Here are some of the key benefits of hydrolyzed collagen for athletes:
• Promotes healthy joints, ligaments, and tendons. • Improves muscle recovery and increases lean body mass when combined with strength training. • Supports a healthy gut.
What is Collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant amino acid in the human body. It accounts for one-third of the total protein in your body. Collagen also helps to rebuild connective tissues and gives structure to our bones, ligaments, and tendons. Because of that, Collagen is often referred to as the “glue” in our bodies.
As we begin to age our body’s ability to produce collagen naturally slows.
By the time we hit 25, our bodies become less efficient in creating collagen. Compounded by the pounding of our joints from sports, the degenerative process accelerates.
That’s why more and more athletes are turning towards the benefits of supplementing with collagen peptides.
Benefits of Collagen: Supports Joint Health
Research shows supplementing with collagen peptides helps by supplying amino acids necessary to build new collagen and prevent joint deterioration . Collagen peptides are naturally high in the amino acids glycine and proline that aid in the production of new collagen. In addition, collagen peptides also stimulate fibroblasts and osteoblasts cells to build new collagen.
One clinical trial gave athletes 10 grams of collagen hydrolysate a day for 24 weeks. Athletes who received the collagen peptides noticed reduced joint pain when compared to a placebo . A review of scientific studies concluded, “there is a growing body of evidence that provides a rationale for the use of collagen peptides for patients with osteoarthritis” .
Benefits of Collagen: Improved Muscle Recovery and Lean Body Mass
Collagen peptides has been shown to increase muscle mass, reduce fat, and increase strength when used in combination with resistance training.
One study conducted resistance training with older subjects to study the effect of collagen protein powder. They found a higher increase in muscle strength, higher reduction in fat mass, and a higher increase in fat free body mass. 
In addition, collagen peptides contain high amounts of the amino acids arginine and glycine. These amino acids play critical role in the synthesis of creatine. Creatine has been shown to improve exercise performance, increase athlete’s lean body mass and reduce body fat .
When compared to whey protein, collagen peptides are superior in preserving lean body mass and maintaining nitrogen balance. This is especially true when on a low-protein diet .
Benefits of Collagen: Supports Healthy Gut
The 18 amino acids in collagen have the power to help support your gut and even improve many digestive disorders. It is able to do so by strengthening the protective lining of your digestive tract .
Collagen peptides contain concentrated amounts of the amino acids glycine and proline. These amino acids have been shown to protect stomach lining for injury. They also improve the healing of stomach ulcers from stress .
Have you heard of using glutamine for gut inflammation? It just so happens that Collagen is also high in this key amino acid.
Studies have found that individuals with digestive issues also have lower collagen levels. They’ve concluded that there is an association between inflammatory bowel disease and decreased serum collagen levels .
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 Bello, A E, and S Oesser. “Collagen Hydrolysate for the Treatment of Osteoarthritis and Other Joint Disorders: a Review of the Literature.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2006, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17076983.
 Brosnan, J T, and M E Brosnan. “Creatine: Endogenous Metabolite, Dietary, and Therapeutic Supplement.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17430086.
 Hays, N P, et al. “Effects of Whey and Fortified Collagen Hydrolysate Protein Supplements on Nitrogen Balance and Body Composition in Older Women.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19465192/.
 Hoffman, J. R., et al. “Effect of creatine and ß-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes.” Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab 16 (2006): 430-446.
 Koutroubakis, I E, et al. “Serum Laminin and Collagen IV in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14600124.
 Kristine L. Clark, Wayne Sebastianelli, Klaus R. Flechsenhar, Douglas F. Aukermann, Felix Meza, Roberta L. Millard, John R. Deitch, Paul S. Sherbondy & Ann Albert (2008) 24-Week study on the use of collagen hydrolysate as a dietary supplement in athletes with activity-related joint pain, Current Medical Research and Opinion, 24:5, 1485-1496, DOI: 10.1185/030079908X291967
 Sugihara, F, et al. “Ingestion of Bioactive Collagen Hydrolysates Enhanced Pressure Ulcer Healing in a Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Study.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 30 July 2018, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30061579.
