Preparing for Competition
A Pound Of Preparation Beats All...
At the last competition I attended I noticed a trend. That trend was injuries. Quite a few of the injuries, in my mind, were due to lack of preparation. In BJJ, injuries are inevitable, but major injuries can be avoided. A little preparation can go a long way. The first thing that most people think of when someone mentions competition preparation is cardio. There’s much more to it.
The first thing that you should do is very obvious, put more time in on the mats and this means more than just some open mat time. You also should be adding in time for stretching. A little bit of yoga goes a long way. Yoga helps with flexibility, muscle strength, respiration, and cartilage and joint breakdown. Repeatedly putting your joints through their full range of motion will definitely help you out, as well as learning to control your breath.
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The next thing is overall strength training. Yes, yoga helps with this, but so will lifting weights. There are basic lifting techniques that will help with BJJ. The first being a deadlift, which helps with hip and hinge strength for when you’re in your opponents guard. The next is squats. Squatting helps the leg muscles which will greatly help your knees and hips. Pull-ups and chin-ups can greatly help your grip strength, as well as your overall upper body strength. If you plan to compete in the gi, you should also add in some grip strength training. This could be pull-ups with a towel or a gi as well as wrist rollers with weights on the end. Finally, try some kettlebell exercises. Kettlebells are great for muscle endurance for the entire body.
Another focus should be proper hydration. If you’re not drinking enough water, this could be very detrimental to your training and even your health. As an adult, drinking a gallon of water daily will help you with staying hydrated. It will also help with losing weight by spiking your metabolic rate and curbing your appetite for excess calories. Since your body isn’t burning excess and unnecessary calories, you also have more energy throughout the day.
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These tips aren’t the only ones to refer to when preparing for a competition. There are many other things you could do because each person is different. If you’re unsure about anything, speak to your instructor. My final thought is to speak with your instructor with an open mind about your game. Ask them what they think you should work on. Talk to them about what bothers you on the mats that you would like to improve on. Your instructor may not be exactly like you in regards to your body type, but they may have run into another student that is very similar to you. Just ask and make sure you’re listening. Good luck.
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