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Yes, You Can Lift And Train
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Yes, You Can Lift And Train

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One of the most hotly debated topics in Jiu Jitsu is whether you need to or should lift weights to augment a grappling training regimen. Some will argue that because Jiu Jitsu is a technique based sport so strength isn’t necessary. Others will argue that some of the greatest grapplers ever, like Marcelo García, didn’t use strength training, so it clearly isn’t necessary. Others will counter that argument by saying that Marcelo is the exception.

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Before getting into whether strength training helps Jiu Jitsu, we need to discuss why everyone, literally everyone, should do it anyway. There are numerous benefits of strength training. Strength training improved overall health by reducing risks of injury, preventing osteoporosis, and preventing muscle loss associated with aging.

Strength training also improved other aspects of our overall health like better cardiovascular and metabolic health. Strength training can also be used to alleviate symptoms of mental disorders like anxiety and depression and just elevate overall mood. Finally, strength training can increase physical attractiveness, which is important for many people.

Just from examining the general benefits of strength training, one can see how it can improve and help with Jiu Jitsu. Obviously injuries are always a huge risk in our sport, especially for the skinnier or older grapplers. I think this benefit alone should motivate grapplers to do some strength training.

Secondly, the concept that technique requires no strength makes absolutely zero sense in terms of biomechanics. In order to execute any technique, you have to move your bones, and you move your bones by contracting muscles. So obviously if you have more strength to contract your muscles, you will move your body faster, thereby executing techniques faster and better.

Strength training can also improve posture. Posture is one of the most important concepts in Jiu Jitsu and if we can find ways to improve it, we should. Finally, strength training can help with the chronic pain pretty much every grapplers has to deal with on a daily basis, especially back pain.

Now that we know of the benefits of strength training and how it can help with Jiu Jitsu and everyday life, it’s time to decide how to get started if don’t already do it. Personally, I am fan of full body, compound lifts. These include things like squats, bench pressing, over head press, pull ups, and so on. These are the most beneficial exercises I find and help eliminate time you might spend doing very focused exercises like concentration curls.

I highly recommend Ricky Lundell’s latest instructional, “1% Better Everyday,” because he explains the benefits of the exercises I discussed and also how to do them appropriately.

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