BJJ Strength and Conditioning

6 Jiu-Jitsu Strength Tips

Bobby Collins here, BJJ brown belt and personal trainer of 15 years. Let’s break down the my best 6 Jiu-Jitsu Strength Tips .

This article came to be because, I often see people online arguing over what is the best strength split for BJJ.

But, I’ve always thought as long as we have the right methods and recovering properly. The split probably doesn’t matter too much.

Here are 6 Modalities To Do in the weight room to improve your jiu-jitsu.

6 Jiu-Jitsu Strength Tips

6 Jiu-Jitsu Strength Tips

Movement Pattern Based Workout

Training around the 5 fundamental movement patterns is essential to move better, get strong and become resilient to injuries in BJJ.

These patterns are

  • Squats
  • Hip hinge
  • Upper push
  • Upper Pull
  • Single leg

If you look at the martial art, you’ll see how these movements repeat them self over and over again. By training these with control and load. We improve our potential on the mat.

Our goal , should be to train each movement pattern at least twice a week.

We want to use variations, that we can do well and don’t beat us up.

For example, maybe a back squat destroys you but a zercher box squats feels amazing.

Another benefit of training movements and through the entire range of motion. Is the more strength we have in larger range of motion, the less likely we will get hurt.

We often get hurt, when we are taken to ranges of motion, that we don’t have much strength in.

Sub-Max Strength

We want to train for strength.

This will improve our performance and make us resilient to injuries.

I prefer sub max strength, which is where you are lifting for heavy reps 3-6.

We want to lift heavy and be training at intensity of 7-9 from a scale 1-10.

This is super important, these should be hard, but we are keeping our form and control on point.

These are called technical maxes.

This will ensure we don’t get hurt and lifting heavy with poor movements, doesn’t transfer over to the mats as well.

I like to program this twice a week. One for upper and lower.

We focus on exercise variations, we can push hard with out pain

These are some suggestion, which seem to work for most.

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  • Trap bar deadlift
  • Safety bar squat
  • Zercher squat
  • Box squats variation
  • Sumo deadlifts

For upper

  • Incline DB Bench Press
  • Floor press
  • Viking Landmine Press variation
  • Chin ups

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but this will get you started


Being explosive matters . Especially for us older guys 35+. After the age 30 our most explosive muscles start to go away, as we get older.

Unless we do something about it. That is why as we age , we get slower and slower.

Now, BJJ Athlete we want to be fast, explosive and reactive. Training power will develop these qualities.

This is going to help us dominate scrambles, have more explosive take downs and react to the opportunity we see much quicker.

For lower body, I like to train jumps, KB exercises and sprints

For upper body I love medicine ball throws, plyo push ups and some landmine power exercises.

Repetition Method

This is your higher rep work to build some strength capacity and muscle.

Body building gets a bad rep, but building muscle is great for BJJ athletes for 2 major reason.

The bigger the muscle, the more strength potential it has. Leading to better BJJ performance on the mat and being more explosive. As well as having more endurance.

The second reason is putting some strength and muscular tissue around our most vulnerable joints. Is going to help us become more resilient to injuries. We can never guarantee we won’t get hurt. But a stronger body with stronger muscles, connective tissue and ligaments. Is going to put the chip in our favor.

With this style of training , I like to pick exercises that are friendly on the joints and I’ll usually prioritize building muscle around common weak links such as

  • Glutes and hamstring
  • Abs and core
  • Upper Back

I prefer full range of motion with these. Most of these will be compound movements in nature.

Assistance work

Assistance work are strength exercises, that you put in your workouts to help improve your main lift.

By improving your main lift , it going to have direct impact on your performance on the mat.

For example today my main lift was sumo deadlift with a 2s pause . I worked up to a heavy set of 5.

Then my assistant work was a trap bar RDL, which works a similar musculature. By training the RDL and getting strong at that move. It will help me have better performance with the main lift.

An upper body example might be Bench Press for heavy sets of 5.

Then my assistant lift, could be a close grip bench press. Same ideas, if I get stronger at the assistance, it will aid better out comes with the main lift.

Assistance exercises, are often similar movements then your main lift and sometimes, they will focus on the weak spot of your main lift.

Say you are having trouble with your lock out with your bench press. Your assistance work might be a tricep bias press variation. Because , if we get bigger and stronger triceps. That will eliminate your biggest liability in your bench press.

Strengthen Weakness

Fall River MA Best Workout Plan For Men Over 35

I love the saying “weak things break,” because it is true. A good strength plan will address your weakness.

I don’t know you, but after training people for close to 20 years most people have weak

  • Upper backs
  • Hamstring/glutes/low back
  • Core and grip

If we strengthen those, good things tend to happen. Also, I am also a huge fan of building strength and muscle around our most vulnerable joints. Which will be adding muscle around your knees, hips, ribs and shoulders/neck,

If you put these 6 Jiu-Jitsu Strength Tips in your routine, you’ll not only be a monster on the mat but you will add years to your BJJ life.

If you want help with your strength and conditioning program. Join my Athletic Arm Bar, click the picture below to sign up

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BJJ Strength & Conditioning For Busy Dads

As I get closer to 40, and I talk to more guys who want better ,BJJ Strength & Conditioning For Busy Dads can be your secret weapon to adding years to your BJJ life.

We all want to train BJJ for a long time, but without getting injured.

As well as get the most out of it by being in great shape.

The issue as a dad myself, time is a major issue.

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But, so are the resources your body has to recover from training.

To many guys will use programs, that designed for guys who entire physical activity is lifting in the gym.

Doing programs like that, can crush busy dad who, are trying to work, be a good dad, and train BJJ 3x a week.

