Minimal lifting for Maximal BJJ
Most of our BJJ community train 3 times per week. On your good weeks you might do an extra open mat or comp class, on your busy weeks you might only roll once or twice.
You also need to factor in some Lifting and mobility sessions so you can balance out your body to stay healthy and injury free. Doing extra sessions in the Gym to try to make up for missed BJJ session is not the right answer to balance your equation.
Your coach is always encouraging you to train more and all your BJJ heroes train 2 x per day everyday, so training more must make you better at BJJ right?
Everyone needs a baseline of Skill exposure to improve but once you have found your sweet spot, more does not equal better.
There are some key things you need to understand in order to really find your sweet spot on Rolling VS Lifting.
- Quantify your training: Do you have a Training Diary?
If you don’t record your BJJ training and your lifting then you have nothing to work from in terms of reflection. Humans don’t learn from experience alone they learn from reflecting on their experience.
Once you can quantify how much you are training, how hard each session is and how successful it was? Then you can more accurately understand if your current BJJ to Lifting ratio is actually working for you. Are you gradually improving in your lifts (increasing weight and reps) and are you feeling an improvement in your ability to execute techniques while rolling?
If you are not getting the improvement you expect from your hard work, you may need to swap your schedule around to actually work on the thing that is not improving.
- Quality VS Quantity: Less But Better
The point we are getting at really comes down to preparation and focus. Organising your week/ schedule to get the most out of what you do takes a small investment of energy that will ensure that your huge investment in time and effort at the academy and in the gym really count!
Paying more attention to how you train gives you a better understanding of how each action is either Helping you OR Hindering you? Your ability to focus on a specific lift, sweep or submission will result in you getting better or your lack of attention will keep you where you are.
Don’t mistake activity for productivity! More unfocused, unorganised training is not going to help you. Identify what needs improving every week and go to work with that focus each session.
- Minimal Effective Dose: Least is Best
We are always trying to do more. We love the ideal of a tireless champion who does more than anyone else to be the best. Striving for peak performance. The thing about a peak is- it is the Top! The only place you can go from there is down. This “Peak Performance” approach is unsustainable and really doesn’t help anyone achieve long term health and success. Though it seems unsexy and almost counter-intuitive but doing less can actually get you better results.
That doesn’t mean that when it’s time to work you don’t train hard. It’s about fewer things well. Make your actions count and trust the process.
What is the Minimal Effective Dose of lifting to help me improve for BJJ?
You will get stronger and your Jiu-jitsu skills will build until eventually you will be super strong and have a Black belt around your waist.
Both projects take 8-10 years of consistent improvement, impatient sprint efforts to try to short cut this process generally lead to short term gains that ultimately land you back where you started through injury and unsustainable energy output resulting in a lot of wasted time and effort.
Our lives are busy and finding the most efficient way to improve in the Gym and on the Mat is a skill that can be honed with some trial and error. Once you have found your sweet spot do not fool yourself into thinking that adding more will give a better result.
We recommend Rolling 3 x per week and Lifting 2 x per week. If you can keep that up everyday for a year with no injuries you will be winning the race to overall improvement. Be patient with your self, you are on the path.
Do less but Better.