T Nation

Judo and Bodybuilding


I realise this topic has been discused on the combat forum many times however all the ideas over there are based around improving for judo.

Personally i prefer lifting weights and want to become as strong as i can in my basic compounds (like we all do lol). I also have no idea what judo training includes although i only wish to do it as a little on the side hobby 1 time per week. Aslong as it doesnt interfere with my main passion- weight lifting.

If my diet is big there shouldnt be anything wrong with this right? It would have to be on the same day as i was doing my shoulders so does this cause any over useage in muscles worked (again i have no idea what judo entails, or major muscles used! i just wanted to give it a go, subject to it not interferring with weight lifting recovery)?

If anyone one has any experience in these matters id greatly appreciate it. And please dont just post with 'try it and see'. I will try it prior to advise given by members of this site in a more knowledgable position than myself. :slightly_smiling:

I see judo as something different and i heard it can be good for conditioning. DOes the training include pushups, situps etc? as i could imagine that certainly affecting recovery.

Thanks for your time guys :slightly_smiling: Dave


You can do both and you will be fine.


I think it's a great combo (any martial arts for that matter). It not only will help you physically and compliment bodybuilding, but strengthen you mentally, which is equally important in BBing as well.


Well... breaking my leg during Judo interfered with my training somewhat. Competitive Judo is pretty destructive to ankles, knees and shoulders and if you are training balls to wall in the gym, I think you become even more vulnerable to injury.

Its a great sport though and I did like the complementary cross-over with lifting. A decent squat\DL is an almost unfair advantage over the joe who does no resistance training at all. I'm often tempted to get back into it but the plates and pins holding my leg together put me off.

It varies depending on the instructor. Some are big on conditioning, some drilling, some sparring. IMHO the sparring is the most exiting but the most dangerous.


I trained Judo for about a year and the injuries piled up for me and definitely got in the way of my strength training. It was a ton of fun though. Best of luck.


Yup. Personally I think a striking sport is perhaps more compatible with body-building than a sport with high impact throws. Something like kick-boxing would give you cardio and flexibility and a fraction of the injury risk. One unfortunate difference is that the body-weight and strength of a body-builder that might be an advantage in Judo will probably make you suck at kick-boxing!


If you're going to do it once a week and don't care how good you get at it and don't plan to compete, then it's not really going to matter and it probably won't interfere with bodybuilding.

If you're going to be serious at it, it will be a different story.

And yea, the potential for massive injury is very present in that sport- it's brutal.


Wow i had no idea it was so brutal lol

Like i said earlier i have no plans of competing, just getting out to do something fun and different, hopefully meeting new people and enjoying the experience :slightly_smiling:

I do have pins supporting my shoulder so i will make sure to play it VERY safe aswel, thanks for the heads up guys!

My main concern with it really was not improving on shoulder workouts due to over stress on that day, am i maybe being a little too paranoid here lol?


ha, I hope those pins are strong.


My main interest is weight lifting/bodybuilding but I've always wanted to develop a basic level of combat skill (my experience is limited to a handful of bar fights :P)

For someone only willing to dedicate 1-2x/week to this type of training which type of martial arts would you recommend?


Any intense training has the possibility of interfering with other training. I would expect you to be bruised and sore at first. Ukeme/breakfalls especially can take a lot out of someone who isn't used to it. I would recommend getting a foam roller and using it to at least limit soreness.

Also, since you have some pre-existing injuries, and because Judo is pretty much the definition of rough and tumble:

This is a link to KMCNYC's great thread on pre-hab/mobility work.


Any other questions are welcome. You may also want to try posting in the combat forum. I just realized I was posting in Bodybuilding.


Robert A


Easy answers are that systems/schools that put an emphasis on using techniques under pressure and resistance are to be preferred. Boxing is a great choice, as are a great many other options.

Obviously, if self defense is the main goal using a weapon as a tool makes things easier. So fire arms / knife training can be considered, but I do not know the laws in Canada about edged weapons, and I think guns are LEO only. Correct?

My honest advice is to find a school/gym that gives quality instuction and that you ENJOY training at. At 1-2 X a week, what you really need to happen is for the weeks to build to months and then years to achieve high levels of competency. I imagine you are quite familiar with this from lifting.

Again, you may want to ask in the combat sports forum.


Robert A


A striking sport is probably even less conducive to bodybuilding.

If you're going to be punching - and I mean not one of those pussy ass cardio kickboxing classes, I mean really boxing or kickboxing - say goodbye to having a day for your shoulders, maybe even having one for your chest.

It will take you months to adapt to going ten or twelve rounds, and going just once a week is going to ensure only two things - you'll learn your craft extraordinarily slowly and you'll be extraordinarily sore from that specific workout because it's so unlike anything else you're doing.

Going from doing ten or twelve sets of shoulder exercises to throwing a thousand punches as hard and fast as you can is like going from doing ten hill sprints to running a marathon.

OP wants to do judo for fun so it doesn't matter how quick he progresses or how gassed he is when he's training... but if he ups that to even two classes a week instead of one, bodybuilding is going to become much harder.


I've never done Judo, but my gym in Japan is full of Judoka.

I can tell you that whenever they're in the change room, it smells of tiger balm. They're usually wrapping or unwrapping their joints with athletic tape while groaning in pain. Some of these guys in their 20's and 30's have joints like 80 year old men.

I get the feeling Judo really takes its toll on your body.