I'm not a lifter but I'm in love with lifting. I train strength in support of my sport, which is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I'm bloody strong, and known for it amongst the girls in our competitive community.
Like lifting, BJJ is a male dominated sport. But unlike lifting, my 'weights' are not made of relentless and unforgiving iron, they're made of 90kg sweaty dudes in pyjamas trying to throw me, choke me, break my arms etc etc. At 62kg you either get strong or you get broken.
After a major LCL injury at competition that laid me off for 3 months of training, I was taught to deadlift. That was my rehab goal. To get to straight legged deads at the 12 week mark. It was the 'Summer of Guns' and I chin up-ed my way through 12 long weeks of rehab and stair step ups in a hip to ankle brace.
When I was finally able to deadlift I couldn't be happier. That's when the love of lifting began.
By the end of my rehab I was lifting 5x5s of 100kg daily. And about 50 chins daily. Yep. Daily. Obsessive much? I'm not saying that's a balanced or proper program but it's all I could do. So I did it. A lot. My cardio was rope work. And push ups (because I used to hold my breath throughout push ups so it became intense. Hahaha. Not on purpose).
I lost weight. And I got strong. Who knew you could do that without running that you haaaaate?! Hahaha yes! A fkn revelation and freedom from so many wrong ideas I had about training. Especially for aesthetic goals.
After I was given the all clear to train BJJ again, my first competition back at high level for wrestling was about 2 weeks later and wasn't exactly a quality display of BJJ technique. It was me kinda dead lifting chicks. And hard. It wasn't pretty. I won yeah. But I think purely by brute hulk anger. The girls wanted nothing of it. I can understand that.
Since then I've used deads, squats, push ups and chins almost daily as a way to stay strong enough to to continue to be injury free. Since starting to lift 2 summers ago Im happy to say that I've had an unprecedented run injury free. It's rare in our sport and very very high priority for me.
I usually work basic lifting movements after each of my 3 hour BJJ training sessions (I do 3 of these as 'heavy days' per week and 2 lighter 90 minute sessions per week). Heavy days include 3x5s of deads and squats at about 75% of max. All done relatively fast but with good rest in between. Plus 10 push ups and 5 chins between lifts. The idea being that if I do a little each day it accumulates over time. And that I don't feel these lifts as fatigue the next day.
When I'm in 'building strength' phase I structure my week better. And it's harder. Especially with DOMS.
3x 1 hour dedicated hard S&C classes so that I hit my BJJ classes afterwards fatigued. And less BJJ overall (which is actually cardio and KILLS my gains).
This structure means the technical aspect is all I'm able to really apply during BJJ classes though and though I feel worse at my sport when tired and can't win, I'm actually fine tuning the problem areas, which is kinda the point. It's an emotional time. I usually cry. It feels like I can't do anything right. But it's for a reason and yields good results.
So what's happening now?
Now I have a big comp in 5 weeks. I've been strength building for 3 months so now it's time for a switch it up. Now I have to lift sports specific. Get more functional with my movement.
I've been really unbalanced with my strength and my lifts during this last strengthening phase, which I'm not happy about. At 62kg, currently my squat is 70kg for 5x5s and my dead is 100kg for 5x5s and though I lifted an ugly double body weight dead last week (yay me, poor technique though), I can't even imagine breaking 100kg for my squat. After competition season I desperately want to fix that gap. And fix my technique. I know the bar is waaaaaay too far away from my legs in my dead. It needs work. It looks and feels shit. But I can't fix that now with my BJJ comp coming up.
So what's the plan?
I'm gonna smash some stuff to get me more explosive with posterior chain firing. And get killer grips.
So it begins. Again.