Brazilian jiu-jitsu is without a doubt a challenging sport that burns a lot of calories as it exhausts people both mentally and physically. It is the perfect sport for people looking to learn how to defend themselves, lose weight, gain muscle, develop cardio and live a healthier life in general.
With that being said, one might wonder how many calories does BJJ burn approximately. This is a difficult question to answer due to the fact that it depends on quite a few factors and it varies from person to person. Therefore, the best answer would be to say the average amount of calories that BJJ burns, and that is somewhere between 440 to 680 per hour of BJJ.
Remember that this is just a rough estimate as some BJJ sessions burn more calories than others. In this article, we will review and discuss the many factors that influence the number of calories that a BJJ burns.
After this article is over, you will be able to almost precisely determine how many calories does your body burn after an average and high-intensity BJJ session.
Approximate Amount of Calories that BJJ Burns
First of all, in order to figure out how many calories does a typical BJJ training burns, let’s talk about the following fundamental variables that we need to take into account such as:
- Parts of the Session
All classes begin with stretching and warm up drills as they are important to prevent injuries. They are followed by technique demonstration and drilling. Once those parts are completed, students begin to roll. Once the rolls are finished, the class is over.
It should go without saying that big people burn more calories for doing the exact same movements than small people since they need to move a bigger body around.
Briefly speaking, should you choose to train at a lighter pace, you will burn fewer calories. In contrast, training at a hard pace will result in burning more calories.
When you first started BJJ, rolling sessions were extremely challenging, you got fatigued very quickly. However, after a while, the rolling sessions got a little easier. That means that you developed a little bit of condition for rolling. As a result, you burn fewer calories than when you first started.
Now that you have gotten acquainted with the key factors that have to do with how many calories does BJJ burn, let’s get into the math.
It is estimated that per hour for every pound of body weight:
- Stretching burns 1.81
- Warm ups burn 2.43 calories,
- Drills and technique burn 3.25 calories,
- Rolling burns 4.87 calories
There is a formula for calculating how many calories are burned. In order to better understand it, we are going to use a 190 lb man as an example and calculate how many calories can he burn during an hour of BJJ.
Stretching for 5 minutes [(1.81 x 190lbs) ÷ 60min] x 5min = 29 calories
Warm-ups for 10 minutes: [(2.43 x 190lbs) ÷ 60min] x 10min = 78 calories
Drills and Technique for 25 minutes: [(3.25 x 190lbs) ÷ 60min] x 25min = 257 calories
Sparring for 20 minutes: [(4.87 x 190lbs) ÷ 60min] x 20min = 308 calories
As you can see, a 190 lb man would burn approximately 672 calories during an hour of BJJ. That is a lot, especially if we take into consideration that most BJJ sessions last for 90 minutes, resulting in even more calories being burned.
However, if this formula is too confusing for you or if you would like to make calculations easy on yourself, there are plenty of online calculators that are very simple to use.
Is BJJ Good for Weight Loss?
In order to lose weight, you have to spend more calories than you intake. Simple, right? However, people who struggle to lose weight know how difficult this seemingly simple process actually is. During a BJJ session, you are always on the move, making it a perfect sport for people who want to lose weight.
BJJ alone will aid a person who is struggling to lose weight as only an hour of BJJ burns a lot of calories. Combine it with a good nutrient-dense diet and results are sure to come even faster. The hard part is sticking to it as it is a high-intensity sport with a high dropout rate.
Should you decide to continue going to BJJ sessions frequently, you will develop meaningful relationships with people who have the same or similar goals as you. Never underestimate the importance of those kinds of people as you are a reflection of the people you are with.
Finally, in addition to losing body fat, you will develop muscle mass and confidence. Believe it or not, it only takes a couple of months to see the results. Even though the first few months are difficult and you will not feel like going to BJJ sessions from time to time, they are worth the trouble!
Calorie Loss in BJJ vs Other Sports
Few sports can compare with BJJ in the number of calories that you stand to burn in only one hour. For example, we will take a 190 lb man and see how many calories he stands to burn by doing one hour of the following sports:
- Weightlifting: 560 calories
- Soccer (general): 635 calories
- Basketball (general): 585
- Wrestling: 544
- Boxing (sparring): 814
Finally, pinpointing the exact number of calories that a person can burn from a session of BJJ is no easy task. This is due to the fact that there are a lot of variables. However, it is safe to say that Brazilian jiu-jitsu is by far one of the most calorie-consuming sports that a person can take up.
In addition to losing a lot of calories during one session and losing weight by doing so, practitioners stand to gain muscle mass and confidence.