Today, I want to give you some resources to get strong and build a body, that can sustain the brutality of BJJ and keep you healthy.

BJJ Strength & Conditioning For Busy Dads


This stands for rate of perceived exertion. This a common method to determine how intense a particular set is.

How close to failure you are going.

We usually coach this on a scale 1-10.

We want our sets to be between 7-9. This is higher enough to see the most strength and muscle gains.

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But, we know lifting is not the only thing you do. You’re a busy dad or mom. You get after it on the mats 3-6x a week.

Taking every set to an RPE of 9-10, can leave you smoked and may increase your chances of an injury.

If we pull back to a 6-7( Which you can think of having 3-5 reps left in the tank)

It is still intense enough to make gains, but without the mega stress. So, it will easier to recover from.

Something else you can do, is waive the intensity.

Week 1 Focus on learning the exercises and keep the RPE at 6-7

Week 2 Starting pushing a high RPE 7-8

Week 3 Keep pushing the RPE to 8-9 maybe add, extra set.

Week 4 Last week , be smart but really get after RPE 9-10

Then start a new BJJ Strength & Conditioning For Busy Dads program and repeat. This is what I do with my 1 on 1 online coaching. If you’re interested, click below and apply

BJJ Strength & Conditioning

If you want to stay healthy , you have to learn to adjust the intensity. Especially, during times that you life is more stressful, focus on lower intensity and then when life eases up , you can go a little harder.

2 Sets

Volume can be a killer, if you’re training a ton of BJJ, and under recovering.

You can get great BJJ strength gains and/or build muscle with a little work.

As long as the sets are done with enough intensity .

The key here is to go hard, using a higher RPE 7-9 like we talked about before.

As you go harder, it is important to keep good form and not get sloppy.

Sticking to just 1-2 hard sets can work wonders, I know it is surprising.

This still includes proper warm up sets, maybe 1-3 to get you ready for those 1-2 hard sets.

Another benefit of this style of training, is if you’re a busy guy, you can get in and out of the gym, and still make enough gains.

3 Exercise Workout

If your issue is lack of time or you don’t recover well. This is a solid way to train, that will help you.

This is real simple. Pick three exercise per workout, do this 1-3x a week.

  • Pick a lower body exercise
  • Pick an upper body push exercise
  • Pick an upper body pull exercise

You can do this in straight sets, this is when you do all the sets with one exercise before moving on.

Or if you have less time do it in a circuit, one after the other.

But for best results, rest 60-90 s between sets.

Here is an example if I did using straight sets

  • Split squats 4 sets of 6 rest 60s
  • Ring push up 4 sets of 10 rest 60s
  • Seated Rows 4 sets of 15 rest 60s

Here is what a circuit may look like

  • Split squats 4 sets of 6 rest 30s
  • Ring push up 4 sets of 10 rest 30s
  • Seated Rows 4 sets of 15 rest 2 minutes

These will be quick, but will give you great benefits from building strength for BJJ and keeping injuries away.

The 14 day workout program

If you look at some of the best programs, that are going to help you develop everything you need like

  • Power
  • Max Strength
  • Muscle Building
  • Conditioning

It’s hard to do this in just 2 workouts a week. 3-4 workout plan is often better.

But, say your a busy dad, and you can’t do more then two workouts per week due to

  • You just don’t have time.
  • Maybe doing over 2 workouts, would crush you. You can’t seem to recover from it.

It is completely ok and effective to extend 3-4 day program for more then 7 days.

So, say your program is 3 days per week, but you can only train on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Week 1

Mondays Day 1 of the workout

Wednesdays Day 2 of the workout

Week 2

Monday Day 3 of the workout

Wednesday Day 1 again

Then just cycle the program like this, so you get the benefits of a 3x per week workout plan.

Being a father, working full time , doing BJJ and staying in shape is no easy task.

But, with a few adjustments you can make it possible.

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BJJ athletes 5 Exercise I Hate For BJJ

I’m going to go over 5 exercises I hate for BJJ athletes. Actually maybe hate might be a strong word. But, there are better options in my opinion. Let me know if you agree or not.

Let’s start off by saying everyone is different and exercises you use to strengthen your body is going to be different for everyone.

But, there are 5 common exercises , I think are over rated for BJJ athletes. It’s not that you cant do them with success. I think there are better variations , that are safer and have more upsides

5 Overrated Exercise For BJJ athletes

BJJ athletes

Barbell Press

Maintaining quality over head movements, is important and we do need over head strength in BJJ.

But, most guys and especially BJJ guys, have really awful shoulder health.

Not to mention , most have really rounded and tight T-spine(upper back), which makes going over head head painful and dangerous.

I think people should take steps into addressing this by mobilizing their pecs, lats and T-spine.

I like to incorporate landmine press variations , this allows us to train in over head like range of motion but it’s more shoulder friendly.

My favorite landmine press variations

If you do overhead pressing and it’s killing your shoulders . Consider swapping it out for landmine press.

One of the downfalls of this exercise, is at the top of the range motion it is rather easy. I like to attach a band , to fix this issue.

Barbell Bench Press

I know this is most guys favorite exercise to do.

But, the rigid nature of the bar is rough for many guys especially for BJJ.

What people don’t know is our shoulder anatomy are all different. Meaning the angle that the arm is in matters. It’s important to be able to play round with it and customized it to you.

With the bar or even chest press machines. We can’t really do that.

I prefer most my chest press work be done with DBs. You can play around with the angle to see , what feels best.

Myself , I always felt DB presses way more in my pecs and they feel great on my shoulders.

BONUS TIP- By slightly inclining or declining a bench , we can make this even more shoulder friendly.

If your shoulders are beat up, lets put the barbell to the side and try some heavy DB presses.

