Do your elbows ache from the arm bars that you took too long to tap to?
Do you have a sore shoulder that refuses to heal from that time you were swept and did a shoulder plant?
Do your knees snap, crackle, and pop every time you stand up?
Do you have more tape on your fingers and toes than the monster in “The Mummy”?
If so, you might need to take a training break.
Most sports have an off season, especially in colder climates. When the snow flies, the bats and balls are put away for next year. That way, many athletes have a period where they can rest overused muscles and heal common athlete’s tendinitis.
But jiu-jitsu is different. There is no off season and athletes may be in competition preparation mode for long stretches of the year.
Top sports coaches know that an athlete can not maintain a top peak indefinitely; therefore, the athlete cycles her peaks at different points throughout the year.
Post competition, a recovery phase is needed where the athlete trains at a lower intensity. She often cross trains in other activities to maintain her general fitness while resting the sports specific muscles.
There are also psychological benefits to taking a brief break from the grind. Yes, the top guys are fond of saying “embrace the grind!” But realistically the “grind” can grind you down!
If you are plagued with chronic aches and pains and feel your normal enthusiasm waning, it sounds like you need a break.
Many coaches understand that highly motivated athletes will drive themselves too hard at times.
Instead of having to “crack the whip,” though, and push lazy athletes, more often the problem is the opposite! Keeping an over-training athlete OUT of the gym to give him time to recover between hard training sessions is something a good coach does.
Often, an injury is the only period of rest a top BJJ guy gives himself. While the knee is healing, ALL of those other nagging injuries will also have a chance to heal.
Don’t feel guilty about taking a break if you need one. Top athletes in other sports benefit from an off season and so should BJJ guys!
Read also: – The Armlock From The Mount – A Mini Tutorial