An insightful blogger (and fellow mat rat) Ze Grappler commented on a recent post of mine with his experience training in Brazil. He mentioned that he was told to rest every third set, so that he can recover and gather energy to go hard again for next two sets.
It’s a simple but powerful idea. During training, if I push the action, working aggressively to improve position and look for submission, a single 6-minute round can take me to that first point when my mind wants to quit. And when I tell myself that I’m doing 10 rounds, I’ll often start pacing myself a little bit, in order to survive the 70+ minute ordeal.
And by “pacing myself” I don’t mean “flow rolling”. I just mean that if I pass guard or take the back, I’ll pause for a little bit and slowly work to maintain the position waiting for the other person to give me an opening for a submission. Often times, that kind of stuff can break a sweat, but it doesn’t come close to pushing me mentally and physically.
There is something to the idea of taking every third roll off. Or put more generally, there may be benefit to allowing breaks. Often times just the option to take a break is enough to push through the hard sets even when I don’t take the option.