Random Training Thoughts #8 Worried Jiujitsu Athlete Edition

Random Training Thoughts heres #1,#2,#3,#4, #5,#6 Golf,#7

I get a ton of emails from BJJ players usually worried about how they should strength train, Jiujitsu as a community seems to breed uncertainty about the efficacy of ‘strength’ training. Seeing as a core ethos of BJJ is about the smaller weaker fighter beating the stronger fighter. This creates much inner conflict. This is why the first rule of S&C for BJJ is make sure you spend enough time on the mats. But being stronger or more explosive is never a weakness and may keep you injury free.

#1.For a progressive martial art, BJJ athletes can be spectacularly ill informed. These are the 3 concerns I get coming to me regularly. “Should I use kettlebells?” “Should I just train bodyweight?”, “So and so said…..”

Kettlebell Fetishism 
Stop listening to Joe Rogan, put down the kettlebell and learn to barbell lift. Unless you don’t do anything then the kettlebell is a great place to start. Kettlebells suck as a primary training tool! A fault of their design they cannot be loaded, meaning progress comes crashing to a halt unless you start engaging in kettlebell-fu. Which will turn heads in the gym but mainly waste your time, bent press, windmills, turkish get-ups will never be the drivers of longer term training success. Kettlebell pushers are obviously going to tell you it’ll improve your life their business model depends on it. See
Maslow’s hammer, popularly phrased as “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail“.

Before you call me a hater. Heres a great KB exercise.

Bodyweight Training Fetishism
Bodyweight training ‘only’ is enormously appealing it has a nice naturalistic fallacy going on, its cheap and it looks cool as hell. Its great for kids and beginners. Great as a warm-up and some tumbling is key to good BJJ. Also loaded variations can serve as a big driver for continued progress in the gym. Bodyweight work comes with a lot of bias, the guys that are generally great at it are small/young with favourable leverage’s. As skill in bodyweight training progresses exercise difficulty must go up. Beat-up joints don’t play well with abstract movements. For my feelings on the movement trend and Ido Portal see here. http://www.powering-through.com/2014/08/ido-portal-calisthenics-and-movement-as.html Again see
Maslow’s hammer, popularly phrased as “if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail“.

Appeals to eastern mysticism, ancient knowledge, oldschoolism, naturalistic fallacies
‘Training like 1900’s strongmen’, ‘rubbing your self with a wirebrush in the morning’ and the ‘benefits of eating according to your element type’, im a fire type apparently as too many chili’s and banana’s give me heart burn. These are all stuff I’ve heard from prominent BJJ fitness authorities. This wouldn’t fly on any serious performance program anywhere. Check who you obtain your information from.

#2. Lift twice a week, pick 4 exercises. Front Squat, Romainian Deadlift, Dips and Chin-ups always works well you could even do the first 2 day 1 and second 2 day 2. Carry stuff. Pay me later.

#3. If you train BJJ 4+ times a week seriously stop worrying about your conditioning. Perform qualitative sprint work 8 weeks out and quantitative sprint work from 4 weeks out. Circuits are often the last thing you need if your sparring multiple times a week. If you are a desk jockey training is your conditioning.

#4. Stop following powerlifting routines, they provide structure sure. But they suck for peaking for combat sports where high velocities and lower nervous load is needed. Most of my online clients are those who generally made good initial progress on 5/3/1, starting strength, 5×5 etc but then struggle to dovetail this into BJJ peaking and performance. However if you are weak follow a powerlifting program it’ll probably help.

#5. Determine where you are, non competitive or competitive BJJ player. This determines your approach. One S&C approach is well being oriented the other performance oriented. Too often recreational guys beast themselves like pro’s.

#6. Once you are pretty competent with barbell work, use tempo lifting such as slow eccentrics and isometrics to build your ability to absorb force, stronger joints and core bracing. BJJ has more static and eccentric yielding then most sports.

#7. I bang on about it a lot, but learn to Diaphragmatic Breath…seriously. http://www.powering-through.com/2015/08/diaphragmatic-breathing-drill-for.html 

 #8 Build a mobility routine and do it everyday!

Try this basic Yoga Plex

15-30s in each position, 5-10 reps each side.

Spiderman with reach
into Pseudo Downward Dog (heels off the floor, knees slightly bent) into upward facing
Half Pidgeon Pose
into Pseudo Downward Dog into upward facing
Spiderman – Pushing hip forwards.

#9 If your joints hurt to the point it effects your day to day life, take a break its possibly the best thing you can do for joint pain Jiujitsu will still be waiting for you. Checkout http://www.scramblestuff.com/arthritis-and-brazilian-jiu-jitsu/

#10 Blatant Plug alert if you wonder where I train checkout http://www.pmaacademy.co.uk/
Lee Catling my coach is pretty modest but hes trained UFC fighters, some of the best UKMMA talent and numerous BJJ Champions.

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