BJJ – Mobility Vs Flexibility

In BJJ and MMA we tend to focus on technical training, increasing strength or putting more gas in the tank so we can spar/fight for longer. I have been guilty of neglecting 2 very important aspects of fitness and it common for both to be bundled under the same category … but they are very different.

Mobility is how the joint moves and the range of motion surrounding the joint. Flexibility is the length of the muscle which can effect an persons mobility, if the connected muscles don’t stretch far enough to allow the movement. It is worth noting that there are other issues that can cause problems, inflammation of tendons and joints to name a few.

For BJJ/MMA Athletes you are only as strong as weakest attribute and I often see flexibility and Mobility been an issues for most … but specially Athletes who are at the heavier sides (either fat or muscle). For Older practitioners spending time on Flexibility and Mobility can be at times more important then than sports (BJJ, MMA, Kickboxing … stc) based training.

I used to train with a 3rd degree Black Belt in TKD and a Purple Belt in BJJ, when we practiced Guard Passing Drills his ability to do a full box splits allowed him to retain guard very easy, He spent a lot of time working his flexibility.

I have been guilty of neglecting both of these aspects in the past, so I am planning on doing the following to help address these areas:-

Foam Rolling – Rolling your muscles over a foam tube, lacrosse ball or even a barbell can help release tight spots through self-massage. There is a bunch of information on Youtube and even Argos are now selling foam rollers.

Mobility Drills – Kelly from MobilityWOD is the man when it comes to Mobility, the Drills are geared around improving your range of motion in your Joints. His book “Supple Leopard” is a fantastic resource and I am currently working through leg exercises. Supple Leopard book –

Stretches – I have signed up to “Yoga for BJJ” and I have started some of the Shoulder stretches after training, I am really looking forward to seeing my improvement over the next few months. So follow me and I will post some pictures up.

So what is your plan?

TBT – Weight Loss guide from 2012

Disclaimer –

This is not advice or a suggested program, it is just my findings through experimenting with training and diet. You should always seek professional advice before taking part in any physical fitness program or changes to your diet.
Background –
After getting injured in March, not being able to train and starting “proper” work again I found I had quickly gained weight (fat) due to in-activity. Although I was coaching Martial Arts my participation in physical exercise had reduced significantly and my diet had been pretty poor.
 This is how I lost over 10kg (1.5 Stone) over a 6 week period.
Yes I work in IT, a Baseline is our starting point. Here is mine
Starting weight – 95.6KG
Date – 23/07/2012
This is the heaviest I have been in a 3 years.
Diet Changes
We all know what foods are good and bad, it is amazing how we can convince ourselves that bad food is ok to eat and still expect to meet our weight loss goals.
We all know on the most basic level what foods are going to help our weight loss needs, people sometimes get confused because of fad diets. Here is what I ate and worked for me:-
What tends to work best for me is cutting out processed carbs (Pasta, Rice, Breads etc) and eat more Fibrous Vegetables example:-
Green Beans
The Carbohydrates in fibrous veggies take longer to digest than most process Carbs, which can help you feel fuller for longer because they are high in fibre. I boiled the veggies until they were soft and in most case used Frozen veg as it is quick and easier to prepare.
I didn’t really use any protein drinks in this 6 week period, I got most of my protein from:-
Chicken – Breast (I used this for about 75% of all my meals)
Beef – Extra Lean Mince and steak
Ham – Gammon
Fish – Salmon and Cobbler
For some more meal ideas visit my youtube page
The only fats I used were Extra Virgin Olive oil for cooking, sauces (try and stick with tomato based) and udo choice tablets. Up until the last 2 weeks I would add little bits of chorizo with the veg just to give it a little flavour.
This is the important bit, if you enjoy eating it is important that you try and make things taste nice and this is where seasoning comes in. After boiling my veg I would let is drain and then cover with “Spen’s Special Sprinkle” to give the veggies a little bit of flavour.
Experiment! Chilli flakes, Tabasco, Turmeric, Mixed herbs….
I tried to drink at least 4 litres of water a day, I also had coffee without sugar (most of the time) and Green tea.
Training Changes
As I mentioned before my activity levels had reduced significantly, I had gone from training 2 to 3 times a day to coaching 3 times a week and not really participating in a full hour session…. This had to change.
I change my training to include the following each day Monday to Friday:-
20 mins HIT on a cross trainer or a 30 min run
2 hours of TRAINING (not coaching) in Martial arts (MMA, Kickboxing etc)
At least twice a week I would do a Kettlebell work out also, but what really seems to make the weight fly’s off is the morning training session. I did the HIT/run before eating, this seems to have an excellent effect for me. I didn’t do every day, sometimes I had to work so I may have missed the odd session, don’t beat yourself up that’s life.
MAKE YOUR TRAINING COUNT!!!! Just being in the gym does not burn calories! You need to lift stuff and break a sweat (Sauna does not count) RUN, ROW, BIKE!!!!
It’s everywhere you look cookies, pies, pizza …………. But what do you want? If you want to lose weight (and you have to want it) then you have to train and eat to lose weight.
Did I have any naughty meals? Yes … loads in the 6 week period. Fry ups, Pizza, Chinese food and beer …. And so on but 2 things:-
  1. I only had these meals at a weekend
  2. I had to earn these meals
These 2 rules helped motivate me to get to training and hit the gym!
The other thing is recording your progress, weight, measurements and pictures are really good for this. I have read people would also use pictures, holidays and fights as motivation.
Finished Result
Finishing weight – 83.4kg
Date – 07/09/2012
I lost over 10kg in 6/7 weeks, I had a bunch “Earned Meals” and Beer as well.
This is what worked for me if you are interested in personal training or a personalised training plan email us for more details:-
Suggested Reading
Some very good ideas in here, I have tried a couple of things Tim suggests and have seen a difference. There are some other things I am wanting to experiment with, which I will update you on.
Feed Back
Did this help you lose weight? Let me know it would be great to here from you.