Should You Train BJJ When you’re sick?


Believe it or not, many new grapplers ask if it’s okay to train BJJ when you’re sick. The question has a rather obvious answer, but we’ll give an in depth answer.

Let’s answer the question, should you train BJJ when you’re sick. Going over why you shouldn’t train BJJ when you’re sick and the effects of training while sick.

Should you train BJJ when you’re sick? Absolutely not. You should never train BJJ when you’re sick. You will not only make your illness worse, but also possibly pass it to a teammate.

The reasons why you shouldn’t train BJJ when you’re sick? 

For those that really need it spelled, there are two specific reasons why you shouldn’t train BJJ when you’re sick. You will more than likely pass your illness to your teammates and probably make yourself even sicker.

Getting your teammates sick

It is incredibly selfish to go train when you’re sick. Instead of getting good training in, you’re just going to pass your illness off to your teammates and make them sick.

This is a vicious cycle just like how you would get sick in grade school. One person comes in sick and contaminates the gym and makes everyone else sick. 

Now nobody is training and forced to stay home and recover.

Making yourself even sicker

Not only will you get your teammates sick, but you will more than likely make yourself worse by training. A slight cough can transform into a full blown flu if you decide to go train Jiu Jitsu instead of resting.

If you just sat out a day, you would’ve probably felt better and trained the next day. But since you decided to train, you will probably make yourself even sicker and miss even more days of training.

Why do some think it’s okay to train BJJ while sick?

People that train BJJ have a tendency to be more stubborn than most people. They are very driven and don’t like to stop training for any reason. Even if they’re sick.

You might think that you can just tough out a cold like a sore shoulder, but it never works out that way. When you decide to train BJJ while sick, you’re most likely going to do more harm than good.

That is why you should really put your pride aside and sit out of class when you’re feeling sick.

Possible contagious illnesses you could pass to teammates 

There is a wide array of contagious viruses that you could pass around if you train BJJ when you’re sick. Here are the three types of illnesses that you risk passing to your teammates.

Common Cold

A cold is one of the most common illnesses that people come down with annually. Symptoms associated with a cold include: fever, runny nose, congestion, and sneezing. You’ll most likely be off the mat for a few days to a couple weeks.


A step up from the cold is the flu. The flu has all of the symptoms of the common cold, but you feel even worse. It’ll take you around 2-3 weeks to get back to normal after a bout with the flu.


Then of course, if you test positive for Covid-19 you should immediately quarantine yourself. Going to the gym while you have Covid will result in the entire gym having to stop operations and quarantine.

How long should you stay away from training?

The amount of time that you’ll have to take off due to being ill will depend on how sick you are. It could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on what you have.

If you have a common cold, it would be better to wait at least a couple days before returning to training. The flu will most likely put you down for a week to two weeks before you’ll feel good to train again.

Then if you unfortunately test positive for Covid, then you’re going to have to quarantine for two week. After that quarantine, you should take another test to show that you’re negative for Covid.

Can I exercise at home while sick? 

If you have the urge to train, you can’t go crazy and have to be mindful of your recovery. Here are some ideas to get light workouts in while you’re sick.


To stay active and move a little, you can work on your flexibility by doing easy stretching or yoga movements. Just really easy stretches and yoga poses to get your blood flowing after having to stay in bed. A small routine of five to ten minutes will be sufficient and won’t tire you out.

Ab Workouts 

Ab workouts are a really good idea when you’re at home sick. You can put together a small five to ten minute routine, where you do a different movement every minute. The best part is that you don’t even have to leave your bed.


Planks are one of the best exercises that you can do when you’re under the weather and stuck at home. They are low impact and do everything from increasing strength to improving your posture. You can do this exercise in just one minute intervals throughout the day to get a small workout in.

Light weights/bodyweight workouts 

If you are one to never miss a strength training routine, you can probably get away with light weight workouts. Bodyweight workouts would be even better, where you can do a small routine in fifteen minutes to get the blood flowing. But remember to take it easy and don’t put too much stress on your body.

Light Jiu Jitsu Movements

Then of course if you’re a dedicated BJJ practitioner, you can’t go a day without practicing Jiu Jitsu movements. If you must do something related, you can do some light Jiu Jitsu and Judo movements.

You can practice your footwork for Judo techniques or tighten up your subs on a grappling dummy if you have one. Just to get too crazy and tire yourself out.

Steps you can take to recover faster

When you’re sick, your first priority should be recovery, so you can get back on the mats. Here are the steps you should take to fasttrack your recovery.


Of course, the first thing you should focus on when you get sick is to get plenty of rest. Your body is fighting off an infection or virus, which is going to take most of your energy. That is why you need to chill out and give yourself time to recover.

Drink Plenty of water/fluids

You need to keep yourself hydrated when you’re sick and drink plenty of water/fluids. Fighting off something like a cold or flu will leave you dehydrated, which is why you need to constantly drink fluids. Be sure to constantly be drinking water and take in plenty of electrolytes.

Take your vitamins 

Upping your intake of vitamins while you’re sick will help give a boost to your immune system and especially vitamin C. 

Prescription Antibiotics

Then of course, you need to take the proper medication if you’re really sick and can’t train. Grab some over the counter medication or if you’re really sick, seek out a doctor to prescribe you antibiotics. You’ll be better in no time after taking all of your medication.

Rest up and train later

The best thing that you can do when you get sick is to rest and not train BJJ. Take your time and recover until you are 100% and ready to train. You’ll be good as new and ready to improve your skills!

Previous articleCan I Train BJJ With Ringworm?
Next articleBest ways to build cardio for BJJ
Let's Roll BJJ aims to be the leading source of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling information and news on the web. Dorian, the owner and editor of Let's Roll BJJ is a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu and has been training and competing for over 6 years. Apart from being a BJJ geek, Dorian is a software developer by trade, a husband, and a father of two wonderful kids who he's recently began teaching Jiu Jitsu. When he's not training, coding, or writing, you can find him hiking, camping or occasionally binging on video games.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here