Turbocharge your BJJ Conditioning with Tabata Protocol

My workout of the day was doing circuit training using kettlebells and a weight plate. As I was a bit short of time today, I decided to train using what was called the Tabata Protocol.

What's a Tabata Protocol, you ask? Well, it's not a James Bond movie... It's actually a Japanese training technique created by Izumi Tabata. You basically do 8 intervals of 20 seconds all-out intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is considered one set. You can rest for a minute, and then do another set of 8 intervals, using the same timing. One set takes you only 4 minutes to complete.

Tabatas have been proven to improve aerobic and anaerobic conditioning by at least 28% in 6 weeks.

You can use any type of exercise for the intervals. Some people do just bodyweight exercise such as pullups, squats and pushups. Some work on the cardio machines like cross trainers or rowing machines.

I used these exercises:

Kettlebell swing
Kettlebell snatch
Kettlebell clean
Burpees (bodyweight)
Swing to Overhead Squat (using 10kg weight plate)
Walking Lunges with weight plate
Rock up Squats with weight plate
Thrusters with kettlebell or weight plate
Russian Twist with weight plate

Move that plate

I chose the above exercises because you can do them as speed (what is called as "ballistic" exercises), as compared to bench presses or heavy squats (which are called "grinds").


Anyway I completed two sets, with a one minute break in between. Of course I did a couple minutes warm up and warm down after completing the intervals.

Do the burpee!

Overall it was a good workout. I have done this workout using the Tabata Protocol for some time now, and I feel that this kind of routine is beneficial to my BJJ game. I think  my conditioning, strength and endurance has improved.

BJJ armbar technique



  1. Nice post. I like incorporating Snatches to my workout. Thanks for the other examples.