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Conditioning for BJJ Rolling

Pretty interesting forum. See some good posts here. Here’s my question. I’m 44 yrs. old and have been training BJJ for about 4 months now. I workout a minimum of 2 classes per week. My problem is my conditioning. Although I’am not overweight and in decent shape I gas really quickly during our end of class rolls.

I’m finding it real hard to use technique over strength at this point. I have been doing alot of treadmill running over the last two months, but still no noticeable changes in my breathing. Any ideas or training techniques to get my lungs in better shape?

Try to relax more during rolling. Being tense and using strength all the time will tire you out much faster. If you are on bottom think about shrimping and using your hips rather than just pushing the guy off you. Try to think about relaxing and using technique rather than winning the roll at all costs. Its a normal thing to go through the first few months. Perhaps at 6 months in reevaluate and see if you are still getting tired on the mat.

If you want to do extra conditioning outside of class any of the workouts from Crossfit or Ross Enamait have worked well for me. But nothing prepares you better for grappling better than actually grappling.

Anton

You’re a typical white belt spaz who doesn’t know enough technique to get technical. Keep drilling and it will come. I was a white belt spaz for about 6-9 months. Then things started “clicking,” and now I’m the most relaxed dude on the mat. Too relaxed, actually, as I should use more strength.

Guys will say, “Technique over strength.” OK, sure. But if you don’t have any fucking techniques because you’ve only trained for a few months, how does this make sense?

Give it time.

about a month ago i stopped my regular 4 times a week lifting which was more of a bodybuilding routine and now i am lifting full body 2 to 3 times per week and am convinced my conditiong has improve because of it.plus i’ve learned how to relax more when rolling

California,
I would have to agree with you 100% on the spaz comment. I’m struggling to remember moves during the roll sessions so resort to total strength. Definitely trying not to get submitted as well instead of opening myself up by trying to execute the moves. Thanks for the words of engouragement.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
You’re a typical white belt spaz who doesn’t know enough technique to get technical. Keep drilling and it will come. I was a white belt spaz for about 6-9 months. Then things started “clicking,” and now I’m the most relaxed dude on the mat. Too relaxed, actually, as I should use more strength.

Guys will say, “Technique over strength.” OK, sure. But if you don’t have any fucking techniques because you’ve only trained for a few months, how does this make sense?

Give it time. [/quote]

I also started BJJ when I was 44, been doing it for 7 years now.

Another common mistake that beginners make is holding their breath. When people tell you to “relax”, they actually are telling you to breathe. Breath control is tough to learn - you’re uncomfortable, being crushed, swept, etc., and you don’t know what to do. Try to think about breathing and moving your hips. When you create space (what you should be doing when you are defending) you also help take the pressure off of your torso.

Ask your instructor for tips on how to control your breathing. Yoga helps.

Enjoy the challenge! It’s a frustrating path, but it will get in your blood.

dhunter,
Thanks for the tips. I have class tonight so I’m going to try the techniques you and tone have suggested. You give me inspiration since you were the same age as me when you started. Didn’t know if I was going to make it or not, but so far I really love it. Barring no major injuries I hope to be in it for quite sometime like yourself.

[quote]dhunter wrote:
I also started BJJ when I was 44, been doing it for 7 years now.

Another common mistake that beginners make is holding their breath. When people tell you to “relax”, they actually are telling you to breathe. Breath control is tough to learn - you’re uncomfortable, being crushed, swept, etc., and you don’t know what to do. Try to think about breathing and moving your hips. When you create space (what you should be doing when you are defending) you also help take the pressure off of your torso.

Ask your instructor for tips on how to control your breathing. Yoga helps.

Enjoy the challenge! It’s a frustrating path, but it will get in your blood.[/quote]

Gang,
I actually just started that myself last week. Was lifting bodyparts, but have now gone to just core exercises. Squat, DL, Military Press, Chin-ups and Bench or dips… We’ll see how it works.

[quote]gangstpmp3 wrote:
about a month ago i stopped my regular 4 times a week lifting which was more of a bodybuilding routine and now i am lifting full body 2 to 3 times per week and am convinced my conditiong has improve because of it.plus i’ve learned how to relax more when rolling[/quote]

FWIW, I do BJJ three times a week, and try to do weight training once or twice a week. I regard weight training as a supplement. Definitely no expert, but I stick to what you described = squats, deads, bench, row, overhead press, pullups. The old push/pull paradigm. The younger guys at the dojo think it’s “old man strength”, but I know it’s the iron, plain and simple. I just wish I had time to train more.

As mentioned, the best thing for conditioning is BJJ itself.

As far as relaxing goes: one thing that can help is to avoid rolling with guys at your skill (or lack thereof) level and roll with guys who are better. Since you have to go in there aware that you cannot win and will tap at some point the whole competitive rolling thing will be moot as winning is not an option. Proper training should not be competitive. Assuming your training partners are not dicks they should only go “hard” enough to make it challenging but not so tough that you feel like it’s a prison rape. The more you stay relaxed and at least attempt to use technique the more they should work with you unlike another newbie who is trying to beat you. Training is not a competition.

I’m also gonna agree with what people have said about learning how to relax and use technique over trying to “muscle” everything.

You need to first develop some degree of mastery of your techniques in a cooperative (no resistance) setting. Then gradually have your partner add resistance until they are really trying to prevent you from getting the move (or are trying to apply the move in the case of an escape).

IMO too many people want to jump right into hard sparring right out of the gate and not spend sufficient time on technical mastery. While I think that sparring is essential, it’s very difficult to develop any kind of technical mastery that way. Professional athletes in just about every sport still devote time to practice working on their technical mastery, so should you.

As far as supplemental conditioning goes, I’d say that the attribute that you need to develop most is “wind” or strength endurance. Meaning that you must be able to sustain your effort for extended periods of time.

Things like calisthenics and intervals work well.

But honestly the best way to develop this is once again through a resistance training program specifically geared to improve strength endurance. The best stuff that I’ve seen to date is Charlie Lysak’s “Primal Strength” programs. You can find out more about his stuff here:

www.primalstrength.com

Roll more