Back sqauts

Back squats can be a great exercise. But, what many people think is a simple exercise.

Is actually a more advanced squat varation. You need great hip, ankle, t-spine and shoulder mobility to pull this off.

Again I’m going to harp on the poor shoulder health of most BJJ guys. Cramming a bar on your back can be a huge shoulder, elbow, wrist and lower back killer.

We should all learn good squat movements and be able squat 100lbs with a DB or KB before we touch a bar. But, even once you do that.

I tend to like variation which are more joint friendly such as the

Barbell Deadlift

The biggest benefits for pulling a regular deadlift from floor for BJJ, is the ability to develop max force for the lower body.

There are few issues with the dead lifts.

The first one is not taking the time to learn the basics

Thing like :

  • Proper hip hinge.
  • Mastering the deadlift with KBs first
  • Dead lifting with your legs versus pulling with your arms
  • Proper bracing

A second, is regular deadlifts takes more mobility than other variations, and often are done incorrectly because of this.

The risk-reward ratio is just low with this exercise. You might be better of with dead lift variation like


Running is something many people love to do. But, seeing as knee injuries are common in BJJ.

Putting a pounding on the joints to build your gas tank isn’t the best idea.

Especially if your someone who train BJJ, 6-9 session per week.

Not, that you can’t jog, some people tolerate it well and others do not.

Here are some exercises, I like to do to build the gas tank without jogging

  • BJJ rolling and with various intensitys.
  • Air bike
  • Rower
  • Loaded Carries and sled drags

Want me to take care of your strength conditioning for BJJ?

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I’m looking for 5 BJJ athletes or hobbyist who want to

  • Get mat strong and improve their performance
  • Build a relentless gas tank
  • Get hurt less and recover quicker
  • Get fit and healthy for life

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Competing In BJJ( My experience with competing)

This is going to be a different kind of post. Today, I’m going to discuss the idea of Competing In BJJ.

If you don’t know much about me. My name is Bobby Collins . I’m a 3 stripe brown belt and I would describe myself as obsessed hobbyist. I usually train 8-9 session per week.

I’m a personal trainer as well, I usually write about strength and conditioning for BJJ.

I thought I make a post about competing, it is something, I see a lot of people ask about in the groups I’m in.

I’m not an expert in BJJ, this purely based on my experience with competing in BJJ.

Competing In BJJ

Why I personally like Competing In BJJ?

There are a few reasons, why I am driven to compete at times.

I seem to gravitate towards hobbies , where I’m physically pushing myself. I get a crazy amount of fulfillment from this. If that is lifting heavy in the gym or rolling hard on the mats. It gives me great joy.

I also think at some level, it is driven by the need for me to prove to myself, I’m not weak. Growing up as a weak and very anxious kid. This was once, a huge driver in my motivation to get into fitness and martial arts.

I seem to do well in my gym and I like to see how much my skills translate to other guys at my level and am I able to utilize my BJJ skills under high stress situations .

Especially, as I have ranked up. I don’t always get a chance to roll with many brown belts. It’s good to see where I stand

The benefits of Competing In BJJ, even if you get smashed.

I remember my first competition at blue belt and I was so pumped to dominate.

Then I showed up and got smashed and lost both my matches. Got humbled real quick.

Competing , even if you lose still helps you.

It exposes you and your weaknesses, with the right attitude you can take this to improve your game to a different level.

The speed and intensity of the competition is something else and is hard to duplicate in your home gym. Even when, I lost all my matches. When I go back to the gym , things just started slowing down and the rolls at the gym were much easier.

You get exposed to different styles. When rolling with the same guys at your gym, day after day. You tend to learn their game. It is good to see different styles of games, that you don’t see much in your gym.

What sucks about Competing In BJJ

I’m kinda of an anxious guys, the couple days before I tend to get anxious, the more I’ve competed the better this gotten.

The day is long, I’m traveling from an hour away and then you have the waiting game. Matches get delayed and guys no show. This is probably the worse part for me

How To Get Strong & Conditioning For Your Next Competition?

Competing is very intense and is completely different animal then your rolls on the mat.

If you want to perform , it makes sense, that you should be in great shape going into them.

Depending on your fitness level and how long you have to prepare. You might focus on different qualities.

I would say, if you don’t have a good base of power, strength and aerobic fitness, start there.

Build a solid foundation, this not only going to help you get ready for your competition but build a body that holds up against the hard training leading up to competition.

As you get closer to competition, I might focus on more specific qualities for BJJ competitions like

Iso metric focused strength trtaining

Harder conditioning session like alactic and lactic intervals

If you’re someone who wants to compete and would like me to get you in tip top shape for it.

Go here and apply for my coaching program,

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How To Improve Your BJJ Cardio?

So, you want improve your BJJ Cardio .This is one the most desired physical attributes in BJJ. It seems to elude many guys.

What is good BJJ cardio?

BJJ Cardio
  • It’s having the stamina to pull off and use great technique for all your rounds.
  • It’s also having a tough rounds and in 60s or less your recovered and ready to go.
  • It’s the ability to win the scrambles, each time because you can be explosive for the longest and repeat that as many times as you need to.

I have written 2 articles on BJJ Cardio

5 Ways To Improve your gas tank for BJJ

3 cardio workouts for BJJ

Check them out.

Today I want to cover , how do you know, your conditioning workouts are effective?

There are two major reason why your cardio on the mats sucks.

You may have good conditioning but your technical skills are leaving you exhausted. This is where you want your BJJ coach, to help you out.

But, Maybe you are skilled but your fitness and conditioning needs some work.

This is where, I can help you as BJJ strength and conditioning coach.

Are You Actually Improving Your BJJ Cardio!

How do you know your progressing?

