Let’s take yesterday’s analysis one step further and work with our same twin brother duo. Many fitness professionals will tell you that general physical preparedness isn’t as important as sport specific training. Why work on aspects of your body that you don’t need or use for your particular game? Let’s get into it again.
So here we have our twin brothers, both have a year of BJJ under their belts and are still lacking any kind of outside training program. Brother A decides to work with a personal trainer and will only be doing a program designed specifically to strengthen and mimic the major movements of BJJ. Brother B is going to a well run CrossFit gym, such as ours.
Here’s what I believe will happen. This conclusion is not due to any double-blind scientific studies done at the Olympic training center, only what I’ve observed through putting myself through various strength and conditioning programs while also actively training and competing in combat sports, as well as watching numerous others do the same.
I believe that Brother B, the CrossFitter will show a faster increase in his performance on the mat. This is not biased by the fact that I am a CrossFitter and CrossFit coach but more because I believe that a varied program such as CF is going to fill in all kinds of gaps in Brother B’s athletic game. He’s going to be forced to use his body in ways that he’s never had to before and this will build strength in areas that not only directly translate to BJJ, but also to muscles and movement patterns that support the major movements of BJJ.
Brother A is going to get stronger and his ground game will improve because of it. However, he is mostly going to be working with muscles and movement patterns that he already uses in his BJJ training. He will be increasing strength he already has but not necessarily receive the benefits that come from having a system that is forced to work in a variety of new patterns and ways. Unfortunately, I also believe that Brother A is going to find himself over training because he’s going to be repeating motion patterns both in the gym and on the mat.
That all being said, I believe that after a year or two of laying down a solid athletic base through CrossFit, that Brother B should switch over from CF to a BJJ specific training cycle. At this point his foundation should be rock solid and now it’s time to find where, if any, the BJJ specific strength and conditioning weakness he may have show up on the mat and then attack those in the gym with supplemental training geared specifically to filling in those holes.
Those are my two cents. Take from it what you will.
3 Position Snatch (High hang, Mid hang, Full Snatch = 1 rep)
Box Jumps (24″/20″)
Medball Cleans (20#/14#)
Mountain Climbers (L/R=1)