How Many Times a Week Should You do Jiu-Jitsu?

How OFten Should you Train BJJ

As you probably heard before, making progress in BJJ is all about grinding it out on the mat. But one of the most common questions you’ll hear among practitioners of the “gentle art” is: how many times a week should I train Jiu-Jitsu?

The answer to this question is not as simple as it might seem. The answer depends on your goals in BJJ and your coach.

Like everything in life, you could hit a point of diminishing return if you overdo it. In other words, more time on the mat does not translate automatically to more progress. 

You could be grinding day in and day out for months —especially as a beginner— and don’t see any significant progress. Conversely, someone might be out a week or two, and suddenly they come back finishing every one.  

However, if you’re expecting to achieve any significant growth in BJJ, you should aim to train at least three times per week. Let’s see why that’s the sweet spot for most people.

Finding the Right BJJ Training Frequency

BJJ Training Frecuency

Training Jiu-Jitsu at various frequencies can lead to different results.

Someone who trains Jiu-Jitsu 2x/week might get very good at the fundamentals but may lack more advanced techniques, whereas someone who practices 5x/week might be great at technique but be more prone to injury.

Here is a break down of what you can accomplish with various frequencies of training:

LOW-FREQUENCY TRAINING (One or Two Times per Week)

If you train 2x/week or less, you will be training on a limited basis with minimal effort. It will take longer to reach the same level of intensity and proficiency that someone training 5x/week might get at this level of training.

However, this might be a good option for beginners because they can get in some ground time and take it as an adaptation period to get the body used to BJJ training. As you advance, you may want to consider ramping up the frequency with BJJ classes 3x/week or higher.

MID FREQUENCY TRAINING (Three Times per Week)

If you train 3x/week, you can expect to be progressing more quickly than someone who trains 2x/week. You will see an improvement in strength and flexibility over a shorter period and progress faster than someone training 2x/week.

Training with this frequency will build up your Jiu-Jitsu foundation and allow you to fit in more classes and practice. This is the sweet spot of training intensity for most people because it will enable you to get in a reasonable amount of time on the mat without overdoing it. You will have more opportunities to practice and hone your Jiu-Jitsu skills.

HIGH-FREQUENCY TRAINING (4 times per week)

If you train 4x/week, you will progress faster and achieve significant progress. You can expect to be energetic and have a ton of fun on the mat. If you’re ready to go this high, you should consider it an investment that will significantly pay off in the long run.

But make sure that you’re mentally and physically prepared to go this hard because it can be tough to recover.

You will see improvements in your cardio, strength, and flexibility quickly, but most people reach a plateau when they train this often. It’s recommended that you be careful to avoid injuries (mainly joint-related) by stretching and warming up well before training so you can take advantage of your high frequency of activity.

EXTREME FREQUENCY TRAINING (5 times per week or more)

If you train 5x/week or more, you will be training at an intensity that will take a toll on your body. The best results you can expect from this much training are rapid progress in your Jiu-Jitsu and great focus, but it can also cause injuries and mental fatigue if you don’t take rest seriously.

You will most likely see benefits when you’re consistent and dedicated, but if you’re not focused or want to put more energy into other things in life, this frequency may not work for you.

If you’re physically ready to go this hard, go for it. Just make sure that you’re prepared for the overload your body will get because it’s not an easy process and can lead to injuries.

Consistency is they key to success

If you know that 5x/week or is what you need to train, stick with this frequency for a few weeks until you reach your goals and then find a more sustainable pace. It’s impossible to operate at your peak year around.

Understanding the different training volumes will help you decide which one is the best for you. While BJJ is an excellent skill to build, you should not overdo it.

The Point of diminishing returs in your training

When you’re a beginner or even an intermediate student, you can benefit greatly from more frequent training.However, at some point this stops being the case and you’re better off sticking to a schedule that fits your needs.

The Point Of Diminishing Returns In BJJ Training.

If you train too much Jiu-Jitsu, you can become weak or injured and stop progressing because of the stress it brings to your body. You should train in a way that allows you to achieve your results as quickly as possible while also remaining healthy.

