4 Rest Periods You Should be Having During your Workouts
We all know how important it is to get the adequate amount of rest. You hear it all over the place. Your doctor tells you to get a certain amount of sleep at night. You tell your kids the same thing. Rest allows us to regroup and regather to come back to a task fully energized. Adequate rest within your workouts is no different.
A rest period within your workout is any amount of time, either after a set or between exercises where you’re not doing any work. Depending on what your goals are, there are specific amounts of time that you need in incorporate in your workout to give your body rest.
I usually don’t workout without my phone set to timer mode or a handheld stopwatch. That’s how important keeping track of your rest periods are. Overworked muscles don’t function the way they’re supposed to. Conversely, taking time to have a convo between sets won’t get you the results you’re looking for either.
If the goal for your workout of the day is Muscular Endurance, the ideal rest period between sets or exercises is 0-90 seconds. Do you want a better functioning body overall? Are you prepping to run in a 5K within in next couple of months? If so, your resistance training sessions should include some exercises that result in muscular endurance with no longer than 90 seconds rest per exercise or set. Try to limit the amounts of sets you perform for muscular endurance to 1-3 with about 12-20 repetitions. Really focus on the tempo of your repetitions. It’s not about how fast you can go, it’s about how long your muscle can hold up under tension. Endurance.
Sun’s out, guns out right? Are you trying to build muscle mass? If so, your rest periods need to be even shorter than those for muscular endurance. Aim at between 0-60 seconds of rest between exercises or sets. The goal here is to limit the amount of time that your muscles fibers have to recover causing an enlargement from the amount of volume placed on them. So go ahead and increase that volume to a weight that’s challenging (about 75-85% of your 1 rep max), keeping your repetitions low and your sets to 3-5.
Workouts with a focus on maximal strength benefit from at least 3-5 minutes of rest and recover between sets and exercises. With this type of goal, muscles are working overtime to lift heavier loads so the demand is great and calls for an extended amount of rest. During Max Strength workouts our body’s are using larger muscles to get the job done. Those large muscles fatigue quickly so they need more time before they can began work again. Obviously this type of workout calls for heavy loads, so we’re talking about as close to your 1 rep max as you can get without compromising form or hurting yourself (85-100%). Aim for about 1-5 repetitions for 4-6 sets.
Who doesn’t want to be powerful? I know I do. So when I’m working out with power as my focus, I make sure to include rest periods of about 3-5 minutes. Power’s basically our ability to generate a great amount of force in a short amount of time. Can you imagine what your muscles go through to make that possible? That’s why, like Maximal Strength, the rest periods will be longer. I love power workouts but they’re hard core because you’re going all in. As fast as you can! If you decide to incorporate some weight in your power exercises, make sure it comes in at about 30-45% of you 1 rep max.
That’s rest in a nut shell. It seems so insignificant but I’m telling you, it’s makes a huge impact on workouts and you’ll see it in your results. Time is of the essence, so let it work for you and not against you.
Let me know what you think? Have you every paid attention to the amount of time you were resting during your workout? Did you take my advice and see some results?
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In Health and Wellness,