Strength Training for BJJ [Reddit FAQ]

If you need comments, advice, or get some reviews to one of your BJJ questions, Reddit community is the place. That is why we are composing this article about strength training for BJJ Reddit opinions and advice.

BJJ subreddit counts more than 680K members. You can ask for or find ready-to-utilize information regarding any BJJ subject.

For instance, if you are searching for a new jiu jitsu uniform, read our big research article Best BJJ Gi Reddit Reviews – 13 Top Gi Brands Ever.

This time we are doing an analysis of the best BJJ strength and conditioning Reddit discussions to put it all together in one article.

Does BJJ strengthen joints?

For sure BJJ makes the body more flexible with time if you train regularly.
It’s a proven fact. Once I had a gap without training for 1,5 months and my knee and shoulder joints became stiff and hurt even with light exercise. The body returned to normal after resuming training.

But as with any combat martial art, jiu jitsu may cause joint injuries even on very flexible joints. Because it’s a full-contact combat sport. And it’s not an excuse. It’s just as it is.

The flexibility and strengthening of the joints are going together. But strengthening the joints and ligaments is more about strengthening the musculature around the joint so it has good and strong support.

To make your body more flexible train jiu jitsu regularly and tap on time.

To strengthen the joints and their ligaments, ideally, do strengthening workouts for muscles and balance your nutrition with joint supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, fish oil, collagen, etc. As, e.g., ligaments are connective tissue in joints that consist of a protein called collagen.

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  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • MSM
  • Hyaluronic Acid

Nevertheless, BJJ has one of the lowest injury statistics compared to other contact martial arts like judo, MMA, etc. We have talked about this aspect already. You can read about the injury rates in martial arts here – Is Learning Jiu Jitsu Dangerous?

How to strengthen knees for martial arts was also a topic to discuss here.

How to strengthen your fingers for martial arts?

Why do my fingers hurt after jiu jitsu? is an obvious question for BJJ because there are a lot of gi grappling with hands and fingers with pulling.

Here are a couple of hints on how to protect your fingers in jiu jitsu and how to strengthen them:

1. To support the joints of the hand use jiu jitsu tape for finger taping.
2. You can also help strengthen your tendons in the hands with stretches and loading like muscles. But be prepared it will not have much effect.
3. Another finger strength training for jiu jitsu Reddit advice is to find or ask for advice in the subreddit for climbers r/climbing or r/climbharder.
4. One more simple exercise for grip strength is making static hangs by holding on to a towel.

Towel Hang exercise

Does jiu-jitsu count strength training?

The jiu jitsu warm-ups and rolling sessions on a regular basis will establish a certain level of strength. Let’s call it a peak of what jiu jitsu can give for strengthening.

But on that point, you should decide if you need or want to build yourself an additional BJJ strength program and maintain it optionally to achieve the next, stronger, level of strength.

What muscles should I train for jiu-jitsu?

In general, this question is too general and it needs specification.

One way is to begin with an analysis of needs in aspects of what is necessary to achieve the final result or what problems one has while training.

For example, if you plan to make strength exercises for jiu jitsu to strengthen your joints and ligaments, pay attention to workouts for the next muscle groups:

  • Gastrocnemius
  • Soleus
  • Quadriceps
  • All three hamstring muscles

In simple words, the approach for the BJJ conditioning circuit and strength training for grapplers depends on the request.

In even more simple words, the strength and conditioning training for jiu jitsu is about developing physical abilities needed for better physical performance in jiu jitsu.

BJJ strength and conditioning program Reddit 101 Guide

The following is the BJJ strength and conditioning Reddit summary of the most actionable and structured information given in jiu jitsu Reddit community.

Is strength training good for jiu-jitsu?

Any training is about getting more power in something. The same with strength training for jiu-jitsu.

Before starting to gain more weight and muscles remember to keep balance to not lose power in other abilities such as flexibility, endurance, etc.

Also keep in mind, if you do cross-training – BJJ, strengthening, or weights – balance them to have enough recovery after one and before other training.

strength training for jiu jitsu
Balancing BJJ and weight training; screenshot from Renaissance Periodization YouTube channel

How much strength training do you need for BJJ?

Jiu jitsu practitioners with constant tournament experience share that if a BJJ athlete is practicing jiu jitsu regularly he or she needs only a couple of hours or less of additional strength workout to gain better results in jiu jitsu.

Do fighters lift weights?

If a fighter, especially a competitive one, is doing a strengthening program, you can be sure for 99% that he or she is lifting weights.

Alain Ngalani workout for weight training

Weight training is a popular component of the BJJ strength training program and not only BJJ. So it’s not a question of Weights vs Jiu jitsu training, it’s Weights and Jiu jitsu.

If you train jiu jitsu or any other combat sport and want to add a strengthening workout, pay attention to the balance for your cross-training.

Below are some recommendations from Dr. Mike Israetel and Renaissance Periodization channel on how to plan your training week for jiu jitsu and weight training.

But the most important and basic rule that you will hear at any instructional is:

Sleep, Eat, Repeat.

Very important to get full recovery between sessions, and eat enough. Only then you can repeat the workout session.

  • Don’t schedule jiu jitsu sessions before big lift days, but schedule them on the day of or after
  • Split the week into 3 distinct parts: hardest training sessions, moderate, and one day off or cardio
  • Have one day off of both training – BJJ and weights

6 day weight training and BJJ program

Here is a 6 day weight training and BJJ program as an example from Renaissance Periodization channel.

bjj strength training program pdf
BJJ strength training program pdf file

Weights and BJJ nutrition strategies

Dr. Mike Israetel shares also the nutrition strategies for weights and BJJ training sessions.

Keep the basics

  • calories
  • 1 g protein
  • enough carbs and fats for training needs

Healthy food (no magic supplements)

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • grains
  • lean proteins
  • healthy fats


Before, during, and after training.

Also, consider electrolyte mixes.

If 2 sessions per day

timing is important

protein/carb shake after

lots of carbs, some protein, and lower fats between sessions

No sleep w/o protein and carbs if you have training the next day

You can download this nutrition table as a file here:

bjj nutrition

Full video from Renaissance Periodization about balancing the weights training and BJJ

Sources to read on conditioning and strengthening

Here are additional sources that will help to improve the conditioning and strengthening program or point the way in the right direction on how to increase jiu-jitsu strength.

Scott Sonnon

You may start with his Instagram or his Ageless Mobility program. He is a US government research scientist in biotechnology and a martial art expert.

Also, check out the Geoff Neupert kettlebell program.

Steve Maxwell

Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, fitness coach, physical educator. You may find his 15-Minutes BJJ Mobility and much more.

Here is a playlist for BJJ athletes from the Juggernaut Training Systems YouTube channel. A lot of useful information.

Also worth paying attention to Renaissance Periodization channel about nutrition and training

Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning book by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning book

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