Tripping the Lighter, Less Mentally Traumatic

There are a few transfers from my weight training practice to my jiu-jitsu practice. This essay from strength training coach Christian Thibaudeau, which talks about training protocols based on neurological type, is one of them


Type 3 are the most anxious neurotype. For that reason, they don’t like novelty/variation and do better when they follow a static routine or a precise plan. Weight lifting creates more anxiety and stress than for the other neurotypes. Anxiety is simply an excessive neuronal activity, so the last thing you want to do with a Type 3 is to increase neuronal activity even more. In fact, they need to reduce it to train properly. Type 3 also tend to be “tighter/less mobile” because of their anxiety (anxiety increases muscle tightness, especially in the flexor muscles). 

What they need
Type 3 should focus on the parasympathetic nervous system when preparing for a workout. They actually need to reduce neuronal activity. For them, mobility work and self myofascial release (even flow work) are very effective pre-workout, as they decrease anxiety and improve mobility, which are the two main problems for a Type 3. Type 3 also have an increased perception of pain, so self-myofascial release and mobility work will also help in that regard. One last thing they can benefit from is adding “rehearsal work”: a lighter and less mentally traumatic version of the main lift of the session. For example, doing some slow goblet squats before back squats.

I’ve been getting in some drilling over the past few weeks with a few blue belt training partners (thanks Jesus and Peter!). This has been a great way to deal with the fact that I only train twice a week and that there is little “mid-range” work. I help teach (or teach) and I train full speed, with little in between.

This reinforces something I realized after another Tuesday night of lackluster training. When Tuesday rolls around, I’ve been off the mat for four days. There is no flow, no rhythm, and my performance is typically subpar. By Thursday, with a little recent jiu-jitsu under my belt, I’m usually in much better form.

I think the trick is to add more “mobility work” and “rehearsal work” as Christian Thibaudeau calls it, in the form of flow rolling Tuesdays before class. “A “lighter and less mentally traumatic version” a few hours beforehand might help me transition more readily into Tuesday evening’s live training.

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