Wondering how many calories does jiu jitsu burn? We all know Brazilian jiu jitsu can be an intense work out, so how does it stack up against other martial arts and other types of exercise.
I have been traing BJJ for over 6 years, and in this post I attempt to answer how many calories does jiu jitsu burn (in a single bjj class)
How Many Calories Does Jiu Jitsu Burn – Answered
I was also very curious myself so I trained an entire week while using my apple watch to track my heart rate and calories burned, and here are my findings:
On average the basic bjj class burned 575 calories and an advanced bjj class (more sparring*) burned 750 calories.
Keep in mind two important things*:
- There are several variables that go into how many calories bjj burns such as height, weight, sex, intensity, and experience level (the numbers shown here are the averages for me)
- Fitness trackers and heart rate monitors such as the apple watch I used are definitely not 100% accurate so the numbers provided are an estimate
Fool Proof Method on Finding Out How Many Calories Jiu Jitsu Burns for You
To really find out how many calories does jiu jitsu burn for you, I strongly recommend doing the below (This is explained further in our full BJJ Diet Guide):
- Weighing in every other day for two weeks (to get an avg weight)
- Keep bjj training (and other strenuous activities) consistent over those two weeks
- Maintain as consistent daily calories as possible
If you find your are maintaining the same weight, losing weight, or gaining weight this would be the best way to find out how jiu jitsu training affects your daily calories and weight.
This little experiment would be the best way to find out how many calories jiu jitsu burns based on your own factors (height, weight, sex, activity level, intensity)
My findings over the week of training are specific to me and my current statistics. Furthermore, this will also depend on the type of bjj class you take and the activities performed within each class.
In an average bjj you can expect the below activities:
- Warm ups (~10 mins) these are jiu jitsu related movements that are performed in the beginning of class to help prepare students for the rest of class. These movements are also likely seen commonly when rolling or in live situations. Some common movements may be shrimping, forward rolls, backward rolls, and granby’s (side rolls)
- Drilling/Guided Instruction (~30-45 mins): after warm ups generally the instructor will present a technique to the class. They will likely perform the technique in front of the class several times with a partner and answer any questions the class might have. After the technique is shown, you will then be paired off or put in small groups in order to practice the technique. During this time the coach or instructor will make their rounds throughout the class and answer any questions that may come up
- Positional and/or live sparring (~15-30 mins): after the guided portion of the class, then comes the last phase which is usually live sparring of some sort. This is when you are paired off with a partner and attempt to successfully perform any grappling or jiu jitsu techniques on a resisting opponent. These are usually split up into several rounds lasting anywhere from 5-7 minutes each. After a round is over, you are generally paired up with another partner either by your coach or by your own choice.
- Cool down (2-5 mins): Many gyms implement a cool down period after the live portion of this class. This may involve some light stretching or light movements to end the class
In an advanced bjj class, usually, there is more emphasis placed on live sparring and less on drilling (which is why I showed burning more calories in those classes).
However, these can be used as a general guide to estimate how many calories you may burn in an average jiu jitsu class.
If you are wondering how brazilian jiu jitsu matches up with other activities in terms on the amount of calories you may burn, here is a quick chart based the stats of a 180lb male:
|Activity:||Avg calories burned for 30 mins of activity:|
Is BJJ Good for Weight Loss?
The short answer to “is bjj good for weight loss?” is YES, but keep in mind that calories are king. You must be in a caloric deficit to lose weight.
If you are burning more calories than you are consuming (you are in a caloric deficit) and you will lose weight
Your body can only take so much physical, strenuous activity in a day or even in a week so its important to place priority on consuming less calories instead of just continually increasing activities to burn calories.
As with any physical activity, keep in mind diminishing returns of bjj training – you can only train so many times a week before your run into over training, injuries, and sickness:
The benefits of jujitsu are that it burns lots of calories, so you’ll lose fat and weight very quickly.
I would aim to train bjj at least 3 times a week while staying in a calorie deficit and you’ll notice massive changes within a month or two (see feature image of myself at the beginning of this post).
A calorie deficit occurs when you consume fewer calories than your body burns
If you are consuming less calories than you are eating, and you are burning calories with bjj training you will, undoubtedly, lose weight.
How Much Weight Can You Lose While Doing BJJ?
The amount of weight that one can lose while doing BJJ depends on various factors such as the individual’s current weight, the intensity and frequency of training sessions, and complementary changes made to their diet and lifestyle.
