To get better at BJJ how often should a beginner train? The answer to this question is more complicated than it first appears. Your coach will encourage you to train as much as possible because on the surface this seems like a fail proof approach to getting better, trying to achieve mastery by racking up your 10,000 hours.
Unfortunately it’s not that simple. We all know someone who only trains once per week and expects to excel at a new skill whether thats Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, weight lifting or juggling- with no success. The truth is there needs to be a minimum amount of skill practice in order to learn, adapt and improve.
The flip side of this is too much training! You must over come your own enthusiasm and Jiu-jitsu “Froth”, training 7+ times a week and feeling so wrecked you have to take the next week off is not the recipe for success. You really need an accumulation of training over months and years to get your mind and body coordinated dealing with all these complex skills.
So what is the perfect ratio? 3:2:3
You have found this crazy thing and fallen in love! You have the Jits bug and now it’s all you want to do. The truth is it’s going to take you 2 years to even be ok at this thing! The fine print that no one will tell you about BJJ is that you are going to need a solid strength training and mobility program to balance out all the wear and tear that it does to your body.
We all come to the Jiu-jitsu path with different levels of athleticism and training experience. So when you combine a lot of different bodies with various levels of ability in the chaotic crucible that is free rolling injuries do happen. In order to survive and train consistently, not getting injured you will need a support program that will keep you on an upward trajectory of learning and physical development.
- 3 x Days Training BJJ
- 2 x Strength Training
- 3 x Mobility Training
Your ability to keep showing up week after week is dependant not only your ability to adapt this new routine into your everyday life, which for our younger members of the BJJ brethren may be easier than our working professionals with kids. You will also need to add in a body maintenance program of both strengthening and stretching. If you do not have access to resistance training equipment at your academy or have an existing gym membership you are going to have to tool up your home to get stronger. The good news this is now easier and more affordable than ever. In our next post I will outline everything you need to train at home.
The hardest part is actually putting the time aside to do what you need to. We suggest you combine your mobility training as warm up for your BJJ sessions. Preparing your body using specific movements that will help you address your specific tight spots, ticking both boxes at once. Then give yourself 2 x 60 minute resistance training sessions to even out existing weaknesses and build strength across all your major joints to protect against injury.
This balance of learning and looking after yourself is key to long term success. So for those of you who have just started on this path of strangle, smash and submission mastery the hardest thing you can do is pace yourself. Even though the addictive feels that great BJJ training brings will urge you to quit your job, dump your girlfriend and become a full time Daisy fresh, mat rat- Don’t! If you really want to win at this thing stick to the Ratio 3:2:3 it works.
The misunderstanding about improving for BJJ is not to push for “Peak performance” but to train for Optimum output.
Here is a video on how to balance out your training, lifting and work. Whether you have more energy to work with or less, whoever manages their energy best, will find their sweet spot. This is the key to training BJJ and will help you improve most.