Stuck at home and going crazy? We all are. For most people, isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is hard. For people that train BJJ, it is nearly unbearable. I guess all the BJJ videos, DVDs, and fights available online do give us something to do in these hard times. However, when it comes to training, even though we can’t roll, we can still train. There are countless options when it comes to doing a BJJ home workout. In fact, there are so many that I decided to do a series on the subject, offering different workouts for different goals.
Let’s kick things off with a bang. You’re stuck at home and the one thing you’re doing, apart from staring at a screen, is eating. Now, overeating, even if you’re eating clean is an easy thing to do, particularly if you’re still eating like you’re training every day. In that sense, gaining muscle is not just a reasonable goal to having during isolation, but an easily attainable one.
BJJ Home Workout Options
Training at home is the hardest type of training you’ll ever have to do. it is just too hard to get yourself to train. As long as you can maintain a habit of training, you’ll do just great with any type of BJJ home workout. In fact, let’s go over the types of workouts you can do at home while we’re stuck in this predicament.
Of course, given the way we begin here, you could go for muscle gain. And no, as you’ll see later on, you won’t need any equipment to pack on some muscle. You could also go in the complete opposite direction and do a BJJ home workout that will help you shed fat or lose weight. Make sure you make a distinction between the two because they’re far from the same. Furthermore, you have BJJ home workouts that are grappling specific and will help you keep your skills on point until we get back on the mats. Also, you can work on correcting imbalances and improving specific areas like balance and flexibility. In other words, you can do just about anything at home.
When it comes to organizing a BJJ home workout, you have to remember that it is extremely easy to find an excuse not to do them. they don’t require a partner, you’re not paying for them and you’re not leaving your home or your room for that matter. So, as long as you can find it within yourself to master the discipline, home workouts will help you achieve any goal you want.
Training For Muscle Gains
The first rule of training to gain muscle – forget the X number of weeks to gain 30 lbs. Unless you’re training for bodybuilding, have exceptional genetics and aces to top of the shelf steroids and methods of using them, that won’t happen. When you gain muscle, you gain it all over your body, so don’t expect to come out of a BJJ home workout for building muscle looking like Nicky Rodriguez. You won’t.
That said, you can most definitely gain some muscle at home. The key is the frequency of training, as opposed to volume. That’s exactly what people get wrong. Intensity has a role to play as well. When you’re trying to pack some muscle on, you need to rest, more than you train. When you train, you need to train hard, and often, but not too much. That means you get to train every day, but you’ll keep those workouts short. However, they will be intense.
The idea here is easy – train often. To do that, you should organize your workouts in a push and pull fashion, and do whole-body workouts in each of those sessions. Check out some examples below.
No Equipment Training
What are the best exercises to build muscle? Compound ones. However, you don’t need to do deadlifts or cleans when you hear about compound exercises. On the contrary, compound exercises can be bodyweight as well. Squats, pushups, handstand pushups are all amazing compound exercises and they can fit into any BJJ home workout. That’s exactly what you’ll focus on.
So, with the push-pull split in mind, you need one exercise per muscle group. Hamstrings, back, biceps and traps are pulling muscles, while chest, delts, triceps, and quads are pushing muscles. So go for glute bridges, chin-ups, and bodyweight rows one day, and squats, pushups, dips, and handstand pushups the other. Either keep the same exercises the next time you have the same type of workout or, better yet, switch them up with a variation. That way, you’ll get a different workout every day of the week, except Sunday. That’s when you get to rest and grow.
In terms of sets and reps, things are ultra-simple when you’re trying to gain weight. Do rest-pause training. That means, do two sets of 8-10 first, to warm up the muscles and get going with the motion. then, do as many reps as you can, followed by a 10-second rest, followed by as many reps as you can again, 10 more seconds, and one final all outset. That’s it.
Training With Minimal Equipment
Kettlebells. Yup, you can do a brutal BJJ home workout with them, and people tend to have them nowadays. Whether you have one or two, things are simple – follow the exact same system as before. Simply switch up exercises, given that now you have more training options .you can press overhead, bench press, clean, row, swing, snatch, deadlift, squat, etc. The same rules as before apply.
Or, you can go a different route, one that’s much easier. You’ll do just two exercises per workout – clean and press and front squat. The only catch is that you need two kettlebells for this one. And, they’ll need to be on the heavier side, no lighter than 24 kg, preferably. You’ll do 3 sets of 2-4-6-8-10 reps on the clean and press. In between each of them, you do half that number of front squats. That means after 2 clean and jerks, you immediately do 1 squat. Grab your breath, rest as little as possible, and go for the next step in the ladder: 4 clean and presses, and two squats.
The next workout you’ll simply do 3 sets of 5 clean and presses, and 3 sets of 5 squats, done as straight sets with a minute rest in between. Rest one day, repeat day one, rest another day, repeat day two. That’s it.
Nutrition on gaining muscles is a vast subject that merits its own article. The gist of it, though, is that you need to get more calories than you spend. If you do that while not training, the excess calories will turn into fat. If you do it while training strategically for muscle gain, the excess calories will help repair and then build muscle tissue. Of course, you need to keep your meal plan clean and on point. there’s no point in doing BJJ home workouts if you’re going to eat fast food and drink sodas while in isolation. That said, carbs are not the enemy here, so make sure you get your fair share each day. Try and eat protein with every meal, and forget about intermittent fasting and stuff like that. You’re trying to gain muscle anyway.
A BJJ Home workout doesn’t have to be boring. Moreover, it can serve whatever purpose you want. THat’s the whole point, anyway, especially in these times when new can’t get to a gym. Tune-up your nutrition and build some muscle with the ideas outlined above. They’re more than enough to keep you occupied until BJJ gyms reopen and the real fun can begin.