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"Just Roll More" Is TERRIBLE Advice for Improving BJJ Cardio


The BJJ Performance Tip of the Week | #018

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

Edition: Friday, June 2nd, 2023

You’ve probably heard it before when you’ve asked your coach for advice on how to improve your cardio for BJJ… “Just Roll More” but this is bad advice because there is a LIMIT to how much jiujitsu can improve your cardio fitness.

In this week's newsletter, I'm going over some practical tactics on how to improve your cardio fitness for jiujitsu.

🚀 Strategy 1: Aerobic Base Training

Aerobic base training helps increase your threshold, allowing you to perform steady-state work for longer periods. It's all about Zone 2 training, which operates just below your aerobic threshold. This zone is the sweet spot for stimulating mitochondrial function and creating ATP using only fat and oxygen. 🌬️

📈 How to Stay in Zone 2

Here are some methods to determine if you're in Zone 2:

  1. Track your heart rate 💓 (60-70% of max heart rate)
  2. Use the talking test 🗣️ (maintain a conversation while exercising)

🏃‍♀️ How to Perform Zone 2 Training 🚴‍♂️

Try 45-90 minutes of low-intensity cardio while staying in Zone 2. You can choose activities like jogging, hiking, fast-paced walking, cycling, or swimming. The choice is yours! 🏊‍♂️

🔥Strategy 2: VO2 Max Training

VO2 max training targets your anaerobic system, which is crucial for overall fitness, health, and longevity. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is super effective for increasing your VO2 max. I recommend two HIIT methods:

  1. 4x4x4 Method 🏋️‍♂️: Four, 4-minute rounds at 85-90% max effort with 4-minute rest periods
  2. Tabata Sets 🏃‍♀️: Eight 20-second all-out sprints with 10-second rest periods (total of 4 minutes)

🗓️ How Often Should You Do Cardio for Jiujitsu?

For most people, 1-2 cardio sessions per week can make a huge difference. Try one long Zone 2 session per week and 1-2 high-intensity interval sessions. You can even add these to your strength and conditioning workouts! 💥

🔧 Sample Week for Jiujitsu Athletes 📋

  • 2-3 jiujitsu sessions
  • 2 strength and conditioning sessions with Tabata finishes
  • 1 long, slow aerobic base session (weekly or biweekly)

If you want to take a deep dive into cardio for BJJ check out my video guide click here.

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