Here at Gracie Botany, we are passionate about sharing the incredible physical health and fitness benefits that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) offers, especially for those who are just starting out. As one of the leading BJJ academies in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, we want to highlight just how transformative this martial art can be if you’re looking to improve your overall health, fitness, and training performance.
In this blog, we’ll outline the top 5 physical benefits you can expect to experience as a beginner taking up BJJ for the first time. We’ll also bust some common myths and reassure you that BJJ is for everyone – regardless of age, fitness level or ability!
1. Improved Cardiovascular Health
One of the greatest health benefits of BJJ is improved heart health and cardiovascular fitness. Unlike some other martial arts that rely on short explosive bursts, BJJ emphasizes extended grappling exchanges that get your heart pumping!
Sparring and rolling with a training partner means elevated heart rate for 6 minute rounds, increasing cardiovascular endurance. As you advance, your resting heart rate will lower and lung capacity will improve.
For beginners especially, BJJ is an excellent way to develop stamina and improve circulatory health. Starting out, you can expect your cardio to improve steadily week-to-week, even if you’ve never done martial arts before.
2. Muscle Toning and Strength
While cardio is a huge focus, BJJ will also help you develop functional strength and tone muscles. It’s a full-body workout that engages both the upper and lower body.
Grappling and sparring works muscle groups like the core, back, shoulders and arms. Holding positions like the guard or passing guard builds incredible core strength. The constant movement and resistance when rolling with a partner also sculpts the legs, glutes and other major muscle groups.
As a beginner, you’ll notice yourself getting stronger and your muscles becoming more defined within just a few weeks. And because BJJ builds functional strength, you’ll find it much easier to go about daily activities like lifting objects or carrying groceries.
3. Weight Loss and Fat Burning
If one of your fitness goals is to trim down and lose excess weight, BJJ is one of the most effective martial arts for fat burning and weight loss.
The high-intensity cardio and muscle-building we mentioned already are key drivers for increased caloric burn during training. A 60-minute BJJ session can burn anywhere from 500-1000 calories, helping you shed fat fast.
But even after you finish training, your metabolism stays elevated for hours post-workout – meaning you continue burning extra calories. As you gain muscle mass, your resting metabolism will increase as well.
For beginners, training BJJ 3-5 times per week is enough to start seeing noticeable changes in your body composition within a month or two. And because it’s so fun and engaging, it’s easy to stay consistent!
4. Improved Flexibility and Mobility
Unlike strength training at the gym, BJJ requires your body to move in ways you’re not used to. The dynamic grappling involves constant twisting, turning, bending and maneuvering your joints through wide ranges of motion. This naturally improves flexibility and mobility over time.
Stretching is also a key part of every BJJ training session. At Gracie Botany, we guide you through stretches that specifically target the hips, hamstrings, shoulders and back. This helps undo the “knots” that build up from sitting at a desk all day.
For beginners who feel “tight and stiff”, you’ll be amazed at how much more limber and agile your body feels after just a month or two of regular BJJ training. Your posture and range of motion improves significantly.
5. Reduced Injury Risk
Some people worry that starting a martial art like BJJ later in life may increase their risk of injury. But we’ve found the opposite to be true – BJJ actually reduces injury risk by improving your overall movement competency.
The constant motion increases joint mobility, while the resistance training strengthens supportive muscles and connective tissue. This makes your body more resilient and able to withstand incidental impacts.
Our instructors also emphasize safe training practices and progressions to ensure beginners aren’t pushed too far, too soon. We take injury prevention seriously.
So if you’re wary of throws, takedowns or high-impact training, BJJ is a safer alternative you can feel confident starting as a beginner.
Busting Myths: BJJ is For Anyone!
Now that you know the immense physical benefits of training BJJ, you may be wondering if it’s right for you. We want to bust some common myths and reassure you that BJJ is for ANYONE – regardless of age, gender or current fitness level.
Here are some of the most frequent concerns we hear from beginners:
- “I’m not young and athletic enough” – Absolutely false! We have students start in their 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. You work at your own pace and ability.
- “I’m not flexible or coordinated enough” – Don’t worry, neither were we at first! You gain flexibility and body awareness WITH training.
- “I don’t want to get hurt or be in pain” – Your safety is our top priority. We progress carefully and you tap early/often if anything hurts.
- “I’m scared to try a martial art as a woman” – BJJ is empowering for women. You’ll gain confidence to defend yourself.
- “I’m overweight and not in shape” – BJJ will get you in shape! It’s low impact and adaptable for all fitness levels.
No matter your background or current ability, our passionate instructors will coach you through BJJ at your own pace. We promise you’ll fall in love with the mental and physical challenges!
Start Your BJJ Journey at Gracie Botany!
We hope reading about these 5 major physical health and fitness benefits has convinced you to give BJJ a go!
Here at Gracie Botany, we offer a welcoming environment for men, women and children to start training BJJ. Schedule a free intro session to meet our coaches and try a class for yourself.
Our fundamentals program is designed specifically for beginners easing into BJJ. You’ll be part of a supportive community where we all help each other improve day-by-day.
Don’t put it off any longer – your health, fitness and confidence will thank you! Contact us today.