Posted on November 30, 2021
The Holidays are upon us this year, and that means more eating and probably fewer days of training Jiu Jitsu.
Whichever Holidays you celebrate during the winter season, if you’re like us at JiuJitsu.com, you want to balance celebrating with friends and family while enjoying rich delicious food, all without losing every ounce of BJJ progress you made since your last new years resolution.
This can be challenging for many of us ‘typical’ BJJ trainees juggling life, family, and our love for the grappling mats.
The good news is you can fully enjoy your holidays without demolishing all your BJJ progress.
In this article, we will discuss the best strategies for enjoying your holidays without losing your BJJ progress and ensuring you hit the new year with a running start towards your next round of BJJ goals.
Without further ado… combate!
This applies mainly to serious competitors but is relevant to hobbyists as well.
In a nutshell, if you plan to compete between December and February (with the goal of doing well), you will need to make sure you prioritize your training.
Additionally, if you have to be on a certain weight on a given day, you will have to moderate your consumption of holiday sweets and treats.
If competition success in BJJ matters to you over the holidays, expect to skip out on a few family game nights or slices of pie if that’s what it takes to get your training in and be on weight.
But don’t worry, you can still enjoy the holidays, just know you have additional priorities.
Let’s say you do not plan to compete in the Holiday season, or if you do, you aren’t signing up for an ambitious bracket and do not care about winning.
In that case, planning to spend a bit more time with family over the Holiday weeks might be a better priority.
Training two or three days a week will keep you from stalling or regressing in BJJ skill, but still gives you the flexibility to enjoy evening with family and avoid stressing about your holiday indulgences.
Remember that BJJ is a long game.
You need a schedule and mental flexibility to keep training while enjoying every other aspect of life – especially if BJJ is your hobby, recreation, and stress relief as opposed to your professional career.
If every Holiday season becomes a drag because you overstress missing practice and enjoying a meal with family, is that really sustainable for decades?
Once you have assessed your schedule and holiday plans, it’s vital that you commit to your holiday BJJ schedule with the same ferocity you would (theoretically) approach an ADCC training camp.
For example, let’s say you commit to one training per week for the 2 weeks over Christmas (if that’s the holiday you celebrate).
You must diligently avoid making plans around your decided class time. Recall that you already opened up your week for holiday celebrations – don’t let the boundaries creep once you have committed to your plan.
Even if you are making only one of two BJJ practices per week over the holidays, you should still find the time to do shorter bouts of exercise to avoid becoming a complete couch potato.
A 20 minute jog takes far less time and effort to coordinate than a 2 hour evening BJJ class.
Although the jog is far less fun than doing BJJ, getting a couple runs in per week will go a long way towards keeping you from being as out of shape when you do finally return to the mats.
With the flexibility and reduced time demands of shorter workouts, you can maintain your fitness while still enjoying the holiday festivities.
As we know, the Holiday season comes and goes quickly.
If you plan your post-Holiday return to training, this can help alleviate the stress you might feel with reduced training over the holidays.
You aren’t quitting BJJ or falling off the wagon, you are just training a little less to ensure you fully enjoy everything the holiday season has to offer.
Of course, this does ultimately depend on you following through on your New Years commitment. However, if you are already reading this article and considering your options, this probably won’t be an issue for you.
There’s no denying the importance of enjoying the holidays.
While dedicated BJJ professionals may need to skip out on aspects of the holiday season to stay competition-ready, for most of us who do BJJ recreationally, striking a balance with family, food, and friends over the holidays is important – especially if you value these aspects of holiday celebration.
Planning out your competitions can help you realistically assess how much you need to train. From there adjusting expectations, sticking to your schedule, and keeping in shape with shorter non-BJJ workouts can help you enjoy the holiday season without losing all your hard-earned gains.
Finally, plan your post-holiday return to the mats and fully commit to getting after it come the New Year.
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