Final Self-Assessment of the PM for MMA

Well I finished the 18 week program and took two steps forward and one step back. Since the last assessment I started really watching the carbs to cut the fat; and it worked very well since I’m back in my comfort zone. However it appears I sacrificed some size and my strength remains the same. I taped a Press Test and posted to Facebook here. I thought I had 6 reps, and thought I’d hit 7 however 5 was all I managed. My 60lb maximum remained which is 39% of my bodyweight so at least I’m not weaker and have a good strength to body weight ratio. Let’s look at body comp:

Fitness Progress Report:

Body Composition

Body Part                      Before                  After                   -/+

Neck                               14.00                   14.25             +.25

Shoulders                  44.50                   43.62              -.88

Chest                             38.00                  38.00               0

Waist                             32.50                   32.25              -.25

Biceps                           12.75                   12.50              -.25

Forearms                   11.10                    10.87             -.23

Thighs                         21.82                   21.95              +.13

Calves                          14                           13.8                -.20

Weight                         156 lbs              151.8                 -4.2 lbs

Body Fat %                15.7%                14.6%               -1.1%

Lean Body Mass    131.6 lbs        129.60           -1.0lbs

Final tally from when I started the program I have gains in weight, lean body mass, body fat, biceps, forearms, thighs and calves. Neck and chest dropped. Hmm, looking at it that way I feel better about the results. Big picture view works. I started practicing the more complex moves of the new program on Wednesday’s and that has helped my conditioning. Now after my deload week, no exercise at all I’ll get started on Mike Mahler’s Kettlebell Solution For MMA Strength And Conditioning though not at the level he recommends. I’ll start at two for the lifts instead of 5 since it’s my first time with double kettlebells, and I’ll be sprinting once a week as well for hormonal optimization. The strength will come from

Double Kettlebell Clean and Push Press

Double Kettlebell Squat Shrug

Guard Attack

Alternating Renegade Row

Full Body Attack or Full Body Defense

Double Swing

And Conditioning from One-Handed Swings and Squat Thrusts. Two lift days, one conditioning and one sprint day. Let’s see what that forges.

Second Self-Assessment of the Year; Round Two of PM for MMA Complete

Two-thirds of the way through the Program Minimum for MMA; seeing some gains and efficiency as I progress. Before I was having problems maintaining three minutes of steady swings, which was really bothering me. Then three weeks ago…I broke it…the swing barrier. This past Friday I swung the 44lb kettlebell for 5 minutes straight. Very happy with that. Haven’t done that…ever. This, along with the jumping rope and running, kicks my heart into the top end of the moderate-high intensity to high intensity zone. The former builds above average cardiovascular endurance and the latter builds speed and power. I can’t argue with those results.

As for strength I’ll be adding to the TGU’s and Crush Curls, after three weeks of using only the 44lb I’ll take a superset out with it and add the 53lb for three weeks and then make it two supersets. Then I cool down with a walk with the 53lb locked out overhead. I’ve been getting stronger so how are the measurements bearing out.

Fitness Progress Report:

Body Composition

Body Part                      Before                  After                   -/+

Neck                               14.20                   14.0                  -.20

Shoulders                  44.80                   44.5                 -.30

Chest                             38.00                  38.00               0

Waist                             32.50                   32.50                0

Biceps                           12.40                   12.75              +.35

Forearms                   11                          11.10               +.10

Thighs                         22.10                   21.82              -.28

Calves                          13.8                      14                     +.20

Weight                         153.8 lbs            156                   +2.2 lbs

Body Fat %                15.2%                  15.7%               +0.5%

Lean Body Mass    130.50 lbs        13 1.60           +1.1lbs

Everything but my biceps, forearms and calves have stayed the same. The crush curls helped the pulling strength and size of the biceps, and gripping the kettlebell in swings tightened up my forearms. Calves, all I can say is the jump rope did it. Body fat crept up a half a percent but I don’t see it gathering anywhere in particular. Lean body mass went up as well, and odd balance of a pound of fat for a pound of muscle. I can deal with that, and can’t wait to see the end results and before/after pictures. I’ll probably start easing into the next program’s conditioning phase of 15 one-arm swings and 15 squat thrusts for ten rounds (I’ll work up to it).

