How many days per week should you train?
When I first began training I wasn’t quite old enough to drive. So I had to rely on my local public transportation (my city was not very commuter friendly) and rides from family and friends to get to training.
At most, I was able to train up to two times during the week and maybe a Saturday class on weekends if I was lucky.
I maintained this schedule up until I reached blue belt. Which happened to coincide with getting a car. Now, I could train once everyday as well as a weekend class.
And when I started competing more nationally as a purple belt. I began adding more classes to my schedule on certain days. Maybe Tuesday or Thursday I would attend two classes back to back. Or maybe one morning session and one night session.
As a brown belt I began training Jiu Jitsu professionally. I worked my way up to training every day, twice a day, Monday through Thursday. Taking Friday completely off. Training on Saturday and maybe a Sunday open mat.
I’m writing about this not to brag about my own training schedule. Which continues to evolve. But more as a guide. Many new students will want to dive head first into Jiu Jitsu because it’s so addictive. But many times, these same students will burn out or worse over strain themselves and get injured.
I believe it’s best to work yourself up in your training. Let your body become accustomed to the training. Being careful to learn all the proper movement skills and basic techniques.
Most importantly of all. Try not to compare yourself to anyone else.
There are some students that can make tremendous gains training two times a week.
While another student might have to attend every class and take private lessons in order to keep up with the class.
Everyone is different. Everyone learns at different rates. And everyone has different life circumstances that will affect how much they can invest in their training.
As a beginner
Just training 1 to 2 times a week will be a good starting point depending on your physical condition and age.
For new students who haven’t participated in sports before. Starting slowly will be important. You want to give your body time to adjust to the training. You will use muscles that you’ve never used before and move your body in ways that you haven’t since you were a child. Resist the urge to go all in and injure yourself. Focus on developing your coordination and basic movement skills like shrimping, break falling, forward roll, and backwards roll, etc.
For new students with more athletic experience. I typically suggest between 2 or 3 training sessions to begin with. The conditioning from Jiu Jitsu shouldn’t be a problem. But your major focus should be on learning the technique and learning how to properly utilize that technique while rolling.
Intermediate level students can definitely up the number of training sessions. At this level, 4 to 5 training sessions is completely doable. Once you begin to utilize more technique than just physical ability. You will be able to train more. If you use all of your strength or speed everytime you roll. You won’t be able to maintain this training schedule for very long without burning your body out.
Allow yourself as much time as possible to build a solid foundation on all the basics of Jiu Jitsu. Including guard, guard passing, defense, and attacks.
Don’t worry if you haven’t quite figured out your game right now.
Advanced level students will find that they can maximize their training by adding multiple classes to their schedule.
Multiple sessions will allow you even more time to gain experience working different positions as well as pushing your conditioning to a higher level.
Training multiple times in a day is not just about rolling. Even the most elite competitors will rarely trains over two hours total rolling.
Instead, use multiple training sessions to get more work done.
You can make one session lighter and focus on solving problems in your game.
While the other session(s) can be geared towards rolling and getting in those tough rounds.
Whatever the case, be smart and listen to your body.
The professional level is not to different than the advance level. At this point you should have an idea of how much you need to train as well as what intensity to maintain.
I’ve seen some athletes train everyday.
Some train hard during the week, but then take the weekend off.
At the professional level you really have to listen to your body.
Especially, if you compete very frequently.
For example, I have a normal training schedule that I like to maintain. However, when there is a tournament I have to change my training around in order to allow for strength training, rest days, and breaks after the tournament.
I can’t tell you how many times after a tournament when I will see competitors trying to train hard the very next day.
Sometimes more training isn’t the solution. Especially, as you begin to reach higher levels. You’re going to reach plateaus that training alone will not help you overcome.
Also, at this point your technique should be at a high enough level where you can begin adding strength training, flexibility work, and cardio into your training to help you not only stay healthy but to help you better utilize your technique.