Abbreviated Strength Training for Judo!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

For many years I’ve been urging trainees to follow sane, sensible abbreviated workouts. Today we’re going to talk about abbreviated workouts for guys who combine weight training with martial arts training.

We’ll start with a letter from one of our many Dinos who lifts weights and practices judo.

“My name is Lee Hayward, 27, from the Lake District in the north of England. I am a big fan of your books and writings on hard, heavy, abbreviated training.

I currently train in Judo 2 times a week, on Mondays and Friday in a town near to me. As you will know from your Greco-roman wrestling days, judo is very demanding and hard on the body. I like to weight train 2-3 times a week as well. My strength training is basic and simple, but that’s how I like it

I do one squat exercise, one pushing exercise, one pulling exercise, and finish with grip and gut work. The push being Bench Press or Overhead press and the pull being, Bentover Row, Trap Bar Shrugs or Barbell Curls or Reverse Curls. My grip work is one exercise picked from: Farmers walk with barrels filled with sand, Handgrippers, Thick barbell holds, Thick Chin Bar Holds or maybe Sandbag carry. Gut work means Sit-ups, Leg raises or Plank. I train 5 x 5 or 5/4/3/2/1 in all exercises, and if I’m feeling good on that day I sometimes do an extra three sets of doubles or triples as well.

My schedule is this:

Mon -- Judo

Tues -- off

Weds -- Weight Training

Thurs -- off

Fri -- Judo

Sat -- Weight Training

Sun -- off

Mon -- Judo

Tues -- Weight Training

Weds -- off

Thurs -- Weight Training (deadlift day)

Fri -- Judo

Sat -- off

Sun -- Weight Training

Then repeat back to the top again.

So I train with weights two times a week and then the next week three times. I squat heavy every workout; sometime s 5 x 5 and other times 1 x 20 breathing squats.

Do you think this is too much, too little or about right? I do feel well rested and fully recovered every time I lift, and I am getting stronger.

Lee Hayward

Hi Lee –I think you answered your own question. If you feel well rested and well recovered every time you hit the iron, and you are getting stronger, then your program is working for you. Stick to it!

You are doing all of the right things: abbreviated training, basic compound exercises, and sticking to the stuff that really counts: squats, pulls and pushes. And you’re allowing enough rest days to permit you to make good gains.

You have a sensible, well-balanced, well-designed program. Do not be swayed from it. Just keep on doing what you are doing, and over time, you’ll really surprise yourself.

As you get stronger, your weight workouts will cut into your recovery ability more. At that point, you might try a system where you alternate light, medium and heavy workouts – or you might try some simple cycling systems, such as the ones detailed in Gray Hair and Black Iron.

Also, include some neck work. Two or three sets of 10 to 15 reps with a headstrap is good.

Keep me posted on your training and your results!

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. For more abbreviated workouts for BIG gains in strength, muscle and power, check out the following:

1. Chalk and Sweat: Dinosaur Training Workouts for Beginners, Intermediates and Advanced Lifters – the brand new book from Dino Headquarters, and already a huge hit with Dinos around the world:

2. The Dinosaur Files newsletter – 20 pages, hard copy, mailed to you monthly, with great photos and full of terrific training articles. Sub now, and ask me to start your subscription as of May 2010 so that you don’t miss an issue of this great newsletter:

3. Dinosaur Training: Lost Secrets of Strength and Development – the book that started the Dinosaur Revolution – the book they call “the bible of strength training”:

4. Strength, Muscle and Power – a great new book from Dinosaur Headquarters – it’s an encyclopedia of strength training and muscle building secrets – with dozens of hard-hitting, no nonsense training programs for cellar-dwellers and garage gorillas of all ages:

5. Gray Hair and Black Iron: Secrets of Successful Strength Training for Older Lifters – the first book ever written about serious strength training for older lifters – featuring more than 50 workouts specially designed for older lifters:

6. History’s Strongest Men and How They trained – Vol 1: Doug Hepburn. A big 32 page training course covering the life and lifting – and the training programs – of the Canadian Hercules, Doug Hepburn: