The first pillar of my game - Conditioning

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A few years ago, before I was introduced to BJJ, a good strength training coach and friend of mine put on a very intense cardio/conditioning boot camp at my old martial arts school. Having been a casual student of strength training and conditioning at the time, I had never experienced such a sport specific and intense conditioning session. He used Stability Balls, Bands, Kettlebells, steps, hurdles, and more to keep the heart rate high and the interest up.

After trying a few different "boot camp" style sessions with him over the course of a month, I asked where and how he came up with these things. He sent me the The Institute of Human Performance and Juan Carlos Santana. As it turned out, JC was hosting a seminar that weekend on these "Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands:SAID" boot camp style circuits, so off I went.


For those of you who aren't familiar with IHP and IntoCombat let me briefly give you the background. IHP is a world class training facility used by professional and Olympic athletes during the off-season to get them into tremendous fighting form. IHP/IntoCombat is run by Juan Carlos (JC) Santana and his staff, and they know their stuff, in fact, chances are if you have ever worked with a quality functional trainer/coach they've used some of JC's material. They are just that good.

Now the seminar focused on a very unique way of fight/competition training that I found very interesting, so interesting in fact that I wanted to share it with you here. I will however only go so far into the details, as you'd be much better off getting a copy of one of their DVDs (specific to your sport, Gi Grappling/No-Gi Grappling/MMA/Kickboxing/Boxing) for the detailed material.

Here's the basic premise, fighters and martial artists need to train their bodies to provide maximum cardio output for brief periods of time. Most fights/bouts consist of 3,5, or 7 minute rounds. During this time you'll be performing activities at a high rate of speed/intensity with little or no rest. Traditionally the best way to train for this level of cardio output has been either more sparring or more distance running. Neither way really works. More sparring can be very effective at improving skill, but you run a much higher risk of injury during your sparring sessions. Conversely, running builds great cardio, but conditions the body for long periods of stable aerobic output. Hmm, that doesn't sound like a fight to me.

So, Intocombat has put together these very intense circuits of activities. The activities closely mirror those performed in your sport. For instance, they have a light dumbbell punching and lunging exercise that performs over 90+ punches, 18 different lunges, and another 90+ punches. However, these circuits don't stop there, they continue with 3-4 other exercises that also target functional movements with dynamic resistance.

The goal in these "SAID Circuits" is to complete the circuit in a specific time duration, this duration is based on the competition round time.

I can't begin to describe how difficult these circuits are to complete, they tax the body and mind, all in about 5 minutes.

SAID Seminar - 2006
Seminar attendees performing one circuit exercise from the No Gi Grappling Circuit.

I would recommend you take a look at the demo videos on the Intocombat website and see for yourself.

SAID Circuit Training for Boxing

SAID Circuit Training for KickBoxing

SAID Circuit Training for Gi Grappling

SAID Circuit Training for No Gi Grappling

SAID Circuit Training for MMA

Enjoy,  Train Safe.


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