Today I did one of the hardest toughest workouts I've ever known, also the most enjoyable! It was just the right combination of strength and muscular endurance to supplement my Jiu Jitsu training lifestyle.
Warm up: 5 min on the Aero-Dyne keeping the RPM above 70 the whole time (this is MURDER!)
12 Dips 12 Back Squats The first circuit of 12 is done fast with light weights, the dips with body weight to warm up, then:
12, 10,10, 8 DeadLift
12, 10, 10, 8 Weighted Dips
5, 5, 5, 5 Bsck Squat
I go through these in a circuit format, so DL, then Dips, then Squats. Lemme tell you, its BRUTAL! The combination of squats and deadlifts really takes it out of you, and the dips hit your shoulders and chest like no other in between those!
This workout is coutesy of my very good friend and training partner Carlos Soto, head coach and owner of Impact Zone in Lafyette, IN where I did most of my training while I was in college, showed me how to do things right. Carlos is also the top strength and conditioning instructor in the county, and at the time was a brown belt in BJJ.
For a long time now Ive been hearing people left and right, whether they practice Jiu Jitsu or not claiming how the only way to get better and have an edge in this martial art is by spending more time on the mat, drilling, rolling, teaching.. I'm not saying its completely wrong, but its also not right to ignore the world of Strength & Conditioning that has for many many years helped athletes excel at their respective sports by giving them that little extra bit of strength or endurance when they needed it.
I followed the "old-school" method for sometime, and while I don't mind doing ONLY Jiu Jitsu, I always felt there was a little something missing, an edge I couldn't quite put my finger on. To top it all off, the weightlifting and conditioning exercises that most grapplers now use, and major sports leagues have their athletes train in, I was led to believe was harmful and detrimental to one's posture and is likely to harm my back and potential height. I started Jiu Jitsu when I was 14.. I was trying to gather every piece of knowledge possible and apply it without causing myself any injury. There was another "issue" that I had; I always thought I was way too skinny, and therefore had a CAP on how strong I can be during a fight. So to put more weight on my body and (hopefully) get stronger I started going to the gym where I was subjected to the world of personal trainers and people who trained for aesthetic appearance as opposed to performance. I did request to stay away from squats and deadlifts at the time becuase I thought I wouldn't grow tall if I got too much into them.. (I know, WHAT WAS I THINKING??). The truth is I didn't know any better how to properly add weight or gain strength, or better yet tailor my training to supplement my Jiu Jitsu, and apparently neither did the people giving me advice back then. So I did what I learned for the next few years, and as my gym visits increased, so did my ability to trust my random gym people for advice on exercises, and it led to me widening my knowledge span of dfferent workouts to put myself through. Yes I gained weight, and yes I got stronger, but I had merely scrached the surface..
It wasn't until the fall of 2013 that I properly began strength and conditioning training specifically for my goals! My very good friend and training partner Carlos Soto put me through a rigorous program to increase my strenght and up my cardio, and I was seeing results immediately! My grips were unbreakable, my stamina was up, and even my mobility!! It's amazing what the right training can do for you! I then proceeded to learn more about the effectiveness of certain exercises as opposed to others, and applying them as Coach Carlos saw fit. The first program I did is called a 5x5, something I'll write about in more detail in another post. Another one is referred to as Hypertrophy. The above workout is a combination of both that yields astounding results for a professional athlete working on strength gains and/or muscular endurance, or just someone looking for an all-out Brutal workout!
The moral of this story is, don't shut out weightlifting and conditioning just because of the next person saying "you only need more Jiu Jitsu to get better at Jiu Jitsu". There are ofcourse exceptions to this, but they are exceptions not the rule. People like the amazing Marcelo Garcia don't do other exercises to supplement their Jiu Jitsu, and hey if it works for them, that's great, personally, I prefer to be in the best physical condition possible when I compete, so that I can have the extra edge, which has been proven to be the deciding factor in many of the high level competitions. The other side to this is: learn how to do these exercises properly, as the risk of injury is in fact possible. With the right instruction and coaching, success is 80% guaranteed, the remaining 20% is on you!
The old school ways have all my respect and gratitude for paving the path for us, yet this is the new age of Jiu Jitsu as it is for all the other improvements and breakthroughts we as humans have reached and are witnessing every passing day. We have all this knowledge, why not use it? the same way you watch youtube videos now to explore new techniques, as such you should be open minded enough to supplementing your BJJ.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!