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Strength Training For BJJ : Don’t Do it?

I can’t believe it!

The fact I would ever have to a rebuttal video on if someone should or should not do strength training.

Of all things, for such a physically demanding sport that requires explosive speed, STRONG ligaments, and muscular endurance.

Specifically talking about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

It goes without saying, I’m a little bias on strength training and lifting weights.  But I can even respect the articles authors opposed option and passion on the subject.

To just simply tell any athlete in a physically demanding sport “muscles are bad” is well……insane.

Honestly not only is it bad information, but its irresponsible.

I was recently tagged in an article in Jiu Jitsu times, stating that Jiu Jitsu athletes shouldn’t do strength training.

There reasons listed you should not do strength training for BJJ.

 

It takes to much time…

You wont have any mobility….

You’ll be slow…

You’ll get beat…

 

More so it seem the authors bias opinion stems from “he doesn’t lift weights here is why you shouldn’t either”

I’ve never seen or studied a  particular instance where proper strength training provided negative results to an athlete and their respective sport.

Outside of a medical reason, you should absolutely be implementing strength training into your normal routine.

If you’re simply struggling and don’t know where to start, don’t worry we do have a 10 week strength training program, specifically for Jiu Jitsu athletes, that is about to release!


 

This Is How I Got Big Quads

For me, my gym is more than athletes and members.

I spend more time with these people, than I do anyone else.

Building relationships and memories, as cliché as it sounds, through blood sweat and tears.

Every athlete I train, I can identify their physical identifying trait. 

I would bet if you ask anyone what mine is, it would have to be my smile…..

Yea right!

Legs, Quads, Turkey Drums, call them what you will, my physical identifier is by far my quads.

Any sport I’ve participated in, they’ve always got noticed.  I’d have to call myself a liar if I said I didn’t take advantage to show them off…..I worked hard for them.

But what did I do?  The answer may surprise you…

To me they’re just legs.  They help me move weight from point A to B.  But to some of my athletes at the gym, they’re abnormal quads.

Due to the abnormality, I’m often ask what should they do to get their quads larger.

Short answer…..everyone is going to be different, I sure was.

This video was requested on how I grew my quads, I always took it as a joke when people ask me…

It was never something I’ve really considered anyone would be interested in.


 

What Are Best Ab Exercises ?

What is the best exercise to get six pack abs?

Arguably the most common question in the fitness industry and one of the most irrelevant.

I’ve seen some amazing athletes come through gym, with abs looking as if they just step straight off Abercrombie & Fitch poster.

Because they have abs, the perception is they’re strong. This is not always the case…

Some abs are built for function, some for show.

To really tap into your potential for general fitness or any sport, we need a well balanced and stable core.

Stabilization is the key to success with all fitness.

If we’re lifting weights, throwing a ball, swing a bat, mixed martial arts, or running.  Our power, control, and success will be made by having established positioning.  Which originates from our core.

There are literally thousands of core (ab) exercises, with new ones originating each week.  Some useful, some flashy, some are not needed.

Like everyone, I have my favorite exercises. 

Weighted Sit Ups

Planks (and variations)

GHD Holds (Glute Ham Developers)

These are just three of my favorite, its not the only ones I put into my programming.  All simple and effective to building a stable, tight, sometimes flashy, core! 


 

Missing Lifts & Lessons Learned

Not any time soon will you find me as the poster child on how to handle a missed lift.

Like you, I have my bad training days.

I’ll miss a lift, throw something, say a few words I’d never say in front of my daughter, pout a little ….eventually process why I missed the lift, digest it only to try again.

After reviewing some of my failed lifts, it made me realize as a gym owner, as an athlete, and as a coach I need to share this with my members.

Some of them I look back on and find hilarious.

But it shows that even as a coach we go through the same struggles each day as our athletes.

All to often social media is filled with the highlight reels of accomplishment, but not the struggles and failures that got us there.

As if it diminishes the achievement. When honestly it just reflects humility and shows we’re all the same.

Missing a lift can cause a serious mental block for the next attempt. How we deal with that missed lift can impact future lifts.

Record your lifts, to have something to reflect back on. Share it with friends, coaches, or send it to me. So you can learn a lesson from that missed lift, to improve and learn how to deal with it in the future


 

Best Accessory/Assistance Exercsie : To Build Strength

 

Strength!

We’re talking pure, uninhabited strength! You want it, I want it, we all want it.

I’m commonly ask “what’s the best exercises to get stronger”.  Which is irrelevant question, what works for one does not work for all.

That said, I do have a my favorites that have helped me become stronger through the years.

I’m not talking about our traditional lifts, Bench Press, Back Squat, Deadlift.  Or even the advance lifts, Snatch, Clean and Jerk.

More so what exercise are the best accessory work, or some call auxiliary work, to help develop a sound, solid, STRONG base for strength.

The Single Arm Row.

One of the easiest, purist, bang for your buck exercises you can do in the gym.

Single Arm Rows (one arm rows) help us build stronger lats and rhomboids,  In turn allows us to push, pull, and squat more weight.

