View Full Version : MMA training log.

Adam Brammer
11-08-2005, 01:24 AM
I am coming off a very long layoff from weight training. Working manual labor & lifting weights wasn't happening. I managed to muster enough strength to begin training in brazilian jiu jitsu. However this lead to severe elbow tendonitis in both elbows. Now as I am beginning to train for mma more, I feel both my strength/explosiveness and cardio are signifigantly below where they need to be.
I have just finished a 2 week acclimation period that was basically the same routine I'm doing now, but reps in the 15-20 range, and more excercises. This was to get used to lactic acid, and to get my joints used to the stress.

My current routine is
Wide Grip Pulldowns
Hanging Leg raises
Oblique machine

Military Press
Bent Over Rows
Cable Punches (on the pulley machine)
Hip Flexor Machine

I try and do neck bridges every once in a while and will probably end up doing some resistance band work during the week.

Today I performed
6 minutes fast run on the elliptical
Wide Grip Pulldowns 145*10 185*5 205*5 185*5
Squats 135*10 205*3 *3 *3 *4
Dumbell Bench 50*10 55*10 65*8 75*3
Machine Shrugs 275*13 295*10 *10
Oblique machine 55*5 95*5 *5

179 (at the gym)
186 (at home)

I was happy with the Pulldowns. That's a reasonable weight for now. The squats were terrible. I use a wide stance and go as low as flexibility allows, which is about an inch below parrallel. But they will go up quick. 75 pounds on the bench was hard. I did machine shrugs on the calf machine because my grip is fried right now. My performance on the oblique machine I was particularly happy with, because 95 is 2/3 s of the stack, and I probably could have gone another 3 or 4 reps.

Afterwards I did muay thai for 2 hours at my new gym.
Class was good. Even though it was my first real muay thai class they assumed I had pro fights, which was kinda funny. I have drilled a lot of technique on my own and it's nice to know that it shows. There are other southpaws there so hopefully they'll have a lot of good techs to use against orthodox fighters.

11-08-2005, 08:34 AM
Good deal seein somebody else in here that trains/has trained BJJ. Good luck with everything man, though I gotta ask two things. Why only a two day split, and also how in the world did you develop tendonitis in both elbows from BJJ?

11-08-2005, 08:49 AM
I wish there were BJJ and MT clubs around here. :(

My bicep tendons get sore every once in awhile (very sore ever since the comp on saturday) because of all the push/pull/gripping that goes on.

Adam Brammer
11-08-2005, 11:46 AM
Chubrock:This is my first two day split. I decided on one because A: I feel my other training will go better if I am not sore all week and B: I do all the excercises in a circuit with no rest between. This is to more simulate an MMA fight, where every muscle in your body is basically being used all the time. In the beginning, this was a three day split, with another full body workout (lunges/dips/dbrows) but I think that's too much for me to recover from with grappling, muay thai, and my cardio.
To answer your second question: I assume from all grippling/pulling like Anthony said. I was also doing manual labor full time then so I relied on arm and back strength all day.

Anthony: There may be some clubs that you don't know about. The guys who I am training with just pull some mats into the aerobics room at a Golds Gym after hours. I wouldn't have ever knowm about it if I hadn't overheard one of the guys talking about it while lifting weights.

Adam Brammer
11-09-2005, 08:29 PM
Tried a kenpo class today. I didn't like it very much, however. Everything about my personal style that makes it mine goes directly against kenpo doctrine. They also focused completely on self defense, and no sparring. Fortunately I at least got a good workout from all the kicking. Afterwards I did cardio on the treadmill

5 minutes at 5mph
2 min at 6mph
1 min at 7mph
1 min at 8mph
1 min at 9mph
1 min at 10mph
5 min at 5mph
all at the highest incline setting.

This was more than enough for the time being, because I had just enough time to stretch out before muay thai class. My hip flexors were really killing me.

I am thinking about fighting in febuary. Maybe kickboxing, maybe MMA. We'll see how my game progresses.

11-09-2005, 08:34 PM
Do you have any instructional time from an instructor, or is what you know stuff you've trained/read/seen with your buddies?

Adam Brammer
11-09-2005, 08:48 PM
I am training under 2 different instructors, one for mma, one for muay thai, but I train a lot of stuff from instructionals dvds and books as well.

11-09-2005, 08:52 PM
I'll be honest, don't rely too much on what you read in instructionals and such. They may be ok to look at every now and then, but if you're serious about fighting, you really need to be getting almost if not all instructional from a qualified instructor. Also, if you haven't already, you need to go back to some kind of grappling, either BJJ, Judo, Sambo, Catch Wrestling. Something that's gonna teach you to handle yourself on the ground. All the standup in the world doesn't do you any good if you can't handle yourself on the ground.

