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HOW TO GET IN SHAPE FOR JIU JITSU
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HOW TO GET IN SHAPE FOR JIU JITSU

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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a combat sport that requires an athlete to use components like speed, strength, technique, agility, flexibility, dexterity, and strategy. There is rarely a newcomer to BJJ that has all of these attributes, and some students may have none at all. Building up these types of skills can take a long time, especially up to the world class level. Getting in shape for Jiu Jitsu is not something that a potential student needs to worry about, because the rigors of Jiu Jitsu will sculpt the student into an exceptional athlete. There are some students that want to start BJJ, but may be too unfit, too overweight, or too shy to cross over the threshold into an academy. There are always ways to sharpen up a person's fitness in order to feel more comfortable in joining a Martial Art like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

What this article covers:

A training academy is a safe place, and it can be a haven for people of all walks of life to come in, and work on all aspects of fitness, strength, and combat without feeling judged. The problem with starting a Martial Art like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, is some students don't know what to expect, and can even feel like they need to lose weight before they come in to start. Training bjj for weight loss is one of the best choices a potential student will make. Students of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels are all welcomed to start training in BJJ, and they will soon realise how effective it can be. There is no discrimination inside the walls of an academy, and there certainly is no prerequisite to be able to train in Jiu Jitsu. The training regimes in BJJ are specifically designed to push a student beyond their capabilities, so they can get fitter, and start to use all of their muscles that may have been dormant for a long time. There is no need for embarrassment within the walls of a Jiu Jitsu academy, but it is highly understandable why someone would want to build up a certain level of strength, and fitness before they begin their journey.

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will bjj get you in shape

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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A BJJ ACADEMY 

A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy is an extremely understanding, and encouraging facility to learn Martial Arts. Some students have wanted to start BJJ for a long time, but may end up getting cold feet, as they do not know what to expect, and choose to let their insecurity guide them. A student can expect nothing but a warm welcome, no matter how out of shape, or insecure a student is. Teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is more than just teaching someone how to fight, it is about giving them the tools they need to be a better person, and have the skills to tackle any obstacle they may encounter throughout their life. Some students may not understand what grappling is all about, and they may ask questions like is bjj good cardio, or does training in the art build strength. What sets Brazilian Jiu Jitsu apart from all other training methods, is that the art is a culmination of all the aspects of strength, and functional fitness.

All Jiu Jitsu instructors have highly professional standards, and they run their academies with honesty, integrity, and humility. All students are welcome no matter how overweight, or how unfit they are. The atmosphere in a Jiu Jitsu academy is all about family, as all members will treat each other with understanding, kindness, and encouragement. New students can expect to be treated equally, and fairly, and to be guided by intelligent and empathic people within the community. Another expectation is that a new student is going to work their backside off. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a highly advanced, and strategic system of combat that incorporates dynamic transitions, a high impact of takedown maneuvers, an intense system of positional control, and a creative system of submission techniques. This may seem daunting to a new student, but if they want to lose weight, and get fitter, and stronger than these are the elements that will help them achieve their goals. New students can also expect to have sore muscles after training, so recovery is vital, and this can be rest, nutrition, ice baths, stretching, and mobility. As long as a student is prepared to feel the burn then they are going to excel within the parameters of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

WAYS TO GET IN SHAPE

There are ways to help with the inception into a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy. Some students are severely unfit, and feel like they could injure themselves if they were to begin training. Even though training in Jiu Jitsu will comprehensively help an athlete with their fitness goals, there are ways to get in shape. Running will always be a good way to improve cardiovascular fitness. There are different ways to run like long distance endurance running, interval sprint training, or even running on the treadmill. Being overweight can be hard to run, and can put a significant strain on the students' tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones. Starting off by walking, and then building up to a run is a good idea, and staying away from hard surfaces will also protect their joints. Running on a softer surface like grass, or sand will initially help a student to build up their level of fitness without fear of injury.

Swimming is a great way to bolster a student's fitness, all while having no resistance on their body. It may be hard to swim long distances at first, but the more a student swims,then the easier it will become. They can also try water aerobic classes, where an instructor will take them through a series of workout maneuvers designed to promote health, and fitness. Any type of workout that incorporates being in water is good for an unfit, or an overweight student. Lifting weights can also help a student get into shape, but don't be fooled, increasing muscular strength won't necessarily help a student lose weight. The common myth that fat can be turned into muscle is completely unfounded, and untrue, and this is because both components are made from different cells. However training in strength and conditioning can help to build core strength, and help a student break through some of those fitness barriers that will hold them back from joining a Martial Arts academy like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

BUILDING GOOD HABITS AT HOME

Losing weight, and getting fitter starts in a student's mentality. Many overweight people put up barriers in their own mind, and feel like they cannot achieve their weight loss goals. Confidence is a vital part of succeeding with any goals in life, and it is crucial to build good habits from inside of a student's home life. This means to start with the food they eat, and not get sucked in to eating processed foods, fatty foods, or sugary foods, and if they do eat these foods then they need to proceed in moderation. Students that have aspirations of learning a Martial Art like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, need to especially build good habits, and see what the best diet for bjj is. Eating is extremely important for weight loss, and for muscle building, because the body needs the correct amount of fuel in order to maximise the efficiency of their output.

