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The Different Modes of Strength Training For Jiu-Jitsu

The Different Modes of Strength Training For Jiu-Jitsu

Lift For Your Goals...

Although strength training is still a controversial in its relationship to Jiu Jitsu, almost all elite grapplers add it to their training regimen. Even if it does not add value to Jiu Jitsu, which I don’t think it’s true, it is still necessary for general health and metabolism. There is a lot of science and questions about strength training and which modes are best, but I will attempt to provide some short insight for the naïve.

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When I first got into lifting in high school, I was plagued by a question regarding which way of training is best. There are generally three main methods, a lot of weight with a very small amount of reps, a moderate amount of weight with a moderate amount of reps, and light weight with a lot of reps. These three all affect muscular physiology different and therefore produce a different effect.


Large weight, low rep strength training, commonly described as one rep max training, is a form of training in which someone finds the maximum weight they can use for one or two repetitions. This style is commonly employed by weight lifting competitors as it is the best way to increase strength.


Moderate weight, moderate weight training is when someone uses the proper amount of weight that allows them to perform 6-12 repetitions. This mode is the most popular style of lifting among all people because it promotes muscular hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is the enlargement of tissue either electively or due to a pathology.


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Finally, using light weights and a lot of reps is the use of the proper weight to achieve greater than 12-15 repetitions. Although this form does not necessary promote a lot of muscle strength or increase one rep max, it is important for muscular endurance and tone.


So how does someone decide which way of strength training they should use? It depends on goals. If you are only looking to increase strength, you would do large weight with low reps. If your goal is to increase muscle mass and put on weight, use the hypertrophy promoting style. If your goal is to increase muscular to endurance, use light weights but a lot of reps.


Fortunately, there is a lot of online references that provide much more detail than this article can. Exercise should also be personalized and everyone should experiment with all different styles to see which best suits them.

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