So this isn’t really even funny… I mean, not for someone who thinks they’re generally in decent shape. It was kind of humiliating coming to the blanket realization, honestly!
When I started Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, I committed to three classes a week – Combatives, specifically. When I got my second stripe I was admitted into Reflex Development – just one more, one-hour class a week.
Well…after about two weeks of that schedule, I had to cut my cardio by about half (maybe more) AND tone down my lifting. I was, admittedly, in shock. I could run 8 HIIT miles on a treadmill before class, do the hour, then lift, and I’d be fine… I was tired, but I could do it. So what the hell happened?!
I got broadsided with a horrible bout of overtraining – nasty, frustrating, prolonged. I was doing way too much, and didn’t internalize just how much the extra rolling and working through techniques would add. It wasn’t SO much more, but enough to tip my scales. In a bad way!
There I thought I was in great shape – I can do intense cardio (much that I despise it), I can lift more than most my size, and I push myself like I’m on a mission. But shrimping across the room ONCE? I thought I needed a paramedic!
If you are new to Jiu-Jitsu. . .
- DON’T be surprised if you need to cut back on other activities.
- Also DON’T be surprised if you are going into it as a fit individual – it may show you up the first day!
- DO keep in mind that you are using muscles you may not have fired as much previously, and in a different way.
The idea is that you are smart with your movement and don’t pre-exhaust yourself unnecessarily. But in the beginning you might well do too much – it’s okay, and you will get there.
Definitely back off other physical endeavors if you are feeling poorly (mentally, physically, whatever!) It could be a sign of doing too much. Jiu-Jitsu is known for its ass-kicking… You are going to be tired, no doubt about it!