A consistent BJJ practitioner who trains several times a week and maintains a reasonable caloric deficit can expect to lose anywhere from 4 to 8 pounds (1.8 to 3.6 kg) per month, with higher amounts potentially achievable in the early stages of training.
BJJ helps to create a more significant calorie deficit not only from the physical training but it also teaches mental discipline, leading to healthier eating habits and potentially reduced calorie intake.
One big advantage that BJJ has over other forms of exercise for weight loss is its engaging and enjoyable nature.
Many people find BJJ to be a fun and addictive way to exercise, which contributes to higher levels of motivation and commitment. This increased adherence to training can lead to more consistent and long-term weight loss results.
How to Maximize Calories Burned with Jiu Jitsu
To maximize the number of calories burned during Jiu Jitsu practice, it’s crucial to focus on certain aspects and modify your training approach:
are three critical factors that can significantly impact your caloric expenditure and overall fitness gains in Jiu Jitsu.
First, increasing the intensity of your sessions will always help you burn more calories during training.
There’s a reason why I burned more calories in the advanced classes – its because there is more live sparring
This can be achieved by engaging in more sparring, working on high-intensity drills, and minimizing rest periods throughout your practice. Keep in mind that it’s essential to maintain a balance between intensity and recovery to prevent overtraining and potential injuries.
Incorporating variety into your Jiu Jitsu training is another way to enhance calorie burning. By introducing new techniques, drills, and strength and conditioning exercises, you can challenge your body in different ways and prevent the adaptation that can slow down your progress.
A diverse workout regimen not only keeps the training fun and engaging but also ensures that you work on various muscle groups and aspects of your physical fitness.
Finally, maintaining consistency in your Jiu Jitsu training is probably the most important factor when it comes to caloric expenditure and achieving long-term weight loss and fitness goals. You have to be there to bur calories.
Make sure to attend classes regularly, set realistic goals, and be patient with your progress. Refining techniques and building strength, endurance, and flexibility are essential components of Jiu Jitsu training, and achieving these goals takes time and dedication. By staying consistent with your practice and focusing on improvement, you’ll burn more calories, develop better skills, and ultimately gain the full benefits of Jiu Jitsu as an effective calorie-burning martial art.
What Are the Calories Needed for Weight Loss (Why Calories Are King)
To determine the calories needed for weight loss,
- First figure out your basal metabolic rate (BMR)
- which is the daily number of calories your body needs to function at rest. This value doesn’t account for daily activities and exercise.
- Common equations to calculate BMR include the Harris-Benedict and Mifflin-St Jeor equations, which consider factors such as weight, height, age, and gender.
- Next, evaluate your daily activities and exercise to estimate your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE).
- Multiply your TDEE by your physical activity level (PAL) factor, which ranges from sedentary (1.2) to extra active (2.5). The result indicates how many calories you should consume daily to maintain your current weight.
A healthy and sustainable weight loss can be achieved by aiming for a daily deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories, which typically leads to a weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week. It’s crucial to consume adequate nutrients and maintain a balanced diet to support your health and BJJ training as you lose weight.
How Your Body Type Influences Calorie Burn
Your body type, or somatotype, impacts your calorie burn during activities like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. There are three primary body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph.
Ectomorphs are generally slim and have a fast metabolism; mesomorphs are muscular and naturally athletic; endomorphs have a higher body fat percentage and slower metabolism.
Ectomorphs, due to their fast metabolic rate, may burn more calories during BJJ training compared to other body types. Their thin frames require less energy to move, allowing them to perform moves more efficiently. However, they might find it challenging to build muscle mass and may need additional strength training to enhance their BJJ performance.
Mesomorphs, on the other hand, have a natural advantage when participating in BJJ, thanks to their muscular build and athletic prowess. Their well-balanced body composition allows them to burn calories at a steady rate, providing ample energy for high-intensity training.
Endomorphs may experience a slower calorie burn during BJJ compared to other body types due to their slower metabolism. However, with regular training and proper diet, endomorphs can improve their metabolic rates and achieve greater weight loss results. It’s crucial for endomorphs to focus on management of their diet, as well as incorporating both aerobic and resistance training to achieve the desired calorie burn and physical transformation.
Is Jiu-Jitsu a Good Workout?
Yes, jiu-jitsu is a highly effective workout that provides practitioners numerous physical and mental benefits.
