Tag Archives: bjj and health

Can Jiu Jitsu Get You In Shape?

I was recently looking at a tool that tells you what people are asking about on the internet, and this is one of the questions that came up.

Well, in short yes, but it depends on a couple of things, including what you mean by “in shape” along with some other factors. In the beginning as a spazzy white belt, you will absolutely lose weight and absolutely feel like you are getting healthier: you’ll start to lose some weight, it may become easier to climb a flight of stairs…. Or you’re so tired from your jiu jitsu classes at first you don’t even notice the changes that are taking place. I can tell you personally I’m not even sure I was aware of the changes that were taking place when I first started jiu jitsu: it was ages ago, but I think I was so focused on just getting the basics down that it wasn’t until my instructors said something about my weight loss that I finally got on a scale.

After that, it kind of depends on what you do with that beginner momentum. Do you use that momentum to change your diet, add some supplementary strength training to your routine (to answer another question on the internet, jiu jitsu may help you build a little muscle but if you are really looking to make gains you’re going to have to find them in the weight room, not the jiu jitsu mat).

There are some people who definitely take the healthy route- and jiu jitsu is definitely a great motivator. You will spar with people in better shape, which can motive you to get into better shape- throw a little discipline into the mix and you have a great formula to getting “in shape”- if that for you means better cardio and losing some excess weight, and maybe getting a little more flexible than before.

But, as with most things in life, results will vary based on experience and of course your personal choices. After a while you will become more efficient at your movements in jiu jitsu, along with your body becoming acclimating to your level of activity. Food also plays a somewhat big part in this: we tend to believe that we can train and then repeatedly way over our caloric expenditure, or food that doesn’t give our bodies the nutrients they need, and that can potentially lead to weight gain: it may take some time to catch up to you, but it will eventually.

This isn’t meant to be preachy- if anything I’m trying to emphasize that you have a choice. Can jiu jitsu get you in shape? Yes, particularly in the beginning: jiu jitsu is a great way to start on the path to being healthier in a number of ways, and it’s up to you to decide just how far you want to go on that journey.

Have a great day everyone!

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Getting Back Into Training: Sometimes It Takes Step by Step

Hello everyone! I’m back from the mountains, getting stuff and things together for 2020. Unfortunately, while I was out my cardio went from pretty great, to pretty terrible.

It happens to most of us now and again: we take a few weeks off due to injury, vacation, or sometimes we just need a mental break now and again. And then we eat a bunch of cookies, and then next thing you know we’re huffing and puffing and feeling terrible on the mats.

It’s important to remember during times like these not to get too frustrated with yourself: take you time, take it a step at a time and give yourself smaller goals to get yourself back to the level of fitness that you were at before. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it took you some time to get to that level of health and fitness.

But, on the other side of that, you’ll never get back to that level of fitness if you don’t get you butt off the couch 🙂 So go back to class, be patient, and suffer a little to get the results that you are looking for/expecting.

Have a great day everyone!








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Diet and BJJ: You Can’t Out-Train Bad Eating Habits


Jiu jitsu will help you get more healthy- you’re becoming more physically active, you’re probably getting a good sweat in…. especially if you are a white belt and you’re spending most of your time flailing around (sorry, but it’s kind of true)….

But just like the weight that you packed on wasn’t just from the ice cream you were eating, or just the late night pizza, or just the beers that you were drinking, or just the lack of activity that you were engaging in,  and just doing jiu jitsu isn’t going to magically rectify all the damage you’ve done. It will certainly negate some of the damage, but definitely not all of it.

I’m not going to go at length into what you should and shouldn’t be eating: but you should take a long hard look at your dietary habits and whether or not they are helping or hindering you. Do you find that after eating fried food for lunch make you feel sluggish and bloated during training? Maybe cut them out, at least for a while and see how you feel. Have you been eating late night Ben & Jerry’s as a part of your evening routine and you find that your gi is getting a little snug in the middle? Maybe check out HaloTop, or save the ice cream for a once a week treat. Ben & Jerry’s has also rolled out a lower calorie ice cream line, which I know for….reasons.

At the risk of starting to fall down the rabbit hole, I would also suggest that it helps sometimes to set a goal for yourself to give direction when it comes to changing your dietary habits. Also helps you answer the question “why shouldn’t I have that huge slice of chocolate cake” when the time comes. I could be something as immediate as “I have class later tonight and don’t want to feel gross when I roll” or looking to feel healthy for a tournament, or even something more abstract as “hey, I want to feel healthy overall”. Humans by and large seem to have trouble with more abstract concepts at times… so really, we’re sort of going back to the importance of having goals conversation like I talked about before.

While I am talking a lot about abstaining from bad choices, this also obviously applies to a conscious decision in making good choices. Eating veggies for nutrients, enough water or liquids to stay properly hydrated on and off the mats (actually a huge struggle for me too, so you’re definitely not alone on that score), making sure you get the right about of macros for your body and lifestyle goals, all of that is important. It’s just the more common pitfall seems to be eating things that don’t have the right nutritional content to push you towards your goal, rather than not doing the things beneficial to your health.

So, just keep in mind, jiu jitsu can certainly supplement some lifestyle changes, but you simply can’t just out-train a bad diet.

Have a great day everyone!

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Article on BJJ Skin Conditions

So it’s not something we really like to talk about, but there are some skin infections that we grapplers get that everyone should be aware of, for more effective treatment and prevention.

George-jitsu posted an article on four basic skin problems that grapplers tend to experience. Good hygiene is pretty crucial in the fight against these conditions- wash on a regular basis, and make sure to wear a clean gi.

Check out the article, and have a great day everyone!

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