time off bjj

Preventing Mat Rust – Taking Time Off BJJ

Nick Hinton Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Therapy

Let’s face it….there are going to be some times during the course of your Jiu-Jitsu Journey that you’re going to have to take a break. Whether it’s injury, illness, family, work, or other life-related obstructions, taking time off BJJ is something we’ll all have to do at some point. Most of us already have. For those of us truly addicted, two weeks feels like an eternity, and the first few nights back after a long break may very likely wind up being some of your worst “nail” nights.


In an effort to minimize “mat rust,” here are three simple ways to ease your transition back into training after taking time off BJJ –


  1. Look at the game tape! Even if important life matters are what’s keeping you away from training, you’ll inevitably find some downtime. You more than likely have a smartphone, and definitely access to the internet if you’re reading this, so use a few of those spare minutes to watch some good technique breakdowns on YouTube, or wherever else you watch BJJ  videos.
  2. Stay on top of your diet! If you’re already on a meal plan geared towards athleticism or getting lean, stay on top of it. And if you aren’t on any sort of diet program, start one! Training downtime is a super-easy time to start slacking on your diet. Use this time to really focus on the importance of your diet. You just may come back to the mat a little bit lighter and quicker than you were before your break.
  3. Keep moving! Unless you’re injured in a manner that keeps you bed-ridden, or you’ve got some sort of respiratory illness, there’s SOMETHING you can be doing to help benefit your overall fitness level. If you can physically manage it, kettlebells are excellent supplemental training tools for helping your Jiu-Jitsu and overall mobility. But when training with weights isn’t possible or practical, there are dozens of body weight exercises you could be doing in their place. Whatever it is, even if it’s just simply making it a point to take a walk every day, staying as active as possible is the most critical point in making sure you come back to the mat as fresh as you can. (NOTE: ALWAYS consult with your physician before beginning any sort of work-out routine or intense diet regiment if you’re sick or injured. Don’t make it worse. Your teammates need and miss you!)


The last tip I have for you, and hands-down the most important, applies to times when you’re training at your physical peak, also. Well, I guess they all kinda do. But here it is- Rest up. Get PLENTY of quality sleep. That’s when your body is doing the most recovery, anyway. Even if you’re in perfect health, constantly red-lining your body by working out, working a job, and being mentally “up” for too many hours out of the day for too many days in a row will have a dramatically noticeable, negative effect.


Take some time off BJJ and working out here and there as you need it, just don’t let any cobwebs start to form. If you notice any, break them immediately.  They inevitably become chains.


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