Adam Brammer
11-09-2005, 09:14 PM
I use unorthodox subs and sweeps I pulled from instructionals all the time when I roll. But I do know what you mean, and I've trained months under a Royce Gracie BB. The reason I'm focusing so much on striking is I never had the opportunity to train it before and I'm trying to round myself out. I don't even consider myself very good on the ground, but my subs are light years ahead of my striking (for now).

Adam Brammer
11-10-2005, 03:58 PM
For some reason, my left knee was hurting badly today. Because of this, I decided not to deadlift and instead opted for machine back extentions. I felt like my whole posterior chain got a lot out of it so, it wasn't a complete waste of effort.

DB Military Press 40*15 55*10 65*5, 6, 5
Back Extentions 100*15 120*15, 15, 15
HS Iso Low Row 180*10 250*5, 5, 5 180*9
Machine Crunches 120*8, 8, 8, 150*5
Shrugs 225*10 295*5 (bad grip) 295*10 225*10

Then I bull****ted around with some neck bridges, light delt work, flys, and forearms.

Felt strong today, was looking forward to the deadlift. I tossed in shrugs because I love shrugging and having big traps. My grip was dissapointing though. The bar I used was very smooth, but that's no excuse for not being able to hold on to 300lbs. Maybe I should begin doing some specific grip training.

11-10-2005, 05:31 PM
i'll be looking forward to where your training takes you, as i'm going to start to train in muai thai, and bjj if i can find a gym around here, eventually.

gonna be a bit because of financial situations and just getting married, but it'll come. if you fight, make sure to get video and post it up!!! good luck,


Adam Brammer
11-14-2005, 11:22 PM
Felt strong today, but I think my weight is dropping. My grappling class canceled so I put in extra hours at muay thai.

Dumbell BP: 45*10 55*10 65*5 75*5 85*5
Squats: 135*10, 10 205* 5 *5 *4
Lat Pulldown:150*10 185*5 *5 *5 205*5 *5
Oblique machine 100*5 *5 80*10
Machine Calf press 295*12 305*10 315*9 295*15

My squats still suck, and this is making me hate life. However, the fact that I failed at 75x3 on db bench last week didn't make doing 85x5 any less easy today. I'm a pressing machine! I had 8 reps in me for sure. Lat pulldowns didn't feel as easy as last week, but I still did 205 fine, may be able to increase that next week.

Muay thai class went great today. My hip flexors didn't hurt nearly as badly as they did wednesday.

11-15-2005, 08:23 AM
So what kinda grappling class you taking?

Adam Brammer
11-15-2005, 01:48 PM
The class is taught by judoka converted to BJJ. Most of the emphasis is on the clinch and takedowns.

Adam Brammer
11-21-2005, 08:16 PM
I feel very fatigued and drained. My family has been visiting since wednesday and I haven't done any training, eaten more than 1000 cals in a day, or taken any supplements since then. My lifts didn't suffer much, but I had wanted to increase most of my lifts, and wasn't able to.

DB Arnold Press 40*10 55*5 65*4 60*5
BB OH Press 135*4
ISO Low Row 90*10 180*5 250*4 230*5 180*10
Deadlift 135*10 205*5 255*4 225*4
Hip Flexor Machine 120*5 each leg

I meant to do more ab work but I was running late for MMA class. Did a lot of dirty boxing, takedowns, and some weird sambo submission setups into scissor locks and inverted heelhooks. I really feel like at this point, my strong point (offensively) is my clinch work. However, I'm succeptable to Judo throws and sometimes have a hard time countering them. In muay thai, my kru finally started letting me work from southpaw and it felt a lot better. So far I've been doing all the drills orthodox because he says you have to learn to catch and feed orthodox for the sake of your training partners. Once and a while I got a little mixed up with my right hand forward and left foot forward while circling back.

11-21-2005, 08:39 PM
Good deal on making your way back into the gym. You gotta EAT though bro. Hell I eat 1000 before 10am.

Adam Brammer
11-28-2005, 10:40 PM
I'm terrible about staying fed. I don't even have that fast of a metabolism, but eating more than twice a day is a real chore.

I lifted last wednesday but my lifts were really crappy. Then my computer blew up. :-/ Today I was feeling a little better but it seems lately when I get to the gym I feel drained and unfocused.


