Month 1

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April 2, 2020

Month 1

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April 2, 2020

Month 1 Background 

If you are an alumni of Jiu Jitsu Strength or my individual programs, youll have noticed that I am a fan of 3 exercise circuits that tend to isolate 1-2 muscles, done in succession. For many years, I had done these AFTER the priority lifts,with the impetus being on accessory work and them being movements to help with weaknesses you may have. However, at the 2019 Arnold Classic, I had my mind completely turned over on the subject by Matt Wenning after spending a few hours at his gym with him and his coaches. There I learned about Wenning Warm-Ups,which are 3 exercises chosen to potentiate your main movement on the day. Instead of trying to toil in the typical 8-12 rep range, he advocates 25 repetitions for 4 sets total of each, with the entire circuit aimed to be completed in under 12 minutes.  

In addition to driving GPP, muscular endurance, and enhancing your fitness, what this essentially does is pre-fatigue your muscles. In other words, youre already quite worked outby the time you get to the main lift. At first, this may mean you feel a bit weaker, and your performance may be affected. However, over time as your fitness and strength increases, this is less of a concern, and eventually a very positive adaptation. Jiu jitsu is a sport where youll need to call upon your strength while under some amount of fatigue. This is not a barbell sport where you do a rep and rest, so you can see the benefit for jiu jitsu here. 

After experimenting heavily with the style on myself and with my athletes, I can attest to enormous success with the concept. My own back grew noticeably wider from an additional ~200 reps of Lat work per week, as well as the Rear Delt emphasis on upper body days, but more importantly, it got many athletes and grapplers out of shoulder and back pain from the additional, dedicated strength work at rep ranges that are really friendly to the upper back. It just so happens to also prep you for benching, squatting, pulling or whatever it is we are doing that day.  

In Month 1, your A series will always be a Wenning Warm Up / Pre-Fatigue style circuit to potentiate the main movement you are doing that day.  

Competition Prep vs. General Use of this Program

If you’re using this program without any competition on the horizon, or do not intend to compete
at all, I suggest you perform this program exactly as written. It is an ideal “off-season” or
program.

If you are planning to compete and use this as part of your preparation:

Upon arriving at Month 3, you have some choices to make. Firstly, if your training frequency on
the mats increased drastically, you might want to consider eliminating additional accessory work
(anything in the C series on this program) starting in Month 3.

If you know you’ll be training in excess of 3 more jiu jitsu sessions per week (from your normal
amount of time on the mats), you may even want to shave a set off the A-series as well (doing
only 3 rounds through the circuit instead of 4). The reason for this is that you’re increasing your
volume/total amount of training on the mats, as well as in the weight room, and we don’t want
you to over-train.

However, under no circumstances should you cut the B-exercises (ie: the big lifts), as we want
to keep your intensity/load high to maintain your strength while you train and possibly cut
weight.

By cutting out exercises that we train sub-maximally and have less immediate pay-off, we
lighten the overall training load on you a bit. In turn, you are decreasing your volume in the
weight room in order to allow you to increase your volume of training on the mats (which is a
good thing). At the same time, we keep the strength peaking and building by having you
concentrate on the biggest drivers of overall strength.

 

Month 1: Weeks 1 and 2
Upper Body Training Day #1
Perform the A series as a circuit (Starting with A1, then A2, A3, repeat). Make sure the weight
isn’t too heavy and concentrate on the movement. If you’re familiar with the RPE scale, it should
never exceed a 5. Aim to complete all circuits in 12-15 minutes or less.
A1) Lat Pullldown 4×25, Tempo 2010, No Rest
Notes: Choose any vertical pulling exercise available to you besides Pull Ups if no Lat Pulldown
is available
A2) Triceps Rope Pushdowns 4×25, Tempo 2111, No Rest

A3) Chest Supported Rear Delt Flies, 4×25, Tempo 2011, Rest as needed before repeating.

For the B & C Series: You may take up to 2-3 light warm-up sets before counting the actual
written sets (i.e. the 3×5)
B) Bench Press 3×5, Tempo 2010, Rest 1-2 mins between sets
Notes: Choose between a Straight Bar or Football/Multi Grip Bar
C) Weighted Chin/Pull Ups 3×6-8, Tempo 3010, Rest 1-2 mins between sets.

Perform the D series as a circuit (D1, D2, D1, D2, etc), minding the rest times between
exercises. You may modify tempos here to address weak points in the lifts or your
overall strength.
D1) DB Skull Crushers, 3×10-12, Tempo 3010, Rest 1 min
D2) Choice of Upper Body Posterior Exercise*, 3×10-12, Tempo 2010, Rest 1 min
Notes: *You may choose either: Rear Delt Flies (DB, Machine, or any variation), Face Pulls
(Cable or Banded).

