This is something that I get asked a lot, particularly from students like you who lead busy lives outside of class. Whether that’s because you have family commitments, want to get extra hours in at the gym, or pursue other sports, I know that sometimes, all you have free is two to three days a week for BJJ.
“Isn’t training twice a week is a waste of time?” definitely NO!
The truth is: You CAN improve your BJJ with only two classes a week, but you also have to consider what your goals are and why you’re training in the first place.
If you enjoy coming to the gym and training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu then, even if you can only make it to the gym twice a week, it’s not a waste of time.
You’ll be happy to learn that not only can you improve by training twice a week, but it can be used as a great schedule that you can follow. Here’s why:
One of the main reasons why I say that training two to three times a week is optimal for BJJ training is that it avoids burnout.
I’ve worked with students who have come to class five or six times a week, sometimes even twice a day(!) but I find one of two things tends to happen. Either they end up burning out and take extended breaks because they’ve lost their love for the sport, or they’re unfocused during the class because they’re overloaded with information and stressed because they find their weaknesses are always on the forefront of their mind.
In my experience, the students who train two to three times a week have always been the most FOCUSED.
Unlike the students who can come to the gym four times or more a week, they know that when they’re in class, they have to make the most of it. These students know that if they don’t, they will have to wait two or three days before they can revisit what they’ve learned.
Another reason why following a two day a week BJJ plan is that it helps to avoid the injuries that come with overtraining.
As BJJ is a full-body sport, you must take the time to rest and help your body to recover, both with exercises like stretching, foam rolling, or swimming, or just spending time away from the gym to let your muscles recover.
The students who end up injuring themselves tend to be those who train excessively and don’t give their body the time that it needs to heal. This is why training twice a week can be beneficial to your BJJ training, particularly if you enjoy following other fitness pursuits alongside it.
We need to separate professionals athletes from amateurs.
Professional athletes should aspire to train 10-12 per week. Incorporating strength training, endurance training, mobility, and of course Brazilian jiu-jitsu training like drilling and sparring.
But the beauty of Brazilian jiu-jitsu is that you can compete at any age at any level.
With this in mind, you also know that you only have a limited amount of time available to you in the gym per week. Therefore, it’s essential to take the time to figure out your goals and your ambitions and figure out how you can make those work in a two day a week schedule.
All of us train Brazilian jiu-jitsu for different reasons. Some of us want to compete, while others do it because it’s fun and improves their mental health. You might be doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu to help you with other fitness disciplines, or you condition your body with different exercises to improve your Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Training two times a week is perfect for students who like to follow different fitness paths, who have other commitments that keep them away from the gym, or for people who train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu simply because they enjoy training.
However, if you’re looking to compete, then you might have to scale up your training plan to compensate.
Once you know what you’re training BJJ for, it’s time to create a goal that’ll push you to train harder and become stronger. Then, you can start to develop a training regime that’ll help you get there.
you can also check out my post on how to effectively and strategically set goals for training, work, and life right here
Ideally, if you’re only training BJJ twice a week and you’re looking to improve, you’ll want to create a structured training regime that includes other conditioning work throughout the week.
The key things you need to factor into a training plan is functional strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity. Grip strength can also come in handy.
You want to make sure that you’re balancing your BJJ practice with your other conditioning work. Thankfully, if you follow other fitness pursuits, these almost always have skills that can transfer to the mat. You also want to make sure that you’re factoring in at least one full rest day a week so you can avoid burnout and let your body heal.