DB Military Press 30*10 45*10 65*5 70*X 60*5
ISO Low Row 90*10 180*6 230*5 *5 180*8
DB Shrug 85*15 100*15
Machine Shrug 300?*10
Leg Raises bw*15, 15

I felt I could have pressed 70 at least 3 times but I couldn't get the weight up. What was funny was that I just curled 60 up (with a little cheating). The gym was full of curlers today so I had no room to deadlift. Obviously I couldn't do barbell shrugs either. I did some back extentions and glute work but I don't remember the weight. I was really pissed off about the lack of space, I had wanted to do some rack pulls and static holds. Next week I'll just come during lunch time. I did lot of extra ab work that I don't remember specifics of, but it was good. Even though I feel pretty weak overall, my abs and obliques are bigger and stronger than they've ever been.

My thai clinch sucks. I just want to underhook every time, I feel completely vulnerable controlling only the head. Muay Thai is great.. but a lot of things need to be adjusted in order to make it work in mma, and unfortunately I train muay thai with kickboxers, not mma fighters.

11-28-2005, 11:55 PM
good luck getting everything in order diet-wise, doing muai thai and eating so little has got to be tiring.

hopefully for you you'll get someone in your class with more of a MMA aspiration than the kickboxers. it's training though, right? at least you're putting in the work, and you can apply that anywhere in the long run.

Adam Brammer
12-01-2005, 08:44 PM
The muay thai I do is completely unaffiliated with the MMA training I do. They're cool guys and respectful of my training goals and try to be helpful, but they only come from straight kickboxing backgrounds. Fortunately I can take what I learn there and apply it in a true MMA setting.

Today I excercised a little willpower and made sure I had been eating and staying hydrated all day and the difference was very noticeable.

Hammer Strength Bench Press: 90*10 180*6 230*3 200*5
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown: 150*10 195*5 195*5
Narrow Grip Lat Pulldown: 235*6 205*6
Squat: 135*10 185*5 205*4 185*4
Front Squat: 135*8 155*6
Hanging Leg Raises: bw*7, 7, 7

The benching made me really happy. I probably could have put up 250. The lift off is really hard because the handles rest behind where my ribcage is and where the rom would end for a real bench. My squatting felt better but I still have a lot of problem getting out of the hole. I blame a lack of lower back strength. I am thinking about switching to front squats and increasing volume on my deadlifting. Overall a great workout.

I have decided to go back to training at team Ground Control. It's a lot more expensive and further away, but I think it's worth it because I would be spending soo much more time sparring as opposed to be overloaded with esoteric technique after esoteric technique with not time to let them sink in.

I forgot to mention.. at the gym tonight there was a guy running on the treadmill... forwards, then skipping sideways, then backwards, then sideways in the other direction. I have done this as a drill before to warm up before.. but on a treadmill? at a gym? That's really weird.

12-02-2005, 07:46 AM
Keepin hittin up the gym, and you'll see even weirder **** than that haha. Good workout overall, and good luck with the change of scenery as far as training camps go.

Adam Brammer
12-05-2005, 09:37 PM
I was in a hurry tonight. I didn't get to the gym until 7 and I had muay thai at 7:30. Good workout nonetheless.

DB OH Press: 40*12 50*8 70*5 60*5 50*5
HS ISO Low Row: 90*10 180*8 230*5 200*6
Smith Shrugs: 180*15 270*9, 10, 10 (only counting the weight of the plates)

Not having the option to spend any time resting made me want to just blow through heavy sets and then reverse pyramid down. My lower back has been bothering me since squatting last week and it still didn't feel right. I didn't want to deadlift, but I had the barbell resting on the lowest setting in the smith machine for the shrugs, so I'll call those rack pulls. I think with chalk and knurling I could probably hold onto around 400lbs, but those smooth, sweaty bars in the smith machine give me trouble.

Muay thai went sweet tonight. I sparred for a little bit with my coach tonight for the first time, and though I knew he gave me the round, but I feel like he didn't have an answer for all the bodyshots I was giving him. If there's one thing I love more than anything, it's working the body.

12-05-2005, 09:39 PM
Good deal with the Muay Thai stuff man. Keep it up.

Adam Brammer
12-07-2005, 10:13 PM
Ah yes. Training with a group of dedicated athletes is a great thing. After last night's training session I know I made the right choice switching camps.

DB Bench Press: 40*10 55*5 70*5 85*5 70*5
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown: 135* 10 195*5, 5, 5 160*6
Squat: 135*10 205*5, 5, 5 225*2
Front Squat: 155*6, 6
Hanging Leg Raises: BW*8, 8, 8

Weight at the gym: 178

In grappling I worked on giving up position and trying to escape from the bottom. Muay Thai was also good, worked heavily on clinching and crap, then did a bunch of conditioning. I need to stretch more. I'm pretty flexible in my legs, I can do a split but theres a lot of room for improvement.

