Acute physiological and perceptual responses to Brazilian jiu-jitsu sparring: the role of maximal oxygen uptake
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport. 2018, 18 (3), 481-494. 10.1080/24748668.2018.1493634
Sparring is a training form in combat sports designed to simulate fighting. This study sought to assess physiological and perceptual responses to Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) sparring and their relationship with maximal oxygen uptake (V̇O2max). Twelve male BJJ athletes (age: 30.6 ± 2.7 (SD) years; height: 182.5 ± 5.9 cm; body mass (mb): 81.2 ± 6.7 kg; body fat: 9.9 ± 3.2%) with 4.6 ± 2.2 years of BJJ experience and a training volume of 10.3 ± 4.4 h· week−1 participated in the study. Following a V̇O2max measurement, heart rate (HR), blood lactate concentration ([La‾]b), and rating of perceived exertion were obtained during sparring in a regular training session. Each participant sparred five consecutive 6-min rounds separated by 90-s breaks. Mean sparring HR was 164 ± 9 beats· min−1, equivalent to 85% ± 4% of the maximal HR (HRmax). The sparring was perceived as “hard”. Mass-independent V̇O2max correlated negatively with HR, relative HR (%HRmax), and [La‾]b (p <0.05). The inverse relationship between V̇O2max and physiological markers of exertion suggest that V̇O2max affects exercise tolerance in BJJ and could also point to a limited efficacy of sparring for developing aerobic endurance due to insufficient exercise intensity in trained athletes.