Sherdog Strength & Power FAQ This thread is designed to point new lifters towards the information they need to get themselves started. It is not supposed to be an exhaustive list of everything you need to know, but should instead point you in the right direction. The best thing you could do to start with is to read Carnal's Treatise on The Lifting of Heavy Iron and then Read This Please PM me with and errors, omissions or general abuse (if I’m no longer here then just PM a mod). Table of Contents Post 1: General Questions - How do I get stronger? - How do I specifically get stronger for BJJ/Judo/MMA/Thai boxing/Russian Bear Wrestling? - Why did my thread get closed? - Why do you guys hate machines? - I thought technique was more important than strength. Is lifting heavy weights really important for MMA? - Won’t lifting heavy things make me really slow and inflexible? - Can I just do 200 reps with the pink, 2lb, foo-foo dumbbells? After all that gives me a wicked awesome pump and my arms feel really tired. - Why do so many of your links seem to be aimed at powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters, surely this isn’t what I want to help my MMA training? - Do I have to do Squats/Deadlifts? - How do I get more explosive/powerful? - I want to lose/gain/maintain weight, should I be lifting weights? Post 2: Routines, Exercises, Programming - What kind of routine should I follow? - A lot of routines only have a small number of exercises done three times a week: is this enough? Can I do these routines but add more days and more exercises? - How do I do exercise x? - I've got some questions about the Olympic lifts... - Where can I find some information about Strongman training? - The training program says I should do an assistance exercise, what’s that? - I only have a barbell at home, and no power rack or squat stands, what can I do? - What’s periodisation and how do I do it? - How do I add 50lbs to my bench/squat/deadlift? - What are the best ways to develop rotational core strength/core strength? - How do I make my hands stronger? - When should I deload? How should I deload? - What do I need to make a home gym? Post 3: Miscellaneous, Useful Links - ****ing *******, that hurt. I just tore a piece of the rough skin off my hand. What can I do about it? - I’ve heard a lot of people mention kettlebells, what are they and are they worth getting? - What/who is crossfit? - What do you think of P90x? Why the hate for P90x? - I have bad posture/muscle imbalances what can I do to fix it? - What are some simple mobility/flexibility routines for upper and lower body? - When should I wear a belt? What type should I get? Post 4: Interesting threads and Links Post 5: A Reasonable Approach to Strength Training by Glenn Pendlay ------------------------------------------------------------- Q: How do I get stronger? A: For almost everyone, the best way to do it is through compound barbell exercises; either exercises like the squat, deadlift, overhead press and bench press, or the Olympic lifts (clean, snatch, and jerk), or both. You do these exercises with weights that are heavy (for you) for fairly low numbers of repetitions (most of the time) and you do them progressively (always trying to add more weight to the bar or do more reps). You do a limited amount of extra work, because what makes you strong is getting stronger in the big movements. The rest of the FAQ explains a lot the details of this but as a starting point read Carnal's treatise on the lifting of heavy iron and then http://www.sherdog.net/forums/f13/read-886282/ Q: How do I specifically get stronger for BJJ/Judo/MMA/Thai boxing/Russian Bear Wrestling? A: You get strong. Too many people fall into the trap of thinking there's some magical exercise that will make their training somehow more applicable to their art, bollocks. Strength is strength, go train heavy and hard and you'll find you get stronger on the mat or in the ring. One leg squats on a gym ball while avoiding a stick swung by an old man with a Fu Manchu moustache won't help. Q: Why did my thread get closed? A: Check the forbidden threads sticky, the chances are that it contravened these rules and that’s why it was shut down. Forbidden Topics Q: Why are you anti-bodybuilding in this forum? A: We're not. We simply believe that, if you are an athlete (strongman, powerlifter, fighter, wrestler, football player, etc.), then there are innumerable training methods superior to bodybuilding, which is aesthetic-oriented rather than performance-oriented. That is not to deny that hypertrophy has its benefits nor is it to close the door entirely on any and all questions/interests in hypertrophy or even bodybuilding. For the non-athlete interested in aesthetics more than performance, this thread is for you. Q: Why do you guys hate machines? A: Machines require no stabilization of the weight and will often force an unnatural path of motion, that can lead to injuries. This doesn't apply to machines without a fixed path (e.g. cable machines). Compound freeweight movements are infinitely superior to machines, especially those that are used for isolation movements. A select few machines can be useful due to their specific function, like the reverse hyper or the glute-ham raise. Isolation machines do have uses for rehabilitation and correcting some imbalances, but the majority of your routine should be done on freeweights. Q: I thought technique was more important than strength. Is lifting heavy weights really important for MMA? A: Technique and skill are the most important things if you want to be successful as a martial artist, however to completely ignore S&P would be very foolish, when skill levels are equal it is often the stronger and better conditioned fighter that will win, otherwise there would be no point in weight categories. Q: Won’t lifting heavy things make me really slow and inflexible? A: NO! This is an ancient piece of nonsense that seems to never die, weights will actually make you quicker and if allied with a good stretching program will actually make you more flexible. However, if you lift slowly, through a shortened ROM and don't stretch then yeah they will make you slow and inflexible. Q: Can I just do 200 reps with the pink, 2lb, foo-foo dumbbells? After all that gives me a wicked awesome pump and my arms feel really tired. A: NO! You have to lift heavy if you want to be strong. Read this article - Why You Should Lift Heavy Things Q: Why do so many of your links seem to be aimed at powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters, surely this isn’t what I want to help my MMA training? A: Powerlifters and weightlifters are experts at being strong; these guys know an amazing amount about how to train for an incredible level of relative strength. We don’t advise you follow the training routine of a powerlifter, as you have to also complete hours of technique training, sparring and conditioning work each week, but you can learn a lot on how to train for strength from these people. You look to bjj and boxing for elements of your training, yet neither of these arts will make a complete mma fighter, pretty much the same principle. Q: Do I have to do Squats/Deadlifts? A:YES, These are the two most important lifts in terms of overall body strength and development. No amount of benching and curling will make up for not doing them; any routine that does not include them is inherently flawed. Q: How do I get more explosive/powerful? A: First, understand that being explosive/powerful is about being able to produce large amounts of force quickly. For the majority of us, especially for those who have no or limited strength training experience, the limiting factor is the amount of force that can be produce (I.e. Strength). So start by building a solid base of strength, and after several months, you can add a small amount of explosive work, for example 5x3 box jumps once a week. Once you're at the point where haven't improved at this small amount of explosive work, despite getting stronger, you may benefit from the addition of more explosive/power work. Plyometrics refers specifically to exercises where an additional force exaggerates the stretch reflex. For example, just jumping onto a box is not plyometric. Jump off a box, and immediately jumping onto another box is plyometric, because the force from jumping off the box assists the exercise. Plyometric exercises are best used sparingly, because (1) They are especially high impact, and (2) Using them more frequently, or in greater amounts doesn't significantly increase results.