Will BJJ Give Me Abs?

So you want to get ripped and show off a newly carved 6 pack the next time you step on the beach and now are looking for workout routines that can turn your dream body into reality. Is BJJ the workout modality to help you build that 6 pack?

Will BJJ Give Me Abs?

BJJ alone will not give you abs. However, if you combine consistent BJJ training with a calorie deficit and some ab-focused exercises you will quickly build a 6 pack that everyone will be jealous of. 

The reason most people don’t have abs is that they don’t understand how to actually build a 6 pack. When it comes to abs it is all about reducing body fat until they are visible. 

For most men, abs start to be faintly visible around 15% body fat, visible but not a strong 6 pack at 12% and a classic 6 pack at around 10%. For women the body fat percentages are a little higher, most women should have highly visible abs at sub 13% body fat.

If you don’t have abs it is because you are carrying around too much body fat and the only way to reduce body fat is to burn more calories than you are consuming. Working out alone is not enough to lose fat, it needs to be combined with a calorie deficit diet.

 It doesn’t matter if you follow the most grueling training program in the world if you are eating more calories than you are burning then you will not reduce your body fat percentage. This is why there are professional athletes who spend hours working out every day but still don’t have abs because they are eating enough calories to maintain their current weight.

Now that doesn’t mean that working out isn’t important in building abs. It just means if you only focus on the training side of the equation you will never reach your goal of having a 6 pack. 

If your goal is to build abs your first step is to work out how many calories you need to consume to maintain your current body weight. You can use online calculators to estimate. Once you have a good idea of your maintenance calories you then want to start eating 250 to 300 calories less than your maintenance calories.

You should follow this diet for a number of weeks until your fat loss stalls. Once your progression slows you just want to slightly decrease your calories until you start losing fat again. You should follow this process for 12 to 16 weeks and then give your body a break from dieting and resume eating maintenance calories which will be lower after losing so much weight.

While diet is the most important factor in building abs, a good workout program can speed up the process. BJJ when combined with a proper diet is highly effective at building 6 pack abs.

BJJ is a great sport if your goal is developing a 6 pack because of its intensity. In an hour of BJJ, you easily burn 600 to 700 calories. In a single 1.5 hour session, you can sweat out over 1000 calories. This makes achieving your necessary calorie deficit so much easier. 

The other great thing about BJJ when it comes to ab development is just how much fun it is. Now on the surface, you might wonder what does having fun have to do with building abs. 

Well if your goal is 6 pack abs you need to be consistent both with your diet and workout routine. If you love your workout like so many BJJ athletes do then you will have no problem training 4, 5, or even 6 times a week. This will put you in the fast lane to shedding excess body fat and sporting some serious abs.

BJJ is a triple threat when it comes to helping people who are in dire need of 6 pack abs. As BJJ is an all-over body workout that requires your entire body to move in unison to generate power and perform the highly coordinated techniques your abs are always working. 

While having abs is largely about body fat percentage the more developed your abs the more sculpted your 6 pack will be and the more visible it will be at higher body fat percentages. Some people who have highly developed cores have 6 pack abs at 15% body fat percentage.

Many new BJJ students complain about how exhausted their abs are after their first few sessions. The grappling martial art really will stress your core. Don’t worry though, your body quickly adapts and before long you are enjoying the brutal ab and core workout BJJ delivers. 


If your goal is to finally have 6 pack abs then BJJ could help you get there but only if you combine your Jiu Jitsu training with a calorie deficit diet. If you want to see rapid results train BJJ 6 days a week and follow a 16-week diet where you start with a 250 calorie deficit and slowly reduce your calories as needed.

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