How To Train More Often Without Burning Yourself Out

Over the past couple of years I have gradually ramped up my training schedule.  When I first got back into jiu-jitsu, I made time to train three days a week, then I went to four.  As of the past two years I normally train six to seven times a week.

For some this may not be a big number. Elite professional athletes often train twice a day. But for most, training as many times a week as there are days in a week isn’t feasible, and not necessarily because of lack of time.  Training often is difficult for many because they don’t have the know-how to do so without burning out.

Here are some methods I’ve found that allow me to train as often as possible without burning out:

Don’t roll hard every session.  

This is difficult for many.  As soon as you slap hands and bump fists with your training partners your personality changes, even if just a bit.  You naturally become more competitive.  There are some days that I avoid certain training partners that I know bring out the best (or the worst, depending on how you look at it) in me.  Balance days that you train hard with days that you take it easy.

Tap early and tap often.  

When it comes to joint locks, once you’re caught, waiting for your training partner to crank on it, or worse yet spazzing to escape is a recipe for injury.  I’ve seen practitioners tragically try to explode out of locked submissions, to their detriment.  Just tap.  It’s really not that big of a deal.

Don’t roll at all during certain sessions.  

Some people don’t have the discipline or the willpower to tone it down.  That’s okay.  Sometimes, it’s better to just not roll, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still train if there’s a session available and you have time.  Drilling can be a great way to improve your game without putting your body through the rigors of live rolling.

Work with the new guy.  

Teaching is beneficial not only to the person being taught but the person doing the teaching.  Many top competitors say that teaching has made them more technical.  You can work one-on-one with a newbie and not only will it help them develop their jiu-jitsu, but you will develop a deeper understanding of the techniques you are working on with them.

Do other kinds of training.  

If you simply cannot make it to the gym or don’t have the discipline to not beat your body up, there are tons of training options like Yoga, Cross Fit (or programs like it,) power lifting, and even solo drills that you can do to improve your game without breaking your body down in live training.

The more you train the better you’ll be at jiu-jitsu. So, if you want to improve, a great way to do so is to increase the number of times you train in a week.  It will never be easy, but if you love jiu-jitsu, it will be worthwhile.

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Emil Fischer is an active black belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training at Strong Style Mixed Martial Arts and Training Center near Cleveland Ohio ( and teaching at Ararat Martial Arts and FItness Center. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at and Emil is sponsored by Meerkatsu (, discount code EmilKatsu), Eddy's On Coventry, North Coast Cryo ( NottaRookie, YM ( discount code COOKIES), Defense Soap ( discount code COOKIES) Impact Mouthguards ( discount code EMILIMPACT), and North South Jiu Jitsu Underwear


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