Program Minimum For MMA; Six Weeks In and A Long Way From Fighting Form

Jeff Martone

Taking a small break from the body of politics to see how my training has affected my body. Six weeks into the variation of the Program Minimum for MMA program designed by Steve Baccari, and I am displeased with my progress as far as stamina goes. It did increase from what I have started with. The first week was 35 swings one day and 50 later in the week for no more than a minute and a half. By the end of the six weeks, my best day was 115 swings in 3 minutes, and I have stayed at 3 minutes. I will have to note that I started swinging the 53lb kettlebell in the beginning and switched to the 44lb after reading a post at Science of the Swing about ‘bell size and goals.

“To wrap it up, increasing the load can only contribute to the power out point to a certain extent. Once above about 30% of body weight the increase in power output is very nominal – so if power output is the goal heavy isn’t better. Speed is king. Now, if power is your ULTIMATE GOAL – the swing might not be the best choice in exercise. WHAT?!?!?! The swing isn’t the best tool – sorry, but no. There is another KB drill that with the same load that results in significantly more power. If you are at Level II right now, you are about to be introduced to the drill – if not, go with what you’ve got, the swing.”

From his test results, the best option for me is 30%of my bodyweight or the 44lb kettlebell for my swings. 3 minutes of swings left me 9 minutes to jump rope and jog. With a Cool-Down of walking for 3 minutes with my 53lb kettlebell locked out overhead. For now, I manage to hold it for thirty seconds. To improve my conditioning I will add a day of Man Makers on Wednesday (12 minutes of swings, jump rope and jogging) in addition to my Monday and Friday sessions.

Now for the Strength portion. I love the progress. I used my RKC Brad’s routine for Turkish Get Ups of five reps instead of 5 minutes alternating in the beginning with my 30lb kettlebell for three reps and my 44lb for two. Now I am up to three reps with the 44 and two with the 30. Next week I begin with four reps with the 44. Three weeks later, I plan to be up to five reps with the 44. The Crush Curls are between 4 to 5 reps with whatever kettlebell I performed I used during the TGU. So let us see what this has accomplished.

Fitness Progress Report:

Body Composition

Body Part Before After -/+

Neck 14.35 14.20 -.15

Shoulders 43.25 44.80 +1.55

Chest 38.75 38.00 -.75

Waist 32.25 32.50 +.25

Biceps 12.25 12.40 +.15

Forearms 10.85 11 +.15

Thighs 21.25 22.1o +.85

Calves 13.5 13.8 +.30

Weight 150.2 lbs 153.8 +3.6 lbs

Body Fat % 14.4% 15.2% +0.8%

Lean Body Mass 128.50 lbs 130.50 +2.0lbs

Minor loss in my neck and chest and the three biggest gainers in mass was my shoulders, courtesy of the TGU’s and Overhead Kettlebell Walk; my thighs and calves thanks to the swings and jumprope. Arms went up due to the crush curls. I predict in six weeks I’ll even out and be more symmetrical. My body fat went up by almost a percentage point along with 2 pounds of muscle. Back up to my post 53lb ROP plus a little more lean body mass. I did predict the fat would drop, and I was wrong. Still in my comfort zone. We’ll see!

Six Weeks of CST; Am I Weaker?

English: Arthur Saxon performing a bent press....

English: Arthur Saxon performing a bent press. Français : Arthur Saxon effectuant un dévissé à un bras (bent press). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Circular Strength Training felt good and Foam Rolling is uncomfortable…till your done. One day I want to play with clubbells. Ahh. However my goal has changed for now, instead of general preparedness I’m going for fighting form. And I’m really looking forward to picking up my kettlebells again.

