The Dichotomy of Strength Training for BJJ
So about two weeks ago I picked up the latest copy Dichotomy of Leadership and so far I am really enjoying it. It's essentially about "finding balance" in life and business. It got me thinking, "is there a dichotomy of strength training for BJJ"?
... how much is enough?
... how much is too much?
That's the million dollar question. So I thought I'd share my thoughts and experience on the topic.
There's one thing I know for certain--
... both strength training and Jiu-Jitsu are extremely addictive disciplines.
Fueled by ego.
And it's safe to say fellas, we have egos (even if we don't like to admit it to ourselves).
If we deny *this* -- we're lying to ourselves. It's what makes up men, it's what pushes us to be better than we were yesterday.
It pushes us to be our best, not only in the weight room and on the mat -- but for our family. At the end of the day, we want our wives and children to be proud of us.
Speaking of the weight room--it's easy for our ego to get bruised when we miss a lift, can't finish a set of swings, snatches or presses.
we feel we're not performing at our best, especially at the same level as our peers, and we're letting down our coaches.
When it comes to Jiu-Jitsu--our ego gets bruised we get dominated either on our first day on the mat or if we get worked by a lower belt.
How about this one--you refuse to tap and eventually get hurt. I mean, think about it for a second...
... What does "tapping out"?
It's a submission and what does submission mean?
To give in and admit our defeat to another man. Some men can't handle that, it's the ultimate lesson in humility.
(Hence the addiction)
You begin to train everyday.
Sometimes even twice a day--to the point you're no longer getting in your strength work (which is essential to keep you healthy for Jiu-Jitsu) and more importantly, family time.
There lies the dichotomy of strength training for BJJ
We know strength training for BJJ is essential--to "injury-proof" our body, make our body harder to break -- essentially, making Jiu-Jitsu "easier."
But, how much strength training is too much?
Strength training for BJJ can be fun--in fact, it can be SO fun it takes our focus away from the mat.
Before you know it, our timing and technique is not where it needs to be
... and not only that--we start neglecting our mobility work (because we're stressed for time) until "things start to ache" and by then--it's too late.
Getting strong IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE--it's easy to fall down the rabbit hole of "chasing the numbers."
(Ask me how I know this. Damn that ego!)
Too much time in the weight room and we start neglecting our Jiu-Jitsu game. Like I said, it's easy to "get lost in the numbers".
Believe me, when you first get that sweet taste of your first 405 pound deadlift, you start to think:
... can I make it to 500?
... how about 600?
... damn, maybe I can make it to 700.
Before you know it, you're training like a powerlifter and your ground game is not where it used to be.
How about BJJ?
If we spend too much time on the mat and avoid getting stronger (because we fear losing time on the mat)
... this open us up for injury down the road.
Jiu-Jitsu is a contact sport and it's only a matter of "when" you get injured, it's a risk you need to willing take.
Getting stronger for Jiu-Jitsu and maintaining (or improving) your mobility -- "bullet-proofs" your body, making you harder to break
... which results in the ability to train Jiu-Jitsu for years, eventually earn your black belt and go on to impact and serve more men struggling with the same thing you once were.
(one of the main reasons I started this blog)
How do you balance this dichotomy?
- You need to follow a structured plan to keep you from over-training.
- Find a teacher whom has "been there, done that and bought the shirt."
If you don't have a structure plan and only rely on "how your feel" that day, it will be challenging to progress week-after-week and month-after-month.
If you don't have a teacher you will spend more of your precious time "trying to figure things out on your own" which only leads to frustration and more time away from your family.
Having a teacher and a structured plan keeps you accountable, prevents you from hitting plateaus and most importantly, saves you time, keeping you healthy for the mat.
Till the next time.
P.S. If you're looking for a structured program or course to get you stronger and keep you healthy for Jiu-Jitsu -- I recommend one of these.