12-08-2005, 07:37 AM
Let's not even get started on flexibility. For someone in BJJ, I'm a unflexible mfer. Good workout btw.

Adam Brammer
12-12-2005, 09:15 PM
Tonight's workout was really good. Hit a PR on deads. I've been reading a lot of material written by Alwyn Cosgrove and some other coaches in the MMA field and I'm going to start a new mesocycle soon. At the end of this week I am going to take some time off (joints starting to hurt all the time again), and then begin an explosive power phase. I also have a new conditioning routine I am going to start. The energy pathway work I have been doing that is specificly geared towards standup seems to be working great, as I have a nearly unlimited source of energy during muay thai. However, on the ground it doesn't take me long to feel my explosiveness waning.

Standing DB OH Press: 45x10 50x5 55x5 60x5 60x5 50x10
HS ISO Low Row: 90x10 180x6 200x6 210x6 180x10
Deadlift: 135x10 185x5 225x3 245x3 255x3
Calves: blah blah blah
Abs: ...did them too.

Standing overhead presses were much more difficult. Also I had a lot of elbow soreness so I didn't want to do a lot of upper body work. My deadlift made me really happy, 255 went up fast and I can't wait to break 300. I have also come to the realization that my calves suck, and if I could bring them up a lot that it would make me a lot faster, improve my footwork and ability to close the distance etc.

12-12-2005, 09:25 PM
Nice lookin deads man. Keep it up.

Adam Brammer
12-15-2005, 02:49 PM
Thanks chub. I have very minor scoliosis and a weak lower back so I've always gone light on deads. But since my overall core strength has been improving, I feel like I can stabilize the weights and I'm starting to deadlift heavy for the first time. I expect (hope) newbie gains to continue for a while.

From now on I'm going to be documenting my myriad conditioning and technical training sessions.

Final Max Strength Session: Workout II
DB Bench: 35x10 45x10 55x5 60x5 70x5
Wide Grip Chins: bwx6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6
Squats: 135x10 185x6 205x5 225x4
Front Squats: 155x6 155x6
Side Bends: 85x12 85x12

Was pressed for time again today, but did really good on those squats. I was pretty dissapointed with the chins though. The gym was completely empty last night, there was only 4 guys lifting weights including me, compared to the normal of a few dozen.

Lately I have been lamenting my tendinitis. When I walk into the gym, it's nothing but curls and curls and kickbacks and curls. I have very good arm genetics, and it pisses me off that I can't take advantage of it. One day of curling like that and I'd be out for 3 weeks. I know 17" arms don't help in fighting, but that doesn't mean I don't want them.

Adam Brammer
12-17-2005, 01:22 AM
Those side bends I did have made for hellish DOMS. I'm going to have to include them on a regular basis, my obliques must not be getting enough work.

Tonight I did:
5 rounds of 3 minutes with 1 minute rest on the heavy bag.
7 rounds of 3 minutes with 1 minute rest of the Bas Rutten MMA workout.

I haven't done the MMA workout in a while, but a few months ago, I couldn't get past the first 3 rounds. Today I wasn't even breathing hard until the 3rd, and that was after 5 rounds of heavy bag work. The lactate threshhold work I have been doing has really payed off, and I'm starting to buy into the idea that pure aerobic training has no place in a fighters training. I couldn't run 3 miles if I had to, but here I am, training for nearly 50 minutes full power and I could have gone another round.

On a side note, I really need to adjust my sleep schedule. I am up all night, and sleep all day. If I can get up in the mornings I'll be able to get way more ground training in, something I'm slacking off on.

Adam Brammer
01-02-2006, 09:22 PM
Well my deconditioning period is over, and I'll never have one that long again. It was nice to relax, but I'm weaker and slower than I left off. Fortunately I think it shouldn't take time to regain fitness levels from such a short break.

Here are the plans for my new conversion to power mesocyle. All critiques welcome.


Power Clean Warm-up: 1 x 5, 1x3, 1x 4, 1x3, 1x2

Half Squat: 1 x 5, 1x3, 1x2,

Incline Bench Press: 1 x 5, 1x3, 1x 4, 1x3, 1x2


Weighted Dips: 1x 4, 1x3, 1x2

Weighted Chins: 1x 5, 1 x 1, 1 x 5, 1 x 1, 1 x 10

Swiss Ball Crunches: 3x6

Standing Calf Raise: 2x6

Side Bends: 3x6


Front Squat: 1x 4, 1x3, 1x2

Deadlift off blocks Warm-up: 1x5, 1x3, 1x2, 1x1

T-Bar Row: 1 x 5 1x 4, 1x3, 1x2

Push Press: 1 x 5, 1x3, 1x 4, 1x3, 1x2

Today's workout was very rushed (I'm beginning to notice a pattern here), and I wasn't feeling very motivated, but by the end it started turning out. I think my clean form might be terrible, as my triceps are really sore from decellerating the bar before I rack it.

