Fast, Simple, Effective – Banded Shoulder Warm-up

What’s your morning ritual?

Me, I wake up, use the bathroom, brush my teeth then check my email. It’s one of the most natural, mindless things of my day.

Now, what’s your warm up ritual? Do you have one? Or do you just plunge right into your training?

Recently for our Grappling Power Program Chewy (Chewjitsu) and I design, we program out some primers for our athletes. We want to teach the benefits of a proper activation of muscle groups prior to training.

Quickly, the athletes on the program fell in love with the warm up!

I’m not saying ours is the best in the world, it’s simply what we found works for us, and feel can benefit other athletes.

In one of our Live Q&A’s we do with the athletes on the program, one ask extra banded warm ups I prefer. While these stretches may not be in the primers, they are part of my daily warm up ritual.

Like waking up and brushing my teeth, it has become organic with my daily ritual stretches and warm up.

Each of these I’ve found have profound benefits in my activation before lifting.

I can’t think of a training day I’m not using my shoulders, lats, and tricep, of which these all target.

If you’re suffering from tight wrist, overhead positioning, or simply feel like learning some new banded stretches give these a try.

Download our FREE Q&A on BJJ & Strenght training  click >>> HERE <<<

If you’re interested in our Grappling Power Program click >>> HERE <<<

See you in the gym!

-Joe


 

The Grappling Power Program : It’s Here

These last couple of days I’ve been talking about strength training with you.

And I hope by now I’ve stressed the importance with strength training for both. . .

Performance – A stronger more conditioned body is only going to increase your physical abilities on the mat.

Injury Prevention – By strengthening your body overall, and paying close attention to some of our problem areas you’ll fight off the muscular imbalances.

A third benefit that is 100% irrelevant to BJJ is that with the extra muscle. . . you simply look better naked. I mean who doesn’t like looking in the mirror and being happy with what’s staring back at you?

To help some of you out whether you decide to jump aboard our program or wing it on your own.

Chewy and I sat down and talked strength training. Both our program and in general for BJJ practitioners. And I put it alld the good stuff together in a free ebook for you.

Here’s a few things you’ll pick up inside the free ebook. . .

FREE Q&A Download

• How a program based on fundamentals can benefit a beginner and advanced lifter alike (page.02)

• The thing most novice lifters lack with their strength training programs (page.03)

• Why your weight training SHOULD NOT mimic your grappling training (page.04)

• Muscle imbalances most BJJ practitioners have, and some exercises that help correct them! (page.04)

• Should you lift and do BJJ on the same day, different day, back to back or split it up? (page.07)

• How long should your workouts be to get results? (page.08)

• The most overused excuse in BJJ that you should NEVER use! (page.12)

• Is strength training more important at higher or lower belts in BJJ? (page.13)

• Lifting weights with or after a meniscus injury (page.15)

• Why you should be wary or trainers who tell you there is only ONE way to lift! (page.16)

• Why strength training isn’t necessary for BJJ, but why you should do it anyway. (page.18)

More & Join the Program Click Here


 

Floor Press : Worthless or Lifting Necessity

My first time in a gym, I had to test my bench press

The gym pecking order is determined by your bench after all, right?  I’d risk life, limb, and shoulders just to see how much I weight I could move.  No technique, no skill work, just young and dumb,

You can see where this is going, I didn’t know what I was doing and had no one to teach my otherwise; not to mention I was an arrogant stuck up teenager who thought I was going to rule the world…. or at least the gym.

Man, that kid had issues.

Decades later, I look back and wish someone had taught me other exercises to further develop and benefit bench press, something like…. The Floor Press!

The Floor Press is a pure upper body push movement that negates the leg drive used in the traditional bench press.

The beauty behind this is that the tension is primarily on the triceps and does not put undue stress on the shoulders.

It is hard to find someone with a big bench press that doesn’t have or had some variation of shoulder trouble.

In order to perform the floor press simply follow these steps:

My first time in a gym, I had to test my bench press.