With weight training, progress can be straight forward. Your able to add more weight and reps.

Then you know you’re getting stronger .

With conditioning it isn’t always so obvious. Today, I’m going to discuss 3 test you can do to see if your cardio is improving, staying the same or getting worse.

These all require a heart rate monitor. Most people have them nowadays. If you don’t, you can usually test your heart rate with phone using app as well.

Let’s get started

Morning Test To Assessment Your BJJ Cardio

One of the easiest ways to get a read, on your current conditioning state. Is your morning heart rate test.

This gives a broad base of our conditioning.

I would do this for 3-5 days and take the average, because our heart rate will be a little higher or lower, based on the amount of stress we are under day by day.

If your average HR is

High 60s or 70s, that is poor.

Mid 50s-mid 60s that is Good.

Mid 45s-mid 55s that is Great

If you have good to poor cardio, I would add 1-2 aerobic sessions per week, to improve this. Refer back to my article, I linked above on how to improve that base.

If you have a lower resting heart rate but are struggling with your gas tank on the mats. I would look into your technique and how tense you are, when you roll.

BJJ Cardio Workouts

60s Recovery test

This test is a great one that, shows you how fast ,you can recover after a hard round on the mats.

We are going to test , how fast you can bring your heart rate down after an intense bout of exercise. If you can do this fast and over and over again. You’ll be unstoppable.

Go hard on conditioning exercise for 2-3 minutes.

Use a heart rate monitor to measure, how fast your heart rate drop in 60s.

But, don’t hold back, really push hard and jack your heart rate up.

I would then recover fully (3-5 minutes) and do this for 3 rounds. Take your average drop of your heart rate through 3 rounds.

That will be your score.

As far as what you want to see. If you can drop your heart rate into the aerobic zone(usually 120-140 BPM) in that 60 seconds. You are in a great place.

Here is an example. Say you go all out, for 2 minutes on the air bike and your heart rate jumps up to 170 BPM. Then your heart rate drops to 140 in 60s.

Your 60s recovery test is 30 BPM.

Again being able to get into the aerobic zone in 60s, is great. Especially if you can get in the mid and low end of the zone.

If you can do that in 60s, you’ll never sit out a round again.

For BJJ, guys I prefer joint friendly cardio exercise here are few exercise , I might use for this.

  • The rower
  • The air bike
  • KB Swings or Snatches
  • Rope Slams
  • MB Slams

If you struggled with this. I would do some intervals.

Go hard for 15-20 sec and then go easy until your HR drops to around 130 and repeat for 10-20 minutes.

Do this 1-2x a week for 4-8 weeks.

Repeat this test every 4 weeks to see, if your improving.

Heart Rate lower At Intensity

Now, this is going to require, you do the same conditioning workouts for 3-6 weeks, while wearing a heart rate monitor.

Whatever the work out you use, pay attention to your pace and your heart rate. This is best done on the workouts that are done on machines such as a rower or air bike.

What we are looking for is, are we operating at a lower heart rate, for the same power outputs.

If you are, your conditioning systems is becoming more efficient.

Remember, if we can do the same work, but at a lower heart rate we are going to go longer without getting tired.

The higher the heart rate the more we are using systems, that we can’t sustain and recover well from.

Here is an example of what might this looks like:

You’re doing the air bike for 15-30 minutes and your working at pace of 55-65 RPMS for that time range.

Week one you have an average heart rate of 145 , while doing this.

But, then say in 3-6 weeks your doing the same power output but your average heart rate is now down at 130 BPM.

This is a great sign your conditioning is improving.

So, these are three test to ensure your conditioning methods are actually working. Let me know if you have any questions?

Can You Prevent BJJ Injuries

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Can You Prevent BJJ Injuries?

In our beloved sport, injuries happen. But, have you ever wondered Can You Prevent BJJ Injuries .

The sport at times, doesn’t love us as much as we love it.

We are at one point or another going get hurt, and 100% injujry prevention is not a things.

By taking care of your body, we can dramatically reduce injuries, the severity of them and speed up the recovery when they do occur.

Can You Prevent BJJ Injuries
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Can You Prevent BJJ Injuries?

I think you can at least reduce them, so prevention may be a bad term. Here are 4 areas I think, if you get right. You can get hurt less and if you do get banged up, you’ll recover much faster

Strength training

Adding stress to your tissues, ligaments and bones will cause them to get stronger and more resilient.

There is a balance to this, because you can over do strength training or just do it in an awful way.

When adding additional workouts to your schedule, you have to understand, that you need to balance all the stresses. I’ll talk more about that in the recovery section.

To become more resilient to injury , focus on the basics of strength training

Good movement, with great focus on lowering the portion of the lift and a pause at the bottoms for a second or two.

Focus on the primary movement patterns

  • squat
  • hinge
  • Single leg
  • upper push
  • upper pull

These should make up the bulk of your workouts. You want to pick variation, that feel good on your joints. They shouldn’t beat you up. Soreness will happen but joint pain after lift, is an indicator something is off.

Focus on reps between 6-12 for 2-3 working sets. We are not bodybuilding we don’t need a ton of sets. Unless we have muscle building goals, in which we might focus on more volume.

But, we are talking about injury prevention.

Give proper rest in between sets, so we can recover well enough, to make each set intense.

For most BJJ guys, hitting the weight room 2-3x a week is going to work well. By getting strong you can You Prevent BJJ Injuries.

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If you want some more guide lines, how to workout properly go here


If you’re very tight and have limited range of motion. You are putting self in a bad spot.

We often get injured, when we are exposed to ranges of motion, where we have little to no control of or strength. By having better mobility and strength through a large range of motion. This is going to save us from lots of pain.

Think like your doing a triangle, but your hips are very tight and it will torque on your knee.

