While some people may debate the merits of strength for BJJ, almost no one debates the need for good mobility. From helping you get into positions easier to keeping you more injury resistant, having good mobility can help you in a lot of different ways on the mat.
One of the biggest concerns I get from BJJ athletes about adding strength training into their regimen is that they do not have time for it. Family, work, personal lives and (most importantly) rolling all add up leaving some of us with less than three hours per week for any other type of training.
Most exercise professionals would agree that there are many components to fitness. A well rounded approach to fitness that addresses all of them is usually the best way to achieve lasting gains and continual progress from a program. Being deficient in even one of these components leads to slow progress and results in a condition I call “false fit”.
“False fit” is when someone perceives themselves to be fit when there are glaring holes in one of the 4 Fitness Components. While each area can cover other, more specific concepts here is a list and brief description of 4 Fitness Components you need to work on:
1. Mobility – Your ability to move freely while maintaining good posture. Also includes elements of body control and body awareness.
2. Power – Your ability to coordinate your muscles in order to create quick, dynamic movements. Life is dynamic and so everyone should have some sort of power training in their program, even if it is something as simple as slamming a medicine ball into the ground.
3. Strength – I define this a little differently than most. I define strength as your ability to create proper movement and maintain that proper movement under load. Creating a movement through compensation, such as using your lower back during leg exercises, is not true strength no matter how much weight you move.
4. Conditioning/ Endurance – Your ability to engage in your chosen activities without excessive fatigue. A good conditioning program will also act as a catalyst for fat loss. For most people proper conditioning should focus more on intervals than on traditional steady state aerobics.
Do you do yoga and/ or Pilates but do not work on power and conditioning?
Do you run or bike but don’t work on mobility and strength?
Do you “body build” but don’t work on mobility and conditioning?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, or if you see something on the list above that you are not addressing, then you have developed the “false fit” condition. You are fit as it pertains to the particular activities and exercises you engage in but the truth is your fitness is limited. Get you outside of your comfort zone and your true fitness levels will get quickly exposed.
Our body wants to maintain a balance between the 4 Fitness Components. When we lose that balance we slow down our progress and set ourselves up for pain and injuries. Sometimes the answer to achieving the fitness levels that you want is not in looking for different twists on what you are already doing but in looking outside your box for new elements.
I tell people all the time that if you do not want to look and/ or perform like everyone else don’t train like everyone else. Most people are dissatisfied with their current fitness condition so don’t take the same approach they do. Make sure that you work on developing true, well rounded fitness and avoid the pain and frustration that goes with being “false fit”.
If you have any questions about how to avoid being “false fit” please post a comment below. And if you liked this article I’d really appreciate your help spreading the word by clicking one of the Like or Share buttons below.
Until next time…
The Kettlebell Swing is a very popular exercise in BJJ training circles but it is also an exercise that is often done wrong. If you want your Swings to translate over to the mat then you need to make sure that you are practicing how you want to move on the mats, not just “swing the kettlebell.”