#126 Weight Loss in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

by Caleb on July 20, 2008

lose weight jiu-jitsu

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is so good at melting fat off people that I don’t know why there isn’t waiting lists to train. Honestly if you personally have not experienced weight loss from training BJJ, I’ll bet that you know someone who has. And unlike well, every other workout I can think of, jiu-jitsu is fun and addictive.

This week on the show we’ll hear from four guys who have lost significant amounts of weight because of training BJJ. I think you will be shocked at the weight some have lost. And they will all tell you that they have been having such a good time training BJJ that losing the weight becomes an afterthought. Seriously, why isn’t BJJ introduced to every child when they begin formal education?

And for those who are wondering, this artfully done photo you see above was taken on location at the Fightworks Podcast photo studio next to the sink and in front of the stove. Get it? The measuring tape instead of a BJJ belt?!?! Our editorial team has outdone itself this time. Kudos, gang. ;)

Below are pictures of our featured guest on the show this week before training jiu-jitsu and what he looks like now. Danny the Butcher from Long Island trains with Matt Serra and Nick Serra and is now in the best shape of his life because of BJJ.

danny bjj butcher

Remember that our gi patch design contest is still underway!

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

slideyfoot July 20, 2008 at 6:25 am

Holy shit! I love you! This is EXACTLY the kind of thing I’ve been looking for, as my gf keeps insisting that exercise is useless for weight loss, and BJJ is especially crappy (she insists exercise doesn’t help, its all about diet).

Awesome. You’ve even got pictures! :D

Mark July 20, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Dude, your girlfriend has no idea what she’s talking about? Seriously. She needs to go to school again if she doesn’t think exercise does anything? geez.

Jaraqui July 20, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Hi guys,

Today I have 342 lb and my target is 270 lb, with
9% of body fat.
As soon as my blood pressure alow I will return to
BJJ and I will post my before/after photos.


admin July 20, 2008 at 9:57 pm

@Jaraqui Yes, that would be cool to see your before and after shots!

- Caleb

slideyfoot July 21, 2008 at 1:11 am

Yeah, main reason is she simply doesn’t like exercise (she did well at university, after all, so she certainly isn’t lacking in intelligence), so was clinging to something she read/saw about an hour of walking only working off the amount of calories in a slice of bread (or something like that).

I kept saying even if that’s true, walking really doesn’t compare to an hour of BJJ, as that’s much more intensive exercise, but she wanted clear, irrefutable proof.

Caleb came up with the goods. :D

Jiujitsu365 July 21, 2008 at 8:48 pm


That’s amazing!!!

Jiujitsu365 July 21, 2008 at 8:49 pm

Oh yeah,

That is a clever photo…

OliverFromFrance July 22, 2008 at 6:13 am

hi guys. I have lost 10 Kilos in 7 months and i’m still losing weight. Bjj is really effective.
Ps: i trained 5 times by week, so i think that an intensive training is required in order to lose weigh fastly

Bruce Hoyer July 23, 2008 at 7:30 am

Being 6’5″ its hard to notice butI have dropped nearly 80 lbs over the course of training Jiu-Jitsu for the last 6 years.

Steve July 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Awesome subject! Starting at 35 years old, I lost 35 lbs dropping from 220lbs to a steady 185 lbs. I’d like to lose another 10, but they’re stubborn.

More importantly, I dropped from 25% BF to a healthy 16%, and my cholesterol and blood sugar dropped back into a healthy range from being pre-diabetic and on my way to a heart attack.

BJJ is the best weight loss regimen around. :)

Tilio August 13, 2008 at 7:50 am

Wow I love the pictures. I’m 44 and 350lbs at 6’5 I was thinking about BJJ.Is it a good art for tall people or is there another art that suits my frame…

Caleb August 13, 2008 at 7:56 am

Hi Tilio,

I am very biased, but I would say that BJJ is a great art for you. As always, check with your doc first but I think you’re going to have a great time with it.

Tilio August 13, 2008 at 8:11 am

my doc says ok.I did aikido for 5 years but dojo moved and i did’t bother with it again.Now i gained so much weight I was thinking about going back.BJJ moved into my town but wanted to know if it’s a good choice,i did metion i’m 44 and looking for long term trainning

Hunter August 15, 2008 at 3:04 am

BJJ ‘IS’ Awesome! I am a newbie but have admired the art every since a small lanky kid named Royce Gracie destroyed huge muscular brawler style men in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd full contact K1 competitions! Now BJJ is a mandatory part of any aspiring MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) student. The style is for all body types and there are benefits for those who are tall and for short people as well. The weight loss benefit is awesome because “anything” you like doing. . . you will keep doing!

Ambesa October 19, 2008 at 3:40 am

I’m debating joining martia arts school not sure if I should go for Muh tai (kickboxing) or BJJ. What do you t all hink will help me loose weight faster.
I’m 5’11 and 220 lbs…I would like to get down to 180 lbs.

