When you start thinking about dropping a few pounds or getting in better shape, various ideas come to mind – special diets, personal trainers, etc. Some people will start for example running or going to the gym. Others, however, will begin to think about starting BJJ to lose weight and to get more fit. But is this the right move? Can you get in shape with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? If you are wondering about it, the answer is below.
Can you get in shape with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Answer in a nutshell
BJJ is a high-intensity sport, so if you start it in mediocre shape, you will see a lot of changes in your body from training it. It is a quite common experience to lose weight and become stronger thanks to jiu-jitsu training. So if you will put effort into your BJJ practice you can also expect such results. Therefore, the short answer is yes, you generally can get in shape with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The explanation why you get in shape with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu includes repeating techniques over and over again, constant drilling specific moves, and rolling with people who a lot of times want to choke you out. This all combined makes jiu-jitsu one of the most physically intensive workouts in existence. You can even say trainings are exhausting. It is because you use all your muscles during them and they combine strength and cardio training. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is just a great full-body workout. Which makes it the perfect sport to improve your endurance and at the same time lose weight. But BJJ’s superiority to many other sports is not just that. Its high intensity doesn’t just cause weight loss. During jiu-jitsu training, lost kilograms turn into muscles, thanks to the training we simply harden our bodies. After just a few weeks of training, you can see that you increase your body’s strength and endurance. Your grips are tighter, your arms are stronger, you can train longer and more, and you are just leaner but more muscular. By training, you simply improve your body shape.
No pain, no gain
Don’t expect magic though. BJJ is not some kind of a miracle diet. Do not think that you only begin training and start looking like a young god with beautifully visible all muscles. It is simple: no pain, no gain. Whether you get in shape with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu rely only on you. It all depends on how you train. People who put effort into their training, practice regularly, etc. can turn from overweight guys into monster-strong, lean people. Just look at the Gordon Ryan younger brother, rising BJJ no-gi star Nicky Ryan. Just a few years ago he was a bit overweight kid, definitely not athletic. Thanks to BJJ practice it changed. Nicky who was a bit chubby at the beginning in the year and a half of training was able to lose 20 kilograms (45 pounds) and get abs.
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Reached a huge goal of mine today. I finally got down to 130 pounds. For those of you that don't know, before I started jiu-jitsu I used to be 175 pounds and extremely fat. Thanks to a good year and a half of training I was able to loose 45 pounds and am finally starting to get abs. I wanna give a big thank you to my brother @gordonlovesjiujitsu who got me into jiu-jitsu and has helped me every single day in the training room.
However, this kind of stuff requires sacrifices. You just have to train hard and don’t let it go. Because if you gonna skip the warmup, mime the drills, and do completely nothing during rolling, you will not get in shape. There are no miracles. With this approach to training BJJ, you will never get any better, or fitter.
BJJ makes you fit enough to do BJJ
The fact that you can get in shape with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is undeniable. However, the statement that BJJ makes you only fit enough to do BJJ is also quite common. It is because no matter what we do, most likely at some point we will collide with the wall. It is no different with jiu-jitsu. In the first 6 to 24 months you see the biggest changes. Then things start to level off, your body simply adapts. Which means you have already reached a certain level of being in shape. At this point, if you do not change something in your training, it will be as the statement says. You will not have such an increase in results as before. Your further training in the style of those previously will just keep you in shape for continuing practicing BJJ at a satisfactory level, no clearer muscles appear, etc. However, if you make changes to your training routine, you will see further results. This means that you need to change the frequency and/or intensity of your jiu-jitsu sessions. Maybe it’s time to start going to more advanced classes or try to supplement your BJJ training with other sports.
Starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to get in shape is a great idea. BJJ is just the perfect sport to improve your endurance and at the same lose weight and replace it with muscles. However, as with everything, you just have to approach it wisely. You can’t expect miracles from BJJ training, but rather set yourself to work hard. However, it’s really worth it, dedication pays off and the results are really good. So don’t hesitate anymore if you can get in shape with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and just start training.