Author: MoveMind

Sam McNally on preparing for ADCC 2022 (#34)

Join us for this intriguing conversation surrounding Sam’s ADCC 2022 training camp, from everything to do with learning rulesets to improve competition outcomes, wrestling shark tanks, learning positional nuances before submission savagery, and rehabbing major injuries.

Sam McNally is a BJJ black belt under Darragh O Conaill, is the ownder and head coach at Exec BJJ Studio, Dublin, and heading to the -66kg division at this year’s ADCC in Las Vegas, USA.

Time Codes

0:00 Introduction

0:28 ADCC trials experience

2:26 Weight cutting for ADCC

3:55 Sam’s strategic approach for winning competitions

6:56 The length of time it takes to understand how to win from every position

8:46 How Sam went about drilling his wrestling techniques in preparation for the trials and ADCC

13:13 Is wrestling about being strong, or about being fluid?

16:02 How Sam gets his conditioning in for wrestling

18:13 Where positional work fits in to wrestling training

20:00 How Sam approaches building new weapons into his game

26:26 How Sam sets his training goals

28:20 How Sam came up with his periodised approach to training


33:16 Hard training – how useful is it?

38:30 Injuries and rehab protocols

44:22 Was Sam ever formally taught to brace?

46:25 Sam’s approach to S&C now

48:40 How Sam ensures his students can recall what he teaches them

54:37 How Sam goes about teaching his curriculum?

58:34 Sam’s competitive career goals

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Rob Nitman on How To Peak For BJJ Competitions (#33)

If you’ve ever wanted to know how to peak for a BJJ competition, then listen in. My guest this episode is S&C coach Rob Nitman, who has been in the sports performance industry since 2014 and is currently a BJJ blue belt.

We dive into peaking strategies for the weight room, conditioning protocols that really work for BJJ players, and answer some of your questions on training in the weight room for improved performance on the mats.

Time Codes

0:00 Introduction

0:38 How Rob got into S&C

4:08 Where Rob learned the most; placements or on his degree

12:17 Standout moments from Rob’s coaching career where creating buy-in was the last piece of the puzzle

15:07 How Rob came across the bizarre art of murder yoga

18:27 The specifics of what caught Rob’s attention during his first BJJ class

20:07 Landmarks in Rob’s learning on his own BJJ path

25:39 Why bother with S&C for BJJ?

30:55 What kind of training makes up the basics of S&C for BJJ?

31:20 Why might performing a powerlifting program not be suitable for BJJ?

34:04 What should S&C look like as we approach a BJJ competition?

43:54 Where conditioning fits into the S&C picture

47:05 What type of aerobic work Rob recommends

53:13 How the Ribeiros like to do their conditioning

54:35 Is Gordon Ryan hitting the mark with his gym training or is he way off?

1:01:33 Questions from listeners


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Drilling in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – How to learn new moves (#32)

I have made this episode to help those of who don’t have a clear definition for “What it means to drill effectively.”

Listen in as I explain how you can learn moves in jiujitsu that you can actually recall, under pressure and execute successfully. Rather than just showing up to class and hoping it sticks with you.

Time Codes

0:00 Introduction

0:30 Defining the terms

3:00 Stage 1 – Be exposed to the move in question

4:22 Stage 1 – Part b – What are the first principles of the move?

7:16 – Stage 2 – Isolate the movements required to perform the move

8:07 Stage 3 – Practice with no resistance, narrate the coaching points

8:49 Stage 4 – You’re going to ask your partner for feedback

9:16 Stage 5 – 50% resistance

9:27 Stage 6 – Ask for feedback again

10:37 Stage 7 – Positional Sparring

12:56 Stage 8 – Analyse positional and sparring performance

14:19 Stage 9 – Free sparring – analyse after

14:51 Stage 10 – Take it to competition and test it

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Building Your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Game As A Beginner (#31)

As a purple belt, I can only realistically offer pragmatic advice (based on what has worked for me) to blue and white belts. One thing I have learned from Dave Camarillo, that really helped me as a white and blue belt, was how to build your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game, as a beginner. Listen in as I explain the process that you can use right now, today.


