This morning I was suddenly inspired to post a workout I like to call “Strong Medicine.”
This is my favorite way to structure a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practice. If you’ve been at Training Grounds for a while, you’ve probably done at least one variation of this workout. Try to perform this once every other week to begin, and work up to higher frequency. Doing this workout one-to-two times per week will be adequate. Any more than that and you begin to cut time away from other important aspects of training.
The purpose of this workout is three-fold.
1) Push the Body
2) Push the Mind
3) Practice Good Technique Under Fatigue
As with any medicine, too little will not work and too much will poison you. I find that this workout hits the perfect balance. It’s physically difficult and psychologically challenging, but does not beat up the body too much. That said, I want to be clear, this is not an every day workout.
Now, without further ado. Here’s the workout:
5 Minute Round of Drilling with a partner.
Total Time: 10 min
(each person gets a round to drill a technique of their choice)
Part 1 – Sprint Rounds:
2 x 3 min rounds
Switch partners within group
2 x 3 min rounds
Rest: 3 min between each round (while the other group goes); 3 min EXTRA rest before Part 2
Total Time: 24 min
Notes: Split the class into 2 groups (a&b). Have members of each group partner up with someone within their group. Group A goes first. Then Group B goes. Group A rests during Group B’s rounds and vice versa.
The purpose of Part 1 is to burn off all your cardio. As such, the pace for these rounds is set at 95-100% — competition speed. A good rule of thumb is to try and use all your energy within the first 3 minute round.
The rest is set at a 1:1 (3min rest for every 3 min’s of work) so you have ample time to recover before the next round.
The biggest challenge of part 1 is actually “selling out” and giving it your all. You will be tempted to pace yourself and conserve your energy — don’t. That’s not the point of this part of the workout
Part 2 – Pacing Rounds
Competition: 6 x 6 min rounds. (90 sec rest between rounds)
Recreational: 4 x 6 min rounds. (90 sec rest between rounds)
Beginner: 2 x 6 min rounds. (90 sec rest between rounds)
Notes: Switch partners between each round. Pace yourself and maintain good technique through the rest of the workout.
While Part 1 was focused on going “balls to the wall” and emptying your gas tank, the purpose of Part 2 is simply to make it through the rest of the workout.
Hint: find a pace that you feel comfortable maintaining for the rest of the workout and keep that pace. It doesn’t matter if you’re moving slow or if you “lose.” Just keep using good technique and DON’T STOP.
The two hardest parts of Part 2 are finishing the workout and maintaining the good technique. Because of the fatigue, your body will not respond the way you are used to and technique will begin to deteriorate. Focus on keeping your movements smooth and technical.
You will be close to exhaustion after Part 1, so it is a real mental battle to keep going during these later rounds. Drink plenty of water between rounds, control your breaking, and dig deep. This is where you will develop mental toughness.
As I emphasized throughout the post, this is a tough workout. It is designed to push you to your limits and make the little negative voice inside you sing. Don’t listen to it! Push through the rounds and realize that you have more in you than you think. Have fun 🙂