The gym pecking order is determined by your bench after all, right? 

I’d risk life, limb, and shoulders just to see how much I weight I could move.  No technique, no skill work, just young and dumb.

You can see where this is going, I didn’t know what I was doing and had no one to teach my otherwise; not to mention I was an arrogant stuck up teenager who thought I was going to rule the world…. or at least the gym.

Man, that kid had issues.

Decades later, I look back and wish someone had taught me other exercises to further develop and benefit bench press, something like…. The Floor Press!

The Floor Press is a pure upper body push movement that negates the leg drive used in the traditional bench press.

The beauty behind this is that the tension is primarily on the triceps and does not put undue stress on the shoulders.

It is hard to find someone with a big bench press that doesn’t have or had some variation of shoulder trouble. 

The slim down version to perform the floor press simply follow these steps:

  1. Find some real estate on the floor and place yourself under the bar
  2. Line your eyes up with the bar like a normal bench.  We want a slightly narrow grip as this will help to keep you elbows tucked in.
  3. Press into the bar setting the scapulae (upper back) to stabilize the lift and press the bar up

    The key to success here is to control the bar and not allow your elbows to slam into the floor, flare out, or come in front of the barbell.

    When performing this movement, I prefer not to go over 70% of my traditional bench press max.  Remember this movement is an auxiliary exercise that helps us improve our bench.

    Overall, the floor press is a simply and effective accessory movement that can easily be added into any program.  I give major credit to this exercise helping me to achieve a 400 lbs. bench press and I would recommend any athlete to try it out.

As always I’m here to help!  If you need help with your programming, technique, or general questions about your training don’t hesitate reach out!


 

Strength Training For BJJ : DONT WASTE YOUR TIME!

Perception IS reality!

Social media is filled with it

Posts of a happy couple smiling together. The perception is story book relationship

Posting pictures of fancy cars and nice clothes. The perception is wealth

Pictures of someone flexing large muscles. The perception is they’re strong…..

We only see what’s on the surface, we see what posted for show, not what’s always real.

I’m bringing this up because I recently posted a video of when Jiu Jitsu athletes can fit in their strength training.

One particular poster on Redditt, told me “No one who does BJJ should ever do strength training, big muscles in BJJ hurts your game”

He went on to tell me why I HAVE to listen to him because he is purple belt…. I guess just drop it all and go home right?  No further discussion needed…

Truth is, I see this all the time in BJJ. It’s someone trying to justify to themselves why THEY don’t do any strength training.

Their perception of strength training is it will just make them have bigger muscles.

But the REALITY is that proper strength training can assist someone’s Jiu-Jitsu dramatically.

I’ve NEVER told an athlete “You need bigger muscles.”  My goal is always to help athletes become the strongest version of themselves.

With Jiu Jitsu, the goal should be to become the strongest you can possibly be in your weight class.

I can agree with the Reddit poster, that in some situations bigger muscles can be detrimental to your game.  And its going to be impossible to improve your strength and conditioning without gaining some muscle.

But we’re not talking bodybuilding muscle, that’s a whole different game.

If you compare a Powerlifter or Olympic Lifter vs a Bodybuilder it’s not even close!

There are guys weighing around 150lbs who are much stronger than a 300lbs bodybuilder.

We just have to keep in mind we’re training for function not for show!

I’m sure ill hash it out with others about the importance of strength training with heir Jiu Jitsu again.

I welcome the conversation to further educate the community and help athletes improve all aspects of their game.

If you’re struggling with finding the balance for time, or just need help further developing your strength.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

You can reach me by email support@derbycitymartialarts.com.  I’d be humbled to further help others reach their potential.


 

Strict Press : 3 Steps to Bigger Weight

Simple and Effective.

When it comes to improving our fitness, its what we want.   Get in get out, getting the job done.

Work smarter, not harder.  Right?

I’d like to have a running total of the countless hours I’ve spent wasted, performing isolated exercises to improve my strength.

The overall implications of  isolated movements can be insignificant compared to basic, essential, and effective compound movements.

