Late in the Match Heroics

60 seconds left in the match…

Your down by 2 points…

Where do you get that last push?

Some people think that the answer is by training countless hours on the mat.  That answer is not wrong, but rather just incomplete.  The other part that is normally overlooked is the hours of sweat that is lost during your strength training sessions. 

Now if you think we are talking about just doing Chest and Tri’s on Monday and Back and Bi’s on Tuesday…you are DEAD WRONG.  The end of each of your strength training sessions should look like the end of a training session at the academy…Dead bodies on the floor.

If I want my BJJ/MMA athletes to have that last burst of energy in the final minute, or round, of their match…I need to make sure that the final couple of minutes of every training session are the toughest moment of the lives.

This is where I like to bring in a concept that I learned from Martin Rooney and that is a “Finisher”.  A “Finisher” is very easy to perform and can either be done at the gym, the academy, or even at the comfort of your own home.  One reason why I like to include these in my athlete’s workouts is because it really forces them to push their training to the next level. 

One thing to remember when inserting this into your programming is that we should be cautious to our overall volume during the workout.  For example, if you have completed a number of circuits or a lot of weight training, even though you want to do more, your body may have had enough.  One thing that I always remember when I am doing my programming for my athletes

Is that “more is not always better…better is better.”  Too much training in the gym may start affecting your training on the mat and that is something that nobody wants to see.

Here is my top 3 “Finishers” that I like to use with my athletes:


Ultimate Sandbag-Complex

-Exercise #1:  USB Bent Over Rows
-Exercise #2:  USB Cleans
-Exercise #3:  USB Front Squats
-Exercise #4:  USB Overhead Presses

-3 sets (each set will include all 4 exercises) with a 1-minute break between

-Notes:            Each set of the complex will consist of 10 reps of each of the mentioned exercises.  Each exercise will be done one right after the other.  When Exercise #4 is complete, take one minute off and repeat for a total number of 3 sets

TRX Suspension Trainer-Timed Set

-Exercise #1:  TRX Atomic Push-Ups
-Exercise #2:  TRX Plank

-8 Rounds (4 of each exercise)

-20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of recovery

-Notes:            The key is to perform as many reps as possible in the allotted time.  Don’t worry about the number of reps; rather worry about doing as much as you can without stopping.

Body Weight-Countdown

-Exercise #1:  Chin-Ups
-Exercise #2:  Squat Jumps

-1 set (each exercise will be done in a descending order with the rep count at 10, 8, 6,4, and 2)

-Notes:            You will first complete 10 reps of Chin-Ups followed by 10 reps of Squat Jumps, 8 reps of Chin-Ups followed by 8 reps of Squat Jumps…this continues all the way down to 2 reps of Chin-Ups and 2 reps of Squat Jumps

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