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Strength Training for BJJ Athletes: Results of a Four Week Program


The BJJ Performance Tip of the Week | #010

Mobility🧘🏽‍♂️ •Strength 💪🏽 •Nutrition 🥑 •Interesting🧐

Edition: Friday, April 7th, 2023

If you're looking to improve your neuromuscular performance on the mats, then you might be interested in a recent study on strength training for BJJ athletes. Here's what the researchers found:

👉 Study: Maximal strength training improves strength performance in grapplers
👉 Participants: 20 active BJJ athletes
👉 Protocol: Four-week strength training program (3 sessions per week, 12 total sessions)
👉 Exercises: Squat, bench press, overhand pull-ups
👉 Load: At least 85% of theoretical one-rep max
👉 Velocity: Maximal intended velocity in concentric phase
👉 Results: Significant improvements in maximal strength, vertical jump height, and muscular endurance in upper body, abs, and chest
👉 Benefits: Protective effect reducing likelihood of injury

🧠Here are some key takeaways from the study:


✔️ Maximal strength training improved squat performance by 15% and bench press performance by 11%
✔️ Improvements of 33% in pull-ups, 32% in push-ups, and 13% in sit-ups were observed
✔️ These improvements occurred with no change in body mass, which is especially advantageous in a weight-controlled sport like BJJ
✔️ Although the squat and bench press may not directly relate to BJJ performance, these findings suggest that strength training has a positive impact on grappling sports


🥋 Can We Apply This to Our Training for Jiujitsu?


The findings of this study have important implications for the design of strength training and conditioning protocols for jiujitsu athletes, particularly when leading up to competition. While the study used heavy compound exercises such as the squat and bench press, which may not directly relate to BJJ performance, the results suggest that strength training has a positive impact on performance in grappling sports.

Here are some practical takeaways for incorporating strength training into your jiu-jitsu training:

💪🏽Incorporate a structured strength training program, with a focus on maximal strength training, for at least 4 weeks leading up to competition or important tournaments.

💪🏽Use heavy compound exercises such as the squat, bench press alternative like dumbbell bench press, floor press etc, and overhand pull-ups with loads of at least 85% of your theoretical one rep max, and with maximal intended velocity in the concentric phase.

💪🏽Monitor your performance variables before and after the training period to measure progress and adjust your training program accordingly.

In addition to improving physical performance, maximal strength training has a protective effect, reducing the likelihood of injury in athletes. This is an important consideration for jiujitsu athletes, as injuries can be common in this contact sport.

Check out the video I made on this topic here: 


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