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Jeremy Lafreniere 09-09-2007 12:12 PM

BJJ & CrossFit
Hello everyone,

This is my first post ever on this Message Board :)

I am an avid BJJ practitioner, and am a CrossFit convert! And for my first post I would love some advice on training (or at least a good shove in the direction of informational resources.)

On my rest days, should I also stay away from participating in BJJ sparring rounds? They can be pretty intense, and I have a history of overtraining.

Also, is it too much to participate in every WOD while training intensly in BJJ (we do between 3 and 6 eight minute sparring rounds at every practice session) 5 days a week?

Of course I am sure that experimentation is the best answer, but I was curious if anyone had any insight into these questions?


Peter Dell'Orto 09-09-2007 08:34 PM

Re: BJJ & CrossFit
Somewhat short answers, from a competitive amateur MMAer who also does Crossfit:

- A "rest day" that has full-out sparring is not a rest day. That's not rest, sparring is hard work and intense work and long.

- it's hard to do crossfit (or any other equally intense workout) and train MMA/BJJ. Metcons can be very draining, and some of them are more intense and draining than others (the Heroes workouts especially). Doing them and then following it with BJJ is possible, but you will be more tired for sparring than you were before...and and you get more fit you'll just ramp up the crossfit intensity so you won't get less tired. Work hard but be conservative, especially if you know you overdo it from enthusiasm sometimes.

- You can do it - I do - but be prepared to scale the crossfit workouts and miss a few days here and there. Doing every WOD on the day it is posted, and doing BJJ - which I bet isn't on 3-on-1-off like the WODs - is going to be hard on your body. You'll end up missing rest days entirely and you'll probably run yourself into the ground.

My suggestion is:

- choose your priority now. Is it getting better at crossfit or at BJJ? Don't choose "both." Which is more important? If you had to miss a WOD or a BJJ class, which would you rather miss?

- make a schedule. Sit down with a planner for the week or month and mark down all your BJJ classes and pick 1-2 rest days a week. You do 5 classes of BJJ a week, right? 1 per day, 5 days a week? Mark some or all of those days you do BJJ with WOD. On those days, do the WOD as posted or a recently missed one (one that came up on your off days). Before or after BJJ, do the WOD or a substitute.

- learn to scale. Some workouts are grueling and meant to be; doing them plus a BJJ class might be too much. Do a scaled version and then do BJJ.

FWIW, I compete in Shooto in Japan, and we have an official BJJ team in our gym. I train about 5 days a week in MMA if you count the day I teach a class, plus I do Kendo 1-2 days a week, and my "off" days usually involve riding a dozen-plus miles on my bike to get to classes or appointments (no car). So I scale when I have to, and I swap out workouts it isn't reasonable to accomplish within my schedule with ones I missed that are. I'm certainly not getting the full benefit of crossfit, but I am getting the most out of my training time, and that's where I chose to prioritize.

Hope that helps. Good luck with your training.

Jeremy Lafreniere 09-10-2007 06:15 AM

Re: BJJ & CrossFit
Thank you very much! That was very insightful, and I hope more people post so that I can learn from their experiences/insights as well!


Vic Blanchard 09-10-2007 12:31 PM

Re: BJJ & CrossFit
Hey Jeremy, cool to see you picking up crossfit.

Its probably too much to train a regular 3 on 1 off crossfit schedule and train jiu jitsu 5 times a week. I did something similar this summer, and it was rough. I also wasn't working or going to school...or teaching BJJ classes.

One thing that I did for BJJ was taking a couple days out of my training and just working on technique. I still sparred, but would concentrate on flowing with the upper belts. Not "competition style" training for sure!

BJJ and crossfit are both plenty scalable. Make sure to pay good attention to your body. I think proper nutrition really becomes important as well when you start walk that edge of overtraining.

Good luck!

Jeremy Lafreniere 09-10-2007 03:04 PM

Re: BJJ & CrossFit
Hey Vic,

I had no idea that you were CrossFitting! Cool man :highfive:.

I was thinking about training CrossFit (mornings only) and BJJ (evenings only) for a 3 on and 1 off training schedule. Were you doing this? Or were you training BJJ on a BJJ schedule, and CrossFit on the prescribed WOD days?

I am curious if other people used a full recovery day every 4th day while training intensely in both CrossFit and their chosen sport, and improved, or better yet, thrived!!??

Vic Blanchard 09-11-2007 10:51 AM

Re: BJJ & CrossFit

I was training twice a day 5 days a week. Crossfit M,W,S. Starting strength style lifting T, F. Then I trained Jiu jitsu MTWFS. So I took off Sundays and Thursdays. Essentially it was a 3 on 1 off, then 2 on 1 off schedule. This works better for me as it is a 7 day deal.

I did not follow the WOD on the homepage, instead picking one of 3 WOD's on the board at CrossfitRVA. I still do the same, which is a nice option to have.

Given all that, if I was ever feeling really burnt out I would take time off as I needed. I paid a lot of attention to diet and recovery. I think I made great strides in lifting, crossfit, and Jiu Jitsu, however would probably made more progress in any one had I concentrated on it alone.

Now that I am back in school, I just train crossfit twice a week, lift once or twice, but still try to train BJJ 4-5 days a week.

With some trial and error I am sure you can figure out a good schedule for both your Crossfit and BJJ. Giving yourself half a day between workouts definitly helps. If you can, try to get a nap in as well.

Kevin Perry 09-11-2007 01:52 PM

Re: BJJ & CrossFit
Hello Jeremy,

When I train CF and BJJ I usually train on the same 3 on 1 off format and two of those days are dedicated to BJJ, 2 to CF style metcons, and 2 to MEBB. You can use your off day's to work technique or fit it in with your CF or lifting days. Like everyone else said, It can get rough but it's not impossible.

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