I woke up today and everything in my body hurt. I have a nice bruise on my right eye/temple, another on my nose, and plenty of irritated red skin. My left knee hurts, just about every muscle in my body aches, the right side of my face yells at me anytime I change facial expressions, and I have a headache.
Basically, I have all the symptoms of getting hit by a car. Being that I have in-fact been hit by a car, fallen from a car, jumped out of a car, and hit someone with a car I have a general idea of what this feels like.
Fortunately, I was not hit by a car yesterday.
Last Tuesday coach informed me I needed to come to the special competition team training on Sunday. He said it is very “nice” training and that I would like it. He said it is 2.5 hours of training and people come and go as they need to. He described it as “good training” and vaguely described what we would be doing.
Not one to disappoint coach if I can help it; I agreed to come to the training.
On Wednesday, Thursday, and on Saturday after training coach again reminded me that I needed to remember to come to Sunday training. Each time I said I would be there. Saturday night when we were cornering our respective fighters he again confirmed that I would be at the gym at 2PM to train. I asked another one of our coaches if he was going and got an enthusiastic “hell no” from him. He described the training is “crazy”.
I woke up Sunday morning at the normal time and had breakfast. I typically eat lunch after training gets out at 1PM but knew that would be too late so I ate light lunch at 12PM. No point in eating more and just puking it out in training. Last time I did that Will didn’t let me live it down for 6 months.
I arrived at the gym and walked into the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu room.
The Warm Up – Duration 30 minutes
The group ran around the mats in belt order (black belts in front — white in back). We did the normal assortment of break dancing, shoots and sprawls, push ups, partner carries, partner jumps, etc. The 10 or so minutes of leg raises, 6 inch holds, and plank holds was a bit ridiculous but not too terrible.
Drilling – Duration 1 hour
The class was broken up into 3 groups – Small guys and women, medium guys, and big guys. In my group there were mainly blue and purple belts, a few browns, and a black belt. It was a good group with me in the upper middle part of the size range.
The drill was simple – 2 minutes rounds, winner start on top, bottom guy wins if he sweeps or submits, top guy wins if he passes guard and controls. If bottom guy stands up both out. If 2 minutes is up both guys out. Winner stays in. We had enough groups that even if one were to lose every round they would still end up drilling for 50 minutes of the hour.
For those that have not ever training BJJ I would describe the feeling as this. Imagine yourself in the garbage compactor on the Death Star. It is compressed enough so that you can put both hands and feet on opposite walls. The walls move in with just enough force so that you have to use every bit of your strength to keep them from crushing you. Now do this for about an hour.
Sprawl Drill – Duration 15 minutes
Sprawl 1 time, take a step down mat, repeat until at end of mat, run back. Then do the same but sprawl 2 times. Then 3, then 4, etc until you get to 10.
I didn’t count, but there very well might be 500+ sprawls. In any event it was brutal. I am not sure brutal even captures that absolute absurdity of that drill. Horrible. Painful. Insane. Awful. Horrendous. I could continue to go down the thesaurus for words but basically it sucked.
If I hadn’t been partnered up with Armando, one of our black belts, and coach yelling at us (by name) I am not sure if I would have been able to do it. There is NO WAY I would have ever done it on my own.
Rolling – 45 minutes
We were divided up back to our original groups. 5 minute rounds starting from our knees. If after 5 minutes no one taps both guys out. If a guy taps then they leave and winner stays. I am not sure if this was better or worse than the 1st drill.
When coach finally called “time” at 4:30 PM I collapsed on the mats and pondered why I continually do stuff like this to myself.
Closing Thoughts –
I went into training weighting 170lbs. I drank 2.5 liters of fluid during training. I left training weighting 169lbs. Water weights roughly 2.2lbs per liter. That means I sweated out 6.5lbs of water during the training. That is 2.6lbs per hour. Best weight loss drug ever if you ask me. (J/K)
My hands shook for about 20 minutes (basically until I could slam some simple carbs and they started being absorbed into my system).
It would be difficult to train like this more than once per week. I doubt the body could support it without breaking down due to (COS) chronic overtraining syndrome. Fortunately we only do it on Sundays and the training and the other crazy hard days are Tuesday and Thursday to help combat COS. The other days vary in intensity so that theoretically one could train 6 days per week.
The most tired I have ever been is round 3 of my 1st fight. I could barely hold my hands up. Fortunately, I had been training like this before and could still function under total exhaustion. Training like this really mimics what it feels like in the later rounds of a fight or the second or third fight of the day. Being able to continue to fight, move, and think whilst being on the brink of falling over is one of the only ways to win tough matches.
So despite all the pain I am in today I intend to go back and do it all again this coming Sunday. I think this kind of training is why Unit 2 produces some of the best BJJ guys in the country. It is why we win almost every tournament we enter in GA and are competitive as a team at the national and international level.