 Wienecke, Elmar. Performance Explosion in Sports: An Anti-doping Concept: Revolutionary New Findings in the Area of Micronutrient Therapy: Training Continuity, Training Optimization, Injury Prevention Through Personalized Micronutrients. Meyer & Meyer Verlag, 2011. ISBN 978-3-89899-652-5;
 Zdzieblik, Denise et al. “Collagen Peptide Supplementation in Combination with Resistance Training Improves Body Composition and Increases Muscle Strength in Elderly Sarcopenic Men: A Randomised Controlled Trial.” The British Journal of Nutrition 114.8 (2015): 1237–1245. PMC. Web. 19 Aug. 2018.
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are the building blocks of protein that help reduce muscle soreness, encourage muscle growth, and prevent protein breakdown. They are comprised of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These essential amino acids are are not metabolized to any significant degree by your liver, meaning they are able to absorb into your bloodstream to be used by your skeletal muscle.
Why use BCAA supplements?
BCAAs are one of the most widely studied sports nutrition supplements on the market and its popularity has continued to rise (3). Awareness has been continuously growing as more and more athletes are educating themselves with BCAAs and realizing the health benefits associated with proper intake.
There are a total of 20 amino acids that are the foundation of muscle protein in the human body. Of those 20 amino acids, nine are considered to be essential, meaning that the human body cannot produce these essential amino acids (EAAs) and they must be consumed.
Since muscle protein is in a “constant state of turnover” all 20 amino acids need to be present in the body so that protein synthesis may occur to replace lost protein due to protein breakdowns (3).
BCAAs are comprised of three essential amino acids; leucine, isoleucine, and valine and are so-named due to their branching chemical structure. These three essential amino acids are not metabolized by the liver and make it into the bloodstream in whole to be used by the skeletal muscle, the muscles attached to your bones, to increase your lean muscle mass.
Although whey protein naturally consists of BCAAs, the amount per gram, 20-23%, is insubstantial to preventing muscle breakdown. As a result athletes are turning to high quality BCAA supplements to increase their consumption to support their performance, prevent muscle loss, increase strength and energy, and protect their immune functions.
When to use BCAAs?
The best time to take BCAAs are before or during workouts to decrease percentage of body fat, increase lean muscle mass, increase strength gains, and prevent muscle breakdown and turnover (1).
An alternative way to use BCAAs, for those on a calorie restricted diet, would be as a meal replacement to support lean muscle mass and decrease one’s body fat percent. BCAAs will act as your protein source, while limiting your calorie intake and keeping your muscles fueled with the protein it needs to limit turnover and breakdown (1).
Each BCAA is a building block to protein synthesis and has its own properties…
Leucine: Critical for protein synthesis, repairs torn down muscles, stimulates healing, and produces growth hormones.
Isoleucine:Heavily concentrated in muscle tissue, promotes muscle metabolism, and is a key player in immune function and energy regulation.
Valine: Helps stimulate muscle growth, regeneration, and energy production.
Now, add these three together and you understand why they call BCAAs the building blocks of protein.
BCAAs’ role in athletics has been widely studied in relation to sparing muscle mass while reducing calorie consumption, improving immune system function, limiting fatigue, and promoting protein synthesis. We’ll be digging into the highlights of BCAAs and how proper consumption can give you great benefits.
Staff writers hard at work
Increased Strength and Muscle Growth
As athletes we’re always looking to get stronger and push the limits. Getting swole and bulky is not the goal, but increasing our output on the mats, in the gym, or during WODs is ideal.
In 2009 an eight-week double-blind study was conducted to evaluate the effects of consuming BCAAs during a resistance-training program. Participants of the study were randomly given either 14 grams of BCAAs, 28 grams of Whey protein, or 28 grams of carbohydrates from an unnamed sports drink.