Very few exercises are as simple and effective as the Strict Press (Military Press).  Attached to that simplicity, is effective improvements in overall strength.

It’s not flashy, so you really dont see it posted on social media, nor replacing bench press Mondays…..

Due to the simplicity of the movement“Just Press” there tends to be a disconnect of functionality to the movement.

It being such an isolated exercises, those disconnects may not allow us to move the weight we’re capable of.

Among those I’ve notice a trend through most athletes that are really easy to correct.

  • Adjusting your hand and elbow placement – making sure our elbows are in front of the bar not behind.
  • Over extension – Arching the chest back, be sure to keep the hip and shoulder in line, pushing down on the core.
  • Foot placement – move your feet out to your squat stance, you should never move weight overhead with a narrow stance

These are simply a quick three common faults and fixes for the strict press.

I can all but guarantee if you work on improving these three components of the strict press, you WILL move MORE WEIGHT.

Happy Lifting

– Joe


 

BJJ Strength Training : When to Do It!

How do you fit in your strength training with your Jiu Jitsu?
Its safe to say its a loaded question, and only through trial and error can you find what works best for you.
I can safely tell you my worst days ever on a mat, was when I thought I could run through my heavy weight lifting and simply jump on the mat and I’d be ok.
Big mistake!!!
On these days, I quickly learned I had made a mistake. My training partners would keep asking “why are you so tired”.
I had to much pride to simply admit I shouldn’t be training….wisdom and experience have further improved since then.
This was a learning experience that I keep in mind to this day with my training.
My training priority, as you know, is not Jiu Jitsu. I find it fun to do with friends but it’s not my focus.
My training priorities revolve around competitive weightlifting.
The first thing I had to learn was train with my priorities, don’t skip weight training to do Jiu Jitsu.
If your priority is to improve your Jiu Jitsu, dont skip it for strength training, find balance!
For me I can do traditional strength training before Jiu Jitsu, get on the mat, come back and knock out some accessory work.  Or even do it in reverse, light drilling into strength training.
What does not work, is  doing Jiu Jitsu then trying to do your strength training.  Your muscles lengthen out, and you’ll not receive the same power output as normal.
So how do we break this down what we find it works out best for everybody well, I have a simple standard I like to follow and when I found works best for me on days that I want to do jujitsu.
For any of you that do BJJ and are interested in strength training. Here’s a quick reference guide to help you fit in your training based on your priorities for that day.  
You’ll only find through trial and error what works best for you.
– Joe
Intense into Light
Moderate into Moderate
Light into Intense
Examples
Strength Focus
Hard Lifting into Light Drill
Moderate Lifting into Moderate Rolling/Drilling
Lifting/Accessory Work into Intense Rolling
BJJ Focus
Light Rolling into Accessory Work
Hard Rolling into Rest
Light Drilling into Moderate LiftingModerate Lifting into Moderate/Hard Rolling
Ultimately find best what works for you.  Good Luck!

The Unoffical Start of Summer – Memorial Day

Has anyone in your family served in the military?

If they’re anything like mine, I bet they have some memorable stories.

My grandfathers side of the family has a rich military tradition with each generation serving. None more prestige in my eyes than my grandfather.

He served in WW2, stormed the beaches of Okinawa, fought the war in several countries to come home and met the love his life and raise 13 children. (Most through adoption)

I listened to all his stories, as he loved to tell them.

What stood out most through those stories was his pride and sense of honor that came from his service.

I get goosebumps even thinking about his stories. No one was more influential in my life than him.

As I grew older I wanted that same pride, honor and tradition.

I wanted to be just like him and at 17 years old I enlisted in the military. . . It changed me life.

I went from a household full of drug abuse and neglect, to seeing the world, and becoming part of a family that built life long bonds that are irreplaceable.

I will always see my accomplishments small when I compare them to the man I looked up to so much.

The reason I bring this story up is that this Monday is Memorial Day.

A day to remember and honor those who served in Our Armed Forces.

