I discussed in my article ‘Strength Training for Jiu Jitsu - 9 key concepts’ how to develop the various energy systems when building a strength training program for jiu jitsu and one thing that is really important are the rest intervals you need between sets. Today I want to talk about how much to rest between sets when properly developing power for jiu jitsu, or any sport for that matter.
While you should expect a decrease in power as you work through your sets, in order to develop power effectively, you want to achieve as close to possible maximum force for each set. When the experiment measured the drop off of power output (looking at the male participants, very similar findings for the females) in the 1 minute group between sets 1 and 5 the power decrease was 16.6% versus only 8.6% for the 2 minute rest group and only 6.7% for the 3 minute rest group.
So what does that mean?
Well if training power is about producing force as quickly as possible, if your power is dropping significantly across sets, you’re not getting the most of your muscles and central nervous system and training them as close to their maximum potential as possible. Of course you will see a drop off, although taking 1 minute rest for this benchpress exercise which does have practical application for other upper body pushing exercises, was found to be significantly different in its impact versus a 2 minute or 3 minute rest. So.....
When performing upper body pushing power exercises rest for at least 2 minutes (a significant difference was not found in this study to warrant 3 minutes over 2 minutes)
Taking the NSCA recommended guidelines, all power exercises should be performed with at least 2 minutes rest between sets with a rest of up to 5 minutes. So, if you’re trying to perform power exercises, or being asked to perform power exercises, with very short rest periods, i.e. 30 seconds to 1 minute, you’re not going to get the most out of your workout. Your body is not able to replenish the phosphagen energy system quickly enough for those rest periods to be effective. Yes there are times for short rest periods, although not when trying to develop power. Be clear what you’re trying to work at each stage of your program and put in place the correct rest periods to accommodate it.
For more detailed information on developing your own program and specifically the correct rep ranges (very important) and sets you require for developing power, you can read ‘Strength Training for Jiu Jitsu - 9 key concepts’ or review how our coaching programs work for jiu jitsu strength training.