By Christal Montoya

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There are only 24 hours in a day and that doesn’t seem like nearly enough time, especially when you’re training BJJ! Many Jiu Jitsu practitioners wish that there were more hours during the day so they could train more. Balancing these precious 24 hours between training and other life responsibilities is a huge challenge. Chances are you can’t train all day and eat acai. You most likely have a job and other time commitments such as school, family, and a social life. So how do you get the most out of your training when time is limited?

Plan: This is one of those situations where a little planning goes a long way. Figure out how many times a week you would like to train and try to incorporate your free time that isn’t already committed to work, school, or family and social commitments into that space. This is probably easier said than done but it is worth trying and will determine if you’re going to be a morning Jiu Jitsu practitioner or a night owl. It’s easier to stay on track with your training if it is a concrete part of your routine. You should also make sure that your schedule includes getting enough rest and eating well so that you have the energy to get through your training and make the most of it. One of the worst parts of training when you don’t have a lot of time is not getting quality sessions in when you can make it to class. A good way to avoid this is to make sure your body is functioning optimally.

Prioritize: Depending on what you want out of your training and how often that requires you to train, you may find yourself with some difficult choices about how you are going to spend your time. The more time you spend training the less time you will have for other areas of your life. In order to make more time to train, it’s possible that you’ll find yourself dropping nonessential commitments from your life. You may end up watching less TV and hanging out with friends less and that’s okay. Jiu Jitsu is amazing and life changing and so fun! However, it is important to not let those responsibilities fully fall to the wayside. You should still be spending time with your family and friends. If you’re lucky, chances are they’re very supportive and excited about how excited you are about Jiu Jitsu and wanting to improve.

Do Whatever You Can: The best piece of advice I received about training when making the time for it seems impossible is simple, do what you can. Progress might be slow and even frustrating but it’s worth making it to class even if it is one time a week. Sometimes it’s impossible to make more time despite how much you try to plan and organize but training whenever you can is important. It sets you up with a foundation and something to come back to. Jiu Jitsu will still be there and waiting for you when you finally are able to give it more time.

Often BJJ can feel like an exercise in sacrifice. The further you progress in your journey the more the sport demands from you. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think it’s just the natural progression of falling in love in with the sport and wanting to improve and see how far it can take you. Time and how you budget it ends up being one of the bigger areas that requires sacrifice but it’s important to remember that doing what you can will lead to improvement. What are your strategies for training when time is limited? Let us know in the comments!