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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


 

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!


 

Deadlift For Grip Strength : Which Grip Should You Use

I never trained to improve my overall grip strength through grip strength training exercises. I was lucky enough that the strength training I completed, indirectly and adequately strengthen my grip as well.

This is not true for all, some may need that supplemental grip strength training.

I’ve posted videos before about exercises I find beneficial to directly improve your grip strength. Most frequently when I’m approached about this topic, everyone refers to the deadlift to improve their grip strength.

You’re not wrong…

But how are you using the deadlift?

There is a vast difference between using the deadlift to improve overall strength gains, and using a deadlift to improve grip strength.

On top of that, what grip are you using?

If you’re using the deadlift to improve your overall strength gains, then by all means use any grip or straps you need to complete the lift safely.

After all we’re testing your deadlift in this scenario not your grip strength.

If you are using the deadlift to improve grip strength, I would highly suggest a double overhanded grip. And doing sets to failure or just a few rep shy of failure.

Getting that deep burn in the forearms, that you simply can not hold onto a bar any longer.

BJJ : How to Build Your Conditioning For Jiu Jitsu

“I need to start training with you to get my cardio up.”
Regardless if said with the intentions of following through, or passively mention iust acknowledge lack of cardio.
If you’re an athlete at our gym, at some point you’ve told Chewy or myself “I need to start training with you to get my cardio up.”
The disconnect there is our Instagram and YouTube is filled with the highlights.
The heavy lifting, the one rep max, the fun stuff everyone wants to see.
The real truth behind building up your cardio, it’s not sexy.  It’s not fun, you will not enjoy it.
When it comes to building your conditioning for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, athletes tend to misconnect “workout” as building conditioning.
Building workout conditioning such as you’ll see in crossfit style workouts, while has some benefits, does not relate well to your mat wind.
These are two different types of cardio, and can easily be exposed.
I like to recommend athletes who want to work on their pure cardio, interval training, in the same fashion they roll.  
Five to six minute rounds of intervals.  Going one to two minutes over their match times.  Here’s an example of our workout.
6 Minutes of:
:20 sprint – :10 rest
**Rest 3 Minutes**
6 Minutes of:
:10 sprint – :20 rest
**Rest 3 Minutes**
6 Minutes of:
:20 sprint – :10 rest
**Rest 3 Minutes**


Strength Training For BJJ : How to Find Balance

“Train Smarter Not Harder”

I’m sure at some point you’ve heard any variation of that quote. Buy why wouldn’t we work on training harder AND smarter.

I’m frequently ask in one way or another from athletes in our gym, how they should split up their strength training with their Jiu Jitsu.

First, don’t over do it! Don’t think you HAVE to do BJJ and strength training in the same day.

Like most cases limiting factors outside of time is sleep, nutrition, and age. All playing a major role in your capacity to train and recover.

Those being our limiting factors, I NEVER recommend doing BJJ and Strength training back to back.

There is some gray area here in which you use one for technique one for a hard session. But in general when this question is ask,

I’m assuming you’re looking at putting eighty to ninety percent effort into both your Jiu Jitsu and strength training.

In which case one will suffer. Split it up based on your priorities. Not everything has to be done EVERY DAY!

Be mindful of your training, your body, listen to it! You have to find what works for you, don’t force it!


 

Killer Grip Strength Exercises For Jiu Jitsu

I’ve worked so closely with Nick “Chewy” Albin  these past 8 years, I’ve listen to countless of his podcast, videos, lectures, and his ever so elegant rambles.
Almost all of his seminars, social media, and in person I’ve witness a trend of questions.
One that sticks out the most is “How Do I Improve My Grip Strength”?
The obvious answer is the most clear, which is just do Jiu Jitsu.
You could say I do a lot of training, doing so indirectly trains my grip.  I would never recommend to someone to directly train your grip.
Why?
The overall benefits of directly training your grip is small compared that of indirect training it will receive from compound exercises to focus on overall strength, power, and conditioning.
Now, if you feel individually you NEED to work on directly training your grip to improve strength there are a few recommendations I may have.
I would like to add I would not do these until the end of my workout, and maybe 1-2 days a week.  You’ll be working with smaller muscle groups and can easily be stress to the point of overtraining.

Doing these three exercises will compliment your grip when doing Jiu Jitsu, but ultimately you will need to develop that grip strength through Jiu Jitsu.