Throughout the study, participants followed a training program that worked all major muscle groups “once per week using a four-day training split” (2). At the end of the eight weeks, participants given BCAAs experienced greater lean muscle mass, decreased body fat, and significant increased muscular strength on their 10-rep max for both bench and squat compared to those of the Whey and Sports Drink groups (2).
The study concluded, that proper supplementation of BCAAs had greater benefits of Whey and common sports drinks that are ever so popular. Taking BCAA’s prior to working out as well as during provides your body with the energy and strength needed to push the limits.
During workouts our bodies use amino acids for muscle output and strength. Supplementing workouts with BCAAs replenishes the aminos and protein that was lost as a consequence of protein breakdown. When workouts are properly supplemented with BCAAs new muscle proteins are being synthesized which in turn increases your performance, resulting in a reduction of fatigue and increased endurance in athletes.
Amino enriched supplements increase muscle protein synthesis by up to 30% (5). The primary function of muscle protein synthesis is to help repair and build new muscle tissue. While you’re breaking down your muscles you’re also feeding it the nutrients it needs to repair itself.
BCAA's benefits may also extend into the brain. It has been suggested that the changes to the brain's 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) levels cause central fatigue. BCAA's (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) play an important role in the synthesis of 5-HT by affecting the transportation of tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier and reducing the uptake of tryptophan by the brain. This inhibits the synthesis of 5-HT and thereby reduces fatigue.
A study examined the effects of BCAA's on marathon athlete's ability to push through perceived exertion and the ability of BCAA's to reduce central fatigue.
The subjects were two groups of marathon athletes, one group that BCAA’s were given during the race, and a placebo group. Subjects that were given the BCAA’s had a lower perceived exertion level and lower mental fatigue than the placebo group (4). The studied concluded that BCAA’s may in fact reduce central fatigue and reduce perceived exertion in endurance sports.
BCAA’s are also a great source of energy!
After your body has depleted its glucose store you can rely on the energy provided by a BCAA supplement, giving you close to 40% more energy than having nothing (1).
Studies show that aminos can compete as an energy source with glucose (1) meaning that consuming BCAAs during or before your workout will give you that extra kick to go the extra mile.
Speaking of extra mile...participants of a BCAA study were put to the test during prolonged exercise under heat stress to test the effects of BCAA supplementation (9).
Six women and seven men were either given a placebo or a BCAA drink every 30 minutes during a cycling test, where participants were cycling at their peak VO2 until exhaustion. The results concluded that the BCAA group cycled 12% longer than the placebo group, proving that BCAA supplementation prolongs energy during exercise (9).
Who doesn’t want a secondary energy source?
Branched-chain amino acids can be used to prevent weight gain, enhance fat loss, and maintain lean muscle for athletes wanting to rid of unwanted fat.
Taking BCAA’s between meals, especially on a calorie restricted diet will help maintain lean muscle and help your body remain in a fat burning state. A 2011 study proved that BCAA supplementation “enhanced lipid oxidation during exercise in glycogen-depleted subjects” causing a decrease in body fat percentages (3).
There have been numerous studies that show supplementing with BCAAs can result in fat loss…
Twenty-five elite wrestlers were studied for 19 days to determine the effects of a restricted caloric diet supplemented with BCAAs.
The study found that participants who were given BCAAs throughout the 19 days had a significant higher body weight loss and decrease in body fat percent compared to those in the controlled group, who were given a soy protein supplement (8).
Participants in the BCAA group had lost 0.6% more body fat than their counterpart, while still maintaining energy and performance levels (8).
In a separate study, 36 weightlifters, with a minimum of two years experience, were randomly assigned to receive either 14 grams of BCAAs, 28 grams of Whey protein, or 28 grams of carbohydrates while participating in an eight-week resistance training program (2).
The study found that participants in the BCAA group lost more than 1% body fat compared to their counterparts.
While losing body fat, the BCAA group on average gained 4.4 lbs more lean muscle mass compared to the whey and carbohydrates groups (2).
Now remember, BCAAs aren’t some type of magical dust that instantly sheds the pounds, but proper supplementation to your diet and workout routine can help you rid of unwanted body fat while still maintaining your lean muscle.
