Aaah holiday season! Family, friends, and food; lots and lots of food! Regardless of your training regimen, food plan or preferences, and normal routine, celebration brings out the fun in all of us! Being surrounded by those you love asking questions about Brazilian jiu-jitsu, over endless plates of food and desserts, got me thinking. The “if you do jiu-jitsu then why do you go to the gym?” …And “do you even lift, eat some more, wouldn’t you rather… ” led me to investigate my own routine further. Is what I’m doing beneficial to my jiu-jitsu? We hear a lot about if you want be better at jiu-jitsu, train jiu jitsu. I, myself, have a strength & conditioning program & train BJJ. I feel this is imperative… But what if your competitor is working on their strength & conditioning? Will that give them an edge? A previous article talked about grip strength and gave some ideas and exercises to help increase/ improve yours. Let’s look at strength & conditioning and what it really entails.
Training programs are typically geared toward their sport, with specifics of what the athlete (team) needs to excel, depending on the sport; speed, agility, strength (including endurance), conditioning, injury prevention, power, & movement (including stabilization/control) are a few examples of what training programs incorporate and can be tailored to each individual athlete’s needs. If your conditioning (cardiovascular & muscular) doesn’t need improvement you can maintain its current level while improving your power or movement for instance.
Training more jiu-jitsu will always put you in a better place. You will be able to practice your movement and technique, expand your knowledge and improve your game. Exposure to more mat time, undeniably, improves your jiu-jitsu. No one can tell you what is the “right” or “better” plan for you; but if you feel you’re not performing at a level that you’d like, or aren’t seeing improvements that you feel you should, maybe considering a strength and conditioning program isn’t too far off the mark.