How do you go about developing your cardio for Jiu-Jitsu? Everyone has tehri own way, and of course, every “expert” out there has their own magic formula. However, what is it that actually works? Well, let’s try the BJJ formula. How many marathon runners do grat in Jiu-Jitsu, conditioning-wise? How about powerlifters? Then again, a gymnast, or even a solid CrossFitter, might surprise with their BJJ stamina. Som, we need to be looking for the answer to the BJJ cardio puzzle in the middle. In other words, we need to understand anaerobic training.
Anaerobic training is something you won’t want to do. Or better said, you’ll want to, but you won’t like it. It is hard it is grueling and it seems to last forever. However, you’ll definitely love the end result, when the times comes to demonstrate your BJJ stamina. Setting up anaerobic training is also not hard and you can even do it with BJJ specific movements in the confines of your own home. What you need, though, is to first understand how it works.
Energy Systems In A Nutshell
The way we operate as human beings, energy-wise, is not hard to understand. I mean that in a broad sense, given that physiology is a quite complex branch of science that most people do not even have a working knowledge of. As a medical professional and a decade long grappler, I’ll try to put everything in perspective for everyone.
In essence, the way we get energy is through three main energy systems. These systems work by producing energy out of the compounds we get from food. In the process, they work by utilizing the help of oxygen in doing so, or in without it. In that sense, one of the systems is aerobic (uses oxygen) while the other two are anaerobic. They all have different pros and cons, and there are specific ways of training each.
This is probably the best time to note that you can’t actually do any activity without using all three systems to a certain extent. that means that training all of them is usually a great way of making sure you’ve got your bases covered. The catch is that you can’t train them at once, and you need quite large blocks of time to develop them all (at least a couple of months per system). That means, if you really want to improve your BJJ stamina fast, yo need to turn to anaerobic training. More specifically, you need to develop your anaerobic lactic training system.
Why You Should Focus On Anaerobic Training
All that said, there are reasons why you should be focusing mostly on your anaerobic lactic energy system. It is a system that uses lactate as a substrate for the production of energy in anaerobic conditions. In other words, it is the energy system that allows you to use sustained energy at a fairly high pace for periods of 2-5 minutes, depending on the pace and howe developed your system is. Sounds familiar?
Most BJJ exchanges, to be fair, do not last in excess of a minute or two. Afterward, you get to rest a bit and then you go again. At a higher level, these exchanges are even shorter but can be a lot more numerous. In any case, it is the anaerobic lactic system that drives us in BJJ, and the one that needs most of our attention when it comes to BJJ stamina.
From a practical standpoint, anaerobic training will help you just about anything that requires explosive strength that lasts more than a few seconds. All sweep exchanges, movement-based passes, scrambles, breaking through defenses he looking to finish a submission – they all utilize the anaerobic lactic system as their main one. Training this system more than the others will provide you with more than the necessary specific BJJ stamina to complement your technique. Now, al lthat’s left is lerning some more Jiu-Jitsu.
Developing Insane Amounts Of BJJ Stamina
Finally, it is time to explore some options for organizing anaerboic trainign for BJJ stamina. One thing you can always do is go for the “Marcelo Garcia“. As the little magician claims, he never did any strength and considtionign, but rather roleld with a pace like it was his last roll. WHiel this made him mentalyl tough, comfortable in rolling, etc, it also actually worked on his anaerobic lactic energy system.
The best way to work organize grappling specific anaerobic training is as interval training manner. The way to organize the intervals is in a 1:3 fashion. That means that for 1 secod you go all out, and then you keep a sustained lower pace fro 3 seconds. OF course, this is just to paint a picture. In reality, you won’t do anything less than 10 seconds, meaning you get 30 seconds of moderate pace to “rest”. the goa lsi to increase, and start counting in minutes rather than seconds. Although, to be honest, working in 1020 seocnd speed bathces andresting for 30-60 seconds is a muxch more realistic represantiton of how you’ll need to utilize anareobic energy while grappling. The goal is to be able to last about 30 minutes wihtout stopping.
Exercises you can use here are different. You can go old-school and jsut go for intervals oan stationary bike, treadmill or eliptical. You can also try and work on complexes, using barbells, dubmbbells, kettleebells or your bodyweight. Or, you can throw in BJJ moves in there to make things intersting. Anything from werstlign sit otu s to doign triangle choke crunches will do the trick. Ther are no real rules to exercise selection, as logn as what you’re doign is done at a high pace and is not easy to perform.
Aerobic training is not fun, even when you’re doing Marcelo Garcia style rolls. However, it is extremely important if you want to be a tough competitor in Jiu-Jitsu. All the talk about technique beting strength is fine, but without BJj stamina, you won’t get the chance to test either of them. So make sureyou can last longenough on the mats fro you techiqe to take over.