5 ways strengh training helps my bjj.
A smart coach told me once, no one ever complained about being too strong. He was right, it's usually the training partners or opponents in tournaments who complain about that. In BJJ circles if someone tells you after a round of sparring that you are strong it usually means that, I could beat you if you weren't that strong or that you didn't use technique to win, only strength, even if that's untrue. We'll, that's not my problem. 1. Grip strength.
Having a strong grip for grappling arts is very important especially when training in the Gi (uniforms used in bjj). A strong grip is used for holding, pulling, squeezing, choking and other submissions used in BJJ. Also useful to get all your shopping from the car to the house in one go 😁. Training with Kettlebells, barbell, doing pull ups helps to develop a strong grip. Deadlifts, farmers walk (my favourite), KB swings will help you with that.
Simple not always easy. 2. Strong and durable legs. For any type of Martial Art you need to have strong legs, yes even for us butt scooting folk out there, if your legs are getting tired quickly you won't be able to move on your feet, your movement will get sloppy and slow, you won't be able to pass guard, continue to fight on your feet you will get thrown or swept and probably submitted.
I've been there and I didn't like it. There is a lot of squat variation out there starting with body weight squats, single leg squats like the Bulgarian split squat, pistol squats etc. 3. Injury prevention. I've trained BJJ for over 10 years and the worst BJJ related injury I had was a concussion. Even when I came off my motorbike and crashed into a lamppost it didn't kill me, but I had more luck then brains that time! It's alot harder to get hurt when your ligaments, tendons and muscles are stronger. Stronger muscle means you may be able to resist that submission a split second longer, you may hold on that grip for a bit longer which will allow you to escape. Strong people are harder to kill.
4. Better mobility and balance. With the right training program lifting weights can help with mobility. Stuff like the Kettlebell windmill, Turkish get ups are amazing excercises to keep your shoulders healthy. Pistol squats and 1 leg romanian deadlift will help you with your balance. It may be harder for you opponents to sweep you, take you down or break your balance.
5. A strong and healthy back. Usually BJJ players complain about lower back pain. I never had that problem, unless I did something stupid in the gym and I hurt myself like trying 1 rep max deadlift, squat. Doing deadlifts, suitcase carries, Kettlebell swings helps to keep your back strong and healthy for many years to come and ready for BJJ.
In BJJ sometimes we have to move someone else's body against their will, this requires a strong back if you want to stand up with someone attached to you. We also have to be able to move in uncomfortable positions. Working on your mobility and excercises like the deadlift and KB swings will take care of the strength aspect. One of my favourite things to do in the gym is heavy farmers walks and battling ropes. Doing this once or twice a week will transform you. You will see a huge difference when you roll with someone and you have to scramble, there is no stopping you. I used to have a little anxiety the day before that workout because if done right it really sucks, the only time you have a little break is the walk from trap bar to the ropes and back. This also covers all the above. You will improve your grip strength, your legs and hips will get stronger, your endurance will get better, your back gets stronger, you will put on muscle and your fuel tank will get bigger.
As you can see there is nothing fancy here, a few simple excercises which can change your bjj game and wellbeing for the better. All the best Seb