T Nation

Bodybuilding and BJJ?

Is it possible to do both?

I just found this really great bjj school in my area and would love to join but have no intention at all of giving up on bodybuilding.

Anybody do this? Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance

what about injuries?

I do BJJ and when I lift now I train for power and stamina. Not so much for physique but that always comes along with doing both.

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
Is it possible to do both?

[/quote]

No. If you do your penis will fall off.

try to be good at both, and you will end up mediocre at both.

i spent my first few years of BJJ trying to keep up with the bodybuilding style workouts that i had always been doing. as a result, my BJJ sucked, and i was not making much progress in the gym because i was constantly overtrained from trying to do both BJJ & bodybuilding (BJJ 3-4 days a week, lifting 4 days a week).

when i finally abandoned the workouts i had been doing & starting just doing weight/conditioning circuits a couple times a week for endurance purposes, i started to progress much faster on the mat. but that was also because once i backed off on the lifting, i could handle training BJJ more frequently (6-7 days a week).

What programs have worked for you, or others, when doing BJJ.

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
Is it possible to do both?

I just found this really great bjj school in my area and would love to join but have no intention at all of giving up on bodybuilding.

Anybody do this? Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance[/quote]

I’m a lightweight. While talking with Matt Thornton at Straight Blast Gym in Portland, Oregon, he told me I SHOULD lift weights if I wanted to do BJJ for any length of time.

Matt’s reasons for saying this was that it would help protect my joints and tendons from the type of contact present in BJJ. He also added that the strength would be a plus, too.

If you don’t know who Matt Thornton is, read about him here:

Matt has trained and helped bring up a lot of the MMA names you already know.

[quote]Bandito wrote:
try to be good at both, and you will end up mediocre at both.

i spent my first few years of BJJ trying to keep up with the bodybuilding style workouts that i had always been doing. as a result, my BJJ sucked, and i was not making much progress in the gym because i was constantly overtrained from trying to do both BJJ & bodybuilding (BJJ 3-4 days a week, lifting 4 days a week).

when i finally abandoned the workouts i had been doing & starting just doing weight/conditioning circuits a couple times a week for endurance purposes, i started to progress much faster on the mat. but that was also because once i backed off on the lifting, i could handle training BJJ more frequently (6-7 days a week).[/quote]

This is absolutely and totally NOT true.
Weightlifting as a consistant supplement to your wrestling/fight/drilling time will aid you in a whole lot of ways.

Ask, I think it is…uh TC here? I remember one of the guys in one of the articles said he did BJJ for a couple of years. I’m certain he can tell you all of the ways that weightlifting helped his game.

BJJ isn’t a “strength” game. BJJ is about timing and leverage. But add a buttload of strength to the correct timing and leverage and you have a much more formidable athlete.

Lift weights. Stretch afterwards. Don’t overdo it.

[quote]wires wrote:
Bandito wrote:
try to be good at both, and you will end up mediocre at both.

i spent my first few years of BJJ trying to keep up with the bodybuilding style workouts that i had always been doing. as a result, my BJJ sucked, and i was not making much progress in the gym because i was constantly overtrained from trying to do both BJJ & bodybuilding (BJJ 3-4 days a week, lifting 4 days a week).

when i finally abandoned the workouts i had been doing & starting just doing weight/conditioning circuits a couple times a week for endurance purposes, i started to progress much faster on the mat. but that was also because once i backed off on the lifting, i could handle training BJJ more frequently (6-7 days a week).

This is absolutely and totally NOT true.
Weightlifting as a consistant supplement to your wrestling/fight/drilling time will aid you in a whole lot of ways.

Ask, I think it is…uh TC here? I remember one of the guys in one of the articles said he did BJJ for a couple of years. I’m certain he can tell you all of the ways that weightlifting helped his game.

BJJ isn’t a “strength” game. BJJ is about timing and leverage. But add a buttload of strength to the correct timing and leverage and you have a much more formidable athlete.

Lift weights. Stretch afterwards. Don’t overdo it.

[/quote]

I think the guy was asking if you could concurrently train bodybuilding (lifting for the sole purpose of hypertrophy) with BJJ.

I never said to give up lifting completely, but when I was training BJJ AND using programs specifically geared towards hypertrophy, it resulted in overtraining.

I still lift, but use different routines (mainly circuits), in order to supplement my BJJ.

BJJ is definitely not a strength game, but having muscular endurance is essential. You might have all the technique in the world, but if you’re so tired that you can’t make your body do what you want it to do, all that technique goes out the window. And in my experience, bodybuilding programs definitely did NOT help with muscular endurance.

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
Is it possible to do both?

I just found this really great bjj school in my area and would love to join but have no intention at all of giving up on bodybuilding.

Anybody do this? Your thoughts?

Thanks in advance[/quote]

If you are serious about bb’ing, why do something that might injure you? I can tell you that your joints will be a lot sorer than usual, and that will affect your weightlifting game. As an experiment, have a put you in a few arm bars and then go do some curls.