I hate working on mobility, spending extra time to foam roll and stretch out, is not my strong suit.

Here are the 2 ways I work on mobility for my self

Dynamic warm up

Following a legit warm up is going to be great way to address mobility issues and keep us healthy.

I follow this simple warm up flow

Foam roll and stretch what is tight. This is often your pecs, lats, hips, hamstrings and calves.

Then incorporate some t-spine rotations(upper back) and core drills like planks or bird dogs.

Next pump up the glutes and upper back, usually I do bridges and banded facepulls.

Finally, I do some light movements with full range of motion: things like body weight squats, good mornings, side lunges, push ups etc

This only takes about 10-12 minutes, before each strength session and does wonders to keep you healthy. Plus, you have more productive workouts too.

Full range of motion strength training

I make sure we use a full range of motion, when we lift. Which is a form of mobility work, things like elevated split squats, deep squats, rdls, rows and push ups. Can be all used to build strength, muscles as well as increase your mobility in that joint complex.


Recovery is important for many reasons in BJJ. But, if you are constantly under recovered.

This is a recipe for an injury waiting to happen. Do you have the basics of recovery down?

Let’s start with the most important one of all sleep.

Sleep is the single most powerful habits, you can develop to improve almost any fitness goals you may have.

But, is often overlooked.

But, if you really want to become resilient to injures, you’ll do this .

Deeper sleep and duration is the best recipe for better recovery for sleep.

Try to be sleeping by 10PM or earlier and see if you can get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Consistency matters. Go to bed and wake up around the same times, each day.

If you struggle with sleep, try this sleep tips

  • Get sunlight early in the day.
  • Shut off caffeine after 12 PM.
  • Get off all screens an hour or so after bed.
  • Take a magnesium supplement before bed.
  • Consume carbs with dinner.
  • Keep your room cool.
  • Consider using meditation or breathing exercises to relax before bed.
  • If you’re a worrier, journals your to dos.

The next thing you should consider, is giving your body all the resources it needs to recover.

4 things to think about

Calories-When you’re not eating enough , you’re always going to under recover. You have to eat enough to fuel for performance and recovery. Neglecting so will cause your performance to plummet and under recover.

Protein-Protein is the building block of all tissue in your body. As BJJ athlete you need sufficient protein to recover and limit injuries. Aim for .7-1 of protein per pound of body weight. I like to try to spread this though 4 meals/feedings. Focus on including protein dense foods with each meals.

Fruits and veggies– Providing your body with enough vitamins and minerals to thrive is a smart idea to be at your best. I like to follow the 5 combination rules. Which is getting 5 total fruits and veggies each day. Eat what you like , no need to force veggies you hate.

Hydration-Even a little hydration can plummet your performance and leave you vulnerable. Try drinking 16-20 oz of water right, when you get up. Overall hit half your body weight in ounces. If you train multiple sessions per day, increasing your salt intake can help with performance and hydration. I love the supplement LMNT for this.

If you like more nutrition information go here


Having solid conditioning can help you stay healthy in 2 ways.

#1 If you have an aerobic base, you’ll recover faster and you’ll less likely to accumulate the type of fatigue. That can lead you vulnerable to injuries.

If your morning heart rate is in the high 60+, then doing more zone 2 work is going, help you stay healthy.

For details on this style of training, check this out

#2 If your constantly gassed out when you roll. You will tend to make more mistakes and get away from good technique . In these times, you might do something that puts you in harm of injury. Being in shape not only will improve your BJJ performance , but make your rolls safer.

To wrap this article up on. Remember, you can never prevent injuries 100% but by taking care of your body , you can really put more chips in your favor.

If you’re looking to take your BJJ to the next level and stay healthy. Join my coaching program below

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Strength Training for Battered BJJ Bodies

Today’s post is about Strength Training for Battered BJJ Bodies

Years of getting your neck stacked, shoulder tugged and elbows cranked.

Can leave you hurting.

Take this with a grain of Salt, I’m 36 but I’ve been lifting for 20 years and doing BJJ for 7-9 hours a week for the past four years.

My opinion are based on my experience with those two things and my formal education as personal trainer.

The best way to preserve the physical body is by being fit.

Strength Training for Battered BJJ Bodies

BJJ guys will push back on me for this, saying BJJ is the only thing you need to do. But….

We know strength training can preserve muscles, and bone density.

Preserve physical abilities like strength, power and fitness.

Even if strength and conditioning won’t help you perform better. The benefits of preserving some physical ability as we get older.

Makes it worth the effort.

I’m going over a 3x day week strength and conditioning workouts, for older beat up BJJ guys. By the way if your looking to improve your cardio for BJJ, check this out

Here are some big take ways, I like you to think about

  • Always warm up to address mobility and keep your joints healthy.
  • Train the muscles hard but be easy on the joints.
  • A little Volume goes a long way for our population.
  • Don’t forget the basics recovery nutrition and sleep

The Workout For Beat Up BJJ Guys

Strength Training for Battered BJJ Bodies

Don’t skip the warm up

I think to many people, underestimate the power of the warm up.

How much it can, get you moving better and out of some pain.

If your warm up consist of walking on a tread mill for 5 minutes and some arm circles.

This can potentially have a huge, upside for you.

I like to follow this basic system

  • Roll out what is tight with a foam roller.
  • Stretch what is tight.
  • Open up your spine, acivate your core, glutes and upper back.
  • Do some light movements.
  • Do some power stuff.

Here is a warm up I’ve been utilizing for myself and my online clients.

This might, seem like a lot. But, it flows very well once you know it and will only take 12-15 minutes.

