Swimming For BJJ And MMA Conditioning

Swimming For BJJ - How to make It Work
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When it comes to BJJ conditioning you’ll hear different stories from different people. Everyone swears in something, from CrossFit to the old-school practice or running slowly for miles. In essence, every type of conditioning you do is helpful to your body. Yes, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is different from other sports and requires specific training, However, you can get conditioning out of everything you do. The main trouble is not choosing the right energy system training balance. it is the choice of training methods itself. Swimming for BJJ is not high on most people’s list of possible conditioning methods. And that is a huge mistake.

I remember hearing Eddie Bravo on the Joe Rogan Podcast right after his second match with Rolyelr Gracie at Metamoris. before giving a breakdown of the match Bravo outlined how he got ready for it. We all know that he pushed the pace all the time and nearly got Royler in a submission. WEll, Bravo’smethod of choice was swimming and it made me scratch my head. Swimming for BJJ is that really a good idea? Well, as it turns out it is not just a good conditioning tool, but perhaps the best one available to grapplers and fighters!

Conditioning For BJJ – The Demands

When it comes to conditioning yourself for grappling, nothing can really get you used to it like training BJJ in the first place. However, that age-old Marcelo approach of only rolling hard is utter nonsense. You need to get your body ready for maximal exertion and you can’t just do that by rolling, The reason is that the better you get at BJJ the more efficient you become, that means using less muscle, more leverage and not getting the same conditioning to kick out of your rolls. Then, you get to a competition and you gas out in the first couple of minutes when the adrenalin gets pumping. An all too familiar story.

Swimming For BJJ And MMAGetting in shape for BJJ includes two main things – strength training and conditioning training. Let’s leave strength aside and focus on not gassing out for now. During a BJJ match or a roll, you are in almost constant motion. Yes, that includes the times when you’re trapped under someone or controlling them from the top. Then, you have bursts of highly explosive movements that are key to solving scrambles or hitting a transitional submission. Finally, you have all the isometric stuff that requires you to hold frames and positions for a while before you can switch.

The main trouble with complete conditioning training for BJJ is that it requires a lot of time. Moreover, training for all of these requirements with running or kettlebells or what not puts an even further strain on your body. The solution is simple – swimming for BJJ conditioning, there’s no impact, no stress, and crazy conditioning benefits in return.

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The Ultimate Solution: Swimming For BJJ Athletes

When it comes to swimming for BJJ, there’s actually not much to it. First up you need access to water. For those that live by oceans, seas or lakes, and even certain rivers, this is not really a problem. All others have an easy solution – pools. Whether they’re open or closed, all you need is a pool. A second thing that’s actually not mandatory is knowing how to swim. For those that know, and have access to a pool or an ocean, everything is set. Those  that don’t know how to swim are actually in a better position It doesn’t take long to learn fro am a certified instructor and you’ll end up with the perfect technique that means you can gain much more form swimming for BJJ conditioning.,

In terms of training, you won’t need to go swimming too often. Two times per week is the bare minimum, with four being probably optimal, depending on how much you grappler throughout the week. Al in all, you can use swimming for recovery purposes at the same time.

In terms of setting up training, a pool offers just about everything you need to get in crazy grappling shape, You can go for long distance, you can sprint, or you can use different swimming techniques. All of those bring about different challenges to your body. In fact, Swimming is the absolute best way to make sure you get in shape to deal with everything, from marathon running to BJJ training and competitions.

A Sample Swimming Workout For Fighters

As far as particular workouts go, the sky is the limit, You can program them yourself, get someone from the academy to do it or get a conditioning coach. A great way is to ask a swimming coach to set it up for you as they understand the demands of swimming better than anyone. That said, when it comes to swimming for BJJ here are a couple of sample workouts to get you going!

Entry Level Workout

Total Yardage: 600

  • Swimming For BJJ - How to make It Work And Sample Programs2 x 50 warm up with any stroke you want
  • 4 x 25 free counting strokes – the goal is to hit the same number of strokes for each length you swim
  • 4 x 50, with 30 second rest. Try to swim at the same pace for each 50 yard length
  • 4 x 25 free counting strokes – just like before
  • 2 x 50 cool down – any stroke

Intermediate Level Workout

Total Yardage: 1000

  • 100 yards freestyle warm up
  • 100 free strokes – during the first length breathe on the 3rd pull, during the second on the 5, 7, 9 pulls
  • 50 Backstroke
  • 50 Navy Seal kicks
  • 4 x 50 free with (20 – 30 seconds)
  • 100 dolphin kick, first length face down, 2nd face up, 3rd one side, 4th other side
  • 2 x 25 butterfly
  • 50 backstroke
  • 100 100 warm up
  • 100 free, first length breathe on 3rd pull, 2nd length breathe on 5, 7, 9
  • 50 Backstroke
  • 50 Navy Seal kicks
  • 4 x 50 free with timed rest (20 – 30 seconds)
  • 100 dolphin kick, first length face down, 2nd face up, 3rd one side, 4th other side
  • 2 x 25 butterfly
  • 50 backstroke
  • 4 x 25 breaststroke, first length no glide, 2nd 1 sec, 3rd 2 seconds, 4th 3 second glide
  • 100  freestyle cool down

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