Stephan Kesting On How To Stay In ‘BJJ Shape’ When You’re On The Road

Grapplearts founder Stephan Kesting is probably on the road quite a bit, so there’s a good chance he knows how hard it can be to stay in “BJJ shape” when you’re in a new place. After all, you don’t know where the gyms are, you don’t know good places to run, and you don’t know where you can train.

This is why Kesting has come up with a list of what you can do to stay in shape while you’re on the road.

Call up a local BJJ gym

Unlike other martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu gyms usually have no problem with out-of-towners training for a day or two at their gyms.

I can attest to this. I’ve lived in two different countries — not including the one I was born in — and trained at well over six different gyms. All of them were happy to have me as a temporary student.

This open culture in jiu-jitsu is also great because it will give you access to many different perspectives. Maybe your instructor isn’t much of a spider guard player, but you just happen to be in southern California and close to Tinguinha Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, run by one of the best spider guard players in the world, Mauricio Tinguinha. Well, now you’re able to learn something you probably wouldn’t know much about if you only had access to your home academy.

If you’re on the road, take advantage of Brazilian jiu-jitsu’s open culture, and train at as many different gyms as possible.

Make sure to get your instructor’s permission about it first, though.

Watch your diet. 

Again, I can attest to this. In Asia, 90 percent of my diet is vegetables. However, when I travel back to the United States to visit family, I’m surrounded by the huge portions of fattening food that make it fairly hard to stay in shape in the Land of the Free.

However, Kesting warns that you should not use a road trip as an excuse to indulge in hedonism. Watch your diet, and especially stay away from the booze. If you’re in your thirties or older, recovering from a week or even a few days of drinking and overeating can take a long time.


This should be the most obvious one. Of course you have to exercise! How else are you going to stay in shape?

The good news is that most hotels have gyms. The better news is that even if they don’t, there are loads of workouts you can do right in your hotel room. Most bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere, and there are plenty of online instructionals if you don’t know any.

Remember: you’re not trying to get more fit than you already are; you’re just trying stay at your current fitness level. At the very least, you don’t want to sink too far below it.

Happy travels!


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