I have officially started the off season.
Let me explain…
Leading up to NoGi worlds, I started feeling burnt out. My body had taken enough punishment for the year, but I was not going to stop. I worked all the way up to NoGi worlds, and did my thing at the tournament. Afterwards the tournament, I decided I wanted a break from competing. The preparation for competition is very monotonous, grueling, and sometimes not fun. I have to kill myself to try and make two sessions a day whenever my job allows. Usually after a tournament, I take it easy for a week skipping some sessions. However, this time I wanted to stay close to the mats to continue progressing. Training at the academy after this tournament becomes very relaxed. We are encouraged to play with our Jiu-Jitsu. This is a very fun time, and a period, if used correctly, to grow as a grappler in an exponential manner.
What the off season means to me as it relates to bjj grappling..
I am going to be treating the next couple of months like an off season. I will still be working on improving my bjj skills, adding to my jiu-jitsu repertoire, and expanding my overall grappling ability. But, I will not be doing any two-a-days. I may skip a weekend training session to sleep in if I am feeling lazy or had too much fun the night prior. I’ll also be enjoying other activities that I sacrifice during competition training such as: strength training, biking, rock climbing, and hiking. I am pretty excited to slack off for a bit.
Some of you may be asking yourself, why I am going to willingly back off from bjj? I am not going to back off completely. But, my focus is going to be entirely different. I always feel really burnt out after a tournament; I lose motivation, I don’t feel excited to train, and I always want a break. You may not have this problem. Perhaps you don’t compete much. Or, perhaps you just don’t experience psychological training fatigue like I do on top of the physical toll it takes on your body. At any rate, I read an article that made a lot of sense to me regarding mma fighters getting injured. I suggest you read it, it has some good information as well as poses some questions that are relevant to all combat athletes.
One of the main points it makes is the necessity of an off season. I talked to my instructor about this, and we both agreed that bjj grapplers can’t just take months off at a time because of the need to constantly refine our techniques and add to our jiu-jitsu repertoire.
But, we can definitely control the frequency, intensity, and protocols of our training. So, I will be experimenting with an off season where I will be changing the focus of my bjj training as well as sacrificing a little bit of time on the mats to enjoy myself and supplement my training.
Does anyone else do off seasons? What does your training look like during the off-season?
Follow me: @rubeneavila