It offers a full-body workout and challenges you in various ways, ensuring a well-rounded training program. Since BJJ targets both endurance and strength, it allows you to burn a significant amount of calories while increasing your cardovascular strength.
A typical BJJ class includes stretching, warm-up, drilling, and rolling, all of which activate different muscle groups and improve various aspects of physical fitness.
- Stretching improves flexibility
- drilling hones technique
- warm-up and rolling boost cardiovascular and muscular endurance
BJJ also strengthens the core muscles needed for balance and stability, making it an excellent sport for improving posture and supporting everyday activities.
Besides the physical benefits, BJJ also offers significant mental gains.
- It helps to develop one’s problem-solving skills
Regular practice can also relieve stress and foster a sense of camaraderie and connection among teammates.
If you are looking for info on bjj weight loss, you need to understand 2 things:
- You need to lower the calories you are consuming
- You need to burn more calories than you consume (if you’re already training bjj this is a good start)
- Bonus Tip*: If you really want all the positive effects of weight loss I strongly recommend weight training
This info is pulled from our full guide on dieting for bjj, but here is a quick summary:
The order of dietary importance is: Calories > Macro Nutrients > Micro Nutrients > Meal Timing
So first, below are some quick guides to general weight loss concerning calories:
- weigh in every other day to get your avg weight (while eating roughly the same daily foods/calories)
- try to roughly track how many calories you are eating each day (with the help of a tracker like myfitnesspal)
- maintain the same activity levels for those days
- if your weight stays the same over those two weeks then you can subtract calories
- you should aim to subtract ~100-150 calories from your daily consumed cals (so if you usually eat 2400 calories a day aim to eat 2300-2250 each day for two weeks while continue to weigh in
- you should aim to lose 1-2% per week (if you weight 200lbs aim for 1-2 lbs per week)
- again, I strongly recommend to weight train to maintain as much muscle as possible while losing weight
- consume 1 gram of protein per lb of body weight (again to maintain muscle)
If you are able to perform all of those things you are well on your way to bjj weight loss by subtracting calories and maintaining a solid bjj training schedule.
Calories burned during stretching and warmups
Stretching and warmups are a fundamental component of any BJJ session, as it helps to improve flexibility, prevent injuries, and promote physical recovery.
While it is not the most intense part of training, it does contribute to the overall calorie expenditure. The number of calories burned during stretching is dependent on factors such as body weight and duration of stretching exercises.
From my own experience, during the stretching and warm up portion of class which lasts ~5-15 minutes, on average, I burned 25 calories (included in this was a light jog, guided stretches, and bjj specific movments like shrimping, bridging, forward/backword rolls.
Research suggests that a person weighing 150 pounds can burn around 23 calories during 10 minutes of stretching, while someone weighing 200 pounds may burn closer to 30 calories in the same timeframe.
Keep in mind that stretching and warm ups typically only makes up a small portion of a BJJ class, and the focus should be on properly elongating and preparing the muscles for the strenuous activities ahead.
Calories burned during BJJ drilling
Drilling is another essential aspect of BJJ training and is will likely be a staple in almost all bjj classes, as it enables practitioners to hone their techniques and movements, ultimately leading to more effective rolling and sparring sessions.
The intensity of the drilling session significantly influences caloric expenditure, with factors like the speed and complexity of the movements playing a role in the number of calories burned.
A 150-pound individual might expect to burn around 150 to 200 calories during a 30-minute drilling session, while a 200-pound individual could potentially burn around 200 to 250 calories in the same amount of time.
These numbers can vary significantly based on the specific drills being practiced, as well as the practitioner’s level of experience and efficiency in executing the movements. Side note: focusing on improving one’s technique and skill set will lead to a more efficient use of energy during drilling, contributing to an increase in caloric expenditure over time.
Jiu Jitsu Sparring (Rolling) – How Jiu Jitsu Sparring Burns the Most Calories
Jiu jitsu sparring (rolling) is usually done at the end of class.
These timed rounds of 4-8 minutes are where your main goal is to work toward a submission on a fully resisting opponent while they are trying to do the same to you.
If you look at my averages from my week of calorie tracking during training you’ll see I burned over 360 calories in just a half an hour of jiu jitsu sparring.
This is because rolling involves moments of all out effort where you are using the largest muscles in your body to reach your sparring goals (usually of either escaping, passing, controlling or submitting).
During sparring there will also be times where you can control your opponent and catch your breath and use less effort.
