I started competing in Grappling tournaments in April 2009. The month before the tournament I was training two times a day and basically when ever I could to get ready, and the week of the tournament I did not roll hard, it was more or less of a cardio session. Now after my first tournament I started to do something different by adding in cardio and weight training. Previously I was doing simple plyometric drills, mixed in with MMA sparring drills so the added weight training was a learning experiment. I also decided around this time that supplements may be important since by this time I was also experiencing a lot of health issues, i.e. repeated sickness. My weight training was simple, I used a curl bar and did 10 bicep curls, 10 shoulder presses, 10 front forearm raises, and completed with 10 squats. I did this repetition as fast as I could 3x and then I would work the machines for Lats, back, chest and shoulders same reps 3x. This was not really weight training to me it was more like concentrated cardio with weights, and I dare to stretch to say it was borderline cross-fit before I knew cross-fit existed. Below is the product of the workouts I was doing.
I continued to thrive on the competition scene and won a few more tournaments before things started slowing down due to family, personal and health issues. When I say health, I am refereeing to when I blew my knee out in March 2011… I was getting ready for a fight in Chicago and I was running stairs and felt a pop, I did not think anything of it and went to jiu-jitsu that night when I was rolling with a guy who put pressure right on my knee when passing and POP. That was it, that was when I jacked up my knee… the next day it was swollen and felt wobbly. It seemed like every move I made felt like my knee wasn’t connected like it was dangling and hurt like heck! I spent 2 weeks like this before I was told to immobilize my knee. Sure enough a week after having it in a splint it felt better and I started to rehab my knee on my own. I did not train jiu-jitsu, I did no cardio, no weight training my entire focus was just to walk without pain. I did see a doctor when this happened but nothing showed up on the x-ray (should have gotten an MRI). To this day my knee gives me trouble and acts up on me, but that is where my training has changed a lot.
I find now that with previous injuries I do weight training in a different way, basically instead of focusing primarily on making muscle gains, it is more around core strength. Ok, so it is no secrete that both of my knees are shot, I cannot run, I can barely walk fast because of the pain and hurt. What I decided to do was incorporate deadlifts, squats, kettle bells and elastic bands. This is absolutely no substitute for a good cardio/weight induced workout but for me it is what works. You can Google cross-fit and look at numerous workout scenarios to go through with kettle bells, deadlifts and the elastic bands but my main downfall is cardio. My BJJ coach started doing something recently that I loath with a passion, and honestly, I did not understand what he was doing or why. Instead of cranking up the air conditioner when we are doing drills, my instructor strategically turns the air off. What this does is it makes everyone work in their Gi with extra heat causing air to become dense and forces the lungs to work with added effort, building up everyone’s cardio! When I am unable to run, this type of environment is exactly what I need to give me that added curve in my cardio. Below is a picture of the new training, more core influenced.
If I could go back to 2009 when I began this journey, I would skip the hard core weight training and go straight to cross-fit and core training. My only advice would be to listen to your body and do not take any injury lightly, GO SEE A DOCTOR! I have also followed Fighterdiet.com, FDX3 and it is amazing but you need to be dedicated.
~ If you are ever in the area of Wichita Falls, TX and are wanting to start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or if you are simply passing through, please visit Red River BJJ, contact at Redriverbjj.com~
…. And Remember…. You do NOT have to be Great to start but you absolutely have to START to be great!! OSS