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Conditioning For BJJ : When, Where, How ???

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Published on Sep 30, 2019

Exhausted, beat up, zero ability to hold a grip, I couldn’t catch my breath. I’m basically a dead man walking. Or rolling in this case.

30 minutes deep into a roll with endless sweeps, take downs, and submission attempts. The most memorable roll I’ve had. With what would eventually become a 4 time pan am champ.

One of the most exhausting training sessions I’ve experienced. I was not victorious in the match...I gassed out and gave up.

I was a quitter….


My focus has never been Jiu Jitsu, my athletic goals have always been focus around strength and conditioning. I spend countless hours a day training. But why was I the one who gassed out? Cardio was suppose to be my thing.

Jiu Jitsu athletes often ask me for additional workouts to improve their conditioning off the mat. (mat wind) And I’m just over here thinking to myself “this guy never trains outside of Jiu Jitsu, yet will do roll after roll, while I’m over on the wall sucking wind”

That same pan champ who made me feel like all my training was for nothing, in my element rolls (pun intended) would be reversed. He would find himself sick, nauseous, out of breath or simply quitting the training.

Truth is inefficient movement patterns, adding new stressors, encouraging our flight or fight response. Elevated heart rate, and sporadic breathing patterns, all caused by moving each of us out of our element.

Once on the mat, these roles are reversed. I couldn’t keep up, I’d be exhausted, a fish out of water. Wondering where all that cardio I worked on was….

By priming your body for action, you are better prepared to perform under pressure. The stress created by the situation can actually be helpful, making it more likely that you will cope effectively with the threat.

Implementing conditioning to your program will compliment your mat wind. To truly improve your conditioning on the mat you need to become comfortable with the rolls, movements, and overall chemistry of the sport.

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