Lower Body Training Day #1
Perform the A series as a circuit (Starting with A1, then A2, A3, repeat). Make sure the weight
isn’t too heavy and concentrate on the movement. If you’re familiar with the RPE scale, it should
never exceed a 5. Aim to complete all circuits in 12-15 minutes or less.
A1) Front Foot Elevated Split Squats, 4×12 each leg, Tempo 2010, No Rest
A2) Goblet Squat, 4×25, Tempo 2010, No Rest
Notes: Single Kettlebell Front Rack Squat or Double Kettlebell Front Rack Squat
A3) Choice of: Prone Hamstring Curl, Banded Hamstring Curls, Bridge and Curl (with
Sliders), 4×25, Tempo 2010, Rest as needed before repeating

For the B & C Series: You may take up to 2-3 light warm-up sets before counting the actual
written sets (i.e. the 3×5)

B1) Back Squat, 3×5, Tempo 3010, Rest 2 mins
Notes: You may use any of the following bars to perform: Straight/Standard Barbell, Safety
Squat Bar, or a Cambered Bar

C1) Romanian Deadlifts 3×8-10 Tempo 3010, Rest 2 mins
The 10th rep should be hard; do not sandbag yourself here.

Perform the D series as a circuit (D1, then D2; back to D1, D2, etc). Vary your D2 exercise
every session. We have provided you with a list to choose from. Please see the Exercise
Library for more information on how to perform each of these.

D1) Hamstring Exercise*, 3×8-10, Tempo 4010, Rest 1 before D2
Note: Choose from, Hip Thrusts, Kettlebell Swings, additional sets of Prone Hamstring Curls on
a Machine, Standing Hamstring Curls, etc.
D2) Lower Accessory Choice, 3×8-10, Tempo 4010, Rest 2 mins before repeating.
Note: Choose from; Glute Ham Raises, GHD Back Extensions, Nordic Curls, Sled Drags (No
Tempo on these, load up the sled to 2x bodyweight and pull facing the sled for 10-15 yards per
set)

 

 

Month 1: Weeks 3 and 4
Upper Body Training Day #2
Perform the A series as a circuit (Starting with A1, then A2, A3, repeat). Make sure the weight
isn’t too heavy and concentrate on the movement. If you’re familiar with the RPE scale, it should
never exceed a 5. Aim to complete all circuits in 12-15 minutes or less.
A1) Lat Pullldown 4×25, Tempo 2010, No Rest
Notes: Use a different attachment, grip or variation of the Lat Pulldown than you previously had
in Weeks 1 & 2. You may also choose any vertical pulling exercise available to you besides Pull
Ups if no Lat Pulldown is available
A2) Triceps Rope Pushdowns 4×25, Tempo 2111, No Rest
A3) Chest Supported Rear Delt Flies, 4×25, Tempo 2011, Rest as needed before repeating.

For the B & C Series: Notice the change in exercise order an emphasis.
You may take up to 2-3 light warm-up sets before counting the actual written sets (i.e. the 3×5)
B) Weighted Chin Ups 4×5, Tempo 4010, Rest 2 mins before repeating
Notes: Please note the decrease in reps and increase in tempo on this set. This means you
should be increasing the load/weight you are using while performing the chin-up, while also
going a whole second slower on the eccentric portion.
C) Bench Press (new variation)*, Tempo 3010, Rest 2 mins before repeating
Notes: If available, switch to a Multi-Grip Bar these next two training sessions. If that’s not
available, use a standard barbell and choose between a Close Grip Bench Press, or a Floor
Press.
Perform the D series as a circuit (D1, then D2; back to D1, D2, etc). Vary your D2 exercise
every session. We have provided you with a list to choose from. Please see the Exercise
Library for more information on how to perform each of these.
D1) DB Skull Crushers, 3×10-12, Tempo 3010, Rest 1 min

D2) Choice of Upper Body Posterior Accessory Exercise*, 3×10-12, Tempo 2010, Rest 1
min
Notes: *You may choose either: Rear Delt Flies (DB, Machine, or any variation), Face Pulls
(Cable or Banded).

Lower Body Training Day #2
Perform the A series as a circuit (Starting with A1, then A2, A3, repeat). Make sure the weight
isn’t too heavy and concentrate on the movement. If you’re familiar with the RPE scale, it should
never exceed a 5. Aim to complete all circuits in 12-15 minutes or less.
A1) Front Foot Elevated Split Squats, 4×12 ea leg, Tempo 2010, No rest
A2), Choice of Squat Variation, 4×15-20
Notes: Choice of Goblet Squat, Single Kettlebell Front Rack Squat, Double Kettlebell Front
Rack Squat, or Bodyweight Squat
A3) Hamstring Choice*, 4×15, Tempo 2010, No Rest.
Notes: Choice of Prone Hamstring Curl, Standing Hamstring Curl Machine, Sliders on the
ground.
For the B & C Exercises: use a few warm up sets that will not count towards the 3×5. The final
3 sets should be difficult (80-85% of your perceived or actual 1RM)
B) Deadlift, 3×5, Tempo 2010, Rest 2-3 minutes if needed between sets.

C) Paused Squats, 3×4-6, Tempo 3310 (ie: Pause for 3 seconds at the bottom of the squat
without losing tension), Rest 2 mins between sets.
Notes: You may choose to do this with Front or Back Squats. If you choose to use a Back
Squat, choose between use of a Straight Bar, Safety Squat Bar, Buffalo Bar or Cambered Bar.

DELOAD ON WEEK 5
Take your previous week’s upper/lower days, and repeat them this week, but use half the sets
on every exercise. This workout should take you half as long as the training normally does.
If you’re feeling like you need some more relief, perform only the A and B Series Exercises for
half sets, and skip the rest of the exercises (C & D section).

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