Strength and Conditioning Training
I supplement my jiu jitsu with strength and conditioning training. Before I began BJJ, I only did weight training. I lifted fairly heavily for my size but I really didn’t have a good grasp on how to progress in the most efficient way or how to plan my training in the ideal way. Most importantly, I think, I ignored core, cardio and explosive power training. Everything works together to take your body toward its highest potential level of fitness. The dumbest thing I did was completely give up on strength training when I started BJJ because I thought that would be all I needed to stay in shape. The fault in my logic was in only caring what I looked like and not in how well I was performing.
When your body is working at optimal levels, you will be able to use your jiujitsu technique in the most efficient way, especially against bigger, stronger opponents. It is very frustrating to roll with someone who is much stronger than you are with less technical skill and not be able to work your game because you’ve been overpowered. If you’re small like me (5’0, 105lbs) you can either complain about it or you can do your best to even out the playing field. Emily Kwok says if people aren’t taking you seriously, it’s your job to make them take you seriously.
I train BJJ in the evenings 3-4 times a week and try to get to the commercial gym in the mornings on those same days. My routine is as follows:
The above is the routine I have programmed into my Android phone with the Jefit.com app. It’s great for tracking your progress and statistics; check out my member page. Obviously there isn’t much cardio or explosive training included but I find it hard to find the right equipment or space to do it at my strength gym. Also, according to Joel Jameson, strength and conditioning shouldn’t be trained at the same time. I’m considering getting a large tire and sledge hammer, hurdles, an agility ladder and other simple pieces of equipment to use at home for these things. Check out this video, and this one, for a good example of the kinds of exercises I’m talking about, and check out this teenage girl who can lift more than your boyfriend.
Recently I bought the Juggernaut Jiujitsu Preparation Manual as well as the Juggernaut Method lifting guide and I highly recommend both of them to anyone who wants to intelligently plan their strength and conditioning program for BJJ. They explain in simple terms how to start and progress in your program and the jiujitsu manual also gives tips for cutting weight as well as links to private videos that explain the featured exercises. The Juggernaut Training System website also has links to a lot of great articles such as Training the Female Athlete and Should Females Train Differentlythan Males, so definitely check it out.
The only exercise I wouldn’t recommend is the clean and jerk. This video explains.
I’ve never done that fuckin lift. Never. (Obviously, I’m kidding)
If you train in a contact sport like BJJ with big strong guys who try their best to choke or otherwise harm you in a nice way, you’re going to get crushed and twisted into positions that may not feel natural. Any type of training could cause strain and injury so we want to do what we can to prevent anything too bad from happening. Make sure you always warm up properly and stretch out afterward. You can’t always go for a massage but you can definitely Feel Better for Ten Bucks