HEALTH — 24 May 2012
“Why Is Your Strength Training NOT Helping Your BJJ Game”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Does your routine look a little like this?

Monday:         Chest and Triceps

Tuesday:        Back and Biceps

Wednesday:   OFF

Thursday:      Legs and Shoulders

Friday:            Arms (you have to do arms before you go out to the bars or clubs)

We are all guilty of training in the bodybuilding style of working out, and there is nothing wrong with this style! That is if your goal is to look like a statue.  If looking like a statue on the mat does not fit your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game, then we will need to look into adjusting your programming style a bit to fit what your actual needs are.

Let’s look deeply into what any BJJ practitioner would need in order to improve their conditioning.  Training to improve your BJJ game requires you to have strength in difficult situations.  You may be required to maintain the guard position as your opponent stands up, you may need to lift you opponent during a double leg take down, or you may be asked to maintain top position while your opponent is trying to buck you off.  All of these actions require TOTAL BODY STRENGTH!  If your sport requires total body strength, why wouldn’t you train that way?

Everything that we do in BJJ requires us to use Total Body Strength.  There is never a time on the mat where we are found just pushing our opponents away…when we push away we are looking to create space for a Judo Sweep or possibly regain some type of guard position.  Doing all this requires Total Body Strength…so why would you feel the need to lie down on a bench and push 60lb dumbbells over your head?  Does that sound like something that requires Total Body Strength?  I THING NOT!!!

This is why I, without a doubt, truly believe that every BJJ practitioner or Mixed Martial Artist should be training with equipment such as the TRX Suspension Trainer and Josh Henkin’s Ultimate Sandbag.  Both are based upon changing stability and leverage to enhance strength and perceived load.  In most cases, people tend to think that the only way to increase the level of difficulty in an exercise is to increase the load. This is not the case and far from the truth. Variables such as speed, range of motion, and complexes can take any workout to the next level. My favorite variable to use with my athletes is Complexes.  A Complex is a series of lifts performed back to back where you finish the reps of one lift before moving on to the next lift. The piece of equipment that you are using only leaves your hands or touches the floor after all of the lifts are completed…Now doesn’t this sound more like something you should be doing?

Here are two samples of Complexes that I use with my athletes:

TRX Complex

 TRX Chest Press x 10 reps

 TRX High Row x 10 reps

 TRX Single Leg Squat x 10 reps on each leg

 TRX Skater Lunges x 10 reps on each leg

 TRX Rollouts x 10 reps

Ultimate Sandbag Complex

 USB Clean x 10 reps

 USB Front Squats x 10 reps

 USB Overhead Presses x 10 reps

 USB Clean : Front Squat : Overhead Press (ALL COMBINED) x 10 reps

These Complexes can be used as the main part of your workout or what I like to call the  “Finisher”.  It really depends on the number of times that you look to complete it.  You will find that this type of workout and training involves everything from strength, conditioning, explosiveness, etc. Being versatile and open to expanding the training to this level will not only help you achieve your fitness goals of getting into the best shape of your life, but also help with taking you BJJ game to the next level.

Here is another sample of a complex that we the Ultimate Sandbag is used :

Leverage Training Center’s “Workout of the Week” Ultimate Sandbag Training Complex

If you have any questions regarding Strength and Conditioning, Weight Loss, Nutrition, etc…Please feel free to contact Rich Mejias at rich@leveragetrainingcenter.com

Rich Mejias, Strength and Conditioning Coach at Leverage Training Center in Wyckoff, NJ

 

 


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(3) Readers Comments

  1. Increased Leverage or Improved Leverage sets are basically the same but with exercises that are much more closely related.
    Ex: Olympic Front Squats for reps then rack the weight to change to Olympic Back Squats for reps then rack the weight to change to Sumo Squats for reps.Usually If you only pull off lets say 5 reps with the first exercise then your goal is to maintain that number of reps for the other 2 exercises.You also take about 10 seconds or 5 breaths of air to rest between exercises.If you can’t maintain the number of reps then your goal is to get to that point.Its very effective because you can train this way for Speed,Strength or size while hitting a movement pattern or body part with a lot more volume then usual.SO if you have weak leg drive for take downs then you could use the Exercises I just listed on one day for the upward drive and then use Hip Thrusts,Glute-bridges and prowler pushes or sprints for forward drive.This Type of training is better for Max strength and speed but complexes are better for power endurance and conditioning.So mix them up and your golden!

    • P.S.- this was a great article for BJJ because to many people are training incorrectly and it really sucks to see someone training so hard and putting in a lot of effort just to get 50-50 results because of using the wrong type of training.Keep the articles coming!

  2. I feel that weight training can help your BJJ game if you are looking to be the best.

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