3 Reasons Strength Training for Jiu-Jitsu is SO Important
Is strength training for Jiu-Jitsu really that important? Well, before I answer the question, there's a VERY common mindset in the BJJ world––leverage and technique are king and "Jiu-Jitsu was created for the little guy".
Well, those are half truths.
... Yes, Jiu-Jitsu is about leverage.
... Yes, it's about technique over brute strength.
It's a true statement if one is technically skilled in Jiu-Jitsu and his/her opponent is not.
However, if you have...
2 Jiu-Jitsu players equally skilled, the bigger, stronger athlete will prevail.
There's a reason for weight classes and there's a reason you don't see many lightweight grapplers winning the black belt absolute division at the worlds.
Today I'd like to share with you my 3 key reasons why strength training for Jiu-Jitsu is SO important.
Reason #1: Health
The number 1 key reason to get stronger for BJJ is to stay healthy. Ironically Jiu-Jitsu is quipped as "Arte Suave" (Portuguese for the gentle art) and...
if you've been training BJJ for any period of time, you know -- it's anything but gentle.
The stronger you are, the harder you are to break--period.
I'm not sure where I heard this but, it's 100% true and SO AWESOME, "stronger people are harder to kill".
Above performance, strength training for Jiu-Jitsu is to keep you healthy, prevent injuries, and "become unbreakable".
Reason #2: Better Endurance
When I say "better endurance" I'm not dismissing specific endurance training for BJJ.
(BTW, the only way to improve your endurance specific for Jiu-Jitsu it to actually train more Jiu-Jitsu, 'sport specific strength training' is a facade)
Strength training allows you to build a bigger base upon which you can improve your endurance.
Here's an example, let's say you're carrying a 100# backpack up a flight of stairs.
Your heart rate will be elevated once you get to the top.
What if you carry the same 100# backpack up 10 flights of stairs?!
I'll tell you...
You'll be smoked and sucking wind.
So let me ask you, what would accelerate your ability to navigate the 10 flights of stairs more efficiently?
Because acquiring more strength builds a bigger base for which endurance can be built upon. It reminds me of something Pavel said once
"... don't worry about strength endurance, you have no strength to endure."
Not only did I chuckle with a grin as I looked at the floor but, it made 100% sense.
Without strength, there can be no endurance.
After all, isn't endurance -- continued strength?
Reason #3: Strength + Technique WINS!
New Jiu-Jitsu player, powerlifter, weightlifter, or bodybuilder vs. one of the Mendez bros. will get slaughtered 11 out of 10 times!
They have ZERO skill and would be forced to use strength to survive.
Now, let's pair Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida (over 6ft, 250 + pounds) vs. one of the Mendez bros. (under 6ft, ≤ 175 pounds)
Who do you think will win?
I think the answer if obvious.
Strength takes your technique to the next level -- dare I say, "strength + technique" is technique on steroids!
If you want to move like the wind, move more explosively, decimate opened/closed guards, and escape submissions as if you were David Blaine -- acquiring more strength should be your absolute focus -- off the mat.
The end result?
More rounds, more drills, more often...
Equals you morphing into a Jiu-Jitsu badass and possessing the ability to roll for the next 20 + years without feeling "broken" and eventually earn your BJJ black belt.
This is why strength training for Jiu-Jitsu is SO important!
What are your thoughts?
Do you value strength training for Jiu-Jitsu?
If so, drop a comment below and let me know why.