You could use on off days as extra mobility session

The workouts for Strength Training for Battered BJJ Bodies

How to Get in Shape for Jiu Jitsu
Strength Training for Battered BJJ Bodies

This program is going to consist of 3 days, 2 strength and 1 conditioning session, which optional.

Workout 1

1 Banded Viking Press 4x 5 90 s rest

2A Goblet Box Squat 3x 10 rest 60s

2B 1 arm row 3x 12 rest 60s

3A Trap bar RDL 3x 6 rest 60s

3B Push ups 1.5 reps 3x 8-10 reps rest 60s

4A Banded facepullls 4x 25 0 rest

4B Deadbug Alt. legs 4x 8/ rest 30s

Workout 2

Trap Bar deadlift 4x 5 2min rest

2A Reverse lunge 3x 10

2B Seated Rows 4x 12

3A Slight incline DB Press 3x 8

3B Banded pull aparts 3x 12 rest 90s

4B side planks 4x 20s

4A Banded leg curls 4x 25 0 rest

Conditioning Workouts (optional)

Conditioning Circuit , 5 rounds. focus on keeping your Heart Rate between 120-150.

  • Backwards Sled Drag 100 feet
  • KB or trap bar Farmers Walk 100 feet
  • Forward Sled Push 100 Feet
  • MB Slam 20
  • Rest 90 sec

5 Rounds

Super set 1

Banded Tricep push down 4x 25

Shoulder taps 2 sec pause 4x 10/

Hope you like this workout, let me know if you have any questions .

Strength Training for Battered BJJ Bodies
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The Best Workout Plan For Men Over 35

Today I’m going to go over the Best Workout Plan For Men Over 35 . I’m Bobby Collins, I have been a fitness trainer for 15 years, and been lifting for almost 20 years.

At 36 years old, with more aches and pains, plus responsibility as a father.

My training has evolved.

Today I’m going to go over the Best Workout Plan For Men Over 35, so you can stay strong and healthy.

Fall River personal trainer
Best Workout Plan For Men Over 35

Best Workout Plan For Men Over 35

Warming Up

No one likes to warm up, including my self. But, when you are 35 + it’s just stupid to skip it.

Your asking for trouble and injuries.

You don’t have to do these crazy long warm up, 10 minutes is a good amount time to get it done.

From a high level perspective, I want you to accomplish 4 things

  • Mobilize and open up what is tight.
  • Activate the posterior chain and core(glutes ,upper back and core).
  • Practice some movements, you’ll do in your session.
  • Do something explosive, to stay young and prepare for an intense workout .

Although the best warm ups are customized for your needs and weakness.

After 15 years coaching people like you, there are issues that are constantly present, that most guys will benefit from

  • Tight pecs, lats and upper spine(T-spine).
  • Tights hip and hamstrings.
  • Weak core, glutes and upper back.
  • We will address these in the warm up.

Here is a sample warm up to use, this is full body warm up.

Which is great even if you do a, split routine. Your 35 + self, needs that extra mobility work.

  • Pec stretch 30s per side
  • Lat stretch 30s per side
  • Lying hamstring mobility drill 10 per side
  • 90-90 hip strtech 30s per side
  • Lying windmill 3 per side
  • Plank 20s
  • Side plank 20s
  • Bridges 20 reps
  • Banded pull parts 30 reps
  • Squat and pry 5 reps
  • side lunges 5 per side
  • Box jump or MB Slams 3x 5 30s rest(Pick one and alternate each workout )
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Best Workout Plan For Men Over 35

This might seem like a lot, but once you learn it, goes by quick. And will keep your joints healthy and you’ll have better training sessions. You can look these exercises up on my youtube channel

The 3 training methods

Their are three training methods, I recommend you use to get strong and build muscle are:

  • Sub-max strength work
  • Dynamic effort
  • Repetition effort

These will build the most resilient body as well change your body composition (get leaner and build muscle mass)

Sub max effort– This is like max effort where you would max out for 1 rep but, for safety reasons we are going to do sub max. Which is working up to a heavy set with great form and control for rep of 3-6. This will get us really strong and give us a better base to build some solid muscle. We want to use exercises that won’t kill our joints.

For legs I like trap bar deadlifts and box sqauts(I prefer a safety bar if you have it)

For upper body I prefer DB presses or chin up variations.

Usually we do this for 4-6 sets.

We will start light here and slowly build up to heavy sets of 3-6 . When we do this, we want to leave 1-2 reps in the tanks. This will allows us to stay away from injuries and not make it hard to recover from.

Dynamic Effort/Power Training

Best Workout Plan For Men Over 35

This training method is about moving fast. Build power, speed and quickness.

We are using light weight and moving it fast.

Or we may be doing pure power work like jumps, sprints and throws.

This will improve our performance and longevity in life.

It also helps get us stronger on our heavier lifting days.

If you like to lean more about power training, check out this article out.

We want these to be low reps of 1-5 with moderate rest and around 5-10 sets.

The low reps allow us to be explosive as possible for every rep, if we were to go too high on our reps. They would stop being explosive.

We need a decent rest time too, so we can be explosive. If we accumulate too much fatigue, this will slow us down as well.

For lower body I like

  • Banded deadlifts
  • Banded box squats
  • Box Jumps or jump squats
  • KB Swings

For upper Body I like

  • Plyo push ups
  • Landmine press variations
  • Medicine ball throw or slam variations .

Repetition Method

This is what most people think of, when they lift weights.

6+ reps with great control and focused on building muscle.

This can also build some muscular endurance to help with sports.

The main focus here to triggered muscle building .

We want to use good form , control and focus on hard sets.

A hard set, is a set taken close to failure.

Another way to think about this, is your last few reps should significantly slower to lift, then the first few reps.

We want to rest between 45-90s for most of these lifts.

