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Old 07-02-2009, 06:27 AM   #1
Gabriel Goodwin
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Mixing CFSB and bjj/mma?

I posted this in the fitness forum, and didn't get any response, so I thought I'd give it a shot here.

I followed the CFSB programming for about a month, but recently started taking jiu-jitsu and MMA classes. I read the previous post in this thread regarding mixing CFSB with bjj training, but my situation is a little different. I have bjj on Mondays and Wednesdays, and MMA on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The bjj days are much more taxing; we have an intense calisthenics circuit warmup, then learn technique for a little over an hour, then roll for the rest of the two hour session. The MMA days are mostly technique and some sparring, with a little bit of metcon.

My question is, what is the best way to combine CFSB with my bjj/MMA training so that I can continue to gain strength without substantially diminishing my metcon ability? My numbers have gone up in all the lifts, and I would love to keep that going. Also, from a purely aesthetic point of view, I don't want to lose body mass, in fact I would like to gain about ten pounds. I'm currently 6'2" 190lbs. Are these goals combatible? Right now, I am doing the strength lifts in the CFSB programming without the metcons, as I feel that would be too much to recover from during my first week of bjj/mma training.
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:49 AM   #2
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: Mixing CFSB and bjj/mma?

Without the metcons, it's not really CFSB - it's just strength training. But it is compatible with your goals. The BJJ/MMA training will give you a sport-specific metcon each time you workout, so if you have to choose one over the other (and I think that for the time being you should), I would choose the strength training portion over the metcons, especially given that you want to gain weight.
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:59 AM   #3
Gabriel Goodwin
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Re: Mixing CFSB and bjj/mma?

Thanks Andrew. Do you think I should increase the volume of my strength training since I won't be doing the CFSB metcons? Or, should I continue doing one lift a day, similar to CFSB, like:

Mon- Back Squat ME
Tues- Deadlift ME/Hi Rep
Weds- Bench Press ME/Hi Rep
Thurs- Front Squat ME
Back Squat Hi Rep
Fri- Shoulder Press ME/Hi Rep

Maybe rest on Weds instead? What do you think? Is my metcon gonna go straight down the sh*tter?
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:22 AM   #4
Oliver Gould
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Re: Mixing CFSB and bjj/mma?

I think your should ditch the CFSB template for this kind of thing. The "high rep" part of CFSB is basically crossfit-specific training to get used to high reps with a little more weight. Look at practical programming or a decent strength progression and do it 2-3 days a week, 2-3 lifts per session. Ideally you would do the BJJ workout in the morning and lift later in the day, but if that's not possible just make sure the strength work isn't interfering with your real workouts. If I were you I would do front squats, deadlifts and push presses, but choose your lifts with your weaknesses in mind. Good luck with your training schedule, looks tough but fun.

PS- if you're thinking "form follows function" and training all this MA stuff because you want to "look like a fighter," I'll tell you right now it's not the best idea. BJJ particularly is a big commitment that's hard to sustain if you're just doing it for abz.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:50 AM   #5
Gabriel Goodwin
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Re: Mixing CFSB and bjj/mma?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver Gould View Post
I think your should ditch the CFSB template for this kind of thing. The "high rep" part of CFSB is basically crossfit-specific training to get used to high reps with a little more weight. Look at practical programming or a decent strength progression and do it 2-3 days a week, 2-3 lifts per session. Ideally you would do the BJJ workout in the morning and lift later in the day, but if that's not possible just make sure the strength work isn't interfering with your real workouts. If I were you I would do front squats, deadlifts and push presses, but choose your lifts with your weaknesses in mind. Good luck with your training schedule, looks tough but fun.

PS- if you're thinking "form follows function" and training all this MA stuff because you want to "look like a fighter," I'll tell you right now it's not the best idea. BJJ particularly is a big commitment that's hard to sustain if you're just doing it for abz.
Thanks for the reply, but I am starting to training bjj because I have a legitimate interest in it, and from what I have experienced so far, I enjoy it. I'm not killing myself by rolling five days a week just to "look like a fighter". Why would you assume that?
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:21 AM   #6
Gabriel Goodwin
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Re: Mixing CFSB and bjj/mma?

