10 Reasons for Combat Athletes to Train Kettlebells

This is a great article written by Jason Brown, creator of the Kettlebell Training for BJJ 2.0 course. He gives 10 good reasons why you should train with kettlebells, especially if you are a combative arts athlete:

Jason Brown - Kettlebell expert who also trains in BJJ
One of the biggest issues BJJ players face when starting or maintaining strength and conditioning program is momentum. Building and maintaining momentum!

Through personal face-to-face discussions and numerous online resources, I have surveyed well over 2000 BJJ players...both competitive and recreational and the issues we face are all similar...too little time, busy schedules, other obligations, information overload and paralysis by analysis.

Given that information I've compiled my "Top 10 Ten Reasons Why You Should K.E.T.T.L.E.B.E.L.L. Train." Below is a brief overview of each reason...more details will follow later within the lesson.

K. is for Kick-start.
E. is for Eliminates
T. is for Time
T. is for Total
L. is for Leverage
E. is for Everywhere
B. is for Bridge
E. is for Effective
L. is for Lifetime Value
L. is for Lungs

K. K is for KICK-START... a large majority of BJJ players that I coach state that they simply lack motivation. This comes from two separate afflictions.

1. Trying to accomplish way too much, way too soon and way too often. Look, your strength and conditioning program is meant to supplement your BJJ training, not take away from it or leave you so tired that you can't give your full effort and attention on the mat. Your workouts should be brief and intense and not require you to take several training days off to recover. When this happens you usually get burned out, injured, don't see results and lose motivation. Correct? Who can blame you? You've been mislead.

2. The other affliction is what I like to call "Juggleitis. " Jumping from one training program to another without giving the first program any real time to work...jumping onto the next best thing week after week. Once again, this will get you nowhere. Let's use a martial arts analogy here for a moment. Imagine if you were to switch to a new and different martial art each and every week, never fully devoting your complete energy into one and sticking with it for some time. Do you think you would see progress in any of them? Not Likely.

Kettlebell Training for BJJ is the Kick-start you need so listen closely.

Here's how we're going to cure this. I suggest you go on a fast, information and training fast. Train with only 2 things...your kettlebell and you. That's it! That's all you need and that's where I want you to focus your attention and energy.

Remember, you're improving your BJJ through supplemental kettlebell training. You're not trying to be a powerlifter, a bodybuilder or an extreme racer. Simplify your life with a very simple training tool, the Russian Kettlebell. Your mind, body and BJJ will thank you for it!

E. Our 1st E is for ELIMINATES. Kettlebell training eliminates the need for a large training facility.

I'm sure you've all seen some tiny grappling rooms. The wrestling room in my high school was nothing more than a large broom closet with some matsthrown down. This makes kettlebell training ideal for small facilities.Kettlebells possess a very small footprint, meaning that they take up very little floor space.

Kettlebells don't require expensive racks; they can be stored in the corner or underneath other equipment. At our 1st facility in Philadelphia we had a full-time BJJ program and a full-time strength and conditioning program operating under the same roof, all inside a 1000 square foot facility. I believe we had over 70 kettlebells at one time. It was getting a bit crazy so I put a stop to that but my point is that it worked.

A moderate size BJJ academy could easily line up 20 kettlebells along the wall. And to be honest, you don't even need that many kettlebells if you use bodyweight exercises along with your bells. All it takes is some creative programming.

T. Our 1st T is for TIME. Kettlebell training allows you to reduce overall training time, so you can devote your attention to other issues such as strategy, skill, rest and recovery. We all know how devoted, some may even say fanatical grapplers are about their conditioning, but these often ignored aspects of grappling need to be addressed as well. Not to mention family and work responsibilities. Your BJJ training alone probably eats up 5-6 hours of your time each week.

The kettlebell training workouts that you'll be receiving within your " Kettlebell Training for BJJ " course will all be done within 20-30 minutes, sometimes under 10. These workouts will be included in each week's lesson and they will slowly build upon one another...from basic to advanced. You're going to love it every step of the way!

