May 24, 2021
Niki talks to Chewjitsu (aka Nick Albin), a competitive black
belt Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practictioner to discuss BJJ, strength,
sports-specific training, & balancing various physical attributes &
You can find him here:
Chewie is a strength advocate within the BJJ community, a
community that sometimes dismisses strength as sloppy or cheating
or preventing good technique. While proper technique is important,
these same people would likely not dismiss conditioning or
flexibility or dedication as things that stand in the way of good
jiu jitsu. Strength is important for life, and important for
Strength is really about building your machine. Add muscle, improve
strength, build your injury resilience. Then apply this strength in
your pursuit of BJJ.
One error many BJJ novices make is they get hooked and then want to
improve everything at once, which can cause burn out. Just like
with strength, consistency is key, and understanding that we're in
this for the long haul can help.
If you lift and decide to pursue BJJ, you'll need to set
priorities. Likely one will need to be prioritized over the other
(though this can change). You may almost assign seasons throughout
the year where you put one above the other. For BJJ, you may focus
on it for months leading up to a competition. For strength, you may
decide you want to hit some new PRs, so BJJ may need to become less
When it comes to strength training for BJJ, it's really like
training for anything else. Strength training gets you stronger,
and you apply your strength in BJJ. Many will try to load a BJJ
movement with the idea of "sports-specific training." This is
really misguided for a couple reasons.
First, if you find yourself moving through a particular movement
repeatedly in your sport, it probably makes sense to emphasize a
different or opposite movement in your training.
Second, training is meant to get your body stronger. Apply this
strength on the mat, but do the same movements anyone would who is
building their strength.
BJJ can be a fun, meaningful pursuit that definitely falls within
the voluntary hardship realm. Coming to BJJ with your strength will
help. This episode will help you consider how best to do
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