0:00 Introduction

1:02 The Basic Positions Of JiuJitsu

2:08 Bottom mount example

3:23 Top mount example

3:57 Benefits of this method

8:03 Send any questions over

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How To Make Yoga Work For Your Body (#30)

If you’ve always avoided Yoga, claiming it’s not for you, then this episode is!

Listen in as I go through why the Yoga world is so full of shit, the one sequence you can customise to your body, and how to take a DIY approach to learning the ancient art of removing tension from your body.

Time codes

0:00 Introduction

0:24 Clarification of terms – Yoga vs Asana

1:29 Asana is ancient

1:56 Theos Barnard – Hatha Yoga : The Report of a Personal Experience

4:08 Yoga as an industry and an 8 limbed system

9:05 “I don’t like Yoga.”

10:53 Focus on just these two things

14:38 Taking a DIY approach to learning Yoga/Asana

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Dave Allanson on Optimising Learning for BJJ and Thinking Critically with Navigating The Grey Area (#29)

If you’re interested in learning to think critically, then listen in! Dave Allanson of Foundations Performance is my guest on episode #29, where we take a deeper dive into his excellent course, Navigating The Grey Area, which I recently completed and highly recommend EVERYONE signs up.

Our conversation covers more as to why Dave created the course to give a thinking critically skillset to S&C coaches, PTs and Physiotherapists, amongst others. We also talk about how you can optimise your learning for BJJ, and other S&C approaches that work well for grapplers.

Time Codes

0:00 Introduction

0:32 Why Dave left his job as a history teacher to become an S&C coach

6:10 How Dave discovered the world of strength and conditioning and shifted from the teaching world to coaching
William Weyland @ Powering Through

13:33 Must have pieces of equipment for home garage gyms

18:17 How Dave has found working for himself as a coach instead of working for an educational institution

22:26 How Dave got in to BJJ and how it captured his attention

25:51 Dave’s view on the current learning landscape in BJJ and how it could be improved

34:43 Alternatives to a Blocked teaching approach with BJJ

50:06 S&C approaches Dave has taken with his BJJ that has worked well for him and his clients

1:03:38 Navigating The Grey Area – why Dave put the course together

1:15:01 How the course is structured

1:24:44 How Dave recommends you communicate with someone who has views or opinions about something which you believe to be wrong

1:27:12 How the course is delivered

1:43:28 How to register for NTGA

Insta – @Foundations_Performance

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Learning How To Think Critically And Navigating The Grey Area (#28)

Episode 28 of the MoveMind Podcast gets cerebral as I unpack what it takes to learn one of the most important life skills that is rarely taught; thinking critically.

We dive into why thinking critically is important, how it differs from critical thinking, the benefits of application plus a review of the fantastic course I enrolled in – Navigating The Grey Area by Dave Allanson of Foundations Performance.

Listen in for a crash course on how to use your mind to sift the crap from the gold in an age of instant-information.

Loaded Carry Variations for Grapplers and Stronger Civilians


Carries in the weight room are some of the most applicable patterns that carry over to the real world, and the mats. Anytime you can think back to a heavy carry you have performed in your life, whether it be a removal of an old fridge, helping an injured buddy, or making the grocery run with multiple shopping bags in each hand, all in one trip, there’s one thing that cannot be avoided; effort.

Heavy carries recruit muscle fibres head-to-toe and summon the inner primal realms of pure effort. Torso strength and stability are challenged, as are many of the hip, knee, ankle and shoulder stabiliser muscle groups. The beauty of the carry as an exercise category is that it can be used for a variety of adaptations, depending on what you’re after. They don’t all have to be balls-to-the-wall.
Stability, strength, endurance, power, hypertrophy – all available depending on what you’re after.