So jiu jitsu sparring often resembles interval sprints (which is why I recommend sprints to increase rolling cardio).
Metabolic Rate and Its Impact on Calories Burned
As we mentioned earlier, understanding the role of metabolic rate in caloric expenditure during BJJ provides valuable insight into how many calories are burnt during a training session.
Metabolic rate refers to the rate at which your body burns calories while at rest.
It directly affects the overall calories burned during any activity, including BJJ.
Various factors influence an individual’s metabolic rate, such as
- body composition (how much lean muscle vs fat)
- genetic predisposition
A person with a higher metabolic rate will naturally burn more calories during BJJ training, even when accounting for differences in intensity and duration.
This metabolic rate difference means that individuals participating in the same BJJ class may experience varying calorie-burning results, even if their physical effort seems similar.
To optimize calorie-burning potential in BJJ, one can focus on increasing their metabolic rate through strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and maintaining a balanced diet to promote lean muscle mass.
How Your Metabolic Rate Affects Amount of Calories Burned During Jiu Jitsu
As we mentioned, an individual’s metabolic rate directly correlates with the number of calories burned during BJJ sessions.
This means that some practitioners may notice a significant difference in their caloric expenditure compared to their training partners, despite engaging in the same routines and techniques. Again, factors like physical fitness, muscle mass, and age can cause these discrepancies.
One advantage of understanding your metabolic rate’s impact on calories burned during BJJ is the ability to tailor your training regimen to maximize results.
For example, those with lower metabolic rates may want to incorporate additional aerobic exercises or strength training into their routine to increase lean muscle mass and raise their metabolism.
Can You Increase Your Metabolic Rate?
Yes, you can increase your metabolic rate through several methods.
- tighting up your diet
- strenght and condition/weight training (to increase lean muscle)
- making sleep and recovery a priority
Physical activities – One effective way is by participating in regular physical activities, such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The high-intensity nature of BJJ training can help elevate your metabolism, thus increasing your overall calorie burn during and even after the workout. Incorporating interval or circuit training, as well as resistance training, can also help boost your metabolism by enhancing muscle mass and promoting fat loss.
Dietary habits also play a significant role in your metabolic rate. Consuming adequate nutrients, especially protein, is essential to provide energy and build muscle. Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet that comprises lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats will assist your body in functioning optimally, thus supporting an increased metabolic rate. Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking sufficient water throughout the day can aid in proper digestion and nutrient absorption, further contributing to an improved metabolism.
Finally, getting enough sleep and effectively managing stress also contribute to a healthy metabolism. Adequate rest ensures that your body recovers well after intensive exercise, allowing it to function optimally. Likewise, effective stress management can prevent hormone imbalances that may negatively impact your metabolism. Practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, can help keep stress levels in check and maintain a healthy metabolic rate.
How to Track Calories Burned During Jiu Jitsu
Efficitvely monitoring calories you burn during jiu jitsu can be tricky and even with the most accurate methods these may not offer the most exact measurements. (that’s why recommend tracking your calories/activity weekly to better understand your metabolic rate).
The first step is to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the number of calories your body needs to maintain basic functions like breathing and maintaining body temperature.
An estimate of thisvalue can be found using an online calculator or by consulting a fitness professional.
Next, consider factors such as your weight, age, and training intensity to estimate your overall caloric expenditure.
One vital aspect to track is your heart rate. By monitoring heart rate changes during a Jiu Jitsu session, you can gauge workout intensity and correlate it with caloric burn.
Additionally, pay attention to factors like time spent rolling, the pace of the class, your grip strength, and overall level of exertion. These factors combined, will give you a more accurate picture of the overall calories burned during your Jiu Jitsu practice.
Heart Rate Monitors, Fitness Trackers, Smartwatches, Apps, & Calorie Counters
Several devices and tools are available to help you track the calories burned during Jiu Jitsu sessions – while these may not be 100% accurate they can help you get a decent gauge of your calorie expenditure during training.
Heart rate monitors provide direct data on your cardio’s intensity and can help you determine the level of exertion. Chest strap-style heart rate monitors are known for their accuracy, while wrist-based monitors offer convenience and may be less intrusive. Some popular brands include Polar, Garmin, and Wahoo.
Fitness trackers and smartwatches often come with built-in heart rate monitors, offering a comprehensive tracking suite. These devices can measure not only your heart rate but also steps, distance, and overall caloric expenditure. Some popular fitness trackers include the Fitbit Versa, Apple Watch, and Garmin Vivoactive series.
