August 12, 2020

After a hard weight training strength session and a hard grappling session last week, I was pretty freaking sore.

While I was able to do an auxiliary weight training workout with no problem, grappling again that day would have been too much. My abs, ribs, and lower back were just too sore for rolling.

This made me reassess my current fitness plan. Dealing with injuries and COVID-19 shut downs, I have been focusing on building strength over martial arts.

I have made significant strength gains in the weight room.

As of this morning, I weight 194.2lbs (picture at the top). Within the last few weeks, I have lifted:

  • Bench pressed 325lbs 1.67xBodyweight
  • Squat of 345lbs for 2 reps (estimated 1 rep max of 370lbs for 1.89xBW)
  • Dead lift of 405lbs for 2 reps (estimated 1 rep max of 430lbs for 2.2xBW)

In my Costa Rica BJJ Camp, one of my students had put me on to Juggernaut Training Systems. The head coach, Chad Wesley Smith, is a power lifter and strength coach to some of the top grapplers in the world, such as Romulo Barral and Otavio Sousa. He also is a BJJ Blue Belt, so he has a better understanding of the strength and conditioning needs of a martial artist.

The programs I have been doing for the past 1.5 years were more for body building, but I followed protocols for strength and power mainly. So when I was doing 5-6 days a week in the weight room at 2-3 hours at a time, it was brutal but effective for what the program was designed to do.

But now, I want to switch the focus back to my true passion, martial arts.

Enter Juggernaut Training Systems

So one of the appeals of the Juggernaut Training System is that it has a program specifically for BJJ athletes. In his opinion, an elite BJJ athlete would have more than enough strength at:

  • Bench Press of 1.5xBW
  • Squat of 2xBW
  • Dead Lift of 2.5BW

So looking at my numbers, I’m just about there already. I just need a little more leg work to bring up my Squat and Dead Lift, and part of that I think is cleaning up my technique (another thing I study to improve).

So, that got my intrigued into starting his system. The program starts with a questionnaire that asks you basic questions about your current health and fitness program. You tell them how often you wish to weight train, how often you plan to train jiu jitsu, your weight, age, belt rank, goals, and your top 3 lifts (Bench Press, Squat, Dead Lift).

It takes about a day before they process your questionnaire, and develop a custom fitness program based on those inputs. The interface is pretty simple to use, with plenty of video tutorials explaining how to use the program. It tells you what exercises, rep ranges, weights, order, rest times, warm ups, cardio – pretty much everything you need.

A cool feature is that you can put in your fatigue level in principal muscle groups, and it will then reduce or increase your work load for those areas. The program is designed in 4 week blocks, in which after you upload your results and it will update your profile and create a new 4 week block.

Scheduling Training

The main draw is that the program is designed to allow you to train twice a day, a strength and conditioning session and a BJJ/martial arts session. That is very much what I want to make my standard. Chad has a bunch of videos on YouTube discussing how to schedule your routine and balance it. Here is one below:

Basically, alternating hard days (big lifts and intense grappling training), with light days (cardio and technical work).

It might sound counter intuitive to make one day super hard and one day easy, but the idea is that if your spread the hardness across the week, you never have a chance to recovery. You are just grinding yourself down day by day. That is something I know I have done many times unfortunately.

So that made me go ahead and sign up for his program. It’s only $1 to start, $14.99 every 4 weeks afterwards. And no, I’m not getting any affiliate commissions for this, lol, as I’m just starting it myself and not endorsing it yet. But I figure I would share with you what I’m doing. So if you wanted to jump in and try for yourself, here is a link below to the program:

This program doesn’t account for diet much. If you want a look into my diet plan (which is a big part of any fitness plan), check out my outline below:

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To become the best, we must continuously test ourselves. We measure our performance, evaluate our faults, accept criticism and then work on improving ourselves before starting all over again.

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