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How often should you train jiu jitsu

How often should you train jiu jitsu in order to get better?

There are a lot of factors to consider, but to answer the question how often should you train jiu jitsu, on average you should train jiu jitsu three times a week especially when beginning bjj in order to progress in the sport.

It’s important to develop a training routine of a set number of training days and be sure not to train too little where you are not retaining info and progressing and not too much that you burnout.

Related: Looking for our full list of beginner tips? Check out our post here

According to a recent survey in our gym, three classes a week would enable you to be engaged in what you’re being taught and still have focused, competitive sparring rounds.

Its important to understand the law of diminishing returns with your training. At a certain point the amount of weekly training you do will stop to provide benefit and can even do more harm than good.

Rate of Return Based on How Often You Train

Keep in mind that this answer isn’t definitive, but our research shows anything more than 2 is a good starting point for those just beginning bjj and working up to 3 or 4 hard training sessions a week is optimal for most.

If you are going beyond 4, 5, or 6 sessions a week it is integral to modulate your training session intensity by having lighter sessions and more intense sessions.

Related:  How to improve faster in bjj

For me personally, the answer to how often should you train jiu jitsu is 2 days per week of jiu jitsu training and on each of those days I take two classes which leads to 4 classes total of bjj per week.

Beginning BJJ

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     When beginning bjj, there is a lot of pressure to train as much as possible to try to improve faster. However, this may be a bit counter intuitive.

Yes, mat time is most likely the number one factor in how quickly you improve*, but it is critical to build up to taking more classes weekly and be aware of your training experience.

If you enter your first couple weeks or months of training and go all out by training 3 times a day 5 days a week you will quickly exhaust both yourself and your motivation. 

I’ve seen many new gym members train like they are getting ready for a televised super fight only to never see them again after a couple weeks.

Additionally, through each belt rank you’ll see the number students drop off particularly at white and blue belt.

Through figures gathered at my gym below is a chart with estimates of how many students will likely quit bjj entirely at that specific belt:

White Belt75%
Blue Belt40%
Purple Belt10%
Brown Belt5%

Luckily, once a student makes it past blue belt the likeliness that they will stop training drops significantly.

One of the biggest factors that determines how long you will continue your bjj journey is how you structure your training and how often you train jiu jitsu.

Related: Best BJJ submissions for beginners

Furthermore, one of the most important things for beginning bjj and determining this structure is to choose a set number of training days and make it a point not to miss those scheduled days.

Keeping the days a routine has been the key for many for both consistency and continued improvement.

How to improve faster?

Creating a structure for how you learn jiu jitsu both on and off the mat will help you set goals, improve upon weak areas, and ultimately, learn from your mistakes. All of these will lead to your own personal longevity in the sport (see link below for further info)

For tips that I’ve personally used to improve faster and achieve my purple belt in under 3 years:
Click Here

How many days per week is best?

     Below is a breakdown of what you can expect to gain from these types of weekly training schedules. These assume training is done during one single session each day.

These schedules will often depend on your own personal goals and other commitments.

One Day Per Week

     Training one day per week likely wouldn’t be enough for you to retain info, learn techniques, and improve in jiu jitsu.

From my personal experience, training only once a week will often leave my cardio severely lacking and my timing off during live sparring. Also I may forget details on new techniques that I am trying to implement in my game.

Simply put, training once per week isn’t likely worth it for many.

You likely won’t gain much if anything at all from the taught techniques and your live sparring will be lacking since your body doesn’t have a chance to become accustomed to it.

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Two days per week

At two days per week, you will definitely be retaining info on previously learned techniques more so than only training once per week, but it may be difficult to fully learn and incorporate new techniques into your game.

You need to build up that muscle memory in order to work toward unconscious competence in a specific position or technique.

Three days per week

Training 3 days per week is optimal for someone trying to consistently improve and learn new techniques while still being able to manage and attend to their other commitments.

At 3 days, you should still be excited to show up with your mind active and ready to learn. This is the sweet spot for many who often still find enjoyment in each class. 

Four days per week and beyond

At four days per week, you may start to struggle with keeping the weekly schedule for long periods of time. Yes, you will definitely improve and grow in the sport, but you will have to closely monitor your fatigue and may need to rely on pure discipline to make it to certain classes.

Excuses may start creeping in as to why you can’t make it to class, and you may not be looking forward to training as much as when training less days per week.

Going beyond four days per week:

  • will be quite difficult to maintain for a long period of time
  • fatigue and injury rates are definitely higher.
  • choose your training partners carefully and only schedule specific classes during the week as your high intensity classes and others as your low intensity or solely drilling classes.

Its always worth mentioning that you can slowly build up to more classes per week as your body gets more accustomed to bjj.

Working up to three to four days per week is definitely possible and is recommend for optimal learning and improvement.

Lastly, you may feel pressure to train more often to keep up with others and keep up with your coach’s expectation, but remember jiu jitsu is a marathon, not a sprint*, and you will certainly not get any better if you train 5+ days a week for two months and then quit entirely