Typical workout , the first one or two exercises might be the max effort or dynamic effort focused .

But, everything after that is going to be focused repetition methods.

An example of sub max effort upper day

  • Heavy Incline DB Press Workout to heavy set of 5
  • Ring push ups max reps 3 sets
  • 1 arm KB row 4x 12/ per arm
  • Lat pulldown 4x 10 reps
  • Lat shoulder raises 3x 15
  • Rolling Tricep extension 3x 12

The best cardio for men over 35

To be honest many people think they need more cardio , then they do.

You could get a strong, lean and jacked body with strength training and eating right.

But, cardio has some unique benefits such as

  • Increasing recovery and making your strength work more effective.
  • Helps you live longer at high quality of life.
  • Dealing with stress better

The cardio to get these benefits are aerobic based workouts, your aerobic system is the most used system in your body to create energy for the majority of your live.

We want utilized aerobic training, which is a moderate intensity form of cardio.

To do this we want to stay at this level by keeping our heart rate between 120-150 BPM for 30-60 minutes. For 1-3 x a week.

You should feel like your working, but still be able talk like you normally do.

Cyclical exercise seems to be the most effective like jogging, biking, or other cardio machine etc.

Although, these workouts are important. They are boring 🙁

I have two ideas for this

  1. Jump on a machine and just watch TV/movies or sports on a tablet .

2. Do circuits to keep it fun, while blasting your favorite music or podcast. Here is an example

  • 5 minute incline treadmill walks
  • Farmer Walk 200 feet
  • Sled drag 100 feet
  • repeat for 40 minute, non stop

If you do this consistency enough your recovery and health will got through the roof.

2 ways to track progress, check your morning HR first thing in the morning and on an average it should start getting lower.

The other way, you should start seeing your body to do same work, but with lower heart rate.

Cardio for BJJ


What sucks as we get older, is our recovery slowly starts to plummet. For guys who love to train and push hard.

This can be suck, big time.

What we got away with in our 20’s will not fly anyone.

Here are a handful of my favorite ways to recover faster .


Protein is your best friend, It will speed up your recovery .

Add slabs of muscle to your frame and support building a strong and resilient body.

You should aim to hit 1 gram of protein per body weight or goal body weight.

Spread them through how ever many meals, you like to consume.

The most important thing is you get those grams at the end of the day.

For example a 200lbs man, would shoot for 200g per day.

From a muscle building goal, you might see, better gains by spreading these thorough at least 4 meals a day.

We are looking for high quality protein, and usually leaner versions. So we don’t get to much fats and extra calories from the protein we eat.

Here are some of my favorites

  • low sugar and low fat greek yogurt
  • Chicken
  • 93% lean ground beef
  • Bottom round
  • Fish and shrimp
  • Whey protein shakes

Carbs around training

Carbs get a bad name.

But, they are amazing for building muscle, getting strong and improving your performance in the gym as well as in life.

The problem is carbs are way too easy to over eat. Especially the highly refined kind.

By eating better carbs most of the time like

  • Potoatos
  • Sweet pototaos
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Bean
  • Fruit of all types

We will feel better and these foods are harder to over consume.

Try to have the majority of high carbs meals around training and at night.

The carbs around training will help you perform at your best within your workouts and speed up recovery.

Carbs at night will help you get a better night sleep, improving almost every health out come you could want.


Drinking enough fluids, so you can perform at your best, make healthy food choices and aid in better mobility.

I would try to shoot for half your body weight in ounces and add a cup or two for every hour you train.

If you do multiple sessions a day, a salt supplement like LMNT may be helpful. So, is a magnesium supplement too.


Best Workout Plan For Men Over 35
Joe lost 50lbs and built a ton of muscle and strength. Join my coaching program for results like these

Sleep is the king of results and health out comes.

This is one of simplest ways to recover faster, get stronger and build more muscle.

The recommendation is 7-9 hours per nights.

The more of that sleep, you can get before 12am the better.

Sleeping from 10pm-6am is better then sleeping from 12am-8am.

If you have trouble sleeping here are a few tips.

  • Carbs with dinner
  • No screen before bed
  • Breathing drill or read fiction before bed.
  • Take magnesium supplement before bed.
  • Get sunlight as ealry as you can each day

Supplements to cover wholes, in my nutrition

I’m not the biggest supplement guy. I like the ones, that cover up some blind spots in your nutrtion .

  • Fish oil, because I don’t consume enough much omega 3 fats
  • Whey protein, because it easier to hit my protein goals
  • Vitamin D for immunity
  • Zinc and magnesium to boost testosterone levels and recovery

High-low method

As we get older the recovery, that we had in our twenty’s is simply not their.

You can’t just beat your self in the gym, day after day.

Here comes the High-Low method.

The ideas is simple.

Never have two back to back hard training days.

By having an intense day, then an easier day. We will recover better, make better gains and feel more energetic.

Workouts can stress the body physically and neurologically. Just, because your not sore, doesn’t mean your nervous system doesn’t need resting.

Here are some workouts, I consider intense and will need more recovery from. These may be your high days

  • Heavy lifting/powerlifting
  • Power Work
  • HIT or other form of intense cardio

Here are some workout which tend to be easier to recover from.

  • Aerobic training
  • Light lifting or isolation focused lifting like an arm or ab day
  • Walking
  • Yoga or other mobility focused workouts

If you’re a busy guy the low day, might just be an off day. Here is what it might look like look like.

Monday Heavy Lift

Tuesday Aerobic training

Wednesdays Heavy Lift

Thursday Long Walk

Friday HIT workouts

If your looking for a free workout to get you started, try this one.

