Physical Conditioning For BJJ – Should You Do It Or Not?



Today I am going to talk about physical conditioning for jiujitsu. I hear a lot of people talking about this subject, saying you should do this or don’t do that. I believe this subject is very personal. For example, Marcelo Garcia didn’t do physical conditioning throughout his entire career and it worked for him.

In my opinion, there is no rule, you should do whatever you feel comfortable doing.

2 reasons why I like doing Physical Conditioning:

1 – I feel doing physical conditioning gives me that little extra strength and gas. For example, you know when you are rolling with someone and you feel you are getting tired, you are about to pass and you have that little extra strength and energy. In my case, in that situation, when I’m not doing physical conditioning and I am getting tired and I kind of give up, but when I am doing physical conditioning I can feel the extra energy that helps me keep going.

2 – I feel I get injured much less than when I’m not doing physical conditioning. I believe that any type of workout, whatever you are comfortable doing is great for our joints and muscles. It will also help us prevent injuries.

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Many people ask me what type of physical conditioning I do. Normally I divide my training into 3 phases. The first phase is strength training. The second phase is exercises for power and speed and the last phase is specific body movements for jiujitsu. I separate the phases and spend 6 weeks to 2 months concentrating on each phase. So I normally spend January and February doing strength training with a lot of weight training. Then from March to mid-April, I do a lot of power and speed moves. Then mid-April to May I do a lot of specific body movements for jiujitsu. Then in June is my main goal of competing in the World’s and I feel great.

One thing that I believe is very important is that you have a physical conditioning plan made out for you by a professional trainer. For the last 2-3 years I have been fortunate to have a personal trainer working by my side in the gym and making a plan for me. But throughout most of my career I never had a personal trainer. All I had was someone making a plan for me, I would tell them my goals and they would make a plan for me and then I would follow the plan by myself and I would go to the gym by myself.

I know that not everyone can afford a personal trainer. It’s great that you can go to the gym by yourself and train but its important to have a plan made for you by a professional trainer. Personally, I don’t have enough knowledge about conditioning. I didn’t study it in University so for me its really important to have a plan made by a professional.

(Related: Check out my interview with my physical conditioning coach Kevin Paretti).

Another common question people ask me is what type of training should I do? I mentioned my training program earlier. I see other people go to the gym and lift weights, use the kettlebell or do body weight type exercises. So in my opinion, whatever workout you do is good for your body and will help you with jiujitsu. It will help strengthen your joints and you’ll handle bjj training better.

Also, as we get older it’s easier to get hurt, so if you can strengthen your muscles it will help a lot. Hope you enjoyed this. Oss.


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