Plan Focus: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training Plan

By Rob Shaul

We’ve had many athletes request a training plan for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. With the growing popularity of the sport , especially amongst tactical athletes, we felt it was time to develop a plan that trains sport specific fitness for BJJ.

This 7 week, 6 day/week training plan is sport-specifically designed to improve the specific fitness demands of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:



  • Total Body Relative Strength: For the  BJJ athlete, a strength advantage is a huge benefit. It won’t make up for a large gap in technique and skill, but it will narrow it. This training plan deploys classic total body barbell exercises with significant level changes, as well as upper body pushing and pulling strength exercises. Loading is heavy, and volume (total reps) is low. The aim is to significantly increase the athlete’s “relative strength” – or strength per bodyweight – not significantly add muscle mass and weight.
  • Grip Strength and Strength Endurance: Studies of BJJ athletes in competition showed a 20% loss of grip strength following a single match. The grip demand is a huge part of the sport, and stronger grip over the duration of a match will enable the athlete to put themselves in better positions for points. You will use your Gi top as a tool for developing grip strength and strength endurance and train your grip 4x/week. We developed the Gi Grip Strength Assessment specifically for this training plan.
  • Work Capacity based on Level Change: BJJ can transition from standing to the knees to on the ground in a single match or sparring session. The work capacity development in this training  focuses on movements which replicate a fast paced match by constantly changing levels at bodyweight or under load. The time duration will vary in length from a full match (5-7 minutes) to repeated short, intense bursts.
  • Chassis Integrity: The chassis strength demand is huge in BJJ, from a variety of positions. You will train mid-section rotation, anti-rotation, and extension movements from the back, standing, and hanging. The goal is to increase your mid-section strength and strength endurance in a functional manner which transfers to the mat.
  • Basic Aerobic Conditioning: BJJ matches are marked by a low to moderate aerobic/cardio efforts broken by intense, high efforts as competitors fight for advantage. This plan deploys long, unloaded, weekend runs at an easy pace to build aerobic base.

Here is the Training Plan Weekly Schedule:

Monday: Strength, Grip Strength, Shuttle Sprints
Tuesday: Work Capacity with Squat Thrusts and Sand Bag Get Ups, Grip Strength, Chassis Integrity
Wednesday: Strength
Thursday: Work Capacity with Squat Thrusts and Sand Bag Get Ups, Grip Strength, Chassis Integrity
Friday: Strength, Grip Strength
Saturday: Aerobic Endurance… 5-7 Mile easy run

This plan can be conducted in the same day as BJJ practice, or between practice. 

Weekly Training Example Which Alternates BJJ and Gym Training Sessions:

Mon: BJJ Practice
Tuesday: Training Plan Session #1
Wednesday: Training Plan Session #2
Thursday: BJJ Practice
Friday: Training Plan Session #3
Saturday: BJJ Open Mat Roll
Sunday: Total Rest

Weekly Training Example Which Deploys BJJ and Gym Training Sessions:

Mon: AM: Training Plan Session #1; PM: BJJ Practics
Tuesday: Training Plan Session #2
Wednesday: Training Plan Session #3
Thursday: AM: Training Plan Session #4, PM: BJJ Practice
Friday: Training Plan Session #5
Saturday: AM: BJJ Open Mat Roll; PM: Training Plan Session #6
Sunday: Total Rest

For more on the Training Plan, including a week’s work of training sessions, click HERE.

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