There’s nothing quite like a Jiu-Jitsu workout.
It’s a great option if you’re looking to lose weight and live a healthier life.
In this post, you’ll find out exactly how many calories you burn during a BJJ session.
And you’ll find out why Jiu-Jitsu is such a good workout.
Let’s get into it.
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How Many Calories Does Jiu-Jitsu Burn?
How many calories you burn while doing Jiu-Jitsu depends on your weight, the type of training you’re doing, and the time you spend training. A middleweight weighing 176 lbs will burn 695 calories during a standard 1 hour-long BJJ class. A heavyweight weighing 210 lbs will burn 869 calories.
To work out how many calories you’re burning during Jiu-Jitsu, you need to separate the class into 3 different activities:
- Drilling techniques
The rate at which you burn calories during 15 minutes of warm-ups is considerably slower than during 25 minutes of live sparring against a resisting opponent.
I’ve created a simple calculator below to give you a good estimate of the calories you’re burning during your training sessions.
ALSO READ: Ultimate Jiu-Jitsu Gi Buyers Guide
Is Jiu-Jitsu A Good Way To Lose Weight?
Jiu-Jitsu is a great way to lose weight because you’re not actively trying to lose weight. Rather, it’s a fortunate consequence of the intense training you’re doing. With BJJ you don’t have to motivate yourself to lose weight, because your motivation for doing it is because it’s fun.
This is one of the perks of being into an active hobby that keeps you fit.
Compared to other hobbies, BJJ and other grappling sports offer a really good bang for their buck.
How BJJ Compares To Other Sports
Below are the 9 top sports by calories burned per hour for a person weighing 154 lbs.
The BJJ numbers are calculated for a practitioner attending an hour-long open mat session:
|No||Sport||Calories / Hour|
|9||Gym (weights & cardio)||590|
I’ve done many sports, but Jiu-Jitsu is by far the most intense workout I’ve ever had.
From drilling techniques to live sparring a resisting training partner, it all requires a constant level of activity.
Replicating the type of training you get with BJJ requires a combination of different types of exercises, but even then it’s very difficult to get the same level of calorie burn within the same 1 hour period.
How Much Weight Can You Lose Doing BJJ?
The amount of weight you lose doing BJJ depends on the following factors:
- How often you train
- What type of training you’re doing
- Your weight
- Your diet
By training BJJ 2-3 days a week for 1 hour, a person weighing 200 lbs could lose around 0.7 lbs per week.
If you combine this with a good eating plan to ensure you’re constantly at a calorie deficit, you could lose even more.
BJJ Weight-loss Graph
Below is a weight-loss graph showing you how much weight you’ll lose per 1 hour class of BJJ.
For example, a 190 lb person will lose approximately 1.05 lbs each week if they attend 5 classes per week.
How Can I Lose Weight With BJJ?
The best way to lose weight with BJJ is to train with a live sparring partner. Prolonged muscle activation combined with stretching and short bursts of speed required for sparring burns a large number of calories in a short period of time. Training this way regularly will help you lose weight faster.
When trying to lose weight with BJJ you have to consider what you’re spending most of your time doing.
For example, if you do more warm-ups than live sparring you’re likely to lose fewer calories for the same 1-hour training session.
3 Ways Jiu-Jitsu Helps You Lose Weight
The obvious reason you lose weight with BJJ is because of the energy-draining grappling you have to do.
Here’s a post on BJJ exercises you can do at home, by yourself to start losing weight today.
But what exactly does Jiu-Jitsu do that helps you lose weight:
BJJ Builds A Strong Core
Something you’ll come to realise very quickly with Jiu-Jitsu is the amount of core strength you develop.
You use your core in almost every position:
- Maintaining your balance when on top
- Keeping a strong posture when in the guard
- Maintaining guard by constantly moving to off-balance opponents
- When shrimping or bridging
The list goes on…
Core exercises are often promoted by fitness experts because it’s one of the most effective ways to lose weight.
Your core consists of a pretty large group of muscles.
By training and conditioning these muscles you are speeding up the weight-loss process.
Jiu-Jitsu Is Basically HIIT
If you’re not familiar with the term, HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training.
It’s a very effective form of weight-loss training that focuses on short bursts of energy with gaps for active rest periods.
You might’ve seen these sorts of HIIT facilities at your local gym.
An equipment circuit with a buzzer telling you when to move to the next machine.
Jiu-Jitsu is essentially doing exactly this.
Much of BJJ is learning to use energy strategically, otherwise, you risk gassing out and losing the fight simply because you ran out of strength to resist your opponent.
By sparring in short bursts of energy with periods of active rest, you’re not only able to fight more effectively and efficiently…
But you’ll also lose weight much faster and without even realizing it.
BJJ Builds Muscle That Burns Fat
The reason you’re able to develop so much strength with Jiu-Jitsu is because of the intense physical nature of the sport. You are constantly fighting someone else’s strength and technique. This is not something you’re able to replicate in the gym with a weight bench.
Any personal trainer will tell you how important it is to include muscle-building exercises in your weight-loss program.
The more muscle you develop, the more fat you burn because of the energy required to maintain those muscles.
One of the biggest perks of doing BJJ is the amount of strength you’ll develop.
Your arms, shoulders, back, legs, neck, and core will all be thoroughly worked out during a 1-hour class.