Suppliment to Body By Fish

I've been talking to Scrapper lately (whom i'll likely call Fish, if you are confused by the thread title) about my progress with my Brazillian Jiu Jitsu team. I was just officially given the titles of Strength and Conditioning Coach and Competition Team Director for our university team.

The instructor, Chris (from boston brazillian jiu jitsu, who frequents the bjj board on this site) and i are beginning to peice together (slowly) what will eventually be an NCAA type organization for mixed grappling. We both feel that this will be a huge step in making the sport so many of us love something that is taught at all levels, offered in schools, and recognised by a bigger pool of highly qualified professionals such as Coach Davies.

My part in all of this is taking our athletes to a level comparable to any other national/collegiate class athlete. I decided to use Fish's programs to do this.

Why? Because these programs can be used by anyone anywhere, with or without equipment. Even more importantly then their extreme versatility, they work. I've been slowly introducing some of the key excersises into the regimine and will soon be taking over entirely for the competition team.


As i began to develop a broad plan for what attributes are most important for BJJ as a sport, i came up with a few different (but not necessarily new) ideas that can be sprinkled into his routines to vary your results, but without taking away from the versatility and effectiveness.


Some of these require a pullup bar, a partner, and/or a backpack. As with all routines, make sure you are properly warmed up before you begin.


Sprinting is a key element in a lot of Fish's routines, and if you have the space to these, i certainly recommend any time of sprinting as an awesome type of overall conditioning.

Running/movement drills:

High knee stepping. first walk with these to warm up. With each step bring your knee as high as you can. Now see how fast you can go. These can be done while moving forward, or in one spot. As you go, make sure you are moving your arms in a normal running pattern. These are good to superset with mountain climbers.

High knee plus kick: Same as the high knee, but when your knee is fully upright, kick your foot out. The motion is difficult to execute quickly so work up to it. This is also good for hamstring flexibility.

High knee plus hop: Same as high knee except that when your knee is at the top of its range, use the momentum to explode with the other leg, executing a one legged jump.

Other Assorted Running drills: Typically done during warmup, practice side stepping, sidestepping while crisscrossing feet, and running backwards. Also practice a wide stride and narrow stride. This will all help with agility and hip mobility.

Sprinting Variations:

Lying sprints. Start on your stomach with your arms outstretched to you sides. when ready start your sprints from here. Execute your takoff with as much explosive force as possible. To increase the challenge, have a partner signal your start without any warning (ie. a sudden "GO!" instead of "on your mark...."), or by throwing something that you have to retrieve, in which case you wouldnt take off until the object has entered your vision.

X pattern (or variable pattern) sprinting. If you have a squared off area (this works especially well for sprinting in a yard where you dont have a football sized area to run in) start in a corner and sprint to the opposite corner, turn to your right jog to the next corner, and sprint to the opposing corner, turning left this time. You will be making an X. Slowing down, speeding up, and changing direction all require more energy then just a straight sprint. This one will help your "wind."


Pushup variations:

Backpack pushups. More or less just weighted pushups. School books, weights, dirt, whatever is heavy, stick it in there and plug away. Adding weight is a great way to increase your reps when the weight is off, so if you're having trouble doing the pyramid up to 12, then try some of these for a while. Warning: Backpacks can slide up and hit you in the head, and if made too tight will make your arms go numb.

Partner pushups. If you have someone to workout with, or a roomate who will give you some help as long as you stop playing that damned body by fish video then this one is for you. Have the person stand astride you, or next to you and apply resistance evenly to your shoulders, or in the most comfortable place. Eventually you can have the person, a small child, or patient animal sit there to increase overall strength, but this often means them sitting on your lower back which can be stressfull.

Power pushups. Any pushup where your hands leave the ground. You can practice these on your knees to start. Adding a clap will increase the difficulty.

Pullup variations:

Fish has a lot of variations for pullups in the video, so make sure to get that (5 or 6 different kinds). The only things im going to add to the already difficult excersise to increase it's challenge are spinoffs of the pushup variations.

