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I’ve been training at the gym now for nearly three years. When I first started I was pushing 300 pounds and now I’m just under 200 pounds. I’ve done hours and hours of cardio, strength training, and conditioning. One could say that I am in fairly good shape.
All that being said, when I started training jiujitsu again, I was getting my ass handed to me. Several times I knew that if not for my extensive hours of training and conditioning, I would have ended up puking in class. Often times I gassed out and became a useless blob of meat. Even now, though my bjj conditioning has improved, I still get smoked on certain drills and sparring is still challenging to me.
Bjj uses entirely different muscles than any other form of strength training you can do. In terms of conditioning, I think it’s closer to a HIIT (High intensity interval training) type of training, with the added benefit of getting choked out when you run out of energy.
The type of movements we do in bjj are extremely different and nothing that I have done prepared me for this new type of training. The only reason I didn’t puke is because my cardiovascular conditioning is so good.
As time passes, I’m getting stronger in bjj training and my body is adapting. At first I could only do 1 day of training along with my existing 7 day training regiment. But as time has passed, my recovery in class, as well as post training has significantly improved. At this point I’ve done as many as 5 days a week, while teaching all my classes, doing my cardio, and also still doing my strength and conditioning training. I didn’t remove training, I’ve just added more. And of course we can’t forget about my dieting and calorie restrictions.
It’s not easy, but you know what’s most exciting about all this? It’s that unless I get hurt or die, I can only get better. As my skill increases, I’ll become better and conserving energy, and ultimately I’ll be able to train and learn more. This is extremely exciting to me.