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Answering the Impossible Question

Answering the Impossible Question

I probably get this question once or twice a week and as stated in the title, it is impossible to answer.

"I do BJJ on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday for 2 hours/day.  I would like to get stronger, get more powerful and be more explosive. Which training program should I do?"

First, as stated before, I literally have no idea what the answer is.  There are endless variables that present themselves such as your recovery, your BJJ training plan (which I assume is periodized by your coaches), and your competition training.  And even then, changes have to be made daily based on performance and readiness. No one can tell you what to do unless they are working with you personally. And that means working with you IN PERSON; both monitoring your lifting and your skill work.

There is a trend in martial arts to shit on physical training other than neck bridges and Hindu squats.  And that's fine - many champions have been built without using a barbell. But as anyone who has an IQ over 4 knows physical training/GPP has a bigger effect on the less than talented (you literally have to be a thick-tongued drooler to not know this).  So unless you have been blessed by the BJJ Gods as the Second Coming, doing some basic GPP work will help you get better.

So my advice to anyone in this position is to ask someone in your gym for some help.  Since they are planning all areas of your skill work they should be equally capable of planning your GPP work - or at least contracting that work out to someone who they work with. 

The only other answer is for you to do it yourself - and that requires you to have extensive knowledge of your own training.  If you've been training for 10 years or more (hell, even 5 years) you have extensive catalog of training logs at home. You should review them and see what you've done during times of higher stress.  Your training log is the GREATEST BOOK ON TRAINING YOU WILL EVER READ.  If you want to learn about training, keep one.

If you have no experience and no training log: start too light, progress slow and seek balance.  And remember if your goal becomes about chasing daily numbers in the gym, you have lost sight of everything that is important.  Sports training is not powerlifting or casual gym lifting. You only do what you have to do in the gym to get better on the field/mat.  If you sacrifice this, you have no one to blame but yourself. 

(Note: Be sure to keep extensive notes in your training log.  If you do so, like magic, you become better at training.)

Finally, common sense is your friend. Use it.

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