Romulo Barral is one of the most elite grapplers that the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has ever seen. Once an ADCC and a 6x IBJJF world champion, he’s now retired and is one of the top-ranking coaches on the planet.
Nevertheless, he keeps training hard and is in fantastic shape to this day. Here’s how a day of his strength training looks like, featuring Chad Wesley Smith – a world-renowned coach and creator of the JuggernautBJJ app.
STRENGTH TRAINING WITH ROMULO BARRAL
What you’ll notice is that, before his strength training session, Barral does a fair share of warmups. But not just your “everyday” warmup; he does mobility exercises that thoroughly warm him up, as well as keep him moving well.
So, if you aren’t doing a lot of mobility exercises yourself, start doing them right now. Every day, if you can… As they will keep you healthy and much less injury-prone. (Pro-tip: focus on shoulder mobility exercises.)
After finishing with the warm up and mobility exercises, Romulo starts with strength work. The first exercise he does is a neutral grip bench press. And why the neutral grip? Well, Romulo (as well as many other BJJ athletes) has issues with his shoulders. By bench pressing with a neutral grip, his shoulders are positioned in such a way so that the pressing motion doesn’t aggravate them.
Following the bench press, Romulo goes forward with explosive pushups. He does them for reps of 3 – for good reason, as this is an ideal rep range for building explosiveness.
As far as auxiliary exercises are considered, Barral uses dumbbells for the incline bench press and for step-ups, as well as for lateral dumbbell rises. Then, he moves on to tricep extensions (with an elastic band).
He finishes up his workout with core exercises. The first one is the dreaded “stir the pot” one, while the second one are the medicine ball side twists.
Watch Romulo Barral putting in the work on the video below – and listen to some of his fun anecdotes: