How to Get in Shape for Jiu Jitsu

You started Jiu Jitsu and you love it. But, you feel like your fitness is your weakness. Today I will teach you How to Get in Shape for Jiu Jitsu .

There are 4 major qualities you want to develop, so that you can improve your fitness for Jiu Jitsu

  • Power
  • Strength
  • Aerobic Fitness
  • Mobility

How to Get in Shape for Jiu Jitsu

How to Get in Shape for Jiu Jitsu


The ability to produce force fast is what power is. Although, BJJ relies on great technique and tension-based moves. There are times when we are required to be explosive and have the ability to read a situation and react fast.

We want to develop power both in the upper and lower body.

Power is not about getting tired or fatigued.

But, producing as much force as possible . So, we keep that focus. We want our sets to be low reps, with sets of 3-8 and rest intervals of 30-60s.

Here are some of my favorite power exercise

  • Box jumps
  • Sled sprints
  • KB Swings
  • Plyo push ups
  • MB slam and throw variations
  • Dynamic effort deadlift and squats

I did a full article on developing power, you can check that out here


Strength is number 1 in my book. It’s going to have the biggest impact on your jiu-jitsu.

Injury prevention, better performance, and improved conditioning.

Getting strong is going to do a lot for your BJJ.

You want to get strong with decent technique on the 5 fundamental movement patterns

  • squat
  • Hip hinge aka deadlift
  • upper push
  • upper pull
  • Single leg
Fall River Workouts

Pick variations that don’t beat up your joints.

Train them heavy for reps of 3-12.

I like to start my day with lower rep lifts and towards the end of the workout I’ll do higher reps.

Do 1-4 hard sets per exercise and make sure you rest 60s to 2 minutes. Don’t turn this into circuit training or cardio.

The focus should be on building strength and muscle.

If you want a free strength workout, go here

Aerobic Fitness for Jiu Jitsu

Did you know aerobic fitness controls our ability to recover? So, without proper aerobic fitness:

  • The quality of our rounds will go down or we will be forced to sit out
  • We will not be able to train frequently for long periods of time.
  • We might find ourselves getting beat up and constantly hurt.

Aerobic fitness gives us better endurance and pace.

But, on top of that, it helps us recover better. That helps us BJJ guys. In so many ways.

The most important one, is we can train frequently for years, without burning out.

The more mat time we have, the better we get it.

I wrote an article on aerobic fitness, you can find it here

But, here are the big points to improving it

  • Keep your heart rate between 120-150 for 30-60 minutes 1-3x a week.
  • Use cyclical exercise like bikes, jogging, elliptical, sled dragging etc
  • Use exercise that won’t cause too much wear or tear on your joints.
BJJ Cardio Workouts


Mobility is important, if your hips and shoulders are too tight. Some moves are just going to be hard to pull off. Which will limit how skilled you can get.

Mobility is different from flexibility. Flexible is how much range of motion you have in certain a joint.

Mobility is how much control you have in that range of motion.

Think of someone who stretches your hamstring out by pushing your leg up, that is your flexibility.

If you try to lift your leg up as high as you can, that is your mobility.

We often get hurt when our limbs are taken to a spot where, we don’t have control.

Mobility that you’ll need the most in Jiu Jitsu are:

  • Hip mobility –
  • T-spine mobility
  • Shoulder mobility

I hate mobility, so I try to put most of this stuff in my warm-up before I lift.

Also when you lift, working through a full range of motion, is going to help your mobility.

These are the 4 things you need to improve on.

Some of these may be in a solid place and some are your weakness.

Determine which one is your most glaring weakness and work on making a strength, while maintaining some of the other attributes.

Any questions on How to Get in Shape for Jiu Jitsu?

If you would like help with that, try this program

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