The BJJ Strength Training Systems Podcast
The 3 Pillars of BJJ Strength Training - Isometrics, Steel Mace Training and Breathwork

The 3 Pillars of BJJ Strength Training - Isometrics, Steel Mace Training and Breathwork

March 17, 2021

In this podcast I go over the foundational elements of a good BJJ training program - Breathwork, Isometrics and Leverage Based Training (a.k.a. Steel Mace Training). By understanding how these 3 things fit together to form a holistic approach to improving on the mats you can make more productive use of your training time and see better results when you roll.

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.

While this approach to training is certainly different than what you will usually see in BJJ specific programs, I don’t believe that it is anything new. When you look at traditional physical training methods for warriors and grapplers, you find these same elements. 

For example, Yoga - which is the best known of the traditional training methods - uses a lot of Isometrics and Breathwork, especially if you look at the original practices from India.

Another example is the Steel Mace, which is based on the Gada. The Gada is an ancient training tool used by grapplers for thousands of years and is a Leverage Based Training Tool. 

By combining these 3 things you get a better way to improve your BJJ specific strength and endurance. You can still use our modern understanding of Functional Training and human physiology, you just look at them through a slightly different viewpoint (click here to see a video demo of a workout that uses these concepts).

There is a reason that ancient training systems had an emphasis on these 3 things, which is because the people who developed them knew that they were what would really make the difference in battle and grappling. By looking back to these traditional methods and applying our modern understanding of them I believe that we can evolve our training programs to the next level of specificity for our amazing sport.

Until next time…

Train Strong,

James Wilson

The Most Important BJJ Specific Exercise You Aren’t Doing Plus Tips For Learning

The Most Important BJJ Specific Exercise You Aren’t Doing Plus Tips For Learning

March 11, 2021

In this episode of the BJJ Strength Training Podcast I explain why Glute Bridges are the most important exercise you aren’t doing, which creates a big hole most people’s BJJ specific workouts. I also share 5 tips to help you “learn how to learn” so you can improve your learning curve on the mats.

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.

In the podcast I mention the Ramping Isometric Glute Bridge, which is one of my favorite ways to increase the strength in this important BJJ specific movement. You can find a video demo of how to do this exercise - along with some other great Glute Bridge variations - by clicking here.

I hope you enjoy this episode and I’ll be in touch next week with another tip to help your BJJ training. Until next time…

Train Strong,

James Wilson

Breathwork for BJJ - Podcast Episode #7

Breathwork for BJJ - Podcast Episode #7

March 2, 2021

In this episode of the podcast I try to cover a huge subject - breathing and breathwork for BJJ. There is a lot of info in this episode and I know that I could have gone into more detail on a number of things I talked about. However, it will give you some things to think about when it comes to training your own breathing and using breathwork to improve how you feel and perform both on and off the mats.

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.

Breathing is something that we take for granted but it can make or break our health and performance. Over the last year I’ve taken a deep dive into different breathing and breathwork methods - including The Wim Hof Method and The Oxygen Advantage - and I’ve learned a lot about how to leverage this easily accessible tool.

This podcast is a condensed version of a 3 week program I take people through to help them improve their health, performance and mindset through better breathing. In it I’ll share the daily practices and workout strategies that have helped me and my clients and I know will help you too.

Until next time…

Train Strong,

James Wilson

BJJ Strength Training Systems

Joel Jamieson on Training and Recovery for BJJ - BJJ Strength Training Podcast #6

Joel Jamieson on Training and Recovery for BJJ - BJJ Strength Training Podcast #6

February 17, 2021

On this week’s podcast I interviewed Joel Jamieson, who is one of the most respected and sought out Strength & Conditioning coaches in the world. I ask him about training for the unique demands of BJJ, the best way to use HRV to guide your training and the one conditioning method he thinks a lot of grapplers are missing out on.

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.

If you haven’t heard of him yet, Joel has worked with a lot of professional fighters as the main strength and conditioning coach for Matt Hume’s MMA team. His book Ultimate MMA Conditioning is considered one of the best books on cardio and conditioning training ever written and has influenced programs in countless other sports.

He is also an expert on HRV training and how to use it with athletes. He has been working with HRV since the early 2000’s and he has done more to help bring practical solutions and advice to the everyday athlete than anyone else, including his current HRV monitoring system Morpheus.

Because of this he is one of the most sought after coaches in the world, working with top performers in the sports, business and military worlds. But as busy as he is, he was nice enough to take the time to come on the podcast and share his insights into training and recovery. 

