Weight Lifting and BJJ


First off, don’t freak out.  We all know how much Brandon lifts and he will crush you.  That said, there are some practical needs for strength that need to be addressed.

90% of high level BJJ practitioners do some kind of weight training.  It might be low weight high repetitions or heavy.  Heavy without a lot of stretching will doom you in BJJ.  It doesn’t matter how strong you are, if a simple kimura gets you every time because you have no flexibility in your super sized shoulders.  If you are a complainer that cries foul when you get beat by a guy who is much stronger then maybe your technique needs more work.

Here are some recommended lifting practices that WILL help your BJJ.  

1.  Squats:  Take downs on anyone are much harder if you don’t have the legs for it.  Power generated by a take down comes from the strongest muscles you have……your legs.  Squats work your quads, butt, hamstrings, and even your back. If you do a squat and don’t feel like you’ve worked all of those muscle groups, you’re doing something wrong.

2.  Bench Press: It works the chest, triceps, anterior deltoids, and your back. All of these muscles are extremely important in grappling.  Change your grip on the bar to isolate muscle groups further.  No machines!  They don’t make you use all those other stabilizing muscles and these are hugely important in reaction to quick changes on the mats.

3.  Dead Lift:  A dead lift begins with you in a less advantageous position, lifting from the floor. It also works a variety of muscles that the squat leaves out, such as the shoulders and arms. If you want your legs to be strong, and improve your physical ability to work your guard, this is an excellent lift to start doing. It’s a full body-lift that carries over into all of your body motions while grappling.

4.  Bent Rowing:  Bent Rows strengthen the back a lot. They make the upper back muscles stronger and they also build up the shoulders around the rotator cuff. Healthy and strong rotator cuff’s is a must, as anyone who has been caught in a kimura is aware of.

If you have any questions about the proper technique of any of these exercises please talk to Brandon Garner.  If he is not available contact resident meat head Matt Gordon.  Matt is also available for hair product advice and general grooming issues.