So that’s it folks...
We’ve covered the highlights and benefits of BCAAs as well as the research behind supplementing with BCAAs.
Does the source of BCAA's matter? Did you know that the majority of BCAA's on the market are derived from duck feathers and animal fur? Be sure to check out our guest post on BJJ Heroes where we discuss the differences between plant-based BCAA's and Traditional BCAA's.
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Tessari P, e., Inchiostro S, Biolo G, Duner E, Nosadini R, Tiengo A and Crepaldi G (2018). Hyperaminoacidaemia reduces insulin-mediated glucose disposal in healthy man. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3910497 [Accessed 13 May 2018].
Stoppani, J., Scheett, T., Pena, J., Rudolph, C. and Charlebois, D. (2018). Consuming a supplement containing branched-chain amino acids during a resistance-training program increases lean mass, muscle strength and fat loss. [online] Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Available at: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-6-S1-P1 [Accessed 13 May 2018].
Gualano AB, e., Bozza T, Lopes De Campos P, Roschel H, Dos Santos Costa A, Luiz Marquezi M, Benatti F and Herbert Lancha Junior A (2018). Branched-chain amino acids supplementation enhances exercise capacity and lipid oxidation during endurance exercise after muscle glycogen depletion. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21297567%20 [Accessed 13 May 2018].
Blomstrand E, Hassmén P, Ekblom B and Newsholme EA (2018). Administration of branched-chain amino acids during sustained exercise--effects on performance and on plasma concentration of some amino acids. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1748109 [Accessed 13 May 2018].
Wolfe, R. (2018). Branched-chain amino acids and muscle protein synthesis in humans: myth or reality?. [online] Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Available at: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0184-9 [Accessed 13 May 2018].
Bassit RA et. al. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation and the immune response of long-distance athletes. Nutrition. (2002) 18(5):376-9.
Bloomstrand E. A role for branched-chain amino acids in reducing central fatigue. J Nutr. (2006) 136(2):544S-547S.
Mourier A, e., Bigard AX, de Kerviler E, Roger B, Legrand H and Guezennec CY (1997). Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9059905 [Accessed 13 May 2018].
Mittleman KD, e., Ricci MR, and Bailey SP (1998). Branched-chain amino acids prolong exercise during heat stress in men and women. - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9475648 [Accessed 12 May 2018].
If you train, you’re constantly looking for ways to reduce inflammation and joint pain. Up until recently, athletes often over-relied upon Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID) like ibuprofen to keep them on the mat. According to Robert Hoffman, MD, chief of rheumatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, “Gastritis, esophageal reflux disease (heartburn), and bleeding ulcers are all problems that can develop from NSAIDs.”
Two groups were randomly given either curcumin extracts or ibuprofen. At the end of 4 weeks, the results showed that curcumin was just as effective as ibuprofen for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, but fewer gastrointestinal problems were reported from the patients who received the curcumin extract compared to the ibuprofen group.
When you combine Turmeric with other natural anti-inflammatory powerhouses like Pomegranate, MSM, and Glucosamine, you can avoid relying on ibuprofen to keep your joints feeling 100.
Your stomach will thank you later.
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Daily, J W, et al. “Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.” Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 19 Aug. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27533649.
Kuptniratsaikul, V, et al. “Efficacy and Safety of Curcuma Domestica Extracts Compared with Ibuprofen in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: a Multicenter Study.” Efficacy and Safety of Curcuma Domestica Extracts Compared with Ibuprofen in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: a Multicenter Study., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 20 Mar. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/196787802.
Omega-3’s have been making a lot of headlines lately. In 2012, close to 19 million Americans supplemented with Fish Oil, making it the number one natural supplement (1). When it comes to supporting your joints, cardiovascular and cognitive health, nothing compares to Omega-3’s. In fact, The Journal of Clinical Lipidology lists Omega-3’s as one of the main dietary factors for preventable early mortality.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating at least 8 ounces of fatty fish a week to get your recommended amount of Omega-3’s. But according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from 2003-2008, only 1 out of 5 Americans consumed enough Omega-3’s.
