Let me give you a real quick introduction. My name is Jason C. Brown, I’m an internationally known kettlebell training expert and for the last 10-11 years I’ve specialized in helping BJJ, Judo players and MMA athletes just like you get the most out of their training and their bodies off and on the mat.
During this time I’ve coached around 97 professional and recreational BJJ players. What I’ve discovered from working with these athletes (probably people just like you) is that popular training and conditioning options they were using before working with me were NOT helping them be a better Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player or athlete…(and in many cases it was actually making them worse.)
Here are the four main categories that I found. One-Bodybuilding (a.k.a. All show-no-go): This type of training has nothing to do with performance. I’m sure you’ve trained with this type of guy, he looks great with his shirt off, makes sure he walks around your academy bare-chested 97% of the time but once the rolling starts, his face turns beet red and he’s done before the timer hits the 2 minute mark. Sound familiar? The problem is big muscles don’t automatically translate to big throws. Two- 1000 reps per day club: I’m sure you’ve seen this program. Just pick obscure Indian exercises and perform them for upwards of 1000 repe ions per day….or until your shoulders and knees give out due to repe ive stress and monotony. While this type of training will condition you to do lots of push ups, I’ve seen plenty of people who train this way have their BJJ careers cut short due to shoulder and knee pain from worn out joints. Three- All-muscle-all-the-time: This is a very close cousin, maybe even a brother to Bodybuilding method. At least in the bodybuilding method most people will actually perform some light cardio and throw in a quick stretch prior to getting on the treadmill. Not so with the All-muscle-all-the-time methodology. I’m sure you’ve had the pleasure of training with guys that belong to this school. You can tell who they are simply because they kick you in the head while working on triangles and arm bars from the guard. No mobility training, no conditioning and no movement…just muscle. If you can defend for more than 30 seconds you’ll be fine. Four- “Just Roll Man”: BJJ alone is a great way to stay in shape but eventually you’ll need to add some additional training to support your body and make continual progress in BJJ. If all you do is more rolling, overuse injuries are sure to happen and you’ll be on the sideline or very limited in your training. You need to do some other form of training to balance out your body and help reduce overuse injuries. Doing more BJJ only adds more stress onto stress.
Phil and Vinnie are recreational BJJ athletes, they grab a noon cl whenever they can and they train hard during that cl , but they both knew that their conditioning was holding them back from making steady progress in their BJJ. Phil approached me about working with him and helping him develop a conditioning plan. Phil had a good kettlebell skill set but we added some finer details, enhanced some techniques and created some workouts that he could do at home. Phil was always a tough training partner but after he added our Kettlebell Training for BJJ techniques it became impossible to keep him in my guard or to pin him. He simply gets up whenever he wants to get up. His movements on the mat are much sharper and quicker, adding a power to his game that wasn’t there before.
Now Vinnie, Vinnie’s still stuck in the traditional weight training mindset….3 sets of 10 followed by 3 sets of 10 followed by 3 sets of 10. He looks great and looks like he would be a terror on the mat but all that muscle doesn’t help him ounce. In fact, it holds him back!
I’ve known Vinnie for 3 years and his game is exactly the same and he STILL gets exhausted after a few minutes of sparring. All those hours he spends in the gym do nothing except make him slower, weaker and easier to beat.
Is there anything you can do avoid those same mistakes, get stronger, more mobile and have more endurance on the mat?