The Multifunctionality of BJJ Gear
Though not all fitness gear can be used for BJJ, BJJ gear can be used as fitness gear. If you're a BJJ novice and you're thinking if all your new gear and equipment can be used outside of the dojo, you guessed correctly. Even if BJJ is your only chosen physical activity, you'll be happy to know that you can use a few items from your BJJ bag to use for regular gym activities. This goes both ways, too: if you're a gym buff or a general fitness enthusiast, you're free to use what BJJ practitioners wear as part of your workout ensemble for added comfort and improved performance.
This doesn't necessarily mean you can wear your gi while hitting the gym for a high-intensity workout; items like a gi are specialised gear crafted especially for BJJ activity, so that's probably something you'd want to leave while you're training inside the dojo. But whether you're slowly integrating more physical activity in your life by adding an extra hour of cardio on the treadmill or wanting to strengthen your core with some deadlifts, there are a few other items in your BJJ bag that you can use for when you're planning on hitting the gym.
Gym buffs will appreciate the skin protecting, moisture absorbing, and muscle compressing properties that rashguards have. As sterile as gyms often are, wearing rashguards will give you that added protection from coming in contact with unsanitary surfaces, preventing skin rashes. If you're a particularly heavy lifter, you'll find that rashguards will help alleviate any stress or discomfort you'll experience during your workout. Rashguards will keep everything clean and reduce the feeling of sweatiness from places you might not want to feel the sweat, and the muscle compressing properties can reduce the chances of pulling your muscles, especially if you're doing an intense deadlift.
In the same thought as rashguards, wearing BJJ shorts (also known as MMA shorts—both are interchangeable) give you that added support while exercising. This one is targeted for the true bodybuilders, in that BJJ shorts are all about protecting your muscles from strain while being breathable and undetectable while you work out. The material of these shorts are unique; BJJ shorts are made with a lightweight, breathable material that wicks moisture from your body like no other, giving you the ultimate comfort and ease while doing a particularly intense workout.
The difference between rashguards and BJJ shorts are nuanced, yet important: the primary purpose of rashguards are to protect your skin from rashes and to come in contact with bacteria from the various surfaces in your gym. This is a highly useful add-on for fitness enthusiasts with sensitive skin, or prefer to be hygienic all around. BJJ shorts, on the other hand, are primarily focused on compressing your muscles and absorbing all the moisture your body produces that allows you to move as freely or as intensely as you wish, with little to no strain afterwards.
If you want to know more about rashguards and BJJ shorts, we have in-depth blog posts that tell you the basics and what you need to know when choosing the right gear for you.