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Nicky Rodriguez Talks Training, Weights, and Nutrition.
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Nicky Rodriguez Talks Training, Weights, and Nutrition.

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Athleticism, physical conditioning, and strength are all attributes that don’t necessarily determine your technical abilities as a grappler. But if you’re looking to get a leg up on your opponents, making these particular things a priority in your training regimen isn’t going to hurt you either. 

There a gap that’s been continually closing in the BJJ competition scene between the technical prowess of a BJJ athlete and how good of shape they happen to be in. We’ve seen plenty of successful BJJ athletes with incredible skill sets that don’t boast a shredded muscular physique. Afterall, we are competing in combat, not bodybuilding, but there is a rise of competitors that are making their physical conditioning and strength a focal point of their training and this giving them an edge over some of their more seasoned counterparts. 

Nicky Rodriguez has only been training in jiu-jitsu for about 18 months. Yes, 18 months. In that time, he’s been able to best some of the sport’s most active and prominent figures. He claimed silver this year at ADCC, an impressive feat for any grappler, let alone one with only 18 months of BJJ under his belt. Rodriguez is one of the most powerful and intense grapplers to ever step on the mat and he does have a wrestling background which certainly has helped him in his quest. But many BJJ athletes come from wrestling pedigrees and have not attained the kind of early success that Rodriguez has enjoyed. 

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I guess you could say Rodriguez is kind of the perfect storm. He is incredibly game, never backing down from a challenge, and no matter who’s on the other side of the mat, he moves forward. Reputations, records, and status do not intimidate this young man and this counts for a great deal in the mental aspect of competition. Rodriquez is unbelievably athletic and obviously very strong. Though he may lack some technical ability, these important attributes have helped him close the gap between himself and those with more experience. Under the tutelage of one of the most successful teams in the business, Rodriguez’s skillset will only grow as he continues to train in BJJ, and this will mean even bigger trouble for these he faces. 

So, what makes this up and coming BJJ force of nature tick? We’re very close to getting an inside look at Rodriguez’s physical conditioning and nutrition programs, as BJJ Fanatics is set to release a new instructional series with Rodriguez on his approach to this aspect of his training. We’re dying to know what this young man does to stay so fit and strong and the details of his regimen. In a brief chat with Rodriguez, Bernardo Faria was able to squeeze some specifics out of the rising star about some of his habits. There’s some interesting information here that you’ll want to see. Check this out! 

 

No rounds off. We hear this from many of grappling’s greatest. There seems to be no secret to great jiu-jitsu cardio. You will perform how you practice, there’s no doubt about that and as Rodriguez explains, you must push the pace and constantly chase the finish during your practice rounds if you hope to perform this way in a competitive setting. It’s easy to get comfortable and lazy during practice with your team, but just remember, this will all affect your overall ability to push the pace when you need to. 

When asked about frequency, Rodriguez explains that he lifts 7 days a week, trains BJJ 5 times a week, and wrestles 2 days during the week. With lifting, Rodriguez works one body part a day for no more than 45 minutes and employs 8 exercises per body part at 4 sets of high reps (no less than 20) to get the job done. His routine will fluctuate depending on his competition schedule and other variables, which I’m sure we’ll get more information on with the full release of content. 

Rodriguez doesn’t seem to be content with only playing to his strengths. He also comments on pulling guard and working on his leg locks during practice, making efforts to fill the holes in his game. A grappler with Rodriguez’s size, strength, and intensity, will become the most dangerous person on the mat once a technical skillset has been honed. Can you imagine Rodriguez being a top-notch leg locker? 

Briefly discussing nutrition, its clear that Rodriguez feels that this is the most important aspect of being an athlete. He recommends eating enough food to fuel your body for the workload your placing on it but also places importance being able to cook and eat your own meals. With protein being at the center of this formula, Rodriguez recommends at the bare minimum 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight a day. This is a bodybuilding rule that’s stood the test of time and continues to be the gold standard. 

Speaking on pre-competition nutrition, Rodriguez starts to load carbs about a week out. Two days before he competes, he cuts them completely out of his diet and then right before competition adds them back in to bring his energy level way up. This has been Rodriguez’s go to for years. But he reminds us also that he’s not cutting weight, so this may not be the best course of action for everyone but if you’re in the same boat, this could be a great addition to your routine. 

When someone becomes so successful, so early in their career, this intrigues us. We want to know what these people are doing and how they’re doing it to see what adjustments we might want to make in our own training to get an edge. I’ve already got some ideas just from listening to this short talk with Nicky Rod. 

Congratulations on your success Nicky Rodriguez and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you!

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