Posted By: Rob-Kassy
Posted On: 02 Jan, 2023

Weight lifting or Cardio in Cross-training for BJJ

When beginning your training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it will be obvious that physical strength and fitness is extraordinarily important. While the moves and techniques rely primarily on timing, and precise application, without some enhanced level of physical strength, it will be difficult against a well-conditioned opponent. 

Since ancient times, warriors and athletes have used strength training to gain an edge on their opponents. You will find that training in strength and conditioning will be your key to success in sport jiu jitsu in Newport News.

Follow the Laws

It’s a simple physical rule that actions have consequences, and strength training is no different. It’s important to understand how training affects the body. With strength training, the body’s response to the heavier loads being put upon it is to strengthen the skeletal structure. This is known as Wolff’s Law. Increased bone density is often the result of strength training, and is necessary to reduce the chances of injuries to bones in training or competition. There is an additional physiological development that follows Wolff’s Law. This is Davis’s Law- the adaptive re enforcing response to this additional load on the muscles, tendons, and other connective tissue. These concepts provide the basic recipe for physical strength.

Heart & Lungs

Do you remember the first time you ever got onto the mat with an opponent? Your first practice with a sports team? Your first jog around the block? It’s likely that, even with a basic level of conditioning, you got “gassed” fairly quickly. Many people find developing sufficient cardio conditioning to be extraordinarily frustrating. It can also be attributed to many people abandoning a sport or not following up on personal fitness goals. Don’t let that frustration find you on the back side of the numbers in BJJ enrollment in Hampton Roads. 

Cardiovascular fitness is arguably the most important key factor to success in Jiu Jitsu, and with some dedicated training, it is possibly the easiest to develop. A good start for beginners would be 30 minutes of focused cardio training three times per week. There are a number of exercises such as jogging and jumping rope that will kickstart your cardio fitness. 

What’s best?

While developing strength is an undeniable bonus in a grappling sport such as Jiu Jitsu, flexibility and range of motion is also critical. Much strength training, such as body-building, is dependent on symmetrical development. It often trains for specific static tasks. In Jiu Jitsu, the action flows in seemingly every direction at once. Flexibility is essential. The ability to act quickly, with explosive and controlled power, the ability to react when off balance, or to redirect in a split second is key to success in Jiu Jitsu. With a few notable exceptions, the body of a Jiu Jitsu practitioner could be theoretically compared to that of a gymnast or a dancer rather than a bodybuilder or a sumo wrestler.  

A strong athlete with no endurance is not going to last on the mat in a BJJ gym. The nature of a BJJ match is quick bursts of very strenuous whole-body activity over the course of matches between 5 to 10 minutes. The ability to maintain the physical intensity with limited recovery periods is crucial. Physical conditioning also affects mental clarity. A very fit practitioner with limited skills may defeat a more highly-skilled opponent with poor conditioning, and poor decision-making abilities.

As with any endeavor, a prepared mind and body will take you far. For more information on BJJ training in Hampton, contact the professional training staff at Breakaway Jiu Jitsu at (757) 223-0373. Begin your journey.