A person just starting Jiu-Jitsu should pace themselves and listen to their bodies. Training 2-3 days a week should allow for progression and enough time for recovery between each class. The ideal training frequency is one that can be maintained for a long time – and that will be different from person to person.
As you get away from the early beginner stages of Jiu-Jitsu your body will have adapted to the new motions. Ask yourself how many days a week you can train while still being able to fully recover after each class.
I found that a lot of new students think they should train 4-5 times a week. Training more often, especially if you’re new, does not mean quicker progress. Pace yourself at first to avoid burning out and preventing potential injuries. A lot of the students that went hard initially, I never see again after a month or two.
Is Training BJJ Once A Week Worth It?
Training Jiu-Jitsu once a week is going to be a slow grind. But, training once a week is better than not training at all. If once a week is all you can do try to supplement your training with studying on your own time. Make sure to write notes after class and review them!
Training once a week isn’t enough time to improve or retain information. This is why it is important to record what you’ve learned and to review it through the week. Try to find holes in your technique and work on improving those – try not to drive yourself crazy though!
Don’t expect to be able to keep up with people that are going 2 or more times a week. And, don’t get frustrated if you’ve been going for 3 months and someone joins only to get better than you in a month. Three months with 1 class a week is only 12 classes, I can get that in 3 weeks going 4 times a week.
Is Training BJJ Twice A Week Enough?
Training 2 days a week is a great starting point if you are just starting Jiu-Jitsu. It is enough to learn and maintain technique, while not burning out your body doing something new. I’d suggest anyone beginning Jiu-Jitsu start with 2 days per week until their body adjusts to the grappling and to not burn themselves out.
I still make sure I have 2 days per week that I commit to Jiu-Jitsu. No matter how busy life gets or how tired I am these two days are committed to Jiu-Jitsu. I do this so it becomes a habit in my life, much like the gym. It can become easy to tell yourself you’re too tired or just not feeling like going to BJJ that day and before you know it a month goes by.
Yes, your progress will be slower if you’re only going twice a week, but know your limits and your habits. If you’re serious about competing and you’ve been doing Jiu-Jitsu (or grappling) a bit longer you may want to consider more time per week.
Training BJJ 3 Times A Week
Training three days a week is considered, by most, the optimal number. It is enough to maintain technique, improve transitions, and movement patterns. Three days seems to be a nice number that solidifies the progress and retention of techniques. Not only is your progress going to be steady, but you’ll also be giving your body enough time to recover.
Training three days per week, you’ll notice that your muscle memory is starting to kick in with techniques. During rolls, you’ll catch yourself noticing more opportunities for techniques you’ve just learned. Three days may only be 50% more training than two days, but there’s a massive gain in efficiency going from two to three.
If you’re like me and have multiple hobbies, you’ll still have enough time to do those other hobbies. It’ll give you enough time to maintain a healthy balance between your hobbies, work, school, and social life.
A lot of my hobbies have carry-over to BJJ, such as powerlifting, swimming, and mountain biking. You may notice my hobbies are all physical activities, which means my body taking quite the beating each week. When I started training BJJ more than 3 times a week I had to reduce the time in my fitness hobbies to avoid burning out!
Should I Train BJJ 4 Times A Week?
Training Jiu-Jitsu 4 times a week will quickly build your technique and help develop a flowing style of Jiu-Jitsu. If you’re thinking of competing then 4 times is a great frequency to train. If you’re still in your first few months of Jiu-Jitsu with little to no athletic background I’d try sticking to 2-3 days a week. When training 4 days a week, you’ll need to allow time for recovery – both physically and mentally.
If you are just beginning your Jiu-Jitsu adventure, I’d suggest sticking to 2-3 days before jumping to 4 days a week. The reason to go fewer times per week, initially, is to let your body adapt to the new movements and have time to recover. I also found that most new people that join Jiu-Jitsu (or any new hobby) go way too hard at first and burn out within a month or two – only to never come back.
The real determining factor with going to 4 days per week is to ask yourself: is this is your only hobby, is your body ready for it, and are you looking to compete? If Jiu-Jitsu is your only hobby and your body is ready to train 4+ times a week, I say go for it! Maintain your recovery and you’ll progress very quickly.
When I was going 4 times a week I saw a huge improvement in my game. The 4th BJJ class I added was a No-Gi class and it primarily focused on takedowns and positional advantages – such as back takes.
The problem I ran into with going to BJJ 4 times a week was that it was very hard for my body to keep up with the recovery. Going to the gym 2-3 times a week as well as swimming twice a week, on top of Jiu-Jitsu got to be a bit much.
Should I Train BJJ 5+ Days A Week As A Beginner?
Training Jiu-Jitsu 5+ days a week as a beginner will be very hard on your body if you do not have any previous martial arts or grappling history. Your body will have a tough time recovering after each session and you may risk injury. Additionally, you may risk burning yourself out physically and mentally.
If you are serious about getting into Jiu-Jitsu and are determined to make it an integral part of your life by going 5+ days I’d suggest building up to 5 or more days a week. Start with 2-3 days a week for a month or two to allow your body to adjust to the new movements. This will also give you time to let the basic techniques sink in without being overwhelmed.
When you feel as though your body has adjusted and you are able to recover between training sessions try adding another day. Try that for a month or two and see how your body reacts. Repeat this until you are training at the frequency you want or are able to do.
Don’t be in a rush to quickly if you are just starting out. If BJJ is something you truly want to do, take the time to acclimatize your body to it so you can be in it for the long haul!
How Often Did I Train When I Started BJJ?
When I first started training Jiu-Jitsu I threw myself into it – I actually threw myself into martial arts pretty hard. I decided to try BJJ, Muay Thai, and MMA classes all at the same time. I paid for 6 months of classes for all 3 of those classes too.
Here’s what my schedule looked like:
Throughout that first week, my tendons in my arms were deteriorating. As Monday came around I went to another BJJ class. At the end of that Monday BJJ class, I was unsure if I was going to be able to drive home as my tendons were so shot!
Prior to this week of martial arts, I was used to going to the gym 4-5 times a week, doing intense strength training – I also mountain biked almost weekly.
Since I dove in so hard I ended up with severe elbow tendonitis – in both my arms! I took the next few days off and had to greatly reduce the number of classes I was going to.
From that point on I could only train BJJ twice a week, MMA once a month, and I didn’t enjoy Muay Thai so I ended up not going to that class. On top of the reduction of classes, I could not work out my upper body how I wanted to for over 3 months!
My elbow tendonitis eventually subsided (I had to tend it every day) and I upped my BJJ classes to 3 days a week. Eventually going to 4, every now and then. If I would have paced myself from the beginning I could have avoided my injury and start going to class more frequently sooner. Additionally, I wouldn’t have tender elbows that I still have to manage.
In conclusion, if you’re just starting Jiu-Jitsu pace yourself at the beginning and start with 2 classes a week. Take notes after each class and focus on recovering between sessions. Determine how often you should train Jiu-Jitsu by how many days a week it takes to recover after each session.
Increase your frequency when you’re body is ready for it, even though you may be very excited to go every day. Most Jiu-Jitsu practitioners find that going 3 times is the optimal frequency for them. Three times a week allows for sufficient recovery, life balance, and steady/maintainable progress. If you’re thinking of competing you may want to try working up to 4+ days a week.