Monday, June 13, 2011

"It's Just a Silly Phase I'm Going Through ..."

I'm not calling it the first day of my Eight Weeks Out because I'm officially retired from competition. But if competing isn't contagious, training to compete certainly is. So here's to the first day of the rest of my training-but-not-competing camp.

Monday AM Conditioning
Cardiac Output
Completed as an aerobic circuit consisting of:
400m at moderate pace
Berardi round
400m at moderate pace
matwork round
1/2 guard drill (3 rounds)
3 abswork rounds
3 guard pass lateral rounds

Took about 45 minutes or so total. Ending HR was 39 (approx. 156), settling down to 29 (approx. 116) after a minute's rest.

It's not an ideal cardiac output workout insofar as the intensities vary a bit. I should probably finish off with another 400m or the 360 drill to help moderate the intensity some. But at least this provides a benchmark to test against and a model to build from.

The goal with cardiac output training is to condition the heart, mostly by increasing the amount of blood the heart can pump on any given contraction through eccentric cardiac hypertrophy.

In other words, I'm looking to make my heart a little bigger, rather than just making the walls of my heart tougher and stronger (there's a metaphor for you ...).

One thing I really want to nail down is how to build an ideal conditioning program for jiu-jitsu. There is a lot that has just been "handed down", a lot that is borrowed from other combat sports like boxing, wrestling and MMA.

But there are some unique aspects of jiu-jitsu training (particularly training for competition), and I don't think anyone has ever really addressed the specific and unique needs of the jiu-jitsu competitor. I wouldn't mind contributing something to that as yet far from finished library.

As just one example, I'm less impressed by the emphasis on explosive power in jiu-jitsu - especially gi jiu-jitsu - than I am by power endurance (think of the difference between running a 100m and a 400m, or the difference between the amount of pullups you can do in 10 seconds and the amount of pullups you can do until failure.)

Right now, the goal is to rebuild my cardio base through cardiac output work, tempo training and HICT (high intensity continuous training) over the next four weeks. After that, I'll add in explosive-repeat and threshold training to focus on the power endurance end of the training program.

You can read about all of these conditioning techniques in the great book by Pacific Northwest area trainer, Joel Jamieson, Ultimate MMA Conditioning.