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Article: Jiu-Jitsu + Weight Training

Over the past 22 years I’ve been teaching, it’s become common to hear prospective students say, “I need to get in shape before I sign up.”

While the perception of Jiu-Jitsu by the average Joe is one of aggressiveness, blood, injuries, and violence, due to the UFC and because of its connection w/ the Gracie Family, for most by way of @realroyce’s performance in the first four editions of the event, the fact that you must be in shape to join has become a wide misconception.

First-timers indeed “don’t need to get in shape before getting in shape.” By that expression, I mean that Jiu-Jitsu training will get you in shape, and the most functional type of shape is FIGHTING SHAPE.

HOWEVER, and this is for anyone at any level in their JJ journey, supplemental training for cardio and strength can add not only to your Jiu-Jitsu performance but to your overall health.

After joining @crossfit over six years ago, I’ve been able to find a workout method that supplements my already healthy lifestyle with something new, consistent, and, in my opinion, complete for what I’m trying to achieve. And that is longevity in Jiu-Jitsu, and outside the mats, at outdoor activities such as snowboarding, paddle-boarding, hiking, biking, etc. But I also want to play and hang with my great-grandkids when that time arrives, So staying in shape to me will always be non-negotiable.

I sure am not trying to go the CrossFit Games, nor willing to take any chances with injuries by way of weightlifting PRs (I’m not saying that’s a rule; I’m speaking for myself when looking back at my body’s natural “wear and tear,” if you will, after an entire life training and competing in combat sports).

For example, there is a handful of Olympic lifting exercises that I religiously only use to work on muscle endurance and cardio (higher # of reps and less weight), despite what the WOD may require that day. Communicate with/ your coach about past injuries so they can understand your goals.

I push myself to exhaustion every day, no matter what the workout of the day is. And I don’t need to lift heavy for that, which is another aspect of CrossFit that I appreciate: the variety and flexibility of the routines. No two days are ever the same, and as long as we learn to listen to our bodies, it should be a productive, injury-free, and fun journey toward self-improvement.

To all Crosley Gracie Jiu-Jitsu students, if you want to add some conditioning and strength to your lives, check out @greygroupfitness_cftakedown in Brentwood about getting started.

That’s been my home for the past 12 months, and I can’t recommend it enough. Look for Eric, and tell him we sent ya!