When it comes to improving your BJJ conditioning, should you just roll more? Do more circuits? Do long distance running? Go swimming? There are so many options used in Conditioning for BJJ, so how can we know what is appropriate for you and your goals?
Conditioning training is so important for grapplers. It really will not matter how skilled you are because when we get tired, we all turn into white belts.
When you hear sports commentators saying that an athlete has a stronger will than their opponent, it actually means that they have better endurance.
Cardiovascular endurance is what makes you perform when you have been rolling hard for over 10 minutes. You will often see athletes giving up during competitions due to being tired.
If you work on your endurance, you will increase your chances of being able to outlast your opponent on the mat. By adding strength training to that and you will go even further and for longer. It’s important to always remember that strength training and endurance always go together.
Last month’s European championships gave us a good look at the supreme conditioning of BJJ’s elite athletes.
How do you improve your conditioning like a BJJ world champion?
BJJ matches take at least 5 minutes (white belt) up to 10 minutes (black belt).
Technique conquers all, but if both men are equally technical, the one with the biggest gas tank wins.
Here are some changes to your training routine that you can make to improve your conditioning for competition:
1. Three-minute rounds
Multiple times world champion Rafael Mendes chatted with GRACIEMAG.com :
“I do 15 rounds of three minutes each without resting between rounds. The goal is to win all rounds and use a lot of power into them. Short rounds make the match more equal, even against lower ranked opponents, so I have to be fast and powerful to win.”
2. Ten-minute rounds
“I also like to do 6 to 8 rounds of ten minutes without resting. The goal is to reach the submission without resting so I can keep moving. This is the kind of training that increases my endurance.”
3. Specific training of attack positions
“Another thing I do are rounds of 1 minute in 10 different attack situations: side control, mount, back taking without the hooks, etc. All that without resting between the one-minute rounds. The goal is to get the submission each and every time. I do that four times with five minutes of resting between sessions.”
4. Specific training of defense positions
“Same training we use to attack, but now focusing on the defense. The goal is to escape in one minute or less.”
5. “Speed drills”
“I repeat fast positions for short periods with maximum amount of power possible. I like this method of training a lot to improve my guard pass and the attack to the back.”