Alongside wearable devices, numerous smartphone apps can help monitor calories burned during Jiu Jitsu. These applications may integrate with fitness trackers or use your phone’s sensors to track movement, steps, and heart rate. MyFitnessPal, Strava, and Under Armour’s UA Record are examples of popular apps that can track your workout.
Again, while utilizing a combination of tools and technology is beneficial, it is essential to remember these measurements are estimates.
Can You Wear a Heart Rate Monitor, Fitness Tracker, or SmartWatch during Training?
Yes, wearing a heart rate monitor, fitness tracker, or smartwatch during training can provide valuable insights into your physical state and help you track your fitness progress in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
However, I would wear them at your own risk, BJJ is intense so there is always a chance of them being damaged during traing. Also I would strongly recommend covering them during training (ie. if you are using a smart watch – you can cover it with a wrist wrap/brace)
These devices can monitor aspects such as your heart rate, workout intensity, and calories burned. However, it’s essential to choose a comfortable and secure wearable that won’t interfere with your movements or cause any discomfort during training.
For optimal results, select a device designed for high-intensity physical activities like BJJ, with features that include waterproof design, durable construction, and accurate sensors.
It’s also crucial that the device remains snugly in place during training to prevent any distractions, shifts, or discomfort during intense grappling sessions.
Side note: While using wearable devices in BJJ can offer valuable data about your fitness and performance, it’s essential to remember that they are purely supplemental tools, logging your weight, daily caloric intake, and training sessions will likely give you a better gauge of weight loss.
Why it’s Challenging to Accurately Measure Calories Burned in BJJ
Accurately measuring calories burned in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be challenging for several reasons.
- First, BJJ is a dynamic sport that involves complex movements and techniques that vary based on factors such as weight, experience, intensity, and individual fitness levels.
- Consequently, the energy expended in BJJ varies significantly from person to person and even between individual training sessions.
- Second, BJJ training often includes a combination of stretching, drilling, technique practice, and sparring, each with varying intensities and energy demands.
- This variation makes it difficult to pinpoint a standard calorie expenditure that applies to every practitioner across all aspects of BJJ training. Factors such as the total duration of each activity and the individual’s proficiency in applying techniques also contribute to differences in caloric burn.
- Finally, individual metabolic rates and body composition play critical roles in the number of calories burned during any physical activity, including BJJ.
- As a result, two practitioners with different body compositions, despite engaging in the same training session, can experience dissimilar caloric expenditures.
- To gain an accurate understanding of your personal caloric burn during BJJ training, consult with a fitness professional or dietitian who can assess your unique physical attributes and help devise a tailored approach to measuring your energy expenditure.
- As a result, two practitioners with different body compositions, despite engaging in the same training session, can experience dissimilar caloric expenditures.
Nutrition and BJJ
A well-planned pre-training nutrition strategy is essential for maximizing performance and energy levels during BJJ sessions.
To ensure that you have enough fuel to sustain your workout, consume a balanced meal 2 to 3 hours before training. This meal should consist of a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and a limited amounthealthy fats.
High-quality carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables provide a steady source of energy throughout the session. My go to pre training meal, has been greek yogurt, honey, and granola for longer than I can remember.
Lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, or plant-based options like beans and lentils help support muscle repair and growth.
Side note: To avoid gastrointestinal discomfort, steer clear of high-fiber and gas-producing foods immediately before training…we’ve all been there
In addition to a balanced meal, you can also consider a light snack 30 to 45 minutes before your BJJ session. This snack should be easy to digest and focus on quick energy sources, such as a banana, rice cake, or a small smoothie.
Intra-Training Hydration & Nutrition
During training the focus should be on hydration. Water is king, however, you can also consider Gatorade or other electrolyte sports drink (I usually go with half water/half gatorade in my jug).
Proper hydration is crucial during Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training to maintain peak performance and prevent dehydration-related issues like muscle cramps, dizziness, or even heatstroke.
Start by consuming a minimum of 16 to 20 fl oz (473 to 591 ml) of water 2 to 3 hours before your training session. Continue to drink water during your workout to replace fluids lost through sweat and heavy breathing.
One advantage of staying well-hydrated during BJJ is the increased efficiency of nutrient delivery to working muscles. To further sustain energy levels and prevent early fatigue, consider sipping on a sports drink that contains electrolytes and easily digestible carbohydrates. The electrolytes, like sodium and potassium, help replenish those lost through sweat, while the carbohydrates provide a quick energy source to fuel your BJJ session.
