Why I'm Training Like A (Strikeforce) Girl

I had a great conditioning workout today, motivated by two entirely different things.

The first thing firing me up was watching a Christiane Cyborg conditioning session on Youtube. She was preparing for her recent fight in Strikeforce against Gina Carano. Love her or hate her, Ithink you’ll agree that she’s incredibly fit!

The second reason was that I’ve recently had less mat time than I would like (that’s because I’ve been working day and night on a brand new, top secret, grappling-related project). It’s ironic that when I’m focusing on creating material to help other people with their grappling, then I get too busy to concentrate on my own training…

But I know that soon I’ll be able to start training a lot more, and I don’t want to be completely out of shape when that happens! That’s why, whenever I’m grappling less often than my normal routine, then I try to do some additional conditioning to
compensate.

Anyway, here was today’s workout:

I started out with a brief jog, and then did four circuits of the following Cyborg-inspired exercises:

  • Tractor Tire Flips x 10 (this sucker weighs at least 300 lbs)
  • Plyo jumps up and down onto the tire x 10
  • Bodyweight squats x 20
  • Sledgehammer swings (hitting the tire) x 20
  • Brief rest to catch my breath

Next came some aerobic work: 20 minutes on the Stairmaster, on a fairly constant ‘rolling hills’ setting.

This was followed by one warmup set and three working sets of the bench press

Next I knelt down in front of the cable machine, and did 20 kneeling one-handed cable pulldowns (2 sets per arm). This roughly resembles the motion of a one-armed chinup, but is a lot easier than that elite-level exercise.

Coming close to the end of the workout, I picked up some dumbells and did two sets of curl-and-press movements.

At the end of most of my workouts I usually do some abdominal, lower back and neck strengthening. Today was no different, so I did one set (not to failure) of each of the following exercises:

  • Back hyperextensions
  • Abdominal crunches
  • Neck harness work

As you can see, this was a hybrid between functional sports training, and more traditional weightlifting or bodybuilding style exercises.

Whenever I post something like this I usually get emails from people honestly trying to help me and concerned that I’m doing everything wrong… Either my workouts are “too long”, or “too short,” or have too much aerobic endurance stuff, or I need to do more sprints, or I need to add Olympic lifting or start doing isometric holds…

Am I doing the 100% optimal workout for grappling? Honestly, everybody has an opinion but nobody knows for sure.

My mantra when it comes to conditioning is that doing something is better than doing nothing!

So was this workout session better than sitting on my duff, watching TV and eating potato chips?

You bet!

Until next time…

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