BJJ pre-comp interval training

23 Sep

I’ve always consider myself to have pretty good CV. Having played Rugby for over 15 years, I always managed to easily last the 80 minutes, so I had a shock when I entered my first BJJ competition in July 2008.

I fought (and managed to win) 3 fights in total, although the overriding memory was the level of fatigue. The burning sensation in my forearms, my lungs and the ability to even hear properly from the blood pumping around my body. Since then I’ve toyed with different methods to prepare myself for BJJ competitions, some successful and others not so successful…..

The training that works best for me is a form of high intensity interval training, very specific to the demands of a BJJ fight that uses a combination of upper body strength and strength endurance, explosiveness and mobility, coupled with the recovery demands of fighting multiple matches over a relatively short period. Having said that, the concepts could easily applied for anyone wanting to get into better shape.

So here is the workout I started last week (17th Sep 2012) in readiness for the London IBJJF Open Sat 20th October 2012. I perform the workout twice per week, typically starting 5-6 weeks out from a competition to have a minimum of 4 weekly rotations, with 1 week of tapering.

Warmup: 10 Turkish Get ups with a 20kg kettlebell

Circuit (performed with no rest between exercises):

Rest for 3 minutes (or you can wait until your heart rates drops to 120bpm) and repeat:

  • 3 times during weeks 1-3
  • 4 times during week 4
  • 5 times during week 5

I’ll be honest, I absolutely hate this workout, although it seems to work. You could do three times per week, although with several BJJ classes per week as well, I feel twice is the right balance. I will post a video of me doing the workout soon, although until then, give it a go!


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