I’ll pick up the Program Minimum of Pavel’s. 5 minutes of Turkish Get-Ups and 12 minutes of Swings. Except I’m using Steve Baccari, RKC’s program variation here. Working up to 15 minutes of straight swings, until then, the times I can’t I can jump rope or jog for active recovery. Man Makers from ETK.

Then for Strength I’m going to stagger the bell’s for TGU’s and work up to my heaviest. Instead of 5 minutes I’ll go for 5 reps. 1×1 the Crush Curls with that bell as a superset.

It’s not a hour to 40 minute haul but closer to the CST in time. My thoughts on the CST, after a week of that I noticed I move fairly well from it. And I was worried my raw power, the one-rep max on my Press, would fall.

It didn’t. I tested it. 5 reps with the 53lb = 60lbs. No change. 4 on the right = 58lbs. I can live with that. I’ll keep that program in my back pocket for the next plateau. Time for the numbers!

Fitness Progress Report:

Body Composition

Body Part                     Before                         After               -/+

Neck                             14.25                           14.35                +.10

Shoulders                45.40                            43.25             -2.15

Chest                           38.75                           38.75               0

Waist                           32.75                            32.25              -.50

Biceps                         12.50                            12.25              -.25

Forearms                 10.85                         10.85                  0

Thighs                       21.40                        21.25                  -.15

Calves                           13.8                         13.5                  -.30

Weight                          153.2 lbs                150.2              -3 lbs

Body Fat %                  15.7%                     14.4%             -1.3%

Lean Body Mass        129.20 lbs          128.50            -0.7 lbs

Lost some size, or stayed the same. Was eating to maintain and keeping the carbs at fat-burning levels, averaging 75 grams. Body fat is going back where I want it. Strength stayed the same. Mission accomplished.

Now that the training will pick up, I’ll up the protein and maybe the carbs. Definitely on the Swing Days. I’ll burn through a lot of glucose. We’ll see  if my measurements go up, but the fat will drop more. It won’t have a choice.

Time For A New Program: Six Week Self-Assessment

Well it finally happened. Almost a year and I hit a wall. For two weeks I didn’t have the energy for the Heavy or Medium Days. And worse, I just didn’t want to do the Rite of Passage. I had to force it.

So I contacted my friend Brad, my RKC trainer. So I went to his gym Life Warrior Fitness and he diagnosed my movements for a new program. This one is a lot less kettlebells. Only one day can I press, just to keep the movement fresh.

Its an interesting system, foam rolling, Primal Move mobility, Power Chamber and Circular Strength Training/TacFit. So what is it?

Power Chamber: You can check that out here. It’s supposed to help brace my core. Isometrically I believe.

Circular Strength Training: 

  1. Lunge (video)
  2. Sit Through Reach (video) Leg extending
  3. Tripod (video)
  4. Base Switch (video) :45 second mark
  5. Leg Lift Spinal Rock
  6. Reverse V-Up: same movement as on your back but from the Plank position.

I do this :30sec a move, back to back in a 3 minute circuit for 3 rounds. A minute of rest between rounds. I’ll deduct :1o seconds from the rest as I progress. I’ll start in earnest today with this program.

So what did the 53lb do, and what does the CST program have to work with?

Fitness Progress Report:

Body Composition

Body Part                     Before                         After               -/+

Neck                             14.3                              14.25                -.05

Shoulders                44.25                            45.40             +1.15

Chest                           37.5                             38.75               +1.25

Waist                           32                                  32.75               +.75

Biceps                         12.25                            12.50               +.25

Forearms                 10.87                         10.85                  -.02

Thighs                       20.87                        21.40                  +.53

Calves                           13.5                         13.8                  +.30

Weight                          150.4lbs                153.2              +2.8lbs

Body Fat %                  13.5%                     15.7%             +2.2%

Lean Body Mass        129.40lbs          129.20            -0.2lbs

Some size gain, lean body mass decrease. Not happy with the close to 16% body fat. Time to microscope what I eat. Drop calories and watch the carbs.

I’ll do this for awhile and then it’s right back to the kettlebells.