Today we’re talking about the best BJJ strength training exercises with my good friend, coach Phil Daru (check him out here.). Phil works with a number of combat athletes, including big names like Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Dustin Poirier, and Jr. Dos Santos. He put together this awesome program Ground Control for OTA awhile back.

Phil explained the best approach to strength training for somebody who’s a bjj athlete or who’s wanting to get into similar style training. If you’re looking to improve on your strength in combat sports, keep reading:

Approach to Strength Training for BJJ

Phil made a point that whenever he starts training with a new athlete, he likes to make an assessment to see how you roll and move on the mat. He also likes to watch for your style of fighting (aka whether you fight from the top or bottom, or if you move around a lot of not).

Regardless of if you have a coach to assess the way you fight, it’s important to get specific with your goals for the mat in order to improve your strength training game. From this perspective, you’ll have a better idea of how to shape a training program to improve on your own style.

Strength and Conditioning


The most important elements Phi likes to add into a bjj training program are posterior chain work, core strength and stability, and grip strength. Be sure to include a focus on anything you struggle with or areas where you have a particular weakness – this will make you a far greater athlete.

The goal as a bjj athlete is to be stable, but also move dynamically. This makes it essential to have a good range of motion within all your joints. Depending on your style of fighting, you might be moving within tight quarters so you should train to have strong structural integrity.

This includes isometric drills which are great for building absolute strength. Check out these isometric strength drills:


At a macro level, your conditioning should work to improve your aerobic base close to that of a match (up to 5 minutes). This will help with all other energy demands within BJJ.

It’s also important to cover yourself anaerobically. You build up a lot of lactic acid throughout long isometric holds, you what to work on increasing your lactic threshold (that way it takes longer for you to build up the discomfort from lactic acid). Phil recommends choosing a drill and using rounds of 30 seconds or so to work in the parameters of a round.

BJJ Training Program

BJJ Athlete Training

If you’re interested in developing your combat skills with strength and conditioning for BJJ, look no further than GROUND CONTROL. Phil Daru, nominee for MMA trainer of the year has put together the ultimate program that focuses on:

  • Isometric Strength
  • Posterior Chain Strength
  • Mobility

Elite your weaknesses and begin developing your competitive edge:



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