My hopes and wishes have come true: a new Brazilian jiu-jitsu academy is opening down the street from my work. I am excited. However, since previously leaving BJJ I have started powerlifting. I want to start up with BJJ again but I also don't want to quit powerlifting.

My current training regime is a 4 day split for powerlifting and strength training. Lifts vary from 1x1 to 5x5 and from 75% to 105% of my 1RMs. Accessory workouts are done more for technique than for weight:

Mo: Squat + Leg Accessory
Tu: Overhead Press + Shoulder Accessory
We: Rest
Th: Deadlift + Back Accessory
Fr: Bench Press + Chest Accessory
Sa: Rest
Su: Rest

I could easily work BJJ into the lunch hour or on my off days (W/Sa/Su), or even rearrange the days. However, the two sports seem very disjointed in goals and at two ends of the spectrum in terms of fitness.

My goals for powerlifting are 250% BW for dead-lift, 200% for squat, and 150% for bench press, 100% OHP. I am currently at 197%, 163%, 105%, and 66%.

My goals for BJJ would be to train and learn the technique consistently at first. I will need to increase my cardiovascular endurance as well as flexibility. I would also like to see myself competing!

Q: How can I best combine the two worlds?

  • Not an answer but i know this guy(Nsima Inyang) is a pretty good powerlifter and he does BJJ. I only follow him for powerlifting but i imagine he has got some content on managing both. youtube.com/channel/UCcmVfAMfkp3dLtyfVXg4eaw/videos
    – dasfsdfsd
    Aug 14, 2019 at 16:40
  • @dasfsdfsd, I'll definitely check him out.
    – C. Lange
    Aug 14, 2019 at 19:29
  • Your volume appears to be pretty low. Are you an enhanced lifter or natural? BTW, I asked a similar question in the past: fitness.stackexchange.com/questions/37913/… Aug 20, 2019 at 9:39
  • @UnbescholtenerBuerger, just natural. It's low volume but on the 5x5 weeks it still ends up taking me 1.5 hours and I don't have much more time than that. I'm checking out your question.
    – C. Lange
    Aug 20, 2019 at 14:36

2 Answers 2


Same boat as you. Was into strength training for almost 10 years and recently picked up BJJ with the intent of competing.

First I'm going to tell you, that something has to give. You can't go balls to the wall on your lifts, then work all day, then go balls to the wall in BJJ training. It'll burn you out quick. At least it did for me within the first month. You can't be the jack of all trades, and you have to decide what you value more, your total or your jui jitsu. But just because you choose one over the other, doesn't mean it's a life long decision. For example, when I was gearing up to compete, I thought of strength training as supplemental to my BJJ. So instead of trying to push for new PR's every week, I just focused on base building (working with 65-85% of 1rm). This helped keep fatigue down, gradually improved strength and maintained my shape. Once, I complete the last competition for the year, I'll get more aggressive with the strength training, and dial back the BJJ intensity.

What helped is approaching training is to stop worrying about my total and focus more on just general strength and building the base. I also dropped deadlift in favor of squatting 3x a week as it is less taxing for me. My conditioning has improved as my muscular size and I'm confident with all the base building I am doing, when I up the intensity, I'll push past old PRs. So my best advice to you is to decide and focus on what's important and keep the other progressing at a more conservative rate.


It really depends on your goals for each area. If you are planning on being serious about bjj and competing in it then the bulk of your time will be spent on "practice" for bjj. That means training the skills which make you proficient in bjj. When it comes to strength training which will help your practice but keeping you strong and giving you the strength needed to do the practic of bjj for a prolonged period of time powerlifting is a great way to go as the big compound lifts of powerlifting add a significant amount of strength. If your goal is to somehow take both very seriously and to compete in both I personally don't see this as being great as to a certain extent powerlifting and sports strength don't compliment each other unless set up with a very specific programming that allows them to do so. Something to keep in mind is that one rep maxes of powerlifting don't necessarily translate into the strength needed for sports although the types of lifts and accessory exercises used in powerlifting can be used to produce that type of strength that is needed. All the best.

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