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Get Smoked – Power Development Models For Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Written by: Kosta Telegadas, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Kosta Telegadas

Regarding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), we tend to focus on conditioning. While this is a fantastic building block; eventually we will need to see how power development can take our athletes to the next level. This article will review all the methods & models I have used or currently use for my BJJ athletes.

Two mem competing on a martial arts tournament

Power development models

Explosive plyometric training

plyometric training

Description: Exercises involving rapid contraction and extension of muscles, such as box jumps, jump squats, and medicine ball throws. For exercises to truly be considered plyometric, said exercises need to be performed at 0.30 sec in nature. The movement becomes ballistic due to the energy being lost as heat.

Benefits: Improves power, agility, and stretch shortening the cycle of the muscles.

Application: Incorporate explosive movements into your training routine, focusing on controlled and powerful execution. Some common errors are the weight used is too high in resistance and/or the height used for jumps is too high. Use lighter loads & shorter distances to elicit a better plyometric response. Make sure landing and deceleration techniques have been mastered to help prevent wear & tear on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Fast twitch muscle improvements will increase how much power the body can exert during BJJ in scrambles, takedowns, guard passes, or position movements.

Training step by step figure

Ballistic training

Description: Exercises involving rapid contraction and extension of muscles (that are greater than 0.30 sec in length. These exercises include lateral hurdle jumps, MB partner rotational passes, & explosive clapping push-ups. For exercises to truly be considered ballistic, said exercises need to be performed over 0.30 sec in nature. Otherwise, the movement becomes ballistic due to the energy being lost as heat.

Benefits: Develops full-body power, augments strength, and coordination.

Application: Same as plyometric training, however longer distances, heights, & loads can be used as long as the exercise is explosive.

Man lifting barbell

Dumbbell (DB) or Trap Bar (TB) power shrugs

Description: Olympic lifts like cleans, snatches, and jerks can be replaced by DB or TB power shrugs that require explosive force in a vertical movement pattern. This is because these movements are easier to teach in large groups due to their less complex and technical nature, unlike their Olympic lifting counterparts. However, I do like the implementation of Olympic lifts if time, tenure, & other perquisites allow.

Benefits: Develops explosive capabilities, acceleration, deceleration, & increasing connectivity of movements

Application: Start with a tempo for either of these movements such as 5 seconds up to the shrug, a 2-second hold, & a 5-second descent back to the starting power position. Once technique, acceleration, & deceleration are mastered, coaches can proceed to full-speed methods for increased power development. Technique & connectivity have to come first with proficiency before velocity increases.

Sled training

Sled training

Description: The sled is notoriously used for conditioning, but can play a vital role if exercises are programmed & executed correctly. Variations such as the sled sprint & explosive rows are two variations that are phenomenal for BJJ athletes. However, loading should be 10-20% of the athlete's body weight to improve max velocity.

Benefits: increased max velocity with body weight while sprinting, jumping, etc.

Application: After strength has been built up appropriately over time & tenure, begin to increase the velocity of sled training. Athletes will need a work-to-rest ratio of 1:10-15 power development. These drills translate great to takedowns and throws due to their explosiveness in nature. When in doubt add more rest or decrease overall volume if the athlete is fatigued. These methods are also great for the push/pull nature of the stand-up portion of BJJ matches.

Martial arts training

In conclusion, this article emphasizes the significance of power development in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes, complementing the spotlight on power training Coaches can use various power development models, including explosive plyometric training, which involves rapid muscle contraction and extension with exercises like box jumps and jump squats. Ballistic training, with exercises like lateral hurdle jumps and clapping push-ups, is recommended for developing full-body power. Dumbbell or Trap Bar power shrugs, focusing on the explosive force in a vertical movement pattern. Additionally, sled training is highlighted for its role in improving max velocity and power output. Coaches make sure to stress the importance of proper technique and gradual progression in incorporating these power development methods into BJJ training routines to enhance performance in various aspects of the sport.


Please feel free to connect by sending me a message on Instagram (@Coach_Telegadas) or by emailing me at my coaching email address: I am always open to connecting with anyone who wants to discuss strength and conditioning programming, coaching, etc. Stay strong, stay motivated, & train hard!

Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Kosta Telegadas Brainz Magazine

Kosta Telegadas, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Kosta Telegadas is a leader in the strength and conditioning for tactical athletes and martial artists all over the world. He found physical training as a necessity to grow up playing sports, help prevent injury & give back to the country that gave his family so much over the generations. Coach Telegadas has a Master's Degree from the University of Miami (FL) and over 7 years of coaching experience with both professional, college, high school & tactical athletes. He is currently the Head Coach/CEO of Telegadas Performance Training and dedicates his time to make physical training programs & remote coaching accessible to all. His mission: If you stay ready, you never have to get ready!



  • Biagioli, B. (2015). Page 378-390. Advanced Concepts of Strength and Conditioning,

  • Bondarchuk, A. (2007). Transfer of Training in Sports



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