go walking. Dont worry about a lot of knee bend, just make sure you lean over and touch the KB's to the ground each step, and keep track of distance covered. When you can walk the whole 10 minutes without stopping, get heavier dumbells.

4) The vertical lift, best if with thick handled dumbells. This is easy, just bend down and pick up the dumbells with fairly straight legs, hoist them to your shoulders and with little or no hesitation, put them right on up over your head. Same rule as with KB clean and jerks, start with a weight you can do about 50 times, get heavier dumbells when you can do them 100 times in 10 minutes.

5) Farmers walk. Whatever implement you can use, keep track of total ditance covered in 10 minutes. If you dont put them down more than once or twice in 10 minutes, use heavier implements. A great implement for this exercise is 5 gallon buckets with rubber garden hose slid over the wire handle. They are awkward and hard to walk with, which makes them perfect for your purposes. Use sand to add weight.

6) Kettlebell snatch. Do just as you would KB clean and jerk.

7) "Freestyle" complexes. My Olympic lifters do these once in a while. Take a barbell, a light one, and keep it moving without setting it down for 10 minutes. Do whatever you can think of. squats, presses, cleans, good mornings, push presses. Just keep it moving and do not set it down. Try to make it hard on yourself. On this one there is no need to keep track of anything, just do work for 10 minutes.

8) Shouldering a sandbar or other awkward object. A stump or log would work, as would a large stone. Take it from the ground to one shoulder, drop it, then take it from the ground to the other shoulder. as many as you can in 10 minutes. When you get over 100, get a heavier object.

9) Turkish get ups. As many as you can in 10 minutes. Kettlebells work best for this, but you can do it with a dumbell.

10) Loading a log. Tie a piece of rope at waist height between two objects. Take a sandbag, log, or big rock and place it on the ground on one side of the rope. Pick it up and toss it over. Now duck down and crawl under the rope, stand up and pick the rock back up and throw it back to the other side. Repeat for 10 minutes. When you get more than 100 reps, get a bigger log.

11) Flip a big tire. You all already know what this is. Go for 10 minutes and aim to increase either number of flips or distance covered.

12) Make up your own. Got access to some ground that no one cares about and a 50 gallon barrel? Get a shovel and see if you can fill the barrel up with dirt in 10 minutes. Can you lay hands on some old telephone poles or logs? buy and ax and see how many 2" lengths you can chop off in 10 minutes. Use your imagination, but work your ass off for 10 minutes doing something strenuous and hard.


If you use a system like this, it is very easy to adapt when you get close to a competition. Simply drop 20lbs or so off of your poundages on your strength workout, and put a stop watch on your workout. Try to get through it quickly, and quicker as time goes by. And add on another conditioning exercise. Start with a 10 minute break between your first and second conditioning exercise, as time goes by decrease this rest period till you are going straight from your strength work to your first conditioning exercise and straight from your first to second 10 minute conditioning session.

Another adaptation that will be useful when going from "off-season" to preparing for a fight might be to lower the reps and raise the weight on the conditioning if you are far away from a fight and more worried about getting stronger than increasing conditioning. For example, when doing the vertical exercise, you might want to move to a weight you can only get done 20 times in 10 minutes, and stick with that weight till you can do 40 reps in 10 minutes. This example can be applied to most of the other examples of conditioning drills that i mentioned. When your attention turns to conditioning as a fight gets closer, continue with the same drills, but go to a weight that allows more reps and more continuous movement.

For a lower level fighter or combat athlete, sport specific mat work and conditioning work plus 3 workouts a week like this should have you in good enough shape to compete. For a higher level athlete, of course the mat work will increase, but, you will eventually do more than 3ea 10 minute sessions after your strength session, and eventually start adding in single then multiple sessions on the days you have off from strength training.


This is, IMO, a reasonable approach to strength work for MMA. It has the variety of movements that are appropriate to a sport where you can find yourself in any position and must be strong in all of them. It has an appropriate amount of strength work for an athlete who is training for a difficult sport on top of doing the strength work. It also has just enough structure, if you repeat the same list of conditioning movements in order, to determine if progress is being made. This is important, because it allows you to compete with your own performance 10 or 12 days before every time you do a conditioning exercise. You push harder when you have a number to compete with. It also has a reasonable approach to switching from "off-season" work to getting ready to compete.

Some of you who are looking for workouts or conditioning plans might want to give something like this a try. No, its not the best plan around for a big bench or a huge squat, but I think you would like how good of condition it would get you in for a combat sport like Judo, MMA, or wrestling.
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2010, 03:55 PM
leighton leighton is offline
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Great info thanks.
I'm a retired competitive Judo player, and have some involvement with coaching some of the young players that pass through our clubs ranks.

I've been helping to strength train a 16 year old National squad judo player.
My original plan for him was to train twice per week, one snatch day with front squats, and one clean & jerk day with back squats.
As it has worked out we have only really be able to train once per week because of other commitments, and he has missed quite a few strength training weeks altogether due to competitions and training camps.
We basically just do squat cleans either, 5 triples or 10 singles in 10 minutes, then back squats the same rep scheme. After that finish off with pull ups and dips.
Even despite this he has made big improvements over the last 12 months, and is now probably the strongest player in his Age band/category in UK.
Clean has gone from 60 Kg to 90Kg.
Pull ups + dips have gone from none to 10 reps.

So I believe that twice per week, an A and a B session should be sufficient for strength training for a competitive judo/martial arts player.

