The “Four Minute Workout” – Bare Bones Physical Conditioning for Bjj

When I get the chance to talk with high level bjj instructors, I like to ask them what they do outside of the academy to supplement their bjj training.

Most top competitors in bjj and MMA have separate conditioning coaches and they use cutting edge conditioning techniques.

But the truth is, most people don’t have the luxury of time & money to do those private sessions with a strength and conditioning coach.

And further, many of the instructors I speak with will admit that they don’t have the time in a week to do their ideal conditioning program.

I call this the “Four Minute Workout”.

* It doesn’t really take 4 minutes (I just liked the catchy title after the best selling book “The Four Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss).

To perform all of the exercises in a circuit with small rest interval between should take about same time as a round in bjj rolling and this circuit is:

– very time efficient

– doesn’t require much extra equipment (TRX bands)

– can be done in the bjj academy without a separate trip to another gym

– hits all of the major muscle groups in compound, whole body movements

– conditions you for the type of strength you need for brazilian jiu-jitsu

* I perform higher reps in the 10-25 range (and even higher with squats – 50)

* I do the exercises with brief rest periods in between and repeat for 3 sets x of the group of 4 exercises

* The order is up to you, but I perform the exercises in the order listed

1) Body weight squats

* tip – Keep your torso upright and head up (like strong posture in the guard) when you start to fatigue.

Your legs and hips and low back are the largest muscle complexes in your body and this will stimulate your metabolism as well.

2) Judo Pushups / Hindu Dips

* tip – Wrestlers have been doing this exercise since the dawn of grappling.

This develops the ability to push at different angles. A bench press movement doesn’t really imitate how we push in bjj.

Rickson Gracie was doing these on the beach in one of his famous bodyweight workout videos.

3) TRX Back Pulls

* tip – Grappling icon Gene Lebell says that grappling is an art of PULLING. I also thread a gi top through the handles to train my grips as well.

This will take your collar chokes to the next level!

4) Half Burpees

* tip – My favorite abdominal’s exercise and also trains your sprawl.

This one gets your heart rate going like a real fight! It is hard but REALLY improves your scrambling and passing on the mat.

If you find yourself in need of a compact but effective brief bjj workout, give this one a try.



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