6 Weeks To Stronger Grappling

Hey GrapplersPlanet Readers! Hope you guys are doing well and getting great results with the last program I wrote on General Endurance. If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you start there, as endurance really needs to be the foundation of your conditioning routine.


So let’s get to it!

Time to talk about one of my favorite physical attributes: STRENGTH. Strength, in my opinion, should your second (endurance being first) priority when it comes to your conditioning. Why? Because developing strength will:

  • Form the foundation for explosive power (very important in grappling)
  • Will help you deal with bigger opponents
  • Allow you to apply (NOT take the place of) your techniques more effectively

However, maximum strength training for Stronger Grappling needs to be properly programmed and integrated into your training because it can be tough on your body.

For this program we will be using very basic exercises. Don’t let anybody fool you. The basic lifts shown here should be the backbone of your Maximum Strength program. Forget any of the so-called “functional” exercises. We will get into sport-specific training eventually and I’ll also explain how many of the “functional” exercises that people claim to help you in sport are a waste of time. Make sure you do them with strict technique! If you don’t know, then find someone to help you.

You might find the volume (2 exercises per training session) a little low. Again, THAT’S ON PURPOSE. The goal isn’t to trash your muscles with exercise, it’s to get stronger while you’re also training grappling! If you’re not taking steroids or a pro athlete who has a team of professionals helping you recover, then follow my program the way it is written. Remember: Your workout is only as good as your ability to recover from it!


Stronger and well conditioned increases your chance of VICTORY

Weeks 1-2


Exercise Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Stiff-leg Deadlift 3 x 8 reps   3 x 8 reps
Bench Press 3 x 8 reps   3 x 8 reps
Squat   3 x 8 reps  
Pull up   3 x 8 reps  


Weeks 3-4

Exercise Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Stiff-leg Deadlift   3 x 6 reps  
Bench Press   3 x 6 reps  
Squat 3 x 6 reps   2 x 8 reps
Pull up 3 x 6 reps   2 x 8 reps


Weeks 5-6

Exercise Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Stiff-leg Deadlift 4 x 4 reps   3 x 8 reps
Bench Press 4 x 4 reps   3 x 8 reps
Squat   4 x 4 reps  
Pull up   4 x 4 reps  



Get strong and throw’em on the mats.



Here are some guidelines to follow for this routine:

  • Do a general warm up then do at least 2 warm up sets for each exercise
  • Rest 3-4 minutes in between sets
  • Try to increase the weight each week in each lift
  • Use STRICT technique on all lifts
  • DO NOT go to failure in any lift; always have at least 1 or 2 reps left than the rep prescription I have provided
  • Use 5-8 minutes of active rest in between each exercise. Active rest is one of my favorite new techniques that I’ve learned. It will help you get the most out of every exercise. Some of my favorites are treadmill running or walking, jump rope, shadow boxing, and exercise bike. The goal is to keep your heart rate under 150 and not let fatigue accumulate. In other words, your should not be getting more tired from active rest, you should be recovering.
  • I suggest doing this program either the morning before your grappling training or on a separate day. If you have something else that works for you then do that.

That’s it! Try it and let me know how it works for you!





Ted Ryce is a brown belt with two stripes in Brazilian Jiujitsu under Daniel Valverde in Miami, Florida. He is a professional personal trainer with over 13 years of experience specializing in the areas of Sports Performance and Medical Exercise Programs. For more information visit:



Special thanks to MIKE CALIMBAS PHOTOGRAPHY for the Cool Shots.

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