Signs That you Might be Overtraining BJJ

Here are a few signals that you might be overtraining BJJ:

  1. You can’t sleep – If you’re training and not getting much rest at night, your body will burn out and take a nap. This increases your risk of getting injured because your fatigued muscles won’t be working correctly, and you’ll have trouble recovering from injuries. Rest for recovery before moving on to the next day of training.
  2. You lack motivation – If training becomes a habit or you no longer see progress, you might be doing too much. When you’re overtraining, your body and mind are tired, and you’re not having fun. Stick to the sessions you enjoy and cut down on the ones that aren’t working for you.
  3. You get injured – Getting injured during Jiu-Jitsu class is never fun. Whether it’s a significant injury or something simple like a twisted ankle, Jiu-Jitsu is meant to be fun and prevent injuries. When you’re training so hard that you’re getting injured, it’s time to take a break.
  4. You’re not getting the results you want – If you’re training 5x/week or more, your body has reached a critical point of being overloaded and is beginning to fail. Tired muscles and poor recovery from workouts have both contributed to this. Instead of feeling frustrated, keep working with the frequency you need until you reach results like strength increases and the ability to take more stress.

How To Overcome The Fatigue From Over Training BJJ

If you already know you reached that point of diminishing returns in your training and feel the effects of fatigue in your personal life, there is still hope. There are two things you can do:

  • Take a break for one week from your BJJ class and do some complementary training (or no training at all) to help your body recover after overtraining.
  • Change the way you approach the sport and work your body smarter instead of harder(read on to find out how).

Picking the Right Training Intensity Based on Your Level

One of the best ways to define your training is knowing your level. You will be able to make better choices if you know what level you want to reach. You can also use specific training frequencies as a guide for training volume based on your current level.

Low level

If you’re starting out and want to learn the basics or as a beginner, The most common training frequency for beginners is two times per week.

This will allow you to concentrate on building up your technique and physical endurance so that you can get the most amount of time on the mat.

This is important as a beginner because you will be learning new movements and techniques like side control and getting some time on the mat to practice the moves. Beginners who train 3x per week will progress faster but can also become easily fatigued or injured.

Low-level training is focused on developing your fundamentals and getting consistent with the basics so that you can apply these techniques effectively in sparring sessions.

Mid-level

Here is when you begin to realize your potential and have the fundamentals down. You might be a little advanced for a beginner, but you’re not developed enough to be considered an expert.

Training 3x per week is best for mid-level training because it allows you to improve at a steady pace without getting fatigued or injured.

At this point, your body will get used to the rigorous workouts. By increasing your training frequency to 3-4x per week, you will be able to improve your level faster.

High level

High-level training is where you’re considered an expert in your area and have a solid understanding of the basics. You have mastered each fundamental technique and can apply them very effectively on the mat.

A lot of high-level training progress comes from rolling and superior conditioning. There is a high amount of room for improvement at this point, but it is becoming challenging to create new situations and problems for yourself. Training 4-5x per week is optimal for high-level training. 

You will begin to see long-term results from your hard work. You understand the ways that people attack you and how best to counter them. Your body has grown accustomed to the rigorous workout sessions and can produce explosive movements with ease. 

Professional level

Professional level training is where you’ve become an expert in your area and have mastered every fundamental technique that the art has to offer, including both sport-oriented and self-defense-oriented moves.

You are constantly looking to push the boundaries of what you know and find new ways to solve old problems. Most likely you have a BJJ black belt at this point.

How many times a week should you do Jiu-Jitsu - Buchecha

You can be a successful competitor or an effective self-defense martial artist (or both). Most world-class BJJ players train 6-7 times per week and about 4 hours per day.

The best way to pick the right training volume is to find out what works for you. Training at a lower or higher frequency may be more beneficial than you think.

It’s essential to find out what works for your body and do what is sustainable.

If you hit the wall on BJJ training and feel like your progress has stalled, try taking a week off from practice and see how you feel. The most important thing is that you’re healthy, so take a break if need be.

BJJ Training Intensity Quiz

  • What kind of schedule do I have? Do I have two days off or 5?
  • How will this affect my training?
  • Am I interested in competing, and how much time will that take away from my training schedule?
  • Will it allow me to achieve the quality of Jiu-Jitsu and mental focus that I want to achieve and keep these goals in check at all times?
  • Will this allow me to train consistently and not get injured?
  • Will this allow me to spend more time on the mat without getting bored if I’m training every day?

If you’re still interested in a particular type of training frequency after thinking about these questions, then go for it. Make sure that you have your goals figured out before beginning so that when you start training, you can be as successful as possible.

Once you find the right training frequency for yourself, stay consistent with it, and don’t expect to increase your frequency before reaching the results you want.

You will also find that the focus of your training will increase because you’ll be able to keep your intensity level high and not have to worry if your body can take it.

