Best Barbell Training for BJJ- Upper Body Strength Workout

Blog post by *Ann Edwards of Elite Sports

Best Barbell Training for BJJ- Upper Body Strength Workout

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a modern take on the traditional Japanese style of jiu-jitsu. We have seen that most BJJ players admit that BJJ is not just a game, it is a lifestyle where you see your body transforming. Being a BJJ fighter you need to know about your body requirement, the thing you need to work on, and challenges. It is a constant war of strengths and weaknesses that you have to go through every day. Most people do not understand that your workout will help you guide your body and it will also help you guide your mind. When it comes to strength, BJJ is known for its tough routine. You will be using your body in full range and you will use your body parts as tools. For strength, you will require some weight training as well. All these things are part of the training.

For upper body strength, most instructors choose weight-based training. That is why you need to add a barbell for the shoulder, arms, and chest. Some of the workout routines that you will see online will include details on the technique and effect but they do not mention the details about the recovery and the way these exercises would be planned in general.

Best Barbell Training for BJJ- Upper Body Strength Workout

With the help of these articles, we will cover all the barbell-based training and exercises. We will also mention how this training helps in transforming the body and how it will help you gain strength and also help you build the muscles.

What is a barbell and why do you need to train with it?

If you are a fitness enthusiast you probably know about barbells and how they look. However, if you are just an athlete who is familiar with simple cardio-based exercises and some technical maneuvers you might not know in detail about the gym equipment. A barbell is the weight-based gym equipment that has a long rod in the middle and on both sides, there is the weight section. Usually, these weight sections can range anywhere from 45lb to 44lb. you can easily choose the weight that you want to lift and customize according to your need. Usually, the weight sections are customized and can be changed easily.


We have seen that most people claim that the barbell training is not very easy to handle. This is indeed true because anything that includes weight can be a little complicated. You need to master the technique otherwise you might end up injuring yourself. For the BJJ weight-based training is important because it helps with body shape. Barbell-based training will also help you with strength and endurance which is very vital in the case of BJJ. For upper body strength, barbell training plays a vital role as well. Another very important benefit is that you will eventually notice that your body is strong enough to handle pressure. People trained with weight usually end up reducing the chance of injury because their muscles know how to carry weight and act when there is pressure. BJJ usually includes a lot of chokes and holds that can cause injury. However, with weight-based training, you will be able to reduce the chance of injury as well.

Best Barbell Training for BJJ- Upper Body Strength Workout

Why People Avoid Barbell Based Training

 Most instructors avoid the use of barbells for a beginner. This is because weight-based training requires a lot of techniques. If you do not know who to keep your posture steady you might end up with an injury or you might even have a worse effect on your body. One of the main things is that bad posture can result in the form of injury, weight-based injuries are quite common which is the reason only professional players are trained with the use of weight. Another very important thing is the joint structure. People usually get confused and they end up straining their joints because that’s where you will feel the most weight. If your diet is not very good and your bones are already weak you will be asked to start with basic training only then you can move to weight-based training. Spine injuries are also very common with weight, especially barbell training because your posture plays a very important role. Without the recommendation of your instructor or without learning the technique, using a barbell can be very dangerous.

Simple Barbell Workout That You Can Try

For the barbell workout, you need to know about the technique first. Without understanding the technique, injury can be expected. You need help from your instructor first and only then try the workout. For a beginner who is just starting, this workout is good. However, try to reduce the weight so that you do not end up hurting yourself.

Barbell bench press

These are very simple exercises you can check the details via any video or you can ask your instructor about technique. The frequency can be 3 sets and 10 reps

Best Barbell Training for BJJ- Upper Body Strength Workout

Barbell bent-over row

For this exercise, your frequency will be 3 sets and 10 reps but your focus will be on the weight ratio.

Best Barbell Training for BJJ- Upper Body Strength Workout

Barbell overhead press

This is another very interesting exercise but it can be very tricky. For this, you can maintain a frequency of 3 sets and 8 reps

Best Barbell Training for BJJ- Upper Body Strength Workout


Finally to wrap this workout, just start pull-ups. You can do as many as you can depending on your stamina.

Best Barbell Training for BJJ- Upper Body Strength Workout

Bottom Line

To sum it all up, BJJ helps in involving the whole body and it is known to be a full-body workout. One of the best things about BJJ is the fact that all the muscles will be toned by the end of the workout and you will be able to see the impact as well. Most people do not understand that each muscle, especially the upper body, is important in martial arts. With grappling you need to put pressure on chokes and holds. Apart from this, you will see that every technique helps with strength. By including the barbell the aim is to get rid of fat and gain muscle. Usually, weight-based training is very technical and if you are not careful it can cause injury as well. However, if you learn about the style and technique you will be able to cope very easily. Another important thing is to focus on the technique and frequency. Your body will need time to heal especially when weight is involved. Let your body recover and heal so that you do not end up overworking your body. In case you end up overworking, this will result in the form of injury.

*Ann Edwards is the fully qualified personal trainer from Elite sports. She has been helping people in the field of bodybuilding and fitness from more than a decade. Her career in nutrition and physical therapy has made her a fine addition for our team. 



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