What exactly are Omega-3s?
Omega-3’s are essential fatty acids, meaning your body can’t produce them, found in a wide variety of foods. However, the most beneficial forms are Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) found in fatty fish. Previously, athletes supplemented with fish oils that were derived from cold water oily fish: salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines. Lately, a lot of athletes have been choosing to supplement with Krill Oil instead.
Why Krill Oil?
Just like Fish Oil, Krill is high in Omega-3 fatty acids. The shorter lifespans of krill lessen the potential for mercury contamination, PCBs, and other toxins, unlike the longer lifespans of fish which increases the risk of contamination. When comparing Krill Oil to Fish Oil, there are a bunch of other reasons why you’d choose Krill Oil over Fish Oil:
Krill Oil omega-3’s have a greater bioavailability than fish oil because they are attached to phospholipids which makes it easier for the small intestines to absorb.
Krill Oil’s variety of DHA is preferred by your brain.
Krill Oil contains a unique antioxidant Astaxanthin, which is not found in fish oil.
Krill Oil is sourced from the Southern Hemisphere, a pristine environment, ensuring less potential of toxins and contamination.
Fish Oil is heavily processed via Molecular Distillation to remove pollutants like mercury and alters composition into an ethyl ester form which are less bioavailable.
Krill Oil is a more sustainable source than Fish Oil
Is Krill Oil sustainable?
Antarctic Krill, Euphausia superba, are tiny crustaceans found in the Antarctic Ocean. They make up an estimated biomass of around 379 million tonnes, more than the biomass global population of humans, and are viewed as a one of the most sustainable sources of fishing.
The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) manages the krill Antarctic fisheries and has set a limit of a sustainable harvest at 5.6 million tonnes annually. However, the CCAMLR has a set “trigger” level of 620,000 tonnes that represents approximately 1% of the estimated 60 million tonnes of krill in this region as a precautionary level.
Current krill fishing is far below the limit, around 200,000 tonnes and about .02 percent of the total biomass, less than half of the trigger level. Because of the abundance of Krill, and the tight management of fisheries, Krill is viewed as a more sustainable resource than fish oil.
Don't take our word for it
Listen to Dr. Rhonda Patrick discuss the differences between Krill Oil and Fish Oil in terms of bioavailability and transport into different cells.
Finally, here's an infographic with all the highlights showcasing the differences between these two supplements.
3. Danaei G, Ding EL, Mozaffarian D, Taylor B, Rehm J, Murray CJL, et al. (2009) The Preventable Causes of Death in the United States: Comparative Risk Assessment of Dietary, Lifestyle, and Metabolic Risk Factors. PLoS Med 6(4): e1000058. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000058
4. Harris, W. S., Tintle, N. L., Etherton, M. R., & Vasan, R. S. (2018). Erythrocyte long-chain omega-3 fatty acid levels are inversely associated with mortality and with incident cardiovascular disease: The Framingham Heart Study. Journal of Clinical Lipidology. doi:10.1016/j.jacl.2018.02.010
5. Papanikolaou Y, Brooks J, Reider C, Fulgoni VL. U.S. adults are not meeting recommended levels for fish and omega-3 fatty acid intake: results of an analysis using observational data from NHANES 2003–2008. Nutrition Journal. 2014;13:31. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-31.
Looking for more than just a simple jiu jitsu workout thrown together without any rhyme or reason?
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"Fatigue makes cowards of us all" - Vince Lombardi. Get our 4 week conditioning program emailed to your inbox. Sign up below through Facebook Messenger. Grappling arts such as wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Judo are notoriously grueling. Our 4 week program is a scientifically backed program used by our sponsored Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athletes proven to increase your conditioning. We accomplish this by targeting both your anaerobic as well as your aerobic system. By emphasizing your aerobic system, you'll have a solid foundation to build your conditioning off of. Check it out below.