When I program carries for grapplers, I think in terms of pragmatism relative to the phase. For example, a heavy farmer’s carry will really tax the grip faculty, trapezius muscle group and torso strength. A suitable place for this variation is in the grappler’s off-season, where they can afford heavier work in the weight room and slightly longer recovery periods because they are not competing.

For stronger civilians, because they are not playing a sport, I also program the carry variation depending on what adaptation we’re after, and adjust the variables accordingly. I really like using carries with everyday people because they’re always challenging and there’s so many options.

Here’s some of my favourites for you to try;


Shoulder Stability – Double Arm Overhead, Single Arm Overhead, Offset Overhead + Farmer’s. Bottoms Up variations: Bottoms Up Single Arm Overhead, Bottoms Up Offset, and Double Bottoms Up.

Torso Stability – Single Arm Farmer’s, Double Arm Farmer’s, Single Arm Front Rack, Double Arm Front Rack, Offset Overhead + Farmer’s, Offset Overhead and Front Rack, Wheelbarrow

Isometric Strength / Squeeze Endurance – Zercher Sandbag/Medball, Gable Grip Sandbag/Medball

Grip Strength – Heavy Double Arm Farmer’s, Plate Pinch Grip, Wheelbarrow

Hip Stability – Carry upstairs

Knee Stability – Carry downstairs


For strength gains, heavy carries work best – aim for 80%-90% of bodyweight.
30s-45s of work, 2-3 minutes of rest.
3-6 rounds.

For hypertrophy gains, lighten the load – 60%-70% of bodyweight.
45s of work with 90s of rest.
4-5 rounds.

For power endurance gains, set a distance of 20-30m and carry a heavy weight (60%-80% of bodyweight) as fast as you can, then rest 5x the time it took you to complete.
For example, the carry takes 15 seconds, so you rest 75 seconds. Do 4 -5 rounds.

For isometric strength or squeeze endurance, sand-filled objects work best.
For isometric strength, load yourself in a position where the sandbag is locked to your body.
Zercher, Gable grip, Ten Finger grip, etc.
Work hard for 10-20 seconds, then rest 60-90 seconds. 5-6 rounds.

For squeeze endurance, try and burst the object with your squeeze for at least 30 seconds of work time. You can do this moving, or static. The slight give of the sand compressing will give you a little bit of feedback that you’re doing it right. Choose a variety of grips with your hands.
Rest 90 – 120 seconds. Repeat 2-3 rounds.

For stability work, back the load off to 20%-40% of your bodyweight and focus on really controlling the load, moving smoothly towards to finish line. It’s not about speed, but controlling the natural oscillations that occur when you start walking.

For conditioning work, think about which energy system you’re trying to tax and then setup your work:rest ratios, accordingly.
For example, if you’re trying to hit the glycolytic (anaerobic glycolysis / lactic capacity) system, lift something heavy (75%-90%), carry it for 30 seconds, then dump it. Rest for 2 minutes 30 seconds for a complete recovery, or 60-90 seconds if you’re trying to improve your lactic capacity.
If you’re trying to target the glycolytic-oxidative (aerobic-glycolysis) system, lift a medium weight (30%-70%) for 1 minute, rest 3 minutes for a complete recovery. To train aerobic power output, rest for 1 minute and repeat for 4-8 rounds.
To target the oxidative (aerobic) system, carry a light weight (20%-35%) for 3 minutes or more, and rest 3 minutes. Long wheelbarrow carries work well for this and will help build general physical preparedness (GPP) which is perfect for off-season work.


It doesn’t get more practical than carrying something. Think of what adaptation you’re after and get creative! There’s so many loaded carry variations out there, I’ve only scratched the surface here. Partner carries open up a whole new world for grapplers and stronger civilians alike, and they’re super fun. Wheelbarrows will test your mettle, sandbags offer a unique deadweight challenge, and strongman-inspired medleys can make finishers a fun ordeal after your max or sub-max strength work. And don’t forget the trusty sled. Carries mixed with sled drags offer a whole new world to explore.
Happy carrying!