Is Weight Lifting Necessary In Jiu Jitsu? Pros and Cons

Some people feel technique is the main quality that matters in Jiu Jitsu. Some believe that to be a competent competitor or practitioner of Jiu Jitsu lifting weights or being strong is the key. Overall a balance is generally essential and no matter what there is no substitute for skill and knowledge above all else especially when strength is equal. Let’s dive into this topic and weigh the pros and cons of lifting weights for Jiu Jitsu.

Pros of Lifting Weights For Jiu Jitsu: 

  1. Muscle, Strength & Endurance. Depending on how you lift you can gain strength, power, endurance and even speed. Jiu Jitsu is very specific to each individual so we must adhere to lifting on a case-by-case basis according to each individual’s game. The bottom line is that if you are going against a person who has great skill and has lasting strength you better hope you have much better technique and skill in order to handle them if you do.
  2. Injury protection. If you have stronger joints and muscles, almost like armor, you may be less prone to injury. If you are frail and someone much stronger fires off a quick kimura you may hurt yourself (unless of course you are very flexible). If you have some extra muscle it may weaken or stop the damage. Again, this is all case-by-case but lifting weights certainly can help prevent injuries generally.
  3. Longevity. If you are very obese, weak or out of shape it does not mean you are not good at Jiu Jitsu. But if you let yourself wither away without maintaining strength you may be more susceptible to breaking down. It is a difficult sport and if everyone was rolling light at all times perhaps this article would not be written. Having a routine should keep you fit and on the mats longer in order to train with everyone on your squad.

Cons of Lifting Weights For Jiu Jitsu:

  1. More injuries. It’s a double-edge sword. Lifting weights can be a great benefit to preventing injuries obviously. However, if you are lifting with the wrong form or going harder than your body can handle then you may wind up hurting yourself more. This is common. People let their egos get the best of them and suffer a serious injury while working out. They may not feel it instantly. A person may give out their back on a deadlift, a bench press or tweak their knee on a squat. Be careful and use good form when lifting.
  2. Lifting weights may make you compromise your skill development. A lot of people who lift weights make it their priority. Lifting can benefit. But you should not lose or forget skill work because you are gaining strength. They can complement one another. You should not be too tired where you cannot study or train Jiu Jitsu. Balance is the key here.
  3. More tired cardio-wise. How? Some people get so big and bulky that their cardio suffers. This all depends on how you lift, your game and what weight class you are in. But if you put on great mass from lifting low reps and don’t continue cardio or endurance work you may find yourself not having enough oxygen in your muscles while rolling because you lack muscle endurance or endurance by itself.

If you have any more pros, cons or thoughts on this topic of lifting weights for Jiu Jitsu please feel free to comment below.


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