The great thing about BJJ is just how much fun it is. Unfortunately, this can also lead to many new practitioners becoming hopelessly addicted to their new hobby which can to lead them to over training and neglecting other aspects of their lives. Is there such thing as training too much BJJ? How do you know you are training too much BJJ? In this article we will explore how to keep your BJJ addiction in check.
How much BJJ is too much? If BJJ is causing you chronic pain, soreness and stiffness you are probably training too much. If BJJ is effecting your ability to do other things in your life or is negatively impacting your personal relationships then you are probably training too much.
There is no one size fits all answer to whether you are training too much BJJ. You have to weigh up your goals and the positive and negative effects BJJ is having on your life. Then decide if you need to increase or decrease your training volume.
For example if your goal is become a professional BJJ athlete then sacrificing your relationship with some of your friends and performing poorly at your day job may well be worth it. However, if you are just training BJJ for fun then if your new hobby is effecting your work performance and resulting in you losing contact with your friends then you should be dialing back your training volume ASAP!
The decision becomes a bit murky when you are a hobbyist BJJ practitioner who derives lots of benefits from training BJJ such as weight loss, increased confidence, new friends however these new found benefits are coming at a cost to other aspects of your life such as relationship with girlfriend or wife or work performance.
It can be hard to sacrifice your BJJ training when you feel it has given you a new lease on life. In this situation you need to strive for balance and realize by slightly decreasing your BJJ volume you will still be able to reap the benefits of the sport while also allowing you to better manage the other responsibilities in your life.
How Many Times A Week Should You Do BJJ?
You should start off by training BJJ 2 or 3 days a week. This is the perfect amount for a beginner. It will allow you to make consistent and significant progress without you becoming burned out or overly fatigued. By training BJJ 2 or 3 days a week you will be excited for every BJJ training session.
Too many people start BJJ and get so excited that they want to train 5 + times a week. Now while this may sound good in theory what usually happens is these people become exhausted, burned out or injured and quickly quit BJJ, never to return again. BJJ is a marathon you need to pace yourself. Nobody got good at BJJ in a year let alone a month. By starting off slow you increase your chance of still loving the sport in a year or two.
Training BJJ 2 or 3 days a week is more than enough to derive the physical benefits from the sport. You will increase your flexibility, strength, muscle and lose some of that extra unwanted weight. BJJ is intensive enough that you do not need to train everyday to get in shape.
Is 2 Days A Week Enough For BJJ?
2 days a week of BJJ is enough to see steady and consistent improvement at the white and blue belt level. By training BJJ 2 days a week as a while belt you can expect to receive your blue belt after 2 years. It will be a bit more difficult to receive your purple belt if you only train 2 days a week but the training volume is still high enough to receive your purple belt after 5 or 6 year of training.
By training BJJ 2 days a week it will be difficult to improve if you are a purple belt or above. 2 days a week of training should be enough to prevent your skills from atrophying but it will not be enough to improve your ability. At purple belt and up you are an advanced level BJJ practitioner. You have spent over 1000 hours on the mats and know hundreds of techniques. By only training 2 days a week you will not have enough time to learn new advanced techniques and the small training volume will have little overall impact on your total training volume.
For example if you are a brown belt and have 2000 hours of training time by training 2 times a week at 1.5 hours per session you are only increasing your total training volume by 0.15 percent each week. Compare that to a white belt who has 100 hours of training who by training the same amount of time would be adding 3 percent to their total training time each week.
There is more to BJJ than getting your next belt and improving your ability to take the back or finish an armbar. Training BJJ 2 times a week is enough to cause your body to undergo positive changes. By training 2 times a week you will notice significant improvements in your strength, flexibility, and cardio. Don’t be shocked if you also drop some weight and put on muscle. BJJ is a highly intensive sport and many new practitioners experience significant physical changes as their bodies are forced to adapt to handle the rigors of the sport.
Can You Train BJJ Everyday?
You can train BJJ everyday but you can not train hard everyday. If you want to stay injury free and avoid chronic issues such as neck and back pain you need to regulate your training intensity. You should aim for 2 hard days, 2 easy days and 4 medium days a week. This will prevent over training and decrease your risk of injury.
By training BJJ everyday you are placing your body under a lot of stress. This stress leads to an increase risk of injury. To counter this risk you need to ensure you regulate your training intensity. Do not try to train hard everyday. This will only lead to having to take time away from the mats.
It can be easy to end up taking one step forward by training BJJ everyday only to be forced to take 5 steps backwards after your increased training volume has resulted in you becoming injured and forcing you to step away from training.
Training BJJ everyday is a great way to improve your BJJ ability but you need to listen to your body. If your body is telling you it needs to rest then be prepared to reduce your training volume and intensity.
How Much Do Professional BJJ Athletes Train?
Professional BJJ athletes will typically train between 6-12 sessions a week with sessions lasting between 1.5 to 2 hours. BJJ athletes will usually train 6 days a week (Monday-Saturday) with 2 a day workouts being common, and then most will rest on Sunday. Lighter athletes can usually handle higher training volume then heavyweight athletes who take longer to recover.
It is becoming popular for BJJ athletes not to take a full rest day on Sunday but instead take an active rest. Which is where an athlete will typically do a light workout unrelated to BJJ. For example a 30 min jog or a 1 hour walk, something that is light but still gets the body moving.
Some professional BJJ athletes such as Gordon Ryan are known for their amazing training schedules. Gordon Ryan is known for regularly training 5 + hours a day 6 days a week and travelling from gym to gym to find the best training partners. This crazy training schedule must have played a significant role in Ryan’s dominating success in BJJ.
There is a mindset in BJJ that the more hours you spend on the mat the better you will become. This has resulted in a culture where professional BJJ athletes will push the boundaries and train as much as they possibly can in hopes of improving so they can win a world championship.
If BJJ is negatively effecting your body or other aspects of your life particularly your relationships with your family friends or your performance at work then it is time to reduce your training volume. BJJ is a great sport which can have many positive benefits on your life but like with anything if you do too much of it it can negatively impact your life. If you aren’t an aspiring professional you need to strive for balance with your BJJ training. For most BJJ practitioners training 3-4 times a week will be more than enough to get you in shape and keep you on the path to getting your black belt.