Shifting Your Training Frequency

The bottom line is that your training volume will change a lot along the journey. Life is dynamic, and you’re never stuck only in one cycle. If you’re young and athletic, getting ready to compete four or five times per week might not be as heavy in your body as a 40 years old white belt.

You might get injured, and low-intensity training might be the best thing in that situation. You might start a family and waking up at 4 am to change a diaper isn’t exactly easy when you rolled ten rounds the day before after a long shift at work. 

Tips for picking the right BJJ training intensity

There are some tips to consider when deciding how much BJJ training you want to have:

  1. Volume over intensity. Pick a training frequency that you can sustain consistently for a long time.
  2. Focus on the quality of your BJJ, not just the quantity. The best place to learn is on the mat, reducing your other activities to improve your focus on BJJ.
  3. Keep an open mind. Always try to be flexible to changes when your goals change.
  4. Embrace the intensity of the journey and learn how to manage stress healthily. Try to set goals and learn from your mistakes.
  5. Give yourself time to recover. Your body needs time to heal and fix injuries or fight infections. More is not always better, so give your body space to recover if needed.

BJJ weekly training schedule examples

Here are some templates for weekly training schedules. Feel free to pick and choose the sessions you want to try out. Keep in mind that you will need to take a day off from training or two when you start for your body to get used to the intensity.

Low-Intensity BJJ Training – Two times per week

DayExerciseTime
MondayWarm-up (stretching and light jogging)10-15 minutes
Technical training (drilling or technique work)30 minutes
Rolling session (sparring)30 minutes
Thursday or FridayWarm-up (stretching and light jogging)10-15 minutes
Technical training (drilling or technique work)30 minutes
Conditioning30 minutes

Mid Intensity BJJ Training – Three times per week

DayExerciseTime
Monday or Tuesday Warm-up (stretching and light movement drills)10-15 minutes
Technical training (drilling or technique work)30 minutes
Rolling session (sparring)45 minutes
Wednesday or ThursdayWarm-up (stretching and light jogging)10-15 minutes
Technical training (drilling or technique work)30 minutes
Conditioning45 minutes
Friday or SaturdayWarm-up (stretching and light movement drills)10-15 minutes
Technical training (drilling or technique work)30 minutes
Rolling session (sparring)45 minutes

High-Intensity BJJ Training – Four or more times per week

DayExerciseTime
MondayWarm-up (stretching and light movement drills)10-15 minutes
Technical training (drilling or technique work)1 hour
Rolling session (sparring)1 hour
Conditioning45 minutes
TuesdayWarm-up (stretching and light jogging)10-15 minutes
Technical training (drilling or technique work)1 hour
Rolling session (sparring)1 hour
WednesdayWarm-up (stretching and light movement drills)10-15 minutes
Technical training (drilling or technique work)1 hour
Rolling session (sparring)30 minutes
ThursdayWarm-up (stretching and light jogging)10-15 minutes
Technical training (drilling or technique work)1 hour
Rolling session (sparring)1 hour
FridayWarm-up (stretching and light jogging)10-15 minutes
Technical training (drilling or technique work)1 hour
Rolling session (sparring)1 hour
SaturdayWarm-up (stretching and light jogging)10-15 minutes
Rolling session (sparring)1 hour

Days off – Try to pick at least one day off each week. I like to take Sundays off, but you might be more successful taking Saturday days off.

Final Thoughts on How many times a week should you do Jiu-Jitsu

There are many ways to be successful in BJJ and an infinite number of possibilities for the use of your time. Many grapplers decide to train less to focus on other things, while others might train more frequently to keep their level high.

Ultimately, it comes down to picking a schedule that works best for you and sticking with it for as long as possible.

It’s more important to focus on improving your technique the most and keeping you out of pain than it is to perform more training sessions. That being said, volume over intensity and consistency are keys to long-term results. You do not get better by regularly missing a training session.

There are still some cases where I would not recommend a high frequency of training for an average practitioner:

  • If you have been injured recently (at least 1-2 months).
  • If you have a large family.
  • If you’re sick (COVID-19 or flu).
  • If you’re losing weight substantially.
  • If you have a poor diet.

How much you train Jiu-Jitsu should be based on what works for you. If you’re constantly training more than your body can handle and don’t see results, you’re probably going at it all wrong.

Ultimately, the best resource to guide your training is your body. If you feel like it’s being stressed past its limits and is beginning to fail, slow down or stop altogether until it’s able to heal itself for good.

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