Saturday, January 21, 2006

5 Tips for Getting Fit in BJJ

Since I have started training I have lost more than 10 pounds as a direct result of my training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. There is no mystery that your body will adjust to the demands put on it from a couple classes a week of intense training, especially if your body was inactive before training. But losing weight was not my main physical goal, it was to get fit...

*My reasons for training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are not based on the physical benefits.

So I was dropping fat and replacing it with good functional muscle. To help accelerate the adjustment to the physical demands, I did some other things outside of my training which I continue today even if I am unable to attend a class or two. Here are my 5 top quick tips that continue to help my physical development.

  1. Make sure I drink lots of water throughout the day before training. This ensures that I am properly hydrated in class without constantly going to the water bottle in class.

  2. Make sure I eat at least a sandwich or a small bowl of pasta at least 2 hours before class and avoid eating anything substantial just before class. You need to burn something off in class and if your body has no fuel, it will suffer. And if it has too much fuel, there is a possibility of unwanted hurl... not fun.

  3. After every class I have a Whey Protein shake. When your muscles work hard, they form microscopic tears from the lactic acid build up (that is why they burn). When the muscle heals, it re-builds stronger than it was before; adjusting to the demands put on it. I drink a Whey Protein shake to give my body the materials it needs, protein, to re-build the muscles as easily as possible.

  4. I stretch every day, especially the areas of my body that are sore due to the physical exertions of the recent classes. I find that my body is in most pain two days after a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, so stretching the next day helps reduce the amount of pain I am going to feel. Stretching also helps my fighting.

  5. Understand that I am not perfect, but always try to move the ball forward. Sometimes I will have some pizza, a couple beers or some other unhealthy thing. I am human. But I do not feel so bad for a broken habit every once and a while, as long as I remember to train a little harder next time to make up for it. Life is a long time and you can always “get back on the horse”. Forget fear and despair and who cares what others think. Lose the ego and keep moving forward.
Those are my top 5 Getting Fit quick tips. Of course they do not include the extra cardiovascular or anaerobic training I do outside class, that is different for everyone. But these 5 simple tips have had a measurable result on my physical well being and my progress in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.