"How's it going? Just ordered my first few products last week. Was wondering what you guys recommend if I'm trying to gain lean muscle a little as well. Mahaloz"
[ ATH ]
What's up Dylan, gaining muscle is primarily two components = heavy weights + extra calories. They key to gaining muscle without gaining excess fat is monitoring your caloric intake. (Note: you're gonna gain a small amount of body fat whenever bulking -- just don't let it get out of control). If you're taking too many calories in, you're gonna start gaining fat. Most athletes can only gain about 1lb of muscle mass a week, at most.
Each pound = 3500 calories. So if you divide that by 7, that's 500 calories extra a day over your maintenance level that you need to take in.
When you first step on the mats, you quickly realize how exhausting grappling arts are. One of the most common questions you hear is, 'What can I do to improve my conditioning?'
1. ROLL MORE
What's the best exercise to improve my conditioning? I can hear you say, "Roll more!"
True, rolling more will help you become more comfortable in uncomfortable situations. It will also teach you to relax when you need to rest and how to tighten up when you need to explode. By rolling more, you'll also learn to manage your gas tank which is often the most understated part of the game. But what else can you do to improve your conditioning? and is just rolling the most efficient way to improve your conditioning?
2. DRILLING VIA TABATA INTERVALS
Of course by rolling more you'll be more comfortable on the mat and also improve your physical conditioning at the same time. But taking it a step further and adding in drilling via the form of Tabata intervals is one of our favorite ways to improve my physical conditioning for BJJ.
Tabata intervals are basically high intensity intervals that were first made popular by Professor Izumi Tabata while training Olympic speed skaters. The template calls for 20-30 seconds of work (depending on the drill) and 10 second rests for 5-8 sets with one minute of rest in between sets. The best way to do this is to pick a high intensity drill, like Toreando guard passing, takedowns, etc, and switching off with a partner.
3. IMPROVE YOUR STRENGTH
The number three answer is to improve your strength. As Pavel Tsatsouline says, "Strength First." The stronger you are, the less exertion required. Steve Maxwell, one of Pavel's students of the Kettlebell preaches 3-5 sets of 3-5 repetitions of big compound movements.
I can hear the nay sayers saying, "I don't want to be too bulky!" A protocol such as above will improve your strength, while minimizing muscle growth, which is important for weight class sports like BJJ. Ie: You want to be as strong as possible, but still remain in the same weight class. When it comes to muscle endurance, an example you can think of is this: If your one rep max is 225 on bench press, how many times do you think you could press 185? Now, imagine what if your one rep max is 315?
Number four is to improve your aerobic conditioning. You'll naturally get a lot of anaerobic training in by rolling more, but aerobic conditioning is less taxing on the body and can be beneficial for your recovery. It can also be thought of as the foundation of your energy systems and improve your resting heart rate.
The last thing you want to do is have your training outside of jiu jitsu take away from your actual training. Adding in one or two 20 minute aerobic sessions in your targeted heart range can improve your conditioning while not taking away from your skill training. We personally like Phil Maffetone's take on heart rate training which describes how you can find your targeted heart rate by subtracting your age from 180 and modifying the number based upon your health & fitness profile.
We go more in depth about specific training in our free 4 week Conditioning for BJJ PDF. Click the button below to have it emailed to you.
Finally, a bonus exercise that you can do to improve your conditioning is by practicing your breathing. While drilling (& training), focus on exhaling throughout the movements with your lips 'pursed'. You should try to keep a normal inhale through your nose as much as possible. Avoid holding your breath when drilling. Breathing using pursed lips increases the back pressure in your airways which allows them to stay open during exhalation. It also calms you down and slows your breathing. The more you pay attention to your breathing, the more you'll realize that you were probably holding your breath a lot.
Bonus, bonus, exercise: This is a drill I learned from Relson Gracie - roll with a mouth full of water. This will make you focus on breathing through your nose and will help you stay relaxed during your training. At the end of the round, spit out the water into the grass. If you're spazzing out, you'll struggle holding water in your mouth.
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