Tom Barlow, Braulio Estima blackbelt, decided to work with a strength and conditioning coach to prepare for the 2012 British Open. Enter Will Badenoch of Plymouth Performance Gym. Will designed a strength and conditioning program specifically for Tom that took into account that Tom had other responsibilities outside of BJJ, didn’t want to sacrifice mat time and was coming off a long layoff due to injury. Tom went on to win his division in the British Open and said, “I can honestly say that I’ve never felt in such good shape during a competition.” Will decided to use his work with Tom to create an e-book outlining a 12 week strength and conditioning program for other grapplers. The manual, The Complete Strength and Conditioning Blueprint for Grappling Sports, is a succinct treatise on how to incorporate Will’s program into your training.
If anyone knows me, they know that I like to talk and meet new people. When I am training, I always like to find out more about the people that I am training with other than their favorite move to tap me out with. I like to find out things like how long they have been training, their family, and especially if they are strength training. I have asked some of the top competitors that I have taken privates with, like Claudio Calasans, Demian Maia, Andre Galvo, the Mendes Brothers, etc, this same questions and the answer is always the same…YES.
So why is it that most of the people that we find ourselves training with on an every day basis at the academy, are not strength training. Here are my top 2 answers that I am given:
1. Strength is not needed for BJJ 2. Don’t have the extra money for a gym membership
Both are fine answers, but unfortunately completely wrong. Let us address one issue at a time, the fact of the matter is BJJ is a physical sport that is full of grabbing, wrestling, and lets not forget mental toughness. Yes I agree that BJJ has always and will always be based on leverage, but lets not forget that without the ability to fight off the feeling of the lactic acid buildup in your muscles, you could possible lose a match in the final minutes…a match that should very well of been yours for the taking.