Do you know what the biggest issue with strength and conditioning for BJJ is? Despite what most people think it is no sticking to one. It is also not about specific parts of the program itself. Whatever workouts you choose to compliment your BJJ training are going to have an effect. This brings us to the actual problem itself – selection. How do you know that you’re doing the correct strength and conditioning for BJJ? After all, there are so many options out there, that you couldn’t go through them in a lifetime. How can you know that your current selection covers everything you actually need for grappling?
Much like the art of cutting weight, strength, and conditioning for BJJ remains mostly uncharted territory. After all, grappling is a sport, unlike others. It involves motion patterns and muscle groups that are very hard to target with traditional training means. And, despite many grapplers advocating that more Jiu-Jitsu is the best conditioning tool, I can say with certainty that it is not. Supplementing BJJ training with “homework” in the form of strength and conditioning is a must for any serious grappler.
Let’s go over some facts regarding strength and conditioning for BJJ. Fact number one is that you need a strength and conditioning program. There’s no way around it. Fact number two is that it needs to be something that actually has a positive carry-over to grappling. Third, it needs to be in accordance with your goals and capabilities. Finally, in order to reduce the clutter, you need to make sure you keep things as simple and effective as possible.
Strength And Conditioning For BJJ – The Options
Despite all the information out there, bodybuilding routines still remain more or less the norm. People still tend to train in body part splits. Even if they focus more on a powerlifting kind of effort, they still keep the training modalities close to those of physique competitors.
The Kettlebells are also a big one. Now more popular than ever, there are a thousand ways of organizing kettlebell workouts. Everything from elaborate multi kettlebell programs to a single kettlebell circuit is used in strength and conditioning for BJJ. The fact is that kettlebells are definitely a very useful tool for grapplers and are here to stay.
Next up is bodyweight training. This is where things can get overwhelming. Everything from simple calisthenics to complex gymnastic workouts often gets associated with strength and conditioning for BJJ. We’re also going to slam roadwork, like long-distance running and/or sprints in this category.
Next up is the black sheep fo athletic conditioning. The aim of the functional training was to introduce a methodology focused on supplemental sports training for athletes. It ended up offering the widest variety of training routines and exercises that many of the other methods outlined above. While certain things make a lot of sense, not everything “functional” actually works for grapplers.
Finally, if you talk to a real expert in the field, you’ll be able to gain access to an individually tailored plan. These specialized programs are usually hybrids, including two or more of the methods we already covered. These programs are great, but they often cost a lot and maybe overly complicated.
Strength And Conditioning For BJJ – Selection Criteria
Now that we know what’s out there, we can look to apply certain selection criteria to reduce the clutter. After all, the goal is to choose something that is going to fit your level, your goals and really helps grappling as the main sport.
We’ll actually start with grappling as the first criteria. After all, if it doesn’t make you better on the mats there’s little sense in using it. Bodybuilding has its advantages. Lifting weights makes muscles and tendons tougher, providing stability and strength. However, it does tend to work in planes of motion that are too restrictive for grappling. Compound lifts are great but can be too taxing along with grappling.
Bodyweight can greatly help your grappling when used right. Jumping on gymnastic rigs without any experience is not a good idea though. The only drawback of gymnastics as strength and conditioning for BJJ is the learning curve. Sticking to some proven basics, like pull-ups, pushups, and squats is great, especially if you’re a beginner.
Kettlebells are truly awesome and actually have very few drawbacks. One is that you need to invest in a pair, and initially in a coach. However, once you master the movements, which takes little time, you’re good to go! A hybrid specialized routine should only be a consideration for professional athletes.
Finally, make sure your goals and capabilities align with your choice of method. This means taking into account time, injuries, finances, and athletic abilities. Also, consider your long-term goals when choosing your strength and conditioning for BJJ.
The One Rule You Must Follow
Training to become more comfortable and efficient in your body is not hard. All you need to do is listen to your body, and know what you should work on. As we already covered, there are plenty of options out there. Applying the correct selection criteria will get you to the best program for you. This brings us to the most important part of strength and conditioning for BJJ.
If there’s one thing that can make you better at Jiu-Jitsu, it is showing up. The more you show up at the academy, the better you’ll get. This same principle applies to strength and conditioning as well. The main rule is to stick to whatever it is you choose as your best option. Even if you don’t really like it, or grow bored with it after a few weeks, stick to the ends. there’s a reason why strength and conditioning routines are periodized in a progressive fashion. You actually need to get through a program to gain the benefits of it.
As a side note, make sure you allow your body ample time to recover. This means taking care of nutrition, sleep, and recovery. If your supplemental training is getting in the way of your grappling training, cut back or change your approach. Also, consider adding active recovery methods like yoga or walking/hiking.
Using a grappler who’s also a strength coach seems like a logical way to approach strength and conditioning for BJJ. Even better, instead of paying for sessions on a monthly basis, you can get all the instructions you need with one-ff payment! “The Diamond Protocol” is Ethan Benda’s DVD instructional that’s tailor-made for BJJ. You need minimal equipment to gain maximal results, so do not wait and pick it up now!