How Many Calories Does Jiu Jitsu Burn? 6 Ways to Burn More!

How many calories does Jiu Jitsu burn?

Jiu Jitsu is a physically and mentally demanding sport that requires strength, agility, and endurance. Not only is it a great form of self-defense, but it’s also an effective way to stay fit and burn calories.

In this article, we’ll explore the question of how many calories does Jiu Jitsu burn and provide some useful tips for maximizing your calory burn during BJJ training.

One hour of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Sparring burns approximately 500 calories for the average athlete. For the individual, the exact number of calories burned depends on the individual’s weight, age, gender, and body composition, as well as the training intensity.

To find out how many calories you need to consume on a daily basis when training Jiu Jitsu, check out our BJJ Calory and Macronutrient Calculator. This way you can easily calculate your individual nutrient needs.

How Many Calories Does Jiu Jitsu Burn?

The number of calories burned during Jiu Jitsu can vary depending on several factors, including your weight, age, height, gender, body composition, and level of training intensity.

The heavier and more muscular you are, the more calories you will burn when going through the same training. If you have a physique like BJJ world champion Gordon Ryan and carry a lot of muscle, your muscles need a sufficient energy supply and therefore burn lots of calories.

Gordon Ryan Physique
Gordon Ryan’s Physique

How Many Calories does the Average BJJ Session Burn?

On average, a 170-pound person can expect to burn approximately 700 calories during an hour-long Jiu Jitsu sparring session.

A basic BJJ training session usually consists of one hour of drilling and technique training followed by about an hour of sparring/rolling, depending on the athlete.

Therefore, you can expect to burn about 900 calories when doing a basic Jiu Jitsu training.

It’s important to note that these figures are only estimates and can vary depending on your fitness level and the intensity of your workout. Factors such as the type of Jiu Jitsu class you’re taking (Gi or No-Gi), the number of rounds, and the level of competition can also impact the number of calories burned.

Tips for Maximizing Calorie Burn During Jiu Jitsu

If you’re looking to maximize your calorie burn during Jiu Jitsu, here are some useful tips to keep in mind:

High-Intensity Training

Incorporating high-intensity intervals into your Jiu Jitsu routine can help boost your calory burn and improve your overall fitness.

Long Sparring Sessions

If regular cardio exercises are too boring for you, just do Jiu Jitsu cardio.

Simply do half an hour to an hour of moderate-intensity BJJ sparring without ever stopping. This form of cardio is ideal for everyone that wants to increase their endurance for Jiu Jitsu competitions.

Check out our complete guide on cardio for Jiu Jitsu if you want to learn more:

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Build Muscle

Building muscle is a great way to raise your baseline calorie expenditure. On top of that, you will gain strength and get one step closer to the physique of your dreams as you start your body transformation.

However, you should keep in mind that excessive amounts of muscle will also expend more energy in competitions.

Mix It Up

Varying your Jiu Jitsu workouts can help prevent boredom and keep your body challenged, which can lead to more calories burned by activating underdeveloped muscle groups.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats promotes a healthy and well-functioning body. By optimizing the functionality of your body, you will also optimize your calorie burn during Jiu Jitsu.

Check out our complete nutritional guide for Jiu Jitsu athletes:

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Stay Hydrated

What does hydration have to do with calories burned? Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your Jiu Jitsu sessions can help keep your body functioning at peak levels and maximize your calorie burn by maximizing the amount of work you can put out.

How Does Jiu Jitsu Compare to Other Forms of Exercise for Calorie Burn?

Jiu Jitsu is a highly effective form of exercise for burning calories, but how does it compare to other types of physical activity?

Here’s a breakdown of the calorie burn for an hour of various exercises, based on a 170-pound person:

  • Jiu Jitsu: 700 calories
  • Running (6 mph): 600-700 calories
  • Swimming (moderate intensity): 400-500 calories
  • Cycling (14-15 mph): 550-650 calories
  • Weightlifting (vigorous): 400-500 calories

For comparison, the Division of Health of the state of Wisconsin published a list of activities and their respective calory expenditures. It shows approximately the same values we listed above.

As you can see, Jiu Jitsu is a highly effective form of exercise for burning calories, even compared to other popular activities like running and cycling. This is due to the intense, full-body workout that Jiu Jitsu provides, which engages multiple muscle groups and requires a high level of cardiovascular endurance.

On top of that, sparring always has the biggest return on investment when it comes to your time invested. It will increase exactly the type of endurance you need for BJJ and also improve your Jiu Jitsu technique.

Again, the exact number of calories burned during any form of exercise can vary depending on individual factors, such as weight, age, and fitness level. However, martial arts like Jiu Jitsu have consistently shown to be very effective forms of exercise for burning calories and improving overall fitness.


In conclusion, Jiu Jitsu is a highly effective way to stay fit and burn calories.

Although the number of calories burned during Jiu Jitsu training can vary depending on several factors, we hope to have answered the question of how many calories does Jiu Jitsu burn sufficiently.

Your best bet is focusing on high-intensity training, doing lots of sparring, building muscle, varying your workouts, staying hydrated, and maintaining a healthy diet to help maximize your calories burned and overall fitness.

Incorporating Jiu Jitsu into your fitness routine can be a fun and rewarding way to achieve your fitness goals while learning valuable self-defense skills.

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