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Minimum training to maintain strength

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  • Minimum training to maintain strength

    Hello Barbell Medicince crew,

    So I am halfway through Strength I and extremely happy with progress. Turns out proper programming actually beats badly planned programming. My current plan is to switch back to martial arts, mainly BJJ, after I have finished the program (in about 7 weeks or so) and then only lift to maintain the strength I have achieved. I want to be able to focus as much as possible on BJJ, and therefor minimize my lifting as much as is possible, and I wonder what is a reasonable starting point.

    I understand that it is impossible to give an absolute answer, and that there will have to be trial and error, and I will only know after testing a while. But what's reasonable amount of volume to start at?

    My current plan is to train BJJ about four times a week, and maintain current weight.

    I'm currently 75 kg (165 puonds).
    Current bench (according to eRM calculation based of heavy singles): 87 kg (191 pounds)
    Current deadlift according to eRM: 165 kg (364 pounds).
    I don't really squat due to some longstanding injury issues.
    I'm male and 33 years old.

    Is it reasonable to start at one heavy single a week on each? Or three heavy sets? Talking around RPE 8.

    Thanks for helping and once again, very happy with progress on Strength I!

  • #2
    A bigger issue is going to be how much BJJ have you previously been exposed to.

    4-times per week of BJJ with no prior training is A LOT and, if you're asking me, about 2x as much as what I would recommend. Of course, the composition of each session also matters, but going from zero to 4-times a week of anything physically strenuous is a lot.

    To directly answer your question, I'd probably lift 2x/wk and do conditioning 3x/wk in addition to BJJ.
    Last edited by Jordan Feigenbaum; 08-22-2021, 05:31 PM.
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///


    • #3
      Thank you for the fast reply.

      I should have been more clear on my background. Been doing BJJ for a little over ten years and have spent the majority of the pandemic in Australia where I have been able to train and stay in shape. BJJ 4x a week is something Im quite used to, but frequency will be altered according to fatigue and recovery, with an initial phase of starting at a lower frequency and increasing it.

      I feel BJJ provides adequate conditioning in itself, my cardio never really becomes an issue when competing. Or do you expect other benefits from conditioning?

      Regarding the lifting: What amount of sets would you suggest in those lifting sessions?


      • #4
        I think that some additional steady state would be beneficial to your performance, yes

        As far as the nuts and bolts of a 2x/wk program, I'd be looking at 2-5 working sets with a press, squat, and pull pattern. I'd pick varying rep ranges as well so as to not specialize. It might look like:

        Day 1
        Squat 4-6 reps @ RPE 7-8 x 2-4 sets
        Press x 6-8 reps @ RPE 7-8 x 2-4 sets Row/hip thrusts/RDL x 8-12 reps @ RPE 7-8 x 2-4 sets

        Day 2
        Trapbar DL or DL x 4-6 reps @ RPE 7-8 x 2-4 sets
        Incline Bench x 4-6 reps @ RPE 7-8 x 2-4 sets
        F/S, belt squat, SSB, split squat, leg press, etc. x 8-12 reps @ RPE 7-8 x 2-4 sets

        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///


        • #5
          Sounds like a reasonable starting point. Looks very roughly to be around half the volume of Strength I. I'll give it a go and see if my numbers stay up, go down or even increase somewhat and adjust accordingly.

          Thanks for you time!