A chat about physical conditioning for Jiu-Jitsu

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Edson Ramalho is now responsible for physical conditioning at Alliance, but he’s also worked with top-flight athletes on other teams like Rafael Mendes, André Galvão, and Bruno Frazatto, among others. The trainer figures in the article “60 tips for a better working body” from GRACIEMAG #162, now in bookstores. On GRACIEMAG.com, Ramalho conveys his view of some physical conditioning issues.

“Ever since I started with André Galvão, in 2007, I noticed that athletes with a high level of technique can achieve more through physical conditioning work. It boosts strength for performing moves, allows one exert force for longer… With physical conditioning work we interfere positively in the technique. Gabi Garcia, for example, already had refined technique and by doing proper prep work she became quicker,” he remarks.

“I believe it is important to work beyond the particularities of the style. Each sport has its own particularity, but each athlete does too. Rafael Mendes, for example, was really explosive, but he needed strength. We carried out training geared towards that and it bore results at the ADCC. The particularity of the sport coupled with that of the athlete is the principle guiding physical preparation work. Of course, one also needs to consult a doctor and do some exams. We reach very high heart rates while training, it’s no joke,” advises the training.

Photo: Publicity

Another precautionary measure is to not go overboard in training, becoming overtrained, the subject of much debate among physical conditioning specialists.

“I seek to keep tabs on each athlete’s heart rate and pace in training. There are also other means of analysis, like checking lactic acid levels and performing saliva exams, for instance. We’re bringing over a physiology specialist from USP (University of São Paulo) who did a very interesting study on the matter, even taking samples during training and championships. During a championship the level of stress increases a lot. That helps to monitor the athletes progress and know if he is improving,” he says in closing.

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