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Gunnar Nelson And Gordon Ryan – Adding Strength To An Already Impressive Arsenal

Gunnar Nelson And Gordon Ryan – Adding Strength To An Already Impressive Arsenal


Exploring strength in the combat athlete...

For the combat athlete, strength, size and agility always plays a factor in a fight. When two athletes of the same technical abilities square off, the stronger or faster athlete will win.  It would be nice if Jiu Jitsu was somehow immune to this phenomenon, but it is not.

Gunner Nelson looks swole ahead of the UFC 231 bout. He is pitted against Alex Oliveira on December 8th. In addition to his Gōjū-ryū Karate, Gunnar has an impressive grappling pedigree. He won gold at the 2009 Pan American Championship in both gi and nogi. After taking 4th place at the 2009 ADCC, he was awarded his black belt by the legendary Renzo Gracie. It will be interesting to see how his increased physical capabilities contribute to his bout with Oliveira.

Another cool part of getting in shape is looking good and having the muscles that work for grappling. You know who's looking swole and kicking ass in no gi grappling right now? Gordon Ryan.


For the combat athlete, strength gains must be done strategically as to not impact cardio and agility. Larger muscles require more oxygen and if strength gains are not made strategically it can impact performance. Gordon Ryan is one example, in the world of Jiu Jitsu, of an athlete who has made this transformation flawlessly.

I remember meeting Gordon at a seminar right after he got his black belt. His Jiu Jitsu was certainly amazing. Physically, he looked average. A short time later his physical transformation was huge. He looked like he found a vial of the Captain American serum.  His strength gains were made the right way. His performance at ADCC is a testament to that. It was nothing short of spectacular. He took first place in the -88kg weight category. He defeated huge names in grappling; Dillon Danis, Romulo Barral, Xande Ribeiro and Keenan Cornelius. He also took second in the absolute division.

It will be exciting to watch Gunnar Nelson at UFC 231. I have always enjoyed his Karate and Jiu Jitsu. His increased strength should give him an added edge in the bout.  Gordon Ryan is a fine example of someone increased his strength in the right way to bolster rather than inhibit his Jiu Jitsu.

Have you seen Gordon Ryan - the dude is f_cking SWOLED UP. Want to know how Gordon Ryan went from 163lbs to a SWOLE 232 lbs and then back to 194 lbs... all in the matter of 18 months? All the while having the ability to train, compete and remain healthy?




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