Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Last night at class I got some good stuff in. Learned a pass that will do good things for my game. Rolled with a blue belt from another school (just down the road). It was good. He's MUCH bigger than me (pushing 3 bills). I pulled guard (don't ask me why, I'm a masochist) he tried to pass, and I turned. He got back control, and never got hooks, but I could NOT shake him off my back. I tend to just 'wrestle' my way out of those positions, and with his weight and his very good wrestling I could not get him off of my back, and I was moving so much that he couldn't improve, it was a stalemate.. one that I will have to figure out.
I was talking to the professor about some wrestling stuff last night, and it brought up the differences between jiu-jitsu and wrestling. Now I will readily admit that I am a blue belt in jiu-jitsu. I also never really wrestled at what I consider a high level so my opinion and about 3 bucks might get you a cup of coffee. So take it for what it's worth, but this is my blog and this is my opinion.
The biggest difference is the attitude. Wrestlers try to bend their opponents to what they want to do. To push punish and pressure until the guy you're wrestling makes a mistake. Wrestlers break down their opponents forcibly. There is no relax and react like there is in jiu-jitsu. In bjj there is a much smaller window for error. If you leave a hand out of position you lose. Also having a gi on changes the speed and pressure with which you can move. I can control my opponent completely with a gi on. If he bucks and squirms like crazy he's (probably) not going to break my control, he's just going to get tired. In no-gi or wrestling he always has room to move. I only have a few control points at any given time.
In bjj, side control/in guard/guard/half-guard/turtle/mount are all reasonable positions to fight from. There is no reason to panic, take your time get underhooks, test balance, see how the other guy deals with these changes, there are no bad positions, some are more comfortable than others, but unless you get submitted you're still in the fight. Improve grips, improve position, get tight, keep improving by increments until one of you makes a mistake.
Wrestling, you have to be dynamic, if you're on the bottom your only option is to get out, or get pinned the control you have isn't going to get much better so go for the reversal or the pin. It creates a whole different mind set. Wrestlers can force round pegs into square holes (more often) because you really only have 3 positions: neutral, par terre top, par terre bottom. You need fewer 'techniques' but you have to be very good at them.
This is why I would advocate gi training for anyone who wants to fight mma. Learning to control, and find weaknesses in control, staying relaxed in "bad" positions is very important. This is also why a lot of guys who have great jiu-jitsu need to wrestle more, to be more tenacious in scramble situations, to learn that without the grips of the gi, sometimes you can just 'force' a move to create a scramble. Sometimes a scramble is the best thing that can happen to you.
Again that's my opininon, and it may change as I improve. Anyone with any thoughts on the subject feel free to chime in.

the week of 8s: uppers:
4x6 at bw+45 (not 8s I know.. you and your logic can shut up)

worked up by 8s to 155 x8

Ohp/chins superset:
ohp bilateral dumbbell:
7 at bw


Monday, October 26, 2009

Thinking about stuff.

Couple things.. wholly unrelated.

Before this season on The Ultimate fighter, I couldn't stand Rashad Evans, and always liked 'Rampage' Jackson. Rashad always show-boated, and danced around, and Quentin just got down to the business of beating people up. After last week's TUF, I've completely changed my story. Evans is a great coach, he understood his weak points and brought in people smarter than him to help his guys. He picked experienced fighters, and picked guys based on performance rather than appearance. When they had good days he kept his guys focused, and when they had bad days he kept it in perspective... and well he's 5 and 0 and rolling. Rampage seemed to think it was all about him. Focusing on draw and face time than getting his guys ready, and when they lost he just walked away shaking his head.. and his guys keep losing. He's not working on making them better fighters, he's having them work on the things HE's no good at. Now that he's losing, he's just making fun of and bullying the fighters on the other team. He's a jerk. I still can't stand Rashad's fighting style, but I have a whole new respect for him.

A couple of people have approached me about a 'Push Present' for the wife. What a horrible term, and what a disgusting idea. It creates a huge divide between the mother and father, and it basically says "You (the mother) have the reproductive power, and I (the father) have the financial power. If you allow me to breed with you and bear my progeny I will give you a shiny bauble."
How patronizing, and how crappy does that make everyone feel. The wife is my partner, if she want's something shiny she goes and gets it. She wants this offspring as much as I do. The idea of payment for services rendered to my wife is kind of disgusting. Thankfully the wife agrees.

Mike Boyle has a great video out from his new DVD set (which I covet) about why not to squat. It's great, and I agree with a lot of what he says.. except: I still tell anyone who wants to add body mass to squat.
Also for certain populations.. One of Boyle's criticisms of the lift is that low back strength is a limiting factor, but dealing with rugby players (who spend a lot of time pushing loads across their shoulders, and rowers who are terrible at hip hinging under load, I want to bring up that limiting muscle group so that these athletes' low backs can stabilize a load in their sport.
No exercise is for everyone, and very few exercises are for no one.

