Strength and Conditioning program is about physical training, as well as lifting routines to improve your Jiu-Jitsu!
The eight rules of strength training applicable to Jiu Jitsu.
These rules are written by Peter Lakatos, Master Instructor of SFG and creator of Primal Move. Strength trainer for the Hungarian team of Carlson Gracie. He states: About five years ago I started working with several of the best Hungarian judokas. That led me, almost by logic, to train for ground fights. I like to say that I am a strength and conditioning coach for a simple reason that is to be discovered in the following lines.
How active should a BJJ practitioner be?
Well, first of all, you should have a stable entry level. What I always tell the boys is that they do not have to be active in the SFG standard, although they are strong enough to master the tatami, feel confident about their abilities, and be convinced that they are stronger than the opponent.
It’s all about the drive and force
First, let me tell my fellow Jiu-Jitsu practitioners that this art is a skill as well as strength. Therefore, the more you practice, the better you will go. And how much better you go closer you will be of perfection. With this, I am not saying that perfection in Jiu Jitsu is achievable, but that every day can be taken a step further. Mind you, do not expect me to give you a series of exercises or a 12-week program. Strength training is an art, a philosophy and like the BJJ, you cannot learn in an intensive program. What you can expect are some principles, because they are the only ones that can do something for your performance.
So we said that the more you practice, the better you become. But you cannot exercise every day in the same way and with the same intensity. If you do, the price you will pay even after a short period will be very high. In my case, I train Jiu Jitsu 5 or 6 times a week, and I follow my training principles. I work with the black and brown belts once or twice a week, but I do not fight with them because it does not make sense. In short, as in strength and conditioning coach training, in Jiu-Jitsu, I also have my easy, medium and hard days and are more focused on techniques and fighting skills. When I teach the white belts, I also learn with them through the questions they ask me. I think that now you start to notice the similarity between BJJ and strength training.
Let's know then the rules that can be applied to Jiu Jitsu:
Rule number 1: when your sport is as complex as the BJJ, your strength and conditioning program training should be as simple as possible. What is not the same as easy, but I do not have to worry too much as a coach if the boys learned the techniques correctly or not. In theory, the training will seem boring but believe me that in practice it is super challenging.
Rule number 2: Jiu-Jitsu demands a lot from the body and keeps the practitioners in constant flexion: you do turn and turns, you pull, and they throw you, you push, and they push you, all at the same time and quite often. So, against all bending, I suggest you do several extensions. In this way, we neutralize the rotation, just with anti-rotation exercises.
Rule number 3: When you train in BJJ more than two times per week, you have no relation to the cardio part, strength resistance or any interval program. And if you do not have strength, what resistance can you expect? Instead of adding more risk factors to your life, let's work on your body armor. Strength is one of the best armor unless you can combine it with a little extra muscle. But in BJJ, often the weight can be a problem. What you need is a simple and effective strength training that neutralizes all the negative adaptations you can develop while fighting on the tatami.
Rule number 4: You can have many variables when you work on your strength, but changing the exercises continuously is the least convenient option. I insist that many coaches use the practices to entertain their apprentices, but you have to understand that Jiu Jitsu is already entertaining. What we need is a simple, effective and low-risk force program, based on principles, that is aimed at movements and not at the muscles.
Rule number 5: some movements that we must train to be able to support the rule number 3 are: dead weight, bench press, deadweight variations on one leg, pull-ups, falls and lifting of weights with the two hands.
Rule number 6: other exercises to maintain a quality movement: front squat with a kettle bell, Turkish uplift, partial Turkish uprising, Press Pallof, one-leg deadweight variations, and one- and two-handed swings.
Rule number 7: the movements of force must be 2-3 exercises maximum, and usually a total of 9-12 repetitions. How many series? Typically, 3-4 sets are required to achieve the number, in good quality movements, where all the rehearsals are challenging but not difficult.
Rule number 8: the practice moves should be 2-3 exercises, and usually a total of 18-25 repetitions. Again, all repeats must be of good quality.
Lastly, it is important to emphasize how important it is for a fighter to work with his coach on skills that will help them dose their strength training. This means PLAN. Obviously the training areas are changing depending on how far we are from the competition. To make it simple, the farther you are from your fight, the more you can lift. The closer you are to the competition, the less you can do. Or to put it even simpler: being away from a fight you can send more hits that make you tired, hurt you or temporarily affect other abilities. Being close to the competition, you can do less (or none) things that tire you, damage you and affect your training.