This is however an exercise EVERYONE seems to do different.  THAT DOES NOT MAKE THEM WRONG!

Different variations of the exercises and different placement allow us to work different muscle groups, allow stronger emphasis and focus on our weaknesses.

If its not something you currently add to your training, I would strongly suggest doing so.  


 

Workout Motivation

Training….

What motivates us to workout?

It’s time consuming, stressful, exhausting, and at times unpleasant.

Recently I had a discussion with friend about people who NEED motivation to start training. We didn’t see eye to eye, but that’s the beauty of discussion and seeing the other persons point of view.

Which aloud me to have some self reflection. Ultimately when we first decides to workout, what is the reason?

Hopefully it comes from a genuine place of self improvement. From general observation and personal experience, when we seek out motivation to convince us to start training, sticking with it can become problematic.

Take me for example, I did six years of competitive CrossFit. For the past 2 years I honestly did not want to do it anymore. I didn’t tell a soul, because to me it seem like I was admitting of giving up.

So I looked for outside motivation to keep me in it, music, inspirational quotes, motivating videos, new gyms, and training partners. I continued to do CrossFit because I was good at it, and thought I could take it places.

I no longer did it because of my own personal growth, ultimately abandoning it all together. That false sense of motivation will not last. Its a short term fix, plugging the hole of a already sinking boat.

To truly stay motivated we have to want to improve ourselves.  Watch the full video for more!


 

Deadlift For Grip Strength : Which Grip Should You Use

I never trained to improve my overall grip strength through grip strength training exercises. I was lucky enough that the strength training I completed, indirectly and adequately strengthen my grip as well.

This is not true for all, some may need that supplemental grip strength training.

I’ve posted videos before about exercises I find beneficial to directly improve your grip strength. Most frequently when I’m approached about this topic, everyone refers to the deadlift to improve their grip strength.

You’re not wrong…

But how are you using the deadlift?

There is a vast difference between using the deadlift to improve overall strength gains, and using a deadlift to improve grip strength.

On top of that, what grip are you using?

If you’re using the deadlift to improve your overall strength gains, then by all means use any grip or straps you need to complete the lift safely.

After all we’re testing your deadlift in this scenario not your grip strength.

If you are using the deadlift to improve grip strength, I would highly suggest a double overhanded grip. And doing sets to failure or just a few rep shy of failure.

Getting that deep burn in the forearms, that you simply can not hold onto a bar any longer.

How I Almost Missed The Signs : My First Competition

I’ve always thought I was strong in a gym setting. Lifting with friends shooting for PRs.

I recently wanted to test myself, so I did my first weightlifting meet.

My goal was just to do well, considering I had no real expectations or understand how a meet was even ran.

I went 6/6

Snatching 122/268
Clean & Jerk 152/335.

I had the heaviest clean and jerk and heaviest snatch. Winning the overall as well.

My coach and I looked up the current national records for my division the snatch was 120.

It feels great to say I “unoffically” broke a national record by hitting that 122.

And a total that would place me 2nd in the nation!


 

The BEST Explosive Bodyweight Exercises

Building explosive power is imperative to improving your performance.

Myself, I prefer to do this through Olympic Weightlifting, the clean and jerk, and the snatch.

What happens when you don’t have a barbell to work in building that explosiveness. Or you can’t make it to the gym that day what can you do at home?

The best body weight exercise in my opinion is the burpee. Now, there are hundreds of burpee variations most of which allow you to work the movement at your pace.

With this come to many options and making the movement more slow cardio than explosive exercise. To fix this at my gym I recommend the no contact burpee.

This cuts out a lot of options to make the movement slow, and increases the priority of improving our explosive power with a body weight movement.


 

BJJ : How to Build Your Conditioning For Jiu Jitsu

“I need to start training with you to get my cardio up.”
Regardless if said with the intentions of following through, or passively mention iust acknowledge lack of cardio.
If you’re an athlete at our gym, at some point you’ve told Chewy or myself “I need to start training with you to get my cardio up.”
The disconnect there is our Instagram and YouTube is filled with the highlights.
The heavy lifting, the one rep max, the fun stuff everyone wants to see.
The real truth behind building up your cardio, it’s not sexy.  It’s not fun, you will not enjoy it.
When it comes to building your conditioning for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, athletes tend to misconnect “workout” as building conditioning.
Building workout conditioning such as you’ll see in crossfit style workouts, while has some benefits, does not relate well to your mat wind.
These are two different types of cardio, and can easily be exposed.
I like to recommend athletes who want to work on their pure cardio, interval training, in the same fashion they roll.  
Five to six minute rounds of intervals.  Going one to two minutes over their match times.  Here’s an example of our workout.
6 Minutes of:
:20 sprint – :10 rest
**Rest 3 Minutes**
6 Minutes of:
:10 sprint – :20 rest
**Rest 3 Minutes**
6 Minutes of:
:20 sprint – :10 rest
**Rest 3 Minutes**