This has been the million dollar question for me for the past 3years. When I first got into BJJ I didn’t lift and was progressing well at 4 times bjj a week. Then I started doing a circuit style lifting routine with a huge complex were you do one exercise followed by another by another, for about eight different exercises(a la Randy Couture). This routine worked great but then I got the size itch and wanted to get bigger and stronger, so I started following some body part splits and after four months or so I hurt my shoulder benching.

The first thing that comes to mind is that maybe I wasn’t lifinng correctly or using too much weight but I hurt myself the day after I grappled a 345 lb guy for about 20 minutes. This let me know that I can’t over work a specific muscle group to exhaustion like you have to when following a Body Building routine, because you will need that muscle to perform sooner than a week later when you are going to work it again as scheduled in your lifting routine.

Although I was progressing well I think it was just too much. Every time I see a guy come into to the academy to start bjj and he is big and muscular in a Body Building sense, he either quits or he changes his training and his body changes. These guys might keep some good size but that nice pumped up round belly muscle changes.

I do BJJ 3-4 times a week with 2-3 days of weights. I follow Chad Waterbury type of workouts and pay attention to my body. If I feel sore or too taxed I stay away from one of the two. You can do both but you probably can’t be competitive in both and probably shouldn’t try both. My teacher who is a black belt has always said that body building or as he calls it “Beach body training” is no good for BJJ and what I have seen for over 4 years now leads me to conclude that I need to stay away from that type of training if I want to be really good at BJJ.

I know this is a bit off topic but, have any of you BJJers got cauli ear?

Very good points.

My training right now is very bodybuilding specific. I have a goal in mind (170lbs cut) and a good trainer that follows my progress.

I am about 1 or 2 years away from my goal. After reading your posts, I wont do BJJ right now because it would slow me down and possible injuries.

Say I reach my ideal physique in 1 year, is it hard to maintain? If it is easier to maintain maybe I could do BJJ at that point. Your thoughts?

Thanks

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
Very good points.

My training right now is very bodybuilding specific. I have a goal in mind (170lbs cut) and a good trainer that follows my progress.

I am about 1 or 2 years away from my goal. After reading your posts, I wont do BJJ right now because it would slow me down and possible injuries.

Say I reach my ideal physique in 1 year, is it hard to maintain? If it is easier to maintain maybe I could do BJJ at that point. Your thoughts?

Thanks[/quote]

Hard to maintain 170lbs? At your height, your goals in “bodybuilding” are pretty minimal and you have been told this before. If you actually ever reach 170lbs and still feel that is a great end goal to have, come back and tell us how hard that is to maintain.

[quote]j281 wrote:
I know this is a bit off topic but, have any of you BJJers got cauli ear? [/quote]

Its kind of funny that you ask, because my brother and I have been wrestling and doing BJJ about the same amount of time and he has it, but I don’t…we haven’t really been able to explain it except that he first got it from not wearing headgear during wrestling practice in highschool and then it just got worse and worse…and no, I’m not the geek wearing headgear during jiujitsu.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
hit the gym wrote:
Very good points.

My training right now is very bodybuilding specific. I have a goal in mind (170lbs cut) and a good trainer that follows my progress.

I am about 1 or 2 years away from my goal. After reading your posts, I wont do BJJ right now because it would slow me down and possible injuries.

Say I reach my ideal physique in 1 year, is it hard to maintain? If it is easier to maintain maybe I could do BJJ at that point. Your thoughts?

Thanks

Hard to maintain 170lbs? At your height, your goals in “bodybuilding” are pretty minimal and you have been told this before. If you actually ever reach 170lbs and still feel that is a great end goal to have, come back and tell us how hard that is to maintain. [/quote]

What’s your problem man… All i was asking is if it was hard to maintain a physique at a certain weight? (In my case 170lbs cut).

Sorry I kept quiet but enough is enough, you have been bugging me about my goals on pretty much every thread i have started. Just looking for an answer to my question, thanks.

Ricardo arona is an example of a powerfully built BJJer, although im not as good as arona i lift 3 days a week and train BJJ 3 days a week and i manage to maintain 230lbs.

this is too obvious but Jeff Monson is another example of a guy who has the build of a bodybuilder. Although he does have a nice GH gut…

Now you guys are refering to professional fighters. If you are a professional fighter and use AAS or GH as both Arona and Monson do, then go ahead and do whatever you want. I’m sure you’ll be just fine in pursuing both Body Building and whatever else you want. But both Arona and Monson do nothing more than eat, shit, sleep, and train.

I’m a good 230 lbs and fairly muscular but I don’t use BB weightlifting concepts much. Sure I lift weights but there is no way that I can recover enough to do BJJ after doing an hour workout for my chest or whatever other body part. I use whole body 45 min workouts and vary the intesity through out the week.

Good luck!

I’m a complete BJJ noob but I cross train a little to help learn some basic groundwork (my main art is wing chun). I’ve found that basically, you’re generally ok to do both (though probably not to a high level) if you can get enough food down and listen to your body. I’m pretty damn tiny though (5’5’’ 140lbs)