To build real strength, you need to work with loads (or an “intensity”) that’s high enough to spark adaptation. You then need to repeat that at an optimal frequency to keep the progress going. These principles are well established in nearly every other sport and applied with great effect in sister sports like MMA, Wrestling and Boxing, but jiu jitsu always falls behind.
The Benefits of Using This Training Plan:
Here’s What a Few Athletes are Saying About This Program
I met Mark on the mats of Marcelo Garcia Academy in NYC. He was a blue belt and I was a brown belt. I knew that I would be getting my black belt at some point in the near future and I knew that there were some significant improvements that I needed to make in order to be where I always wanted to be in this sport.
“I have been working with Mark for about two full years now.
I was initially trying to improve the imbalances in my body that were resulting in pain and inability to train and perform at the level I wanted to be at. My movement was being affected by the imbalances I had developed over the years of hard training. After Mark corrected my imbalances, I realized how much stronger I could get and how my strength training journey had just begun.
Initially I was very grateful to be pain free, which made me hopeful that my career could be a lot longer and successful that I had initially thought possible. Now that my body feels great, I am focused on becoming a stronger and overall better athlete which will, in turn, improve my outcomes in competitions.
This absolutely translated onto the mat. Both my guard and passing has tremendously improved because of the specific attributes I have developed through Mark’s strength & conditioning program. I have also noticed that my ability to finish my opponents has gone up considerably due to the grip & leg strength we have developed over the past two year.
I would absolutely refer a friend to Mark. However, the selfish part of me wants to keep Mark my secret lol.”
Black belt under Cobrinha, multiple IBJJF title holder at Black Belt, European and Pan Am Champ (not black belt), Fight to Win Superfight Winner
“I met Mark through mutual friends in the jiu jitsu community and we have been working together since the Fall of 2018. I had started training jiu jitsu ~4 days a week in the Fall of 2014 as a 32 year old. I’ve been an athlete my entire life and kept active into adulthood, but the physical demands of regular jiu jitsu training, coupled with long hours of sitting at a desk in my office job was starting to take a toll on my body. I noticed that I was beginning to get injured more frequently and that my posture could use some significant improvement (rounded shoulders, upper/lower back pain, etc.).
First and foremost, I was looking to develop functional strength that would allow me to continue training jiu jitsu injury-free into my 40s and beyond. Secondarily, I was looking to improve my posture and core strength. I have spondylolisthesis from some combination of genetics and too much soccer in my youth, so taking pressure off of my lower back through a sound core training regimen has always been a fitness priority (even if I haven’t always been diligent about executing on it)
Within months of working with Mark, the feedback was unanimous – from myself as well as from my training partners – that my work with Mark translated directly to the mat. Since working with Mark I have had zero jiu jitsu related injuries and my strength has improved noticeably through a variety of vectors. Mark is a master at identifying what underlying muscle systems and movements are holding me back at a given moment in time and is both knowledgeable and agile enough to adapt my training regimen on the fly as new problems and strengths emerge. I think his deep understanding of the sport as a practitioner himself gives him an edge here as well.
I refer ALL of my friends to work with Mark, both those in and outside of the jiu jitsu community. The training is first rate, the results are demonstrable/quantifiable, and Mark is a joy to work with. I look forward to each one of our training sessions together.”
Purple belt under Dan Covel. Recreational athlete, married with two kids and a day job
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are Other Jiu Jitsu Players Saying?