Have you noticed that your Jiu Jitsu training sessions aren’t really similar to one another? It’s not just about how „well“ your training goes – meaning, how much you’ve learned or how well you performed on the particular day, but it’s about something deeper. It’s almost as if you sometimes have plenty of energy to train, whereas other times your body and brain seem incapable of moving an inch. What’s up with that?
Well, it’s most probably just like it sounds: your energy levels are fluctuating. So how do you keep them consistent? How can you keep the same level of energy, every time you train?
YOU NEED TO KEEP AN „ENERGY DIARY“
Yes, you’ve read that correctly. You need an energy diary that you’ll write in each and every day! But what’s the purpose of this diary… Or, to put it in simple terms, why do you need it?
What you’ll do is that you’ll use the diary to track your energy throughout the day. You will write about the things you do throughout the day, and then – when BJJ time comes – you’ll document how you feel before, during, and after Jiu Jitsu.
Of course, you don’t need to write about every single thing that you’ve done during the 24 hour period. You only need to pay meticulous attention to two things: your diet and your sleep.
TRACK YOUR DIET
For people who are as infatuated with their sport as Jiujiteiros are, it is surprising to see that most athletes don’t pay nearly enough attention to their diet as they should. The drills and rolls, the Youtube videos and instructionals, even the private classes… It all comes easy; but the diet is thought and talked about rather scarcely. And that is a big minus, because your performance – with which the energy levels have a lot to do with – largely depends on the food you take in!
So, in the diary, you need to journal about what you eat. Write what you had for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all of the meals in-between. Write about the supplements and the hours at which you took them, as well as about how much water you drank (perhaps it’s easiest do measure it in the number of cups).
After some time passes, you’ll be able to look at your diet and compare it to how you felt on the given training sessions. With that, you’ll gain an insight if a certain type of food – or a sequence of meals – makes you feel more or less energetic. Then, you can optimize your diet by narrowing it down to the stuff that skyrockets your energy levels.
TRACK YOUR SLEEP
As simple as it is to underestimate the importance of diet, it’s just as easy to ignore the role of sleep for Jiu Jitsu. Your speed and perseverance on the mats will continue being irregular, if you don’t start writing about your sleep.
Doing this will take a bit more time out of your day than journaling about your diet will, but you have to do it anyway; simply write down the time you (approximately) went to sleep (not when you laid down, but when you dozed off), how much sleep you’ve had, the time you woke up at, and how deep the sleep felt. Then, just as you did with the eating part, you’ll compare your sleeping habits with the energy levels in BJJ; and you’ll be able to figure out not just that you’re far worse off when you sleep less – but the most adequate times for you to doze off and get up as well.