As a Part Time Grappler, I don't do a huge amount of BJJ sessions per week, but I still expect good results from them and the secret, if there is one, is enjoying the sessions and making every BJJ session count. In a nutshell, train smart!
Doing anything the smart way, grappling and BJJ included, means you have to arrive prepared. Make sure you've packed your Gi, shorts, rash guard, groin guard ...etc. Forgetting even one of these items could spoil your session and proceeding without may indeed lead to some serious injury (fellas, ever trained Uchi Mata without a groin guard? Ouch!)
But remembering to pack and prepare your gym bag ahead of your BJJ session is only half the equation. You must remember to pack both your body and mind so that you arrive prepared to learn grappling the most efficient and safest way.
I could talk for hours about mental and physical preparation but since we are experiencing a heat wave, I'll focus on the often neglected topic of hydration. Here are some good tips I picked up over the years:
1. Arrive at the BJJ or grappling mat fully hydrated. You achieve this by drinking water thru-out the day. In all weathers, you should have a water bottle at your side that you sip from all day long. 2 litres per day is minimum!
2. If your session lasts longer than 60 minutes, make sure you take in some water or recovery drink during the session too*
3. Don't expect that you'll find a healthy beverge in time before, during or after your grappling session. Pack one (or two) with you. Take charge and control of your own training and health.
4. Drink water. Sports drinks, tea, juice, coffee, milk...etc. are fine as extras but your daily fluid requirements should come from water with anything else just as bonus.
5. There is a life after Jiu jiutsu! Replace lost fluids (and minerals) after the session. Immediately. Not once you've showered and changed and definitely don't leave until you get home. Ideally, you should be replenishing while still on the mat straight after your session.
So, drink thru-out the day, arrive hydrated and stay hydrated. BJJ and grappling are very demanding and you will sweat buckets. Just watch this awesome clip of BJ Penn rolling with Leo Vieira. You can almost touch the sweat thru the screen.
Did you know your mental and physical performance will drop considerably after a mere 2% drop in hydration!? And you wanted to grapple unprepared? Or even worse, get behind the wheel and drive home!
Train safely. Stay hydrated.
Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi
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