Powerlifting is a sport centered on three of the most important weightlifting exercises. These are squats, bench press, and deadlift. So, it’s mostly about strength and its application. BJJ, on the other hand, is a sport that will get the best of your technical abilities. And this is the reason as to why smaller people can submit bigger people in this sport.
So, how does powerlifting relate to BJJ? Can you incorporate it successfully so as to get the biggest gains and improve your progress in BJJ? If you read this article you will find all this information out.
The Benefits of Powerlifting for BJJ
Sure, BJJ is a sport that’s focused on technique. You will need to drill and drill and drill various techniques until you get the timing and technique right. If you do this, then you will be able to submit much larger and stronger opponents by virtue of using leverage alone.
However, we firmly believe that strength training is also very important when it comes to BJJ. The reasons for this can be manifold – regardless if you believe that only technique is king in BJJ. One of the biggest reasons for supplementing your BJJ with powerlifting is that you will be able to bulletproof your entire body and prevent injuries.
But still – if you think things are easy in the execution of certain BJJ techniques with the help of leverage – things will get even easier when you combine leverage and strength. And powerlifters are some of the strongest people on earth. It goes without saying that if you begin to incorporate powerlifting in your life and if you start doing bench press, squats, and deadlifts – you will get a lot stronger than ever before.
And the three powerlifting exercises do indeed work your entire body out. The squat works the lower portion of your body – the quads, the calves – even your feet will get a killer workout. The bench press works the upper body – namely your triceps muscles and your pectorals. Finally, the deadlift works your glutes, your lower back, your hamstrings, and your grip. These exercises combine to give you a killer workout for your entire body.
Potential Drawbacks of Powerlifting for BJJ
Chances are that you have seen some videos of powerlifters doing their thing – perhaps while competing. You know that these people can lift inhuman amounts of weight. However, we don’t really believe that human strength is limitless. You need to know the limits.
That being said, you can’t really go on increasing the weights that you lift or push ad infinitum. If the human muscles are very strong with a vast potential for getting stronger – as they are – then the same definitely cannot be said about the joints.
The joints are much more fragile than the muscles. If a muscle gets injured, then it has the benefit of optimal blood flow and it will heal relatively quickly and with few if any long-term consequences. The same definitely cannot be said if you hurt a joint. If you tear your knee ligaments, God forbid, then it will take months before you will be able to walk again – much less to do squats.
And this is why we recommend you take it easy with powerlifting. Sure, you can lift weights in the three weightlifting exercises. Just make sure that you don’t overdo it and you will be just fine.
An Example of a Powerlifting Workout for BJJ
There isn’t a lot of room for improvising in powerlifting. This is due to the fact that there are only three exercises that you can pick in this sport. However, this not a bad thing per se. It makes things simpler and easier to implement.
So, you can pick a few days a week and train powerlifting as a supplementation for BJJ. The most important thing that you need to be careful about is the weights themselves. Make sure that you only pick weights that you can safely lift and push in a proper form. You wouldn’t want to get injured while training.
A great powerlifting workout is to do 3-4 sets of three – five reps for each exercise. In this way, you will maximize your strength gains and you will improve your preparedness to take on some of the big guys on the mats.
Workout example for simple 2 day program
- Bench Press 3×5
- Deadlift 3×5
- Pull-ups 3×8 (add additional weight)
- Squat 3×5
- Standing Barbell Shoulder Press 3×5
- Barbell Rows 3×5
So, we’ve established that powerlifting definitely has a say in the world of BJJ. If you’re addicted to lifting heavy weights – then there is no reason for you to leave this hobby in order to train BJJ alone. You can easily incorporate the three main powerlifting exercises and grow stronger than ever before. And you will see that all of this translates to the world of BJJ. You will have it a lot easier to perform various submissions, guard passes and sweeps.