It is important to consider factors like individual sweat rates, workout intensity, and environmental conditions when determining how much to drink during training. A general guideline is to drink 7 to 10 oz (207 to 295 ml) of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during the session. However, personalized hydration plans can be created with the help of a sports dietitian to ensure optimal performance and well-being during your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training sessions.
Post-Training Recovery Nutrition
Post-training recovery nutrition is essential for replenishing the energy expended during an intense Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu session and promoting muscle repair and growth.
Eating a solid meal with a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and limited healthy fats within 30 minutes to an hour after training ensures your body has the necessary resources to recover and rebuild. Aim for a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein, as this combination helps to maximize recovery and muscle synthesis.
Carbohydrates are crucial during post-workout recovery because they replenish the glycogen stores depleted during physical activity. Examples of good carbohydrate sources include whole-grain bread, pasta, brown rice, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes. Consuming protein after training is vital for repairing muscle tissue and supporting muscle growth. High-quality protein sources include lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, tofu, and legumes.
Carbs and protein should be focused on for any pre-training or post-training meal since fats slow down absorbiont of nutrients and protein which is the exact opposite of what you want (reference)
Does Doing Martial Arts Burn Calories?
Yes, practicing martial arts significantly burns calories as these activities require a lot of energy and engage various muscle groups.
The intensity of training, along with the specific martial art type, influences the number of calories burned in each session. For example, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which involves intense grappling and groundwork, can burn between 800 to 1000 calories per hour under the right conditions.
One advantage of martial arts as a workout compared to other forms of exercise is that they tend to be more engaging and mentally stimulating. This means practitioners are more likely to stick with the training and maintain a consistent workout regimen. In addition, many martial arts emphasize whole-body conditioning and contribute to improved strength, agility, flexibility, and endurance – all factors that help boost overall physical fitness and calorie expenditure.
It’s essential to remember that individual factors such as body weight, age, and experience will impact the number of calories burned during martial arts practice. However, regardless of these variables, engaging in martial arts training is an effective and enjoyable way to burn calories and promote weight loss.
Weightloss, BJJ, and Calories Burned
To sum up, if you are looking to find our how many calories does jiu jitsu burn and how bjj can help with weight loss, I hope this provided some insight.
Remember, calories are king, you can’t out train a bad diet even with jiu jitsu. So make sure you are in a caloric deficit and try to guarantee that by training hard and burning calories on the mat with bjj.
These are things I wish I knew when I first started trying to lose weight with bjj.
So, I wish you the best of luck on your own bjj weight loss journey! – Zack
Other Related Questions (FAQ)
Does BJJ Build Muscle?
Yes, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) helps build muscle, as it requires the activation and exertion of various muscle groups during its intense training sessions. However, don’t expect to gain muscle in the same sense of targeted weight training.
Practitioners utilize their whole body to perform BJJ techniques, which in turn develops muscular strength and endurance. One advantage of BJJ is its focus on functional strength, which enables individuals to perform practically applicable movements in everyday life.
Various BJJ exercises require extensive engagement of upper and lower body muscles. For instance, during takedowns and grappling, practitioners stimulate major muscle groups such as the chest, back, and shoulders. Moreover, ground-based techniques like sweeps and escapes call upon core and leg muscles for stability and power.
Side note: Practitioners also develop grip strength from gripping opponents’ gi and controlling their limbs during matches.
Although BJJ is not primarily focused on muscle gain like conventional weight training, consistent practice and improved technique lead to some (minimal) increased muscle mass and definition for most individuals.
How many days a week should I do BJJ?
Determining the ideal frequency for BJJ practice depends on various factors such as personal goals, physical fitness, schedule, and current experience level. Generally, practitioners who aim for rapid improvement, enhanced fitness, or competition-level skills should train more frequently, while those with recreational goals or schedule limitations may train less often.
For beginners, it is advisable to train two to three times per week, allowing for ample recovery time and avoiding potential injuries.
As their fitness level and technique improve, they can gradually increase their training frequency.
Intermediate and advanced practitioners often choose to train four to six days per week, with some even opting for two sessions a day. Training at this intensity enhances muscle memory, promotes rapid skill development, and improves overall fitness, but a strong focus should always be on recovery and injury prevention.