You can learn more about Joel and the different solutions he offers to help your training and recovery at www.8weeksout.com

I’ve learned a lot from Joel over the years and it was great to get his thoughts on training for the unique demands of BJJ, especially as you get older. I hope you get something that you can apply to your own program to help you perform and feel better both on and off the mats.

Until next time…

Train Strong,

James Wilson

BJJ Strength Training Systems

Steel Mace Training for BJJ - BJJ Strength Training Podcast #5

Steel Mace Training for BJJ - BJJ Strength Training Podcast #5

February 11, 2021

In‌ ‌this‌ ‌episode‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌BJJ‌ ‌Strength‌ ‌Training‌ ‌Podcast‌ ‌I‌ ‌go over Steel Mace Training and why it is such a valuable tool for your BJJ training program.‌ ‌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.‌ ‌

The Steel Mace is another example of an old training tool regaining popularity in the modern fitness culture. It has a history that can be traced back thousands of years and is a traditional training tool of warriors and wrestlers.

The Steel Mace is a great training tool for grapplers because it fills in a gap in their strength training, which is usually focused on Compression based exercises (Squats, Deadlifts, Presses, etc.). Grappling requires a lot more Leverage Based Strength than other sports, which means you need Leverage Based Strength tools like the Steel Mace if you want to see the bast transfer from the gym to the mats.

Until next time…

Train Strong,

James Wilson

BJJ Strength Training Systems

Cardio Training for BJJ

Cardio Training for BJJ

February 4, 2021

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.

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

Are KB Swings Overrated for BJJ?

Are KB Swings Overrated for BJJ?

January 29, 2021

In this episode of the BJJ Strength Training Podcast I share my long history with Kettlebells and why I now think that they are overrated for your BJJ training program. 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.

One of the things that I love about BJJ is how pragmatic it is. It doesn’t matter how cool an idea may be in theory, eventually it has to work on the mats and a willingness to discard old ideas in favor of better ones is how we all make progress. 

I like to apply this mindset to all areas of my life, including strength training. I’ve changed my mind many times based on better information coming my way and I know that I’ll change it again as time goes on.

And one of the things I’ve changed my mind on is the value of Kettlebell Swings for a BJJ training program. I know that this sounds crazy but if you’ll hear me out I think that you’ll see what I mean.

The Swing is a great exercise and the KB is only one training tool that you can use to do it. I’ve come to realize that the KB Swing's popularity has more to do with marketing than using the best tool for the job and there are better, more functional ways to train the Swing movement.

KBs are still a great tool for many other things, however their structure just makes the KB Swing a less functional movement than other options. Using the right tool for the job will help you get better results and decrease your chances for getting hurt, which IMO should be the main goal of your training program instead of allegiance to a particular piece of equipment.

Until next time…

Train Strong, 

James Wilson

BJJ Strength Training Systems

 

Isometrics for BJJ -Why they are a must for grapplers.

Isometrics for BJJ -Why they are a must for grapplers.

January 20, 2021

In this podcast I go into depth about Isometrics and why they are a must for grapplers. Based on my experience there are 3 reasons why you need them as part of your BJJ strength training program...

  1. They are more “sport specific” for the physical demands of the mat. Grappling requires more isometric strength than any other sport and so it is important in ways that other sports can’t understand.
  2. Gives you the biggest return on your time investment with improvements to your strength, cardio and breathing.
  3. They don’t leave you as sore and tired as movement based training, which lets you train harder on the mats and be better able to defend yourself in the real world.

If you want to learn more about Isometrics for your BJJ training program then Steve Maxwell has some great isometric stuff at www.maxwellsc.com.

You can also find The Ramping Isometrics for BJJ Program, which is an Isometric Training Program I created specifically for BJJ, by clicking here.

And if you haven't already be sure to visit www.bjjstrengthtraining.com and sign up for the free newsletter.

Until next time...

Train Strong,

James Wilson

Top 3 BJJ Strength Training Tips

Top 3 BJJ Strength Training Tips

January 13, 2021

Top 3 BJJ Strength Training Tips

  1. Work on Isometric and Leverage Based Strength.
  2. Look at more than just the Big 4 Movement Patterns (Squat/ Hinge/ Push/ Pull).
  3. Rolling is the best “strength training” you can do.

Bonus Tip - Don’t mistake physical training for mental toughness training. 

Until next time...

Train Strong,

James Wilson

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