The judo training itself is really very intense, much more taxing than the Olympic lifting training, in my opinion anyway, it takes me (at 34 years old) longer to recover from a hard Judo sparring session of 1+1/2 hrs than an olympic lifting session. But the judo sparring is really the most important part of the training, and it also gives you strength and conditioning.
National level judo players will train 6 times per week, sparring in the evenings, technique drilling and strength/conditioning in the am.

I would have thought MMA training would be at least as taxing, because you would need to train wrestling/judo/jiu jitsu as well as striking sparring and technique drills. I think at the top level the best fighters would spend the vast majority of their time on technique drilling, the priority would be on quality sparring, after that 2 conditioning sessions and 2 strength sessions per week would be enough, even for George St Pierre.

I also find that the judo training really affects my snatch/cleans, but doesnt really affect my squats, press/jerk as much. Must be the same muscles being used.

Also just to add my favourite conditioning exercises to Glenns list, I really like rope climbing, because it is so specific to Judo. But in the absence of ropes I like pull ups and dips done in a superset, as many as you can do in 10 minutes. 40 pull ups and 40 dips in 10 minutes is a pretty good session for me, the trick is to work hard but not kill yourself.
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Old 08-09-2010, 05:40 AM
glennpendlay glennpendlay is offline
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I have done Judo myself for a while, and I think that all your recomendations are solid. For the average guy with no access to coaching on the Olympic lifts, I probably wouldnt recommend them as the main part of the strength training, but if hes getting good coaching, go for it.

And spot on with the rope climbing. I wrote that post in a few minutes and didnt try to be thourough, I should have remembered those damn rope climbs from high school wrestling!!!

Also, where are you in the UK? You might have told me before, but I have forgotten. There is a gym in Dublin that is OL biased and a man by the name of Barry Kinsella coaches there, he recently came to visit me for a week and I can vouch for him that he knows what he is doing when it comes to coaching the Olympic lifts. Good good guy. If possible, you might try to hook up with him, the url to their website is

www.weightliftingepiphanies.blogspot.com
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:47 AM
leighton leighton is offline
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Thanks Glenn, unfortunately Dublin is quite far away from me, I live in Coventry which is basically Smack Bang in the middle of mainland Britain. Dublin is in Ireland which is across the Irish sea!
One of the reasons I first ever got into Olympic Weightlifting was reading an article about Winston Gordon (Britains top 90Kg player for the last 10 years, placed 5th in Athens Olympics). He was coached in Olympic weightlifting by Keith Morgan in Chrystal Palace London. And his best power clean was 120Kg. The bench mark he used to measure himself against was Jonathan Edwards (triple Jump Olympic Champion) who trained in the same gym and powercleaned 150Kg at 75Kg bodyweight.
So as you can see Judo players generally arent as explosive as Triple Jumpers!
I've now squat cleaned 120Kg at 80Kg so I am probably as strong as any judo player in the UK but my fitness is another thing entirely .
I also passed my passion for olympic lifting to an up and coming partially sighted judo player when he used to train at our club. I coached him with his clean technique, and squats twice per weeks before he moved on up to the scottish full time judo centre in Edinburgh. When he arrived at Edinburgh he said his clean technique was the best in the entire squad, and he was the only judo player with a pair of weightlifting shoes (I recommended him to get a pair of doo wins). He has now spread the bug up there and every player now has a pair of doo win shoes for weightlifting practice lol .
He went on to get silver medal in Beijing at -90Kgs .

It would be nice to train with some other experienced weightlifters but its almost impossible at the moment. So I am happy to train by myself, pass the basics I do know onto up and coming judo players, and post here to get feedback on my training.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:35 AM
BlackNoir BlackNoir is offline
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It's a small world; I live in Edinburgh. Some of the guys from my club, Rick Young's Black Belt Academy, have trained with Scottish Judo Squad members. Rick Young himself holds a Black Belt in Judo and sometimes incorporates Judo Throws into BJJ classes. If anyone thinks Judo really is the "Gentle Art" they've never been thrown by a good Judoka!

And one of Rick's friends is Geoff Thompson who lives in Coventry!
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:21 PM
glennpendlay glennpendlay is offline
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For all of you UK guys, I am trying to build towards a seminar in the UK in Dublin later this year... you might contact Barry Kinsella if you are interested at all in attending.

And one further hint... If I come over to Ireland, there will likely be a wedding involved. I am Irish, and this would be fitting.
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:05 PM
BlackNoir BlackNoir is offline
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Glenn, thanks for the advice on strength training. One question: why Military Press instead of Push-Press? I know Mark Rippetoe teaches the same thing. I'm just curious as to why Military Press is superior to Push-Press for strength training.
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  #9  
Old 08-13-2010, 02:22 PM
leighton leighton is offline
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Hi Glenn also what do you think about Kettlebell swings as a conditioning exercise.
Seems to be you can work much harder on these compared to snatches and clean & jerks. So maybe you didn't recommend them because they can cause you to overtrain.
I found them to be incredible in terms of getting your heart rate up in a short period of time.
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:08 PM
glennpendlay glennpendlay is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackNoir View Post
Glenn, thanks for the advice on strength training. One question: why Military Press instead of Push-Press? I know Mark Rippetoe teaches the same thing. I'm just curious as to why Military Press is superior to Push-Press for strength training.
If you will look again, I have push presses on friday. I usually put military press on Wednesday, because they are the easiest to recover from, and in general, wednesday is supposed to be the least stressfull day.

For what its worth, I think push presses are the best upper body pushing exercise there is, followed by dips, although not everyone can do dips. They are great if you can do them, though.
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