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Old 12-18-2010, 04:15 PM   #1
Troy Becker
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Westside For Grapplers

So I was using my imagination last night and I got to thinking- wrestlers/BJJ guys/those types need to be really strong in the pulling directions. The normal old high rep lat work is what you see with power lifters, but why not have ME and DE days for pulling?

For instance: max effort days could involve working to a 1RM, 3RM, or even 5RM for a weighted chin (make sure to include your body weight). Remember that pic on the main site one day where a guy had some kind of harness or something with bands attached to his back to do pull-ups with band resistance? There's your dynamic effort day.

Just the same you can do dumbbell rows with a short band (elitefts has them- 12" long) attached. You could even do them balistically, like Louis does his bench a lot, dropping it as fast as you can then catching it a bit before the end of the movement, so to build reversal strength. (This might also be good for boxers- anyone who has shadow boxed knows how much the lats/bis/forarms/pulling stuff gets worked.)

You could also do the box squat/board press version of rows or chins by resting the weight on the ground, or your body, relaxing the arms, then pulling up as fast as possible.

And, perhaps isokinetic training would also be good on ME days. Anyone who has worked for a shoulder lock from the guard knows that it's good to be able to hold a large force tight to your body for a while.

Anyway, it seems to me that strengthening the upper body pulling muscles has been overlooked thus far. Maybe this is something to tinker with.

Input?
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:14 PM   #2
Chris Mason
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Re: Westside For Grapplers

Well, overlooked how?
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:09 PM   #3
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Westside For Grapplers

I think he means overlooked in that typically pulling movements have been done primarily as assistance work in the Westside Programs. If you're not a powerlifting and need absolute strength in other areas, would it be better to choose different exercises for the ME and DE days?

So if I'm a grappler, would it be better to do ME days with pulling movements and DE days with pulling movements?

If I'm competeing in strongman competitions, which rarely use the bench, should my ME days be more focused on the standing press and its variants?

If I'm competing for the CF games do I cycle in ME/DE with pulling movments/pressing movements/olympic movements etc?

I wonder what Louie has done with football players and olympic athletes? Does he stick close to a powerlifting model or really change the exercises?

-Bob
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:12 PM   #4
Troy Becker
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Re: Westside For Grapplers

Basically yea, not necessarily instead of pushing movements, why not both? I don't know, six days a week be a bit much, but if your bench/push/whatever days were cut a little short since you didn't do any lat work on those days, maybe you could afford to do some max effort weighted pull-ups or something, and some banded dumbbell rows 72 hours later.
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:41 PM   #5
Troy Becker
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Re: Westside For Grapplers

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
Well, overlooked how?
I just meant overlooked as in not considered much or talked about that I'm aware of because power lifters don't need the strongest row or pull-up, and most other sports guys don't either.
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:07 PM   #6
Troy Becker
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Re: Westside For Grapplers

Update-
I have some short mini bands from EFS that I was using for deads, and I have also found them perfect for doing speed work with dumbbell rows. I just slip one end around the DB and the other around the foot of the bench I have, which I support half my body on, and pull the row. I need to mess around with the weights used, but the length of the short band is perfect for the application.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:08 PM   #7
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Westside For Grapplers

I use the short bands for deads too. They are perfect. Using bands has really helped me understand how much momentum contributes to a lift without bands. You got to keep on pushing with the bands.

From a combat/grappler perspective it would seem that bands would apply force in a way more consistent with grappling. From my limited jiu-jitsu experience, when you are grappling the force from the opponent often seems more like that of an exercise with bands than the all or nothing strenght curves of some traditional lifts. I think that might be one of the reasons grapplers have such amazing pound for pound strength.
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:09 PM   #8
Chris Mason
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Re: Westside For Grapplers

You could certainly do ME work for pulling muscles, but I am not sure that is what you want for grappling. You would a combination of both explosive power and the ability to hold a hard contraction for a long period of time (a form of strength endurance). The explosive power would still be more from the posterior chain?
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Old 12-24-2010, 09:22 PM   #9
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Westside For Grapplers

To maximize the ability to hold long contractions, would it be wise to do isometrics? Or more of the repetition method?

Thanks
Bob
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:33 AM   #10
Troy Becker
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Re: Westside For Grapplers

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
You could certainly do ME work for pulling muscles, but I am not sure that is what you want for grappling. You would a combination of both explosive power and the ability to hold a hard contraction for a long period of time (a form of strength endurance). The explosive power would still be more from the posterior chain?
What I would want would be isokenetic strength/stamina (like you said, hold a contraction for a long time), and absolute strength. If I'm on my back and I grab a guy's head or neck or arm, I want to be able to yank it to me as hard as possible. THEN I want to be able to hold onto it and control it for a little while.

That's why I'm thinking DE work may be good, and ME work would be good if focusing on some really heavy pulling, perhaps with bands, and static holds for time.

But I'd love to hear what everyone else- especially our own WS guy- thinks.
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