Conversion to Power Mesocycle: Day 1
Powerclean: 95x5 115x4 135x3 155x2 165x1
Incline Bench: 95x5 135x3 135x3 155x2 175x1

That's all I had time for. The powercleans were easy, but for some reason I'm utlizing my triceps to a huge degree, and it made the benching really difficult. I expected to work my way to higher weights, but oh well. Also, as trashed as my quads feel from those powecleans, I think I may have to switch some things up. I'll post later tonight if I feel up to any conditioning.

01-02-2006, 09:34 PM
Why Half Squats? I really think you'd be better with doing deep squats instead.

Adam Brammer
01-04-2006, 10:48 PM
I like halfsquats, and I make good gains from partials and lots of overload. They'll be out in the next phase.

Conversion to Power Mesocycle: Day 2
Chins: bwx5, bwx3, 25x4 30x3, 35x2
Dips: bwx5, bwx3 25x5, 30x4, 45x2
Standing Calf Raise: 295x8, 315x6, 295x6
Hanging Leg Raise: bwx7, bwx7, bwx7
Side Bend: 75x6, 85x6, 100x10

I'm not sure about the weights on the chins and dips. I was using some weird machine with a belt attatched to a weight pulley and the weights were unmarked. They were sized inbetween a normal 10 and a normal 5. My old weighted chin PR was +80 for 2, so it seems weird to me that I could only get 35. It's very possible that the weight is double what's listed.

Today during Muay Thai my kru asked if I would like to compete on an amatuer card in Febuary. Seeing as how I've only been training around 2.5 months, I was very happy to hear that he thinks I'm ready. I will continue my weight training as is but get way more serious about my cardio. Maybe I'll do some of those crazy crossfit workouts.

Adam Brammer
01-05-2006, 12:06 AM
Just ran 6 quater miles with a round on the heavybag between each. Running sucks, glad I have so much more of it to look forward to.

Adam Brammer
01-07-2006, 12:23 AM
Did a boxing drill on the heavy bag like this.

2 minutes of right straights
30 seconds rest
2 minutes left crosses
30 seconds rest
2 minutes left hooks
30 seconds rest
2 minutes right hooks

then pyramid scheme kicking drills (worst idea ever)

then drilled punch-kick combinations and then burned out on kicks.

my cardio in pure boxing is probably as good as it needs to be, but I won't be throwing any kicks after the first round if I don't drill them a lot more.

total time was approximately 40 minutes.

Adam Brammer
01-08-2006, 01:09 AM
I skipped my day 3 workout in favor of more conditioning. I have been working on a barbell complex. 6 reps of each excercise, 4 total sets. Each week I will drop the rest period by 15 seconds, when the rest period gets to 30 seconds, I'll add weight/reps/sets

Deadlift, Pushup, Bent Row, Powerclean, Pushpress, Backsquat, Pushup

This week the rest period is 75 seconds, and there is 80lbs on the bar.

Then a few ultra high rep sets with the resitance bands for lactic/glycolytic endurance.

I had another training session later in the day, 20 minutes on the heavybag, a rest, and then 4 (maybe 5?) maximal effort punchouts for atp-pc.

I began dieting today, just cutting carbs and no large portions. I hate it already.

Adam Brammer
01-16-2006, 11:30 PM
My training has been doing really well this past week. I've been lazy about the journal, espescially since I'm not exactly following the routine anymore. It's a lot of anaerobic focus cardio, all of the time, and some weightlifting whenever I feel like it. Today I go to the gym nice and early so I had a nice workout.

Incline Bench: 135x5, 135x5, 145x4 155x2 165x1
Flat Bench: 170x5
Deadlift: 135x5 135x5 225x3 245x3 265x2 285x1 245x2
Military Press: 135x3

285 was a pr!! And it flew up. Powercleans helped my deadlift more than deadlifting. Incline benching was lame, I hate the way it feels in my shoulders, but I think I'll stick with it for the sake of keeping my body challenged. I was amazed at how easy 135 was to military press.

My weight is down to 173, my cardio is getting better, and I feel faster and more competant during every training session. 28 days left to go!