I have been looking into some of the protocol in practical programming, and I think the Texas Method would be the best strength program for my situation. As you said, Oliver, it is 3 days a week, 3 exercises per workout, except for Wednesday which has 4 exercises. Any thoughts?
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:28 PM   #7
Oliver Gould
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Re: Mixing CFSB and bjj/mma?

Quote:
Why would you assume that?
I've just met my share of people who see the MMA guys on TV and decide they want to live the "fighter lifestyle" because all those dudes are ripped. Props for getting into BJJ, it's an incredible sport, especially if you can find a good club/good friends to train with. Certainly no offense intended.

For the Texas method, there are a couple things to consider. First, it's an intermediate program, so you might make better progress on a beginner program depending on how much you've developed your strength. If you're getting into the intermediate area, Texas method is awesome, at least I've had a good experience with it. The only thing I'd caution you about is the Monday workout in relation to your recovery. After 5 working sets of squats at >300 you won't want to move for the rest of the day, much less roll. Tuesday can be pretty fatigued also. In that regard it's a tough program to mix with a full week for training, you feel beat down and weak at the beginning of the week, fresh and strong towards the end.

If I were you, I'd lift 3 times a week and focus on a couple major movements, probably back squat, bench press and some type of pull-up/row to develop upper back strength. The goal would be to make linear progress on those lifts for as long as possible, and try to improve them with focused work on weak points rather than weekly periodization once you get stuck. Remember, the gym work is a supplement for your MA training. Especially early in your BJJ career, strength isn't the most important thing. Being stronger than everyone else on the mat can detract from your technique.

I can't give you much more advice on mixing MA and strength training because a big part of it is knowing your own tolerance for stress. If you have a rough session, either in the gym or on the mat, you need to be able to tell the difference between a bad day/hangover and overreaching, which is something you have to teach yourself over time. Whatever you do, remember to phase in additional work gradually to allow your recovery capacity to catch up. Good luck!
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Old 07-04-2009, 08:00 AM   #8
Jeffrey Crawford
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Re: Mixing CFSB and bjj/mma?

Been training BJJ over 7 years and have had much more success using the main page wod over strict strength training. You have to decide if your goal is to get stronger or be better on the mat. I believe that main page is better for preparing you for the varying situations that will occur on the mat than a dedicated strength program. Just my .02 cents. I have just now started to do the crossfitfootball wod, and it is a beast of a workout and will mos def effect my rolling but right now I am more concerned with getting stronger. Again, your goals should dictate your final decision, Hope this helps
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Old 07-05-2009, 09:19 AM   #9
Gabriel Goodwin
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Re: Mixing CFSB and bjj/mma?

Just to clarify, all of my lifts are in between intermediate and advanced. My goals are to get stronger while not detracting from my ability to improve on the mat. I am going to start the texas method and see how it goes. If it is just too much to recover from, I will back it down to three major lifts three times a week- the ones I need to work on most.
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Old 07-06-2009, 10:48 AM   #10
David Nittler
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Re: Mixing CFSB and bjj/mma?

I started crossfitting about four months ago right after i started training MMA (we do alot of rolling). Far and away, the most important thing that crossfit has helped me with is the metcon stuff.

BJJ is not a game of strength, it's more a game of stamina and skill. Helio Gracie is a good example of this, he was just a wee little man. Look at what Royce did against people much stronger and bigger than himself.

If I were in your shoes I would be doing main site WODs (appropriately scaled ala Jeff over at BrandX).

I don't know you, but I can almost promise you that "gassing out" is going to be your limiting factor in a match or session. It's not like an additional 5% more strength is going to help you to snap in a triangle choke or to hold rubber guard. The game you are playing is a skill game, not a brute strength game.

Metcon is where is is at, and mainsite WODs delivers punches in bunches of Metcaon while also giving you ample lifts to increase strength.

Plus, focusing on strength heavily has the nastsy side affect of adding slow twitch muscle fibers (not really what a fighter needs) and will (generally) reduce overall flexibility.

EDIT: Of course, if your goal is to add stregth, just because, then disregard my comments, because I was initially under the impression that you are doing CFSB to help your BJJ. After a second read, it looks like you have two somewhat unrelated interests (gaining strength and also BJJ).

Last edited by David Nittler : 07-06-2009 at 10:51 AM.
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