Wrestling.. in high school, I was a pretty mediocre wrestler at best. We had a great high school program, but my high school coach sucked (we had a great Boy's Club program feeding my high school we won in spite of our coach, not because of.. I learned more about how not to coach from him than I learned about wrestling). While I won about as many as I lost, I could have been much better. My baby brother was a damn good high school wrestler. He had a great coach, and I learned a ton just by supporting chico (not his real name) when he was in little league and high school. He had moments where he was an absolute artist on the mat.
When I went to college a couple of the guys on the wrestling team talked me into coming to practices for a while, and I had a blast, learned a lot, and realized that the idea of dorm life and weight cutting were not mutually conducive. So I quit.
Now, I'm helping guys at the jiu-jitsu academy with their take downs. I have learned that I really do know a good bit about wrestling (at least on the feet). It's a good feeling taking what I'd always considered to be a weak point, and turn it into a strength.

Friday fun:
TGU left/TGU right, chin up

6x 1 minute pummel with others.

everyone else 4 rounds:
1 minute each of:
push prowler, pull rope
bw split squats
athlete's choice (unless you're competing, then you pummel with me)

Jitz, americana to arm bar. Cool set up, one that really fits into my game. Actually hit it in sparring that same day.
Couple guys came up from Tacoma to roll. I always feel weird asking people I don't know to roll. I'll roll with just about anyone, but I always feel weird asking. I'm usually bigger than they are, and I feel like a bully.. it's weird. I don't like it. I'll have to get over that eventually.

in the gym:
Hang cleans
worked up to 4x185

speed deads:
7x2 at 315 very fast.. felt good.


Friday, October 23, 2009


lifting last night:
TRX split squats:
worked up to 6 at bw+70

single leg dead lifts:
50 total reps per leg at 20kg kb.

working this weekend.. again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I've got a new attitude..

Good stuff, last night was good but sucked at class.. if that makes sense. My timing is off, and since I haven't rolled in almost 3 weeks, my specific fitness isn't there, but I'm back! and being back is fun.
new liftingness!
3 days a week:
day 1 upper
day 2 lower
day 3 dynamic

day 1a:
dumbbell bench
barbell row (using preacher curl bar because it's easier on my wrists and I get better ROM)
Dumbbell OHP

day 1b:
barbell row (same as above)
dumbbell OHP

day 2:
TRX split squats
1 leg kb deads
glute med work
all of the above will be 6 reps per week 1, 8 reps per week 2 and 10 reps per week 3.

Day 3:
cleans 3-5 sets of 3-5
speed deads 6x2-3

today was day 1:
dumbbell bench:
5 at 65*
5 at 75*
5 at 85*
then 6 at 95

5 at 115
5 at 135
5 at 155
6 at 175

5 at 45*
5 at 55*
6 at 65
*(all done 1 dumbbell at a time)

I'm doing this for a couple reasons:
to do something a little different, after 5 cycles of 5/3/1 I want to do a little more hypertrophy work, and give my cns a break.
I want to get in more flexibility and unilateral work that I sorely need.
I want to see how my body responds to some different training stimulus.
So the weights I've got here are going to stay the same, I'm just going to try to push the reps up every week until it's time to deload.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I've decided to completely deload from weight training this week.
Last night I taught class, all wrestling/takedown stuff very basic:
hand fighting, finishing a single from the mat, defending a single standing, and scoring from the sprawl. Lots of emphasis on head control, and pressure.

Here's a variation on the finish from the mat that I showed:

Today, I'm just going to stretch and foam roll.
Tomorrow is going to be prowler sprints and TGUs for me.. something insidious for everyone else.

Working again this weekend.. boo.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Working man blues

Friday was good: went to day class and rolled with a few folks.
Friday night:
10 burpees with weight vest
4 lenghts of the rope hand over hand
5x slosh pipe ohp.

Saturday: more class and rolling. Good fun. I am glad to be back at it.
Sunday I drove down to Portland to work on a move in our Portland office and ended up staying and working down there all day Monday. I stayed over with a good friend of mine and his girlfriend. The girlfriend is a PT and we had a great discussion about training, graston, SMR, and 100 other things.
Monday night I got home at a reasonable hour, but was just flat exhausted, so no training yesterday.
Today I'm going to do my last 5/3/1 workout of this cycle, then deload.
I'm going to take a month and do 3 weeks of higher volume unilateral training (lots of dumbbells) and then retest some of my lifts. I've been doing 5/3/1 for 6 months now (about) and I want a month or so to back off and reset.
More on that later.. till then


Thursday, October 8, 2009

stink stank stunk.

Crap training session today. I've been hitting pretty serious deadlift numbers of late (most recently 6 at 410) but today I barely eked out 2 at 435. I've been doing a lot of conditioning with kbs since I can't roll, and I went into this session a little sore (particularly upper back, and ham hocks) but not nearly enough to justify two stinkin reps.
oh well time to deload.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Still recovering from the ringworm debacle, I've ordered some anti-funk soap and wipes to use. I'll be reviewing them when they come in and I use them for a while.
I Should be back in class on Saturday. I've been training every day, and my shape is a little behind, but I'm doing my best to keep it up.
It's funny, I'm having to "do cardio" and It amazes me how the difficult machines (versaclimber , the ergometer, or the hand bike) are NEVER used, but you can't find an elliptical machine if you needed one to save your soul. More for me I guess.
On the gestation front, things seem to be progressing nicely. The wife is tired, but holding up. 11 weeks in and all is well.