As with most things in life, there’s more than one way to approach a problem. While training in the martial art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu can certainly help you with your self-defense options and hand-to-hand combat skills, it can also help you build muscle.
You see, while BJJ is primarily known as a ground game and as such teaches its practitioners how to escape from grapples or locks, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any benefits when it comes to building muscle. After all, BJJ tests your strength and endurance through techniques like passing guard and the use of chokeholds.
Therefore, the act of escaping these holds gives you a nice working upper body for when you finally get the chance to lock them down and lift some weight.
In this article, we’ll discuss how jiu-jitsu builds muscle and how long it takes to achieve your first visible results. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of jiu-jitsu and specific strategies that can have you squeezing every last ounce of muscle out of your body in no time.
What Is Jiu-Jitsu?
Jiu-jitsu is a martial art and combat sport that emphasizes grappling over striking. It’s a derivative of Japan’s traditional martial art, Judo, which focuses more on throws and takedowns than grappling.
The benefits of jiu-jitsu come from the fact that it’s a full-body workout. As such, you’ll get a cardiovascular workout from the constant escaping and grappling that’s required to effectively train in the sport.
You’ll also get anaerobic and aerobic conditioning from the high levels of intensity you need to get out of some of the most basic guard positions in the game. Then, when you eventually lock someone down, you’ll be training several muscle groups at once.
You see, almost all grappling techniques use your core and legs, so you get an excellent workout from most of your BJJ practices.
How Does Jiu-Jitsu Build Muscle?
Many of the techniques in jiu-jitsu require you to use your entire body to escape or lock someone down. As such, you’re constantly using your core, legs, and shoulders, and you’ll get a great workout in the process.
Now, this core and leg work isn’t just for escaping holds but also for lifting your opponent and putting them down on the mat. That means that not only will you be working out your core and legs, but you’ll also be building muscle in your shoulders, arms, chest, and back for when you finally lock someone down and pin them to the mat.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Jiu-Jitsu?
So, now that you know how jiu-jitsu builds muscle, let’s talk about how long it takes to learn it. When you start training in BJJ, you’ll likely have just one goal in mind: to learn how to escape and lock someone down. That said, this goal is only one component of BJJ.
Unlike many combat sports and martial arts, BJJ is designed to be a complete martial art. This means that your goal is just one component of a larger “Jiu-jitsu Diet.” So, how long does it take to learn this diet?
As it turns out, you can achieve your black belt in as short as three years. This is because, while jiu-jitsu is a full-body workout, it’s also designed to be a fast-paced game that tests your ability to think on your feet.
This means that you can learn a lot of techniques, have a few matches, and have time to practice each move without having to rely too much on your age.
How Long Will It Take to See Results With Jiu-Jitsu?
Once you’ve got some basic jiu-jitsu techniques down, the process of seeing results in the gym will be a lot faster than it was before. Now, while you can learn a lot of techniques in a short period, you can also take a long time to improve at each one.
This is because each technique you learn is made up of hundreds of individual movements. As such, you can take a long time to improve each one.
Now, when it comes to learning how to grapple, this is your opportunity to see results as soon as you start training. As we mentioned before, grappling is designed to be a full-body workout, so you’re going to see results as early as when you start learning how to escape from armlocks and leglocks.
Benefits of Jiu-Jitsu
Building muscle isn’t just about getting bigger muscles; it’s about getting stronger muscles with better function. That’s why jiu-jitsu is such a great workout for both men and women.
While men tend to have a stronger upper body because of the smaller muscle groups in their shoulders and back, women have a stronger core because their hips are wider than men’s.
That said, both men and women can see better results in the gym with jiu-jitsu because it emphasizes both strength and flexibility.
Is Jiu-Jitsu an Effective Workout?
One of the first things you’ll notice when you start training in BJJ is just how difficult it is. That’s because, as we discussed above, you’re constantly escaping from, and then grappling with, opponents who are trying to escape from you. This constant escape-and-grapple game leads to high levels of intensity and… well… you get the idea.
This high level of intensity is what makes jiu-jitsu such a great workout. As such, your chance of seeing results in the gym is high. That’s because you’re putting extensive work into developing muscle groups and improving your strength.
Strategies for Building Muscle from Jiu-Jitsu
So, you’ve got some jiu-jitsu under your belt, you’ve seen the benefits of the sport, and you’ve seen that it’s a great workout. All that’s left to do is get started.
First, you can use BJJ training to build the foundation of your fitness program. This way, when you finally decide to start using a weight program, you’ll have a good base to start from.
Next, you can add some heavy lifting to your BJJ routine. This way, you can make use of the resistance training benefits of jiu-jitsu while also adding a few pounds to your lifts.
Finally, you can use BJJ to build a strong mind for competition. This is especially important because, when you grapple, you can’t afford to get too caught up in the action.
Finally, when you consider how difficult jiu-jitsu is, how fast-paced the sport is, and how effective the workout is, it’s no wonder it builds muscle. And, when you look at the benefits of jiu-jitsu, you’ll see that it’s not just great martial art but also a great way to build muscle while also building confidence and self-defense skills. So, if you’re ready to get started building muscle from jiu-jitsu, consider signing up for a class or two.