I first got serious about physical conditioning when I got involved in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Sure, I’d lifted weights and done some running before that point, but there was just something about grappling that drove home how very important conditioning was. (more…)
How many people do you know who gained 10 lbs or more over a relatively short trip to an all-inclusive resort, or a week of Christmas celebration? The holiday bulge phenomenon is really, really common. And maybe you’ve even experienced it yourself… (more…)
I first truly realized how powerful drills can be about 15 years ago.
At that time I was I was teaching a self defense class. One of my students was of average size and strength with severely below-average punching power. (more…)
Today I’m going to tell you about one of the sillier ideas I’ve ever had…
About 10 years ago I got interested in functional training and sports specific exercises. I wanted to get away from the Pec Deck and do exercises that more closely mimicked the movements I was using on a daily basis in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, judo and wrestling. (more…)
In previously newsletters I’ve sung the praises of the pull-up. Grappling is much more about pulling than it is about pushing – using your arms to maintain the over and under grip in rearmount, tightening up the rear naked choke, bodylocking an opponent (more…)
Today I want to tackle a bit of newsletter housekeeping. A series of recent newsletters on conditioning have generated a lot of feedback, and more than a few questions.
Forget the work-life balance! Let’s talk about something much more important: the balance between mat time and conditioning.
I bring this up because one of the questions I get asked most frequently is about how to structure one’s training and conditioning for maximum benefit (more…)
Most of my text message communications to my friends are pretty short and mundane. Recently, however, I had a very interesting conversation with MMA fighter Denis Kang, partially over the phone but mostly using text messages. (more…)
If you are a longtime reader of this newsletter you know that I think very highly of running as a conditioning method. Long runs, sprints, hill runs – as you can see from the following articles I think that they are all great. (more…)
As is so often the case, Mark Twain said it best: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” This applies to dogs, grapplers, MMA fighters and jiu-jitsu players alike. (more…)
I think that grappling drills can serve an important function. Not everybody agrees with me about this: some people think that movement repetition outside the context of a resisting opponent is ‘dead’ training and a waste of time and energy. (more…)
When people think of conditioning they often imagine people doing cardio and strength training separately. In this paradigm you might run in the morning and then lift weights in the afternoon (more…)
In a previous tip I talked about how one often makes the fastest progress by working on one’s weakest area. An unfortunate fact is that when you have a break from training, intentional or otherwise, your weakest areas also regress and erode the fastest. (more…)
I’ve received lots of feedback about a previous tip discussing how some methods of neck conditioning can be problematical for some people.
Grapplearts newsletter reader Kevin shared his favorite method of neck training with us: (more…)
Neck bridging is an exercise that is unique to the grappling arts. It is also controversial.
Broadly speaking, there are two main ways of bridging: the backwards neck bridge (belly to the sky) or a forwards neck bridge (where you are belly-down to the mat). (more…)
A Grapplearts reader writes:
Q: “If you only had time for one cardio excercise which would you choose: swimming or running?”
A: Swimming and running are both awesome exercises, and both have their pros and cons. (more…)
A reader writes:
Q: I was wondering if you had any tips/techniques/ideas/routines for anaerobic conditioning drills?
A: Yes I have some suggestions for you… (more…)
I have a love-hate relationship with running stairs. Today it hurts to sit down and it hurts to stand up. I limp around slowly, but still feel a bit smug about having had a great workout three days ago.
Whenever I read an interview with a fighter there is usually a question that goes something like “what do you do for conditioning?” Too often the fighter says something like: “I run, I swim, and I lift weights” (more…)
I have always loved running at nightfall. Tonight I slipped out of the house at 9:30 pm, and ran for 40 minutes, thinking mainly about two things. (more…)