When training, you must have a game plan for not only the specific session, but for a prolonged period of time. From my background with programming strength training and the scouting nature in preparing for college basketball games, this has become second nature in my day to day life.
I always have a general focus for whatever activity I’m engaged in. But what I found when I entered BJJ is that it lacks focus across the board in many ways.
My first school had a scattered and random curriculum. No systemized learning. And I’ve also found that since there are so many complexities and scenarios that can happen on the mats, the sport brings out the naturally distracted nature in people. Wrestlers like Ben Askren even remark on the lack of focused, intentional drilling in jiu jitsu schools.
You should always have your mind attached to a general theme that you’re seeking to improve. Guard passing, leg locks, back attacks —you have a host of choices. Narrow your focus to a general area.
For your supplementary training, the same applies. I’m currently in a strength phase for my lifting. Increasing my strength is the main variable I’m focusing on and measuring. In terms of training jiu-jitsu, it’s guard passing, as this is the one area of the game where I don’t have a system of reads and techniques.
Outlining this and having the awareness of it is the first step to focusing your training.
Update Your Training Model
Simply just showing up to train is outdated and is more of brawny way to train. That hard-nosed mentality to getting “gains” will eventually leave you spinning in a hamster wheel, curious as to why you’re working so hard yet getting nowhere fast.
So make it simple. Have a broad idea of what you want to accomplish, like I mentioned above. Structure your training to support that. Have progressions to train different fitness adaptations (hypertrophy, strength, and power are a few examples).
The same concept can be taken with your jiu-jitsu and will actually require less precision and planning that go into peaking the body for specific performance adaptations.
Narrow This Focus
When you go to train now, you should have a list of techniques you would like to 1. drill and 2. have situations and techniques in mind that you would like to face in live rolling.
Drilling certain moves is quite easy. All you need is a willing training partner to give you the reads you need and you perform the technique. For your supplementary performance training, you should have a written plan of the movements and exercises you need to perform to get the broader adaptations you seek to acquire.
If you don’t have it written down, it should be etched into your brain.
These principles of focus and game planning are more than theories for me. I use them daily with my own training and with my host of athletes and clients on a daily basis.
I’m releasing an adaptation of my main training philosophy I’ve used to keep myself thriving as a strength athlete despite my low back pain.
I use this style of programming in my product “Secrets to Soft, Stable, Strong, and Supple Low Back/Hips.”
Every movement we do, the order and length that it’s performed, what it’s paired with — it all comes back to the goals outlined in the product title. I’m not just distinctly pushing my product although I am confident that it will impact anyone (desk jockey and athlete alike). I want you to train intelligently. I want your work to be rewarded. And this just may give you that glimpse on how to structure that in your own training.