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12 Ways To Get Strong & Build Muscle in 2024

There is a new year coming up and I know many of us have high ambition . But, without the right mindsets and actions, we are doomed for failure. Here are 12 Ways To Get Strong & Build Muscle in 2024

12 Ways To Get Strong & Build Muscle

#1 Pain is our biggest motivator. Use it to drive you towards the actions, you need to take. Anger, fear and insecurities can be productive drivers. Just don’t use these to beat yourself up.

12 Ways To Get Strong & Build Muscle

#2 Forever or don’t bother. Getting into fitness is a life long journey and every goal takes more work, time, effort and patience, then you probably think. If you’re not going to workout forever, don’t bother.

#3 Short sighted people fail. People who play the short game, fail and get burned very quickly. Play, the long game. Do things you can do forever. Stay clear from fads and extreme solutions . Play the long game. Make working out as normal as brushing your teeth

#4 Strength training is the foundation of all physical qualities . If you want to change your body, lifting weights needs to be the bulk of your workout routine. Follow the basics of building strength.

Fall River Workouts

#5 Nutrition is simple but not easy. Eat enough protein, fruit and veggies. Drink enough water. Then adjust your portions of carbs and fat for your desired goals.

12 Ways To Get Strong & Build Muscle
Joe used both my strength and conditioning methods as well as follow solid nutrition principles

#6 Recognize your wins big or small. Although, using some pain to drive action power works great. Don’t forget to stop to recognize all the wins, you’re making. No matter how small. Simple things like showing up to do hard work, is a win. Show your self some love.

#7 Going to bed before 10pm and eating enough protein is going to be the best way you can recover from hard training.

#8 The condition of your aerobic fitness, can add years to your live and control how fast you recover.

#9 Doing a well written program , will always out perform random workouts. Need a workout program customized for you, go here

#10 Don’t underestimate the power of walking, for helping with fat loss , promoting overall better health and aiding in recovery. 1-3 , 15-20 minute walks can be a game changer.

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12 Ways To Get Strong & Build Muscle

#11 The best supplements are the ones, that you have a hard time getting in every day diet. For me my staples are

  • Vitamin D
  • Fish Oil
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Whey protein supplement

#12 Your workouts do not have to look like your sport, to improve your sport performance. Actually, if they do it will be counter productive.

12 Ways To Get Strong & Build Muscle
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4 Common BJJ Strength Misconceptions

Here are 4 Common BJJ Strength Misconceptions, because being strong in BJJ gets a bad rap.

It is looked down on and I’m told by the internet, when someone calls you strong. It’s an insult.

Being strong in BJJ, is a game changer and is essential, if I want to stay on the mat for life.

I’m going talk to you about 4 Common BJJ Strength Misconceptions .

4 Common BJJ Strength Misconceptions

4 Common BJJ Strength Misconceptions

#1 Weak things break

The number 1 reason you should strength train for BJJ is not so you can muscle through everything. But, strength training and building muscle is protective.

Having more strength and muscle around our most vulnerable areas. You know the area you and your teammates are always getting beat up .

  • Neck
  • shoulders
  • Ribs
  • Low back
  • Knees

When you build that strength and muscle mass, you tend to get hurt and beat up less. But, even when you do, you will bounce back quicker.

Not to mention, more muscle and a higher levels of fitness, means training doesn’t beat you up as much.

You’ll recover from BJJ faster.

If you can recover faster, your session will be better, you can train more frequently and be able to do this awesome sport for a long time

If you tend to get beat up often, get strong. Weak things break

#2 Better Endurance

I remember a few guys asking how my conditioning was so good.

I would tell them, it has a lot to do with my strength training.

Because to me, strength training is more like BJJ, than jogging or going on the elliptical.

BJJ is series of iso metric strength holds.

If you have a well designed strength program, (if you need one you should join my coaching program)

Your fitness becomes less of a liability in your BJJ journey.

Another thing people don’t think about. Is being weak, destroys your cardio on the mat.

If you’re weak and every technique you do, takes a high percentage of the maximum strength you have, your heart rate will shoot up, you’ll build lactic acid fast and muscles will get more damaged.

All this will kill your cardio and make it harder to recover from your BJJ sessions.

Strength training will:

  • Transfer over to BJJ, better than just hours of cardio .
  • Improve your cardio on the mat.
  • Help you recover better between training and rounds too.

#3 All movement is strength

Every move we make is a display strength.

So every technique we do, we are utilizing a certain level of strength.

So, when people say, don’t use strength. What they mean is don’t use too much strength.

or don’t use so much strength, that you miss out on critical details of the move.

Strength will supercharge your technique .

People act like you are either strong or you have great technique.

They can’t fathom, that you can do both. When you have both, you become a problem.

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4 Common BJJ Strength Misconceptions

Here are few examples my strength seem to really pay off, for me while using fundamental BJJ technique

  • Arm bars, using my hamstring to control their head, so they can’t sit up or shuck my leg off them.
  • Collar and sleeve, using my upper body pull strength and leg press strength, to keep their posture broken, so I can set up sweeps.
  • Over, under pass, using my arms and legs to , apply a ton pressure on them and making it hard for them push my head off their hip.

#4 Don’t Be An Ass, Get Better

4 Common BJJ Strength Misconceptions

It seems to me , the ideas of people saying “your strong”as an insult.

It’s really an excuse, that ones Jiu jitsu is not effective.

If you’re decent and have a good understanding of basic principles, you would be able to counter most guys who are using too much strength, with out good technique .

It seems like an excuse.

I don’t know many good guys, that actually complain about someone being too strong.

Next, time you want give a backwards compliment .

Maybe, focus on getting better at BJJ and picking up some weights instead.

Hopefully, I gave you a better understanding of strength training role in BJJ.

If would like daily BJJ strength tips, follow me here

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