Having a well-maintained body should be an aspiration for everyone, especially if you are one to train in sports. Usually, the time and effort you put into most of the sports ultimately lead to a healthy body because of all the muscles you are putting to work but what is the case for fighting sports like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Can You Lose Weight with BJJ?
Well, people who practice BJJ have seen great positive developments when it comes to their lifestyle. Their stress levels, sleep, and diet became more disciplined, as is the case with most of the exercises. Being that intense sport that it is, BJJ requires you to have good conditioning, sufficient strength and no tolerance for excess body fat; all of this you can achieve through exercises that lead to great burnouts. Since the burnouts are related to calorie reduction, meaning more intense burnouts leads more calories burnt, practicing BJJ can help you in reducing your weight by getting rid of the fat.
However, it is worth mentioning that you won’t be shredding fat as you would with a workout routine targeted specifically for fat burn, for instance, a high intensity (HIIT) cardio routine. The fat burnt or weight reduction will be a byproduct of your time spent training in BJJ, along with other things like more strength and stamina levels. One thing that sets apart BJJ from the usual cardio workouts is that it is fun and interesting, there is just so much diversity with all of the moves, counters, and grapples. People often get bored or demotivated by doing the same thing over and over again doing cardio and it leads them to quit, which is bad if they do not have any physical activity to do in their daily life. Not to mention that BJJ also combines various other training concepts like strength training to increase an individual’s striking or grappling power, sometimes stretching so that there is no impairment in their limbs; training in BJJ gets you a little bit of everything.
A BJJ Workout
As mentioned before, the advantage BJJ has over other forms of workouts is that it is fun and engaging. This plays a great role in maintaining the interest of the athlete and there is no shortage of styles, moves or techniques to learn. Every second that you spend training requires your focus as you need to pay attention to your opponent or whether you are doing your exercises correctly; you won’t even notice the time go by.
Now let us talk about what constitutes a typical BJJ workout. The first phase of your session will include 10 to 15 minutes of the most intense cardio you can experience. This is the warm-up phase; its purpose is to prepare your body, get the blood flowing in your limbs and reduce any problems with flexibility. The second phase will be your learning and refining your BJJ techniques for around 20 to 25 minutes. This phase is one of the most important phases as you will be learning all of the aspects of BJJ via demonstration by your trainer. You can later practice these moves with a partner but make sure that they are of similar skill and size. The final phase will a form of ‘live-fire training’ as you will be executing all of what you have learned, usually called ‘rolling’. With these phases kept in mind, you can imagine the amount of work you will have to do and this can lead up to some serious calories burned.
- Tabata for BJJ – Workout Example
- Cardio for BJJ – Importance & How to improve it
- Bjj Strength and Conditioning Program – Example
Diet for BJJ
A proper diet goes hand in hand with a good workout routine if your aim is to maximize fat loss, you won’t be achieving anything if you are consuming more calories than you burn in a single day. That is why you will find most of the BJJ athletes staying away from processed foods and focusing more on healthy foods, even if they eat more. Moderation is key in this case, you should not consume too much even if it is healthy and you can have that cheeseburger but only as a cheat meal per week. To maintain lean muscle mass, you need adequate protein which you can obtain from turkey, lean beef, tuna, salmon, beans or lentils. Muscle building is important if you train in BJJ because more muscles lead to more power and easier execution of moves.
When it comes to a low carbohydrate diet, like the ketogenic diet, it is not preferable because you need the energy that is provided by the carbohydrates. Training at a carbohydrate deficit can lead to quick exhaustion and poor performance. What you can do is consume clean or whole foods instead of high-calorie junk food; clean eating has been found to be beneficial to metabolism and satiates the hunger better.