Before I started BJJ, I used to lift weights 5 days a week.  I really enjoy lifting weights.  It’s challenging and a great stress reliever.

When I got serious about BJJ (especially over the past year) I began trading weight lifting sessions for BJJ training sessions.  As a working family man, I have to balance my time away from home as best I can.  Truthfully, it was a tough decision.  I didn’t want to lose my strength gains and hobby I had invested so much time in, and yet the workout I got during BJJ training was kicking my teeth in.  I wanted to eat my cake and have it too.

I should explain, at Revolution BJJ, we roll a lot.  I remember when I was first shopping for a new school I spoke with Andrew Smith about Revolution BJJ and he said literally: “We roll A LOT at my gym.  A LOT.”

We roll A LOT. A LOT

I thought he was joking around.  He was serious.  In the last 13-14 months I have had at least 234 rolls with my Black Belt Instructor.  That isn’t including all of my other training partners and frankly, I’m low-balling that number. (3 classes a week, 13 months, 1.5 rolls per class).

Now, I knew rolling at this pace was a great workout, and my conditioning has gotten great because of it.  Secretly, though I’ve been missing lifting weights.  I had a day scheduled off from work and I determined myself to going to the gym to find out how much strength I had lost.  I prepared myself for the worst lifting session in my personal history and began my workout.
I proceeded to lift more weight and do more reps that I ever have before.  I had increased in every part of my old routine.  In some cases, I doubled my strength from 1 year ago.
On my drive home from the gym, I thought about what this meant.  I was in disbelief.  Jiu-Jitsu had secretly been making me stronger and I hadn’t noticed.  My mind was swimming with this new information.  Rolling requires and exhausts your core muscle group.  It does so in dynamic and fluid ways.  And core strength augments all other strength related endeavors.
While I enjoy lifting and will still do it maybe twice a week, I’m definitely going to center it around core workouts to augment my BJJ, which will continue to augment my strength and weight lifting.  I’m finally in a positive cycle of improvement.
Jiu-jitsu continues to astound me in its applications and benefits.