In a typical BJJ academy, competitors will often make up fro 10 to 30% of the student body. Then from that small group of competitors, you have to distinguish the pro and regular competitors.
Pro competitors actually make a living from sponsors, teaching seminars and training and BJJ is pretty much all they do. These practitioners are part of the elite of our sport and you will not find them in many academies.
Regular competitors typically compete a few times a year and have regular jobs and families. They are serious about training and competing but they also have a life and obligations.
Multiple time BJJ world and ADCC champion Andre Galvao talks about how often should a BJJ competitor train in order to have results. Galvao is the owner and head instructor of Atos San Diego which has an army of the top BJJ competitors in the world so he is well placed to know what it takes.
“I think a competitor needs to train a lot because you want to have the best result in the tournament, so you need to train at least twice a day in Jitsu. You need to have conditioning as well. Strength and conditioning aside, I think you can do like two to four times a week in conditioning some type of cardio as well. I know people say ‘oh you should like roll a lot to get a better cardio’ but I think like when you do a different type of cardio such as running or bike or maybe even just going to a nice place on the beach and swimming I think you improve your overall cardio.”
“So I think for competitors, you need to add some type of training that will increase your cardio because it’s really important. You can have all the techniques right but if you don’t have a good conditioning it’s gonna be hard for you to apply the techniques during the fight, especially like under pressure. You have a lot of pressure going on during the tournaments, and a lot of adrenaline so training wise you need to train as much as you can no matter what.”
“I think like a blue belt, purple belt needs to train every single day and then Saturdays, maybe like Sunday off; but in the middle of the week you need to have a break and you need to have a time for yourself as well.”
“I think is too much sometimes when you’re just on the mat all the time all the time then you can burn so I suggest to have a balance: Maybe going to movie theater, maybe going to the beach, enjoy your girlfriend or your friends and I think it’s part of life as well otherwise you’re gonna be stuck in the gym. You need to get the sunlight as it helps your vitamin D which helps a lot against depression. A lot of people they try really hard and they got super depressed you know so I suggest you to not only work at the gym but when you do a cardio or you do something different you can go outdoors.”
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