T Nation

Conditioning for Jiu Jitsu/Grappling


#1

I need a program/ideas to help my conditioning during jiu jitsu grappling matches. I have decent lungs for the first 2-3 minutes of a five minute match, and my power/strength usually stays up throughout the entire match, but towards the end my lungs are on fire and I am gasping for air. I lift 3-4 times a week, do jiu jitsu 2 times a week, and usually a couple of hours of walking with a weighted vest. Thanks for any help/advice


#2

If you are getting tired after 2-3 minutes it’s because you are working too hard which is the result of not relying on technique and timing but instead using strength. It isn’t a question of conditioning at that point but of doing BJJ the right way. Relax and don’t be a spaz.

Don’t believe that strength and conditioning will compensate for lack of skill. BJJ is about making the other guy work hard. Maybe you will end up tapping more often but that’s part of training in BJJ. If you aren’t tapping you aren’t learning.


#3

Are you a white belt?

Do you have a basic base of conditioning? Meaning could you run a couple of miles with certain ease. Do you lift weights bench, squat and deadlift your bodyweight. Do you have bodybuilder muscle? What kind of lifting program do you use now.

If so then jiu-jitsu is conditioning for jiu-jitsu. I’ve been doing it for ten years and have seen triathletes, bodybuilders, crossfitters all gas while rolling basically because they do not have the technique. So relax, breathe and move with purpose. If you don’t know what to do then figure it out by asking your instructor or senior students.


#4

[quote]cavemancop wrote:
I need a program/ideas to help my conditioning during jiu jitsu grappling matches. I have decent lungs for the first 2-3 minutes of a five minute match, and my power/strength usually stays up throughout the entire match, but towards the end my lungs are on fire and I am gasping for air. I lift 3-4 times a week, do jiu jitsu 2 times a week, and usually a couple of hours of walking with a weighted vest. Thanks for any help/advice[/quote]

Too much lifting, not enough jiu jitsu.

Up the BJJ to three or four times a week and cut the lifting to one or two.

Learn your trade. As zecarlo said, don’t try and outmuscle the other guy.


#5

[quote]zecarlo wrote:
If you are getting tired after 2-3 minutes it’s because you are working too hard which is the result of not relying on technique and timing but instead using strength. It isn’t a question of conditioning at that point but of doing BJJ the right way. Relax and don’t be a spaz.

Don’t believe that strength and conditioning will compensate for lack of skill. BJJ is about making the other guy work hard. Maybe you will end up tapping more often but that’s part of training in BJJ. If you aren’t tapping you aren’t learning. [/quote]
Couldn’t agree more. However for competition conditioning can help. Running for me doesn’t transfer over as much as it does for standup. U will key great results with complexes two to three days a week, my favorite is with kettle bells.

Things like te snatch done for 5 minutes build anaerobic endurance and u will notice how your body feels more unified and athletic. Find a series of complexes that keep u huffing for at least twenty minutes an do them twice a week at full intensity. 1 min rest between. Two favorites:
Kn Snatch: 6 minutes switch arms every 5 reps
6 min: dips, v ups, pull ups, squats (adds weight if strong).

However I talked to my instructor about what he does and just said, “Royce didn’t get to where he is by lifting weighs And working the balance balls.” Keep that in mind.


#6

[quote]zecarlo wrote:
If you are getting tired after 2-3 minutes it’s because you are working too hard which is the result of not relying on technique and timing but instead using strength. It isn’t a question of conditioning at that point but of doing BJJ the right way. Relax and don’t be a spaz.

Don’t believe that strength and conditioning will compensate for lack of skill. BJJ is about making the other guy work hard. Maybe you will end up tapping more often but that’s part of training in BJJ. If you aren’t tapping you aren’t learning. [/quote]

This is very true.

However, I think it’s a little disingenuous to suggest that conditioning isn’t still crucially important or that strength isn’t still beneficial. Also, wrestling (which is a component of grappling} heavily benefits from superior strength and conditioning. So, I’m not sure I’d agree that he shouldn’t be doing some strength and conditioning work to supplement his grappling skill practice and rolling.

I do agree though that priority should be placed where he wants to improve most (the jiu jitsu/grappling skill and specific conditioning training} and not on the supplementary strength and conditioning work. 2-3 times per week at most would be my suggestion.