Backpack pullups. Pullups with a weighted backpack like in the pushup section.

Parter pullups. have the person apply downward resistance at your hips. Increase this resistance as you get stronger. Work your way up to:

Piggyback pullups. Pullups with your partner hanging from you. Note: you will learn to hate your partner if he/she weighs more then you.

Dip variations: Same as pullup variations.



Lower body:

Two step squats. Perform a normal squat into a square stance, stand upright and take to steps two the left. Squat again. Take two steps to the right. The stepping, especially when done quickly, makes the squats much harder.

Piggy back squats. Squats with a person on your back. This can be tried with the high knee drill as well.

Lung and lift. A good excersise to use when drilling shooting technique. Shoot in as you normally would but stop once you get to your partner. you'll be kneeling on your back leg and your front foot will be planted on the floor, knee at 90 degrees. your partner well bend at the hip so as to be balanced on your shoulder. From here you stand as you would during a normal lift, but once you reach full extension kneel back down again, and repeat without the shoot. Switch shoulders after you get tired. If you cant do this as a lunge, plant both feet on the floor and squat your partner up.

Partner deadlift. Easiest with a gi. Start on top in a closed gaurd position, grab your partners lapel and deadlift him/her so that you are standing and they are in the closed guard. Without the gi, grab either their wrists or under their arms. a bearhug works too, but is very difficult. Your partner can resist. Make sure your back is flat as in proper deadlift form.

Bootstrappers with no hands. Normal bootsrapper, but your hands arent on the floor. If you have trouble balancing, use one finger of each hand on the floor.



Scrappers ab stuff is awesome, so i dont have a lot of ideas, but this is one we do in class sometimes:

Hanging situps. Clinch with a partner in a standing position and jump into a standing closed guard (your partner will be in your guard, but standing). Lower down so that you are hanging and the come up. You can twist as you do this as well. This excersise is absolute hell on both people. Note: if balance is an issue for the standing person, have a third person stand behind and push downward on the feet, or otherwise provide counterbalance. The end goal would be to just do this with two people.


I lost the sheet i had all these written down on, so if i remember more ill post them later. Enjoy the excersises and if you dont have Fish's videos yet, then buy them, as they will be an incredible addition to your overall fitness.

Stay strong and have fun!


Awesome! Mind if I archive this early next week maybe?

Please keep us updated on how this project comes along!

please do. I hope that if Fish likes it, he might even put it on his site!

Thanks for the support!


I'm going to start working out with a small cat so I can do those pullups with a partner hanging off of me....

Great suggestions.


the only problem I have is believing that you actually get owens to do all those exercises. I never saw him lift anything heavier than a cheeseburger. ;)

Man, that's some impressive work! Give me some time and I'll send you some additional modifications to your modifications. Just a few ways to do things differently that I'm sure you'll enjoy.

Keep kickin' ass bro, I hope your team does the same.

Train hard,


HA! Joe Murphy, the cheesburgers up here in VT are good too! ;0

I have used some of this stuff in class, but Doug is going to take it to the next level for us. Wading through the foam pit is another exercise we are working on. (This will be specific to our training facility so you may have to come visit). Watch out for the Catamount BJJ Comp team.

Great post Doug.

ttt for modifications of the modifications!

Great stuff!

well here's one for you guys straight from Fish himself:

One legged bootstrappers. Put one leg behind the achilles of the other and proceed as normal.

Also a note on the no hands bootstrappers i mentioned above is they seem to work best for me with hands behind my back (acting as a counterbalance).

I'm currently working on a successful one legged no handed bootstrap, but i have yet to get the balance right. I'll take pics when i do ;)

To clear up any confusion, Owenz is the bjj instructor who inspired all this madness in me. Today we are going to fire up the boys by watching some old UFC's then we're going to set up an obstacle course where we train, to spice up our warmup.

We train in a gymnastics room at the University, and there is a foam pit for the gymnasts to execute flips into. Wading through the pit from one end to the other is HELL!