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Combining Bodybuilding and Martial Arts?



After 8 years of serious bodybuilding training, I would like to learn and pratice a martial art like Ju-Jitsu.

My goal is to learn some physical skills and also for the mental conditionning.

But I was wondering if it is something realistic to combine these 2 sports so I will not lose all my bodybuildings strenght and shape?

Thanks for any input.






If you eat enough you won't "lose strength and shape", but you may have a hard time learning jiu jitsu if you are already very strong. Do your best to not overpower people and focus on technique. gl

p.s. do you plan on taking traditional jiu jitsu or brazilian jiu jitsu? The two are very different.


I dont know yet.

Any suggestions?


i think it depends on where you're at as a bodybuilder and where you plan to be....

if you plan on more or less maintaining what you've built, then i don't think you'll have an issue, but if you really want to get much bigger/or turn pro, then i don't think it's gonna work.

i think you need to do jujitsu at least 2-3 times a week to learn it, and that will definately cut into your lifting/recovery time.

one thing that might help when you start is to back off your lifting, and maybe focus more on an endurance phase for a while. strenght and size do help in jujitsu, but technique matters more, as does endurance.

good luck!



My tip is working on your endurance.

I stopped training for awhile and thought just lifting would be enough to keep me in shape. I found the added size helped me gas out much quicker because my muscles were conditioned for relatively short periods of exertions. My strength was there and better but everybody would just try to ride out the storm for the first 2 minutes and then work on me once i started to gas.

as for the style, if you have a good attitude and really want to learn, then go in with Gi BJJ, the gi helps a lot and will often times help neutralize your strength. You'll still have an advantage, but somebody more skilled with a Gi can neutralize a bit of it, forcing you to work on your technique a lot more. No-gi i what i usually do, but your handicapping your self because you have much more limited amount of holds and chokes.

thats my 2 cents. Hope you go forward with it and really enjoy training, you learn a loot about your self the more you train.


Before anyone could give you an answer to which style to learn (even if jiu jitsu is the right category at all), you should identify what it is that you want out of a martial art.

Do you mostly want physical benefits, mental benefits, or do you have any interest in a spiritual benefit?

From there, I'd try to identify what it is more specifically that you'd like to gain from those mentioned above. Once you have a better idea of what it is you want, then the answers will come.


There have been many, many threads on this. That's why HolyMac ran away so quick. Search through them OP.


thanks guys for the input.

By the way, at my gym there's also aiki ju-jitsu available ; any comments on this style?


Never heard of it. Got a link?


It's Japanese Jj. Japanese and Brazilian are very similar, i did some training with a former BJJ champion, until he left brazil there he didnt even know there was a difference.

The key difference between the two styles is that BJJ had a heavier focus on taking full mount and taking the back in brazilian. Because these are the two key positions that you want to have in a fight. Over all both are fairly similar from what i see. I'm basicly a wrestler who learned submissions, im dating a Japanese JJ black belt, and my sister training in BJJ. So taking from all 3 im familiar with, for the first year the two styles to a beginner will be basicly the same.

Just make sure you got a good school. You want positive people who check their egos at the door. i cant speak enough about places that have good people there. Any time your rolling, you putting your partner in a position of trust. nothing worse then working with guys who abuse it.


you can still lift, but it will help your martial arts more if you lift longer sets with lower weight. or you could do circuit training and be sure to add some plyo-metrics to your routines.



continue to do a bodybuilding split while training BJJ



yea, don't listen to me, i just train with pro MMA fighters I don't know what I'm talking about.

listen to this meathead with the big beach muscles. it's more important to look good in a thong than it is to try and build endurance or explosive power.



here we go again.

obviously i can't have 'endurance' or 'explosive power' because of my 'big beach muscles'


look here dickbag, the OP wanted to know if he can train BJJ while maintaining the strength and shape he has developed from bodybuilding. the answer is a resounding yes. you know what's a good way to do that i've found? by doing a tradional bodypart split while training in MA.

i don't give a shit if you train with bruce lee's ghost. if you have to take off your shirt in order for people to tell you lift weights, you honestly don't have any business posting in this thread.


hahahahahaha. like clockwork.


hey irish, i was wondering, are you anywhere near ft. dix?


hey dumbass, I said to add plyometrics and lift to add longer repetitions and you jumped down my throat. if you've been a bodybuilder do you think your muscles are going to just go away once you start doing plyometrics? are you saying guys like jeff monson, matt hughes and randy couture don't look strong because they do plyometrics and endurance exercises?

take your day glo thong and show off your worldly knowledge about bodybuilding to the other metrosexuals at Balleys, k? I'm not interested in having another one of these "i know more than you" pissing contests okay.


I didnt wanna get into the whole lifting thing, but i wouldnt say bodybuilding. personally i never got into bodybuilding, i got more into the power lifting/strength training thing. Either way im kinda split on things.

If you can get a lot of endurance and dont gas then keep doing what your doing. But if you gassing really hard then you gotta change things up. The thing is my strength is an asset, being strong you can get out of or do things weaker guys cant do. The most common is power bombing the shit out of somebody who tries to triangle choke you.

The flip side is i did find i tired a lot faster in areas i had built up, like my shoulders and arms that was built up more from a BB type routine then from labour jobs growing up. It just gets heavy and acidic really fast.

I think the biggest problem you'll have is time. Unless you got a job that affords you a lot of time to train or basically dont want to do much else with your free time, it's gonna be tough to fit everything in. you want to train in JJ 3 times per week in order to get anywhere. To maintain a proper split would be rough on top of it.

But if you can pull it off, more power to you! Do what works.. everybody is different.


i just dont understand why everytime a guy asks if he can continue to bodybuild while doing mma, a bunch of mofo who are NOT carrying a significant amount of muscle mass start explaing hw you have to do plyometrics and all that rediculous jazz.

it's just not true. yes, at the freaking PRO level i can understand it. in the mean time, you can start out training bjj, and continue to bodybuild. it's that simple.

all this bullshit about not having endurance and explosive power and magical shanangins b/c you have extra muscle mass is rediculous.