So whether you have seen some of my work or not I am a massive believer in Triphasic Training for Grapplers (I love it for other sports as well but we are here to talk Jiu Jitsu). If you aren’t aware of what Triphasic Training is here is a little infographic I posted on Instagram showing the basic principles:
I could go into furthermore detail but there are plenty of articles surrounding the principles behind Triphasic training and its benefits, in this article I simply want to cover my reasoning and show you a basic outline into some of the training methods I use for Brotherhood!
So why Triphasic Training? Well initially Triphasic protocols have a great overlap into the majority of athletic movements, each tempo aspect can be applied within any area of specificity and said exercises to induce adequate responses. When looking at athletic development the ratio of stimulus to adaptation should be heavily outweighed on the side of adaptation. What I mean by this is simply we want to do as minimal as possible to achieve the maximal output. In short: maximize gains, minimize stress.
When considering the amount of volume grapplers achieve in one week of training, the obviously thing would be to not replicate that in the weight room. When talking about volume on the mats I’m considering the volume of movement and repeat-ability of said movement. For example an individual prepping for a comp might repeat the same sweep and pass combination 30+ times in a single sparring session, now times that by 4-5 sessions a week and we are looking at 120+ repeated muscle & joint actions (not including drilling). If we were to go into a weight room and follow a higher volume program (10+ reps/set) we could be doubling the total training volume and significantly increasing the chance of injury or overwork of that individual. So where does Triphasic Training come into all this? Triphasic Training is not only a great set of principles that can help develop force through specific tempos but it is also a protocol based around high intensities and minimal volume which means we can reduce total training times over a week by overloading intensity and the set tempos furthermore providing an adequate stimulus whilst minimizing fatigue.
Specifics of programs will depend on the athletes individual differences (age, sex, training history, injuries etc) but as a general rule of thumb I try to stick to the basic exercises; push, pull, hinge & squat. More isolated exercises can be used for accessory work & pre/rehab work. Also I try and minimize exercises that are going to axially load or place significant stress upon the neck/spine.
Here is an example week for a 2 Day Triphasic Program for Grapplers, if you wished to add a third day depending on your recovery levels and training ability you may wish to add a secondary eccentric day and make the third day a dynamic day taking more unilateral work into consideration:
The second reasons I love the triphasic method so much is the ability to utilize the principles year round, due to the nature of the program we can make simple changes to intensities in order to manage different phases based on competition or training schedules and the adaptations we are working towards. One of competition Jiu Jitsu weaknesses is the lack of off season, so you will find active competitors can sometimes compete 2-3 times per month. Due to this traditional block periodisation methods can have significant flaws as it is difficult to implement set phases over longer periods of time. Although the Triphasic method is a block periodisation method utilizing tempos gives us much greater freedom in terms of shorter preparation. Thanks to this we can successfully peak multiple times over shorter periods with minimal fatigue and drop straight back into high intensity work. Here is an example of a 6 month macrocycle breakdown for a top IBJJF blackbelt:
So as you can see the individual’s phases are constantly changing throughout the competition period. Normally I would implement longer periods of low intensity training especially if working with a sport with an in season & off season, however due the nature of the athletes schedule and ability to manage training volume it gives a much greater ability to manage high intensity periods throughout whilst including deload weeks post competition. This is something seen in William Weylands compressed method for MMA (http://www.powering-through.com/applying-supramaximal-triphasic-model-to-mma-fighters/based) on individuals who go from camp to camp and to quote him “Imposing intensive physiological demands, can be sustained by athlete’s cyclically, even those with cloudy schedules”.
So there you have it, a basic overview of one of the main methods I stick too when programming for grapplers, if you feel you would like to try out this method then stay tuned for our 10 Week Raw Strength program!