The military is what got me excited about fitness.  So its only fitting every year with my gym we honor those with a workout.

This Monday we will be doing the workout known as Murph. 

Memorial day Murph, has become somewhat of a staple in the fitness community.

This unique Memorial Day tradition will take place at Derby City on 5/28/19 @ 11am.

Consider this an invitation to join me and countless others who will participate in honoring our service men and women.

If you have any question please don’t hesitate to let Chewy or myself know.

Look forward to seeing you there.

– Joe


 

How to Improve Ankle Mobility

On a previous video of mine, I received a question from Nicholas regarding soreness in his calves after he tries to rolling them. This is a common problem with many new lifters and those lifters who do not perform mobility or recovery exercised on their calves.

Using any combination of these three stretches will help you to improve your overall calf mobility and will help to reduce pain and tightness you may be feeling.

Stretch #1 – Standing Calf Stretch

For this stretch you will want to find a wall, pole, rig, etc. that you can use to support yourself. The stretch starts by facing the support and placing your heel as close to it as possible. Keeping the knee straight and leaning forward, hold this stretch for the desired length of time. You should feel this through your entire calf.

Stretch #2 – Achilles Stretch

This is similar to the Standing Calf Stretch except now we will be squatting down a little more and pushing the knee forward. You should feel this in your Achilles tendon.

Stretch #3 – Modified Goblet Squat

Start by getting to the bottom of your squat and holding. In this position, slowly shift your weight from side to side. You can use your elbow to help press your knee out to achieve a deeper stretch. This movement is great for when you are on the go and don’t have access to a support structure for the previous two movements.


 

How to Train Around Injuries

There we are…

Remember when you where a kid.  Its Christmas Eve, the excitement, eagerness to open presents, unable to sleep.

Anxious, excited, adrenaline coursing through your veins, you just can’t wait to get started!

This was the first time I remember having that restless eagerness feeling.

Now this is me any time I’m about to start a new training cycle, its the next chapter in my story.

A few weeks ago, I competed in the Kentucky State Championships.

I won my division, and set four state records.

I took some time off, ATE ALL THE BAD FOOD I COULD, and got ready for the next cycle.

So with all that adrenaline and eagerness to start my next training cycle, I ignored the pain in my knee from the competition.  Simply put, I thought I’d be good to go after a week off.

I was wrong….

It’s adding a lot of limitations to my training.  Over the past 20 years of coaching, I’ve seen many athletes get injured, and simply not train at all, I’ve fallen victim to in myself.

I’m not sure what’s going on this time, its three weeks before I can see my physician to get it checked out.

But I can tell you this time I’ll not stop training, I’ll simply be training around the injury.

Keeping that motivation and keep moving toward my next competition.


 

Strength Training For BJJ : Don’t Do it?

I can’t believe it!

The fact I would ever have to a rebuttal video on if someone should or should not do strength training.

Of all things, for such a physically demanding sport that requires explosive speed, STRONG ligaments, and muscular endurance.

Specifically talking about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

It goes without saying, I’m a little bias on strength training and lifting weights.  But I can even respect the articles authors opposed option and passion on the subject.

To just simply tell any athlete in a physically demanding sport “muscles are bad” is well……insane.

Honestly not only is it bad information, but its irresponsible.

I was recently tagged in an article in Jiu Jitsu times, stating that Jiu Jitsu athletes shouldn’t do strength training.

There reasons listed you should not do strength training for BJJ.

 

It takes to much time…

You wont have any mobility….

You’ll be slow…

You’ll get beat…

 

More so it seem the authors bias opinion stems from “he doesn’t lift weights here is why you shouldn’t either”

I’ve never seen or studied a  particular instance where proper strength training provided negative results to an athlete and their respective sport.

Outside of a medical reason, you should absolutely be implementing strength training into your normal routine.

If you’re simply struggling and don’t know where to start, don’t worry we do have a 10 week strength training program, specifically for Jiu Jitsu athletes, that is about to release!