Jason November 4, 2008 at 9:19 am

OK I’m late to the comment party here, but it’s worth chipping in my personal experience. I weighed 205-215 last year, and decided to get in shape. I started by doing mountain biking & some high intensity exercise. This got me down to around 195, and got me in enough cardio shape that I thought BJJ was even an option.
Once I started, it was crazy…i dropped to 175 within about 4 months. I’m now close to 165 after almost a year of BJJ. I do other workouts as well, but it’s mostly in the interest of making weight and improving my grappling strength, so I can safely say that BJJ motivates those workouts.
After personally losing 40-50 lbs and being in the best shape of my life, I’ll definitely attest to the benefits.

ryan April 6, 2009 at 5:58 am

HOld up… this picture is reversed… the skinny picture is actually the before picture.. and the fat picture is the after…

take a look at his left hand in the pic (his right hand). There is a tattoo on the back of his hand in the fat picture.

there is no tattoo on the back of his hand in the skinny picture.

thus.. the picture is reversed and is not a true before and after photo.

oscar April 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm

ryan is right about the pics, just look at both of his hands. its obvious that this is fake

Kris June 20, 2009 at 7:11 pm

Well, the tattoo seems damaging, but the angle of his arm is different if you look at his tattoo sleeve, its possible that the tattoo on the had is angled away from the camera.

Dirty604 October 18, 2009 at 7:06 am

BJJ IS F’N AWESOME! I am currently a Gracie white belt and it is by far the best martial art. I burn roughly 800 calories each training session…

eddie December 22, 2009 at 9:24 pm

bjj is a great work out i went from 190 to 173 in bout 2 months and i normally burn a thousand calories i go bout 5 days a week plus a jogg 2 miles a day and watch what i eat

Chris January 14, 2010 at 9:30 am

I just started a program with Robson Moura yesterday. I’m 310 pounds, and look forward to making great progress in flexibility, weight loss, and cardiovascular improvement.

Johnny V April 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I have zero stamina, zero endurance, minimal cardio. Will I be able to make it thru a warm up let alone a class?? I have lost 15 of my desired 30 pounds through diet alone but need to step it up to burn off the rest. I boxed 20 years but nowadays my energy is almost non-existent. Should I work on my cardio (bike, walk, jog, etc) beforehand or just jump right in (to BJJ)? Thanks!

S June 24, 2010 at 8:52 am

That looks insane. I wonder what he did with all the excess skin.

I am thinking about starting up bjj at a local place but like the last post, i have ZERO edurance…ZERO stamina and TONS of fat. Over the years i have really let myself go by indulging in sweets and a crazy amount of carbs.

Should i try to jump right into BJJ or start cardio first and then see if i should go?

Please advise.

Thanks guys n gals

Matt July 11, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I’ve been doing BJJ for 4 months and have lost 25lbs so far. Its the best workout I’ve ever had.

Trent September 14, 2010 at 6:26 pm

I had put off doing BJJ for years telling myself I needed to get fit before I started doing it and then never undertaking a fitness regime to get fit. Two weeks ago I started and even though its tough, its not impossible. I am currently 6’2″ and 275lbs with very poor fitness. The first class I did I almost passed out, but that was because I was trying to keep up with everyone else. Over the last few classes I have paced myself during the warm up (jogging slowly, doing only half or less of the push ups, sit up etc and taking as many opportunities to rest as possible). Don’t get me wrong, I am still completely exhausted by the end of the class but the important thing is that I make it to the end of the class and that it is getting easier each time. I guess the moral of my story is don’t wait, don’t make excuses just do it. Your weight and lack of fitness shouldn’t be your excuse for not participating, it should be your reason and motivation.

Joel October 7, 2011 at 11:37 am

I am also a bigger guys im 5`11 300 lbs im finding it difficult to find a gi. Ive checked out the silverback gi from gorilla the 5x would be a snugg fit the 5xx would be a little to big. im finding this to be very difficult and discouraging. to only be able to do no gi. untill i loss a pretty significant amount of weight. any help would be fine.

helio October 25, 2011 at 9:04 am

Joel: Get a judo gi. They come in huge sizes.

BDC May 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Look hard, the Tattoo is still there. One of the guys I train with has lost 75 pounds in just over a year.

Brian August 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Man, i need this so bad. iv wanted to get into martial arts my entire life, so many bad choices and a not so good upbringing.

I want to put all the regret behind me and move forward, right now im 30 years old 400 pounds.

I will gather the courage to do this.

Thanks for much for posting this.


donyo October 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm

im 36 years old 5.9 and 261 pound
i start in bjj and mma class 6 month s ago and i realy enjoying it
yes, it is hard, and sometime im asking my self what im doing here … lol
after my knee quirurgy i gain more than 80 pound so trying to get in shape..
i have lost 20 pount in 6 month without any diet .

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