Building good habits at home also refers to their motivation levels. Nowadays too many people choose convenience over hard work, meaning they are content with choosing the easy option rather than putting in a greater amount of effort. This can be as simple as walking for 5 minutes down the road to the shop, rather than driving a car, or instead of sitting on the couch and watching hours of television, head outdoors with your children and kick the ball around. Exercise can be any physical activity like going for a walk, or or going for a swim. There are many different activities that a person can do within the confines of their own home, and all they need to do is choose activities that are going to help them with their overall fitness, rather than having a lazy mindset.

Another good tip for prospective students is to utilise their time at home to increase their flexibility level by stretching. An important aspect to know is that dynamic stretching must be done before static stretching, as this will prevent any form of injury. A dynamic stretch is designed to get the blood flowing, and warm up the students systems so they can then utilise static stretches to increase their flexibility. Another side of stretching is mobility, which is the act of increasing their range of motion within different parts of their body. This is extremely important for students, especially ones that are overweight, so they do not suffer from any form of injury before they begin training in Jiu Jitsu. Prevention is one of the most important factors for any sport, especially combat sports like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

DESIGNING A GOOD NUTRITION PLAN

Understanding nutrition is a key element in succeeding at any sport, especially Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. One thing that not all students may realise is that the body needs calories in order to fuel up, and when they expend energy, it is the calories they are burning. Often people that are overweight think that by not eating food it will help them lose weight. This is another myth, as the body needs to burn calories, otherwise the body will dip into the muscle reserve, which can result in a student losing muscle tone. It is important to identify how many calories burned during jiu jitsu training sessions, so a student can plan to eat not only the right foods, but the right amount of foods to keep their bodies fuelled enough, so they don't lose muscle tone. To lose weight a student must be in a calorie deficit, meaning they need to burn between 10 or 20% more calories than they eat, in order to lose weight and not lose muscle mass. This may be a slower reduction of weight loss, but it is a much safer way to lose weight, and will result in a student becoming fitter, stronger, and healthier.

Finding the right nutrition plan will be different for all students, and they must take into account what it is they actually like to eat. Sometimes this may not be possible, as they will be forced to eat foods they may not necessarily like. A good eating plan revolves around a high protein diet, and less carbs and fats. Foods like lean chicken, fish and nuts are good sources of protein. Students should also have a high intake of fruits, and vegetables like bananas, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, cauliflower and kale. An important tip for good nutrition practises is to not eat large meals, as this can often take longer to digest, which will effectively use more energy. Eating smaller portions is more beneficial to a student, when they are trying to lose weight. Fasting is another good approach to losing weight, as a person who is overweight is commonly used to eating too often. So using processes like intermittent fasting is a great way to cut down bad foods, and will help to keep them honest with eating a more balanced, and nutritious diet.

ARE YOU A BJJ FANATICS INSIDER? IF NOT, YOU’RE MISSING OUT!

Take a deep dive on one specific skill per month with the top instructors in the BJJ Fanatics family.

With your subscription you’ll get:

  • Private Lesson (Masterclass)
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  • Rolling breakdowns & more.

You’ll also get At Home Drills to work on, a Preview of our Upcoming Launches More!

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EMBRACING THE FLOW

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has many life principles that are taught within the concepts of its makeup. Students are taught to embrace the flow, which means not to use too much strength, as it makes a person rigid, and easier to manipulate. Finding the flow in Jiu Jitsu is all about understanding how a student's body moves, and how it has synchronicity with an opponent's body during the heat of battle. Learning how the flow works is like learning to swim, and gliding through the water with purpose. Once a student can tap into the flow of Jiu Jitsu, their body will move purely from muscle memory, and it will feel the slightest of angle changes, allowing them to move, and counter move in the right directions. 

The DIAMOND PROTOCOL from Ethan Benda is your 12 Week Ticket to a better level of fitness and health!  Grab it here at BJJFanatics.com!

how to get in shape with jiu jitsu

The concept that life is Jiu Jitsu, means that all concepts that work for students during battle, can be applied to their life in many different ways. This works for new students embracing the flow, as they will learn through Jiu Jitsu that accepting who they are is extremely important for being confident in a real life situation. A student that is overweight, and may be embarrassed about showing up to exercise classes, will learn that it is okay to be wherever they are in life. The important aspect is how they can change, and better themselves, and this is how embracing the flow of life is a valuable insight. Confidence is the key to achieving anything in life, and this includes losing weight, getting fitter, and learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Acceptance is part, and parcel with confidence, as a student that can embrace their flaws has a greater chance of refining any attributes they wish to improve.

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