Cardio Training for BJJ – BJJ Strength Training Podcast #4

In this episode of the BJJ Strength Training Podcast I cover one of the most popular topics when it comes to training for BJJ – Cardio Training. You can stream or download it from the link below or you can find it on Itunes, Podbean, Google Podcasts, Spotify and all other major podcasting platforms.

Click Here to Download the MP3 File

When it comes to Cardio Training for BJJ, there are two things you need to worry about:

  1. Running out of gas.
  2. Getting breathless.

These are not the same things and must be trained for differently.

A big mistake people make is knowing that they have a problem with their cardio but not being more specific with what they need to improve, which results in them using methods that aren’t suited for the job.

In this case, that means doing a lot of hard cardio training (intervals, Crossfit) to try and trigger/ train that breathless feeling. The problem is that this is an inefficient way to train for this problem and takes a lot out of you physically.

The best way to train to better deal with getting breathless is to improve your CO2 tolerance. CO2 triggers the breathless feeling and so the better our tolerance is the harder we can worry before becoming breathless and the better we can deal with it when it happens.

In order to train to improve your CO2 tolerance is to expose yourself to higher CO2 levels, which requires holding your breath to let the levels rise. Breath holds may not be as dramatic as a hard interval workout but they create the internal environment you want to improve a big part of your cardio fitness on the mats.

If you can’t train BJJ 3+ times a week then you may also benefit from an extra interval type workout depending on the other demands life has on you and your recovery. I like the Breathing Gear Interval Workout on an Airdyne type bike because this trains you to drive your effort with your breathing rather than the other way around. 

Remember that the best approach is to figure out how little you can do off the mats to see good results on the mats so you can focus your time and energy on training BJJ, not to find out how much you can do before you break. Follow the advice in this podcast and you’ll avoid the Cardio Training trap a lot of people fall into.

Until next time…

Train Strong,

James Wilson

BJJ Strength Training Systems

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