T. Our 2nd T is for TOTAL. Kettlebell training is the total package. You can train for strength, power, endurance, stamina and flexibility/mobility all with this one training tool, the Russian Kettlebell. And I'll show you how!

Of course at times other training tools might need to be brought in, but if you're creative or have a creative and knowledgeable coach than you can very well design a kettlebell program to meet all your athletics needs, especially when you realize that you're a BJJ athlete and not a powerlifter or professional weightlifter.

By design, the kettlebell allows you to manipulate certain leverage points making each exercise harder and more challenging. This is all easily done using the inherent design of the kettlebell. I'll show you in future lessons...hold on tiger.

L. L is for LEVERAGE. "No grip, no fulcrum. No fulcrum, no leverage. No leverage, no Jiu-Jitsu. Develop a strong, vise-like grip and use it -- lay HEAVY HANDS on your opponent!" (Mario Roberto)

Kettlebell Training builds powerful forearms and a strong...enduring grip. Kettlebells possess a thicker handle than their barbell and dumbbell counterparts taxing your grip and developing greater forearm strength.

As our society moves away from manual labor our grip strength continues to decrease as well. Kettlebell training will help reverse this trend.

The design of the kettlebell also adds a unique component to your grip training. Since the kettlebell's center of gravity is usually in motion your grip training becomes a combination of static and dynamic muscular contractions in an attempt to control that fluctuating center of mass.

E. Our 2nd E is for EVERYWHERE. Kettlebell training allows you to never miss a workout. Again, we all know how devoted grapplers are to conditioning programs. Kettlebells allow you to train anywhere, the local park, beach, outside or inside.
I've taken kettlebells to Brazil and Mexico as carry-on luggage and never had an issue.

B. B is for BRIDGE. Kettlebell training bridges the gap between strength training and cardio; BJJ does not respect the difference. Without getting to technical or scientific, there are 3 energy systems that your body uses to fuel activity. Grappling stresses all 3. How much or how little each energy system is involved is determined by your intensity level as well as the duration of that activity. Basically it all depends on your personal BJJ game plan as well as your belt level.

That being said, all good grapplers possess insane amounts of power-endurance and strength-endurance. These are the exact physical qualities that kettlebell training develops best... so stick with it.

E. Our last E is for EFFECTIVE. The word "Kettlebell" first appeared in the Russian dictionary in 1704. They have been used by grapplers and old-time strongmen for well over 200 years. If they were not effective they would have been abandoned a long time ago...yet they still remain part of the grappling and physical culture sub-culture.

L. Our 3rd L in the lineup is for LIFETIME VALUE. The initial investment to purchase a kettlebell might be a bit higher than other training tools. Every day that price comes down however. And I guarantee that once you invest in a kettlebell, your great grandchildren will be enjoying it when you're not around.

Your trusty ole kettlebell will become a great friend. She will wait by the door for you. He'll wait patiently for you to take her outside, she'll never complain and she'll always deliver on her end of the bargain. That's lifetime value.

L. Our 4th and final L is for LUNGS. Kettlebell training improves your cardio-respiratory fitness. Since many kettlebell drills take place with your arms in an overhead position, the muscles responsible for assisting the breathing process are engaged in muscular activity, not allowing them to assist in the respiratory process.

This forces the muscles most responsible for breathing to play an even greater role in cardio-vascular fitness.
Many Kettlebell exercises for BJJ compress your ribcage as well, which teaches you how to stay calm and continue working while being compressed. This is known as compression-panic.

Jason C. Brown has been helping BJJ players and martial artists improve their performance since 1999 and have created astounding resources specializing in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) conditioning and preparation. His online resource at Kettlebell Training for BJJ has become the "Gold Standard" for all aspects of BJJ conditioning and preparation. You can get Jason's Kettlebell Training for BJJ 2.0  video Course Here: http://bit.ly/bjj-kettlebellworkout

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