Institute For Human Performance

A few Questions and Answers with JC Santana

This weeks podcast episode #29 features my friend JUAN CARLOS “JC” SANTANA.

JC is a Fitness maverick, founder of the Institute of Human Performance (IHP) , dynamic speaker, sought-after consultant, prolific author … for over 30 years Juan Carlos “JC” Santana has been raising the bar in the fitness industry.


  1. What is the quickest way to build explosive power in an athlete?

    A: From our observations with athletes of all ages and training levels – COMPLEX “POWER” TRAINING is the most efficient method and quickest way to train for power and develop POWER! Let me explain:

    Power is the optimal blend of strength and speed.  Therefore, when training for power strength training and speed training must be addressed.  Strength and speed are mostly neural in nature – which means the Central Nervous System (CNS) drives their performance – not necessarily the size of muscles!  The good news is that, especially in beginners where neural adaptations are greatest, power can be improved very quickly!

    The one-two punch is to work on Strength and Power simultaneously!  Nothing does this best than complex training. Complex training is a method of training where traditional strength exercises are paired up with explosive (unloaded) exercises.  One performs the traditional exercise, rests, then explodes with the unloaded exercise.

    The theory is that the traditional exercise excites the CNS without fatiguing it and the brief rest allows the involved muscles, the energy systems and CNS to recover. With a charged CNS and recovered muscles – the subsequent explosive movement is much faster and explosive.

    To learn more about the volume, intensity, frequency, duration, and application of power training get to one of JC’s Certifications at IHP!
    The ESSENCE OF PROGRAM DESIGN BOOK is also a great resource to learn how we program POWER TRAINING.  Learn how IHP develops their POWER TRAINING and puts cyborgs on the playing field!


  1. What's the best conditioning for grappling endurance?

A: Most coaches still think the best endurance for any sport, including GRAPPLING ENDURANCE, is developed through cardiovascular training (e.g. running, biking, swimming, etc). THIS IS INCORRECT!. The best conditioning for grappling endurance is training appropriate grappling-specific circuits!

According to the Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands (SAID) principle - “you get what your train for”. If you run, you get great running cardio, but when you ask your arms to engage in grappling-type of activities – that running will get you very little in the way of grappling endurance.

When your muscle contract hard and fast, they produce hydrogen at an accelerated rate! This hydrogen creates an acidic environment that is painful and eventually interferes with muscle contraction! The appropriate SAID circuit-training helps grappling endurance by several means:

  1. It makes one stronger so it allows more intense and frequent and contractions before hydrogen gets high enough to interfere with grappling endurance.

  2. It increases the body’s ability to neutralize (i.e. buffer) hydrogen so that the acidic environment remains low enough to not interfere with grappling endurance.

  3. It reduces the Rate of Perceived Excursion (RPE) of the exercises, thereby allowing the athlete to push themselves harder before they reduce their intensity.

So there you have it – train with GRAPPLING SAID CIRCUITS to take your grappling endurance to the elite level!


  1. What would you consider to be some of the most safe and "functional" moves to teach a pregnant woman in second trimester who will have a baby and toddler to handle?

A: I love the standing band rows and chest presses, modified choppers, short med ball rotations, alt pulldowns, one arm overhead presses, 1/4- 1/2 squats with med ball pushes, etc. Make sure loads and exertion are appropriate.

TAKU’s NOTE: To learn more about grappling endurance training get to one of JC’s Certifications at IHP! The SAID for Grappling DVD is also a great resource to learn how they make their grapplers absolute monsters. To learn more about coaching progressions, volume, intensities, and creating powerful training programs that MAKE SENSE attend one of JC’s Certifications at IHP! Visit for the best in training education.