The focus is still on strength this far out from the tournament.  I’m now drifting in to power aerobic work on my cardio days.  Expect some long-slow-distance bashing to come very soon.  Aerobic Power work is doen usually in the 3-minute round range and holds you at a moderately high HR.  I try to stay at 165-175 for my work.

The lifting is enjoyable right now.  I feel myself getting stronger.  I lift once a week with another trainer, Steve Malok.  He’s bigger and stronger than me, so I’m always pushing to try and match him on every exercise we do.  I’m good on deadlifts and 1 leg, straight leg Deadlifts, but that’s about it for now.  Steve on the other hand, doesn’t want to let me beat him at anything, so it’s a good friendly rivalry we have going when we train.  Steve also specializes in working with athletes and has a keen eye for clean technique.  If you have a young athlete in the Oak Park area looking to excel in football, Steve is the best possible trainer you could hire.  You can reach him at

The workout below I did on my own a few days back.  I think I could take Steve in this one, so it may come around again.  As always, you must first move well.  Then you can move fast, strong, and often.  If you haven’t tried some of the exercises in this workout before, add them at the end of your own workouts and work on improving your technique.  Once confident, run free with this bad-boy:

Foam Rolling, Corrective Exercies, Dynamic Warm-up - 20 min.

A1 - Overhead Squat 4 sets of 6 repetitions (4x6)

B1 - TRX sled pulls (1 length of basketball court) @ 190 lbs (stack of 4 45 lb. plates)

B2 - 5 handstand push-ups, toes against wall

*Do B1 & B2 as many times as possible in 10 min.  Record number of rounds.

C1 - Sprawl to DL 3x20 

C2 - Pilates Ring Guard Squeeze 3x10 w/feet on ground, 10 w/ feet in air

D1 - TRX chest flye 3x10

D2 - Tornado Ball Wall Slams 3x10/side

E1 - McGill Sit-up hold 2x60 sec.

E2 - Dips 2x10

F1 - Jump Rope - double unders - 2 minutes.

The main thing to not lose sight of is that my main focus is getting to jiu-jitsu practice as much as I can.  My fitness level doesn’t matter if I don’t have good technique.  Many grapplers forget this as they build up to a tournament.  Get in your hours on the mat above all else.  Your strength and conditioning training should complement that.  It shouldn’t be a drain on your body.  This session was coupled with cardio later in the day.  I wasn’t able to make it to the mats that day, otherwise, I wouldn’t have doubled up.  Tonight, I’m rolling at no-gi class for a few hours, so I’m just doing some light-duty work today.

Never follow someone else’s training model to a T.  Take the principles they use and apply them to your own life, your own training.

See you on the mats.