Rest periods are one of the most neglected aspects of training. Have you actually ever seen anyone in the gym (well, when they were actually in operation) looking at their watch or mobile phone to see if how long they have a rest period for? This is really a big flaw to training, and it’s a shame because rest periods have such a huge effect on your results. And I’m not only talking about building muscle mass here either.
First, you have to know, what the purpose of your workout is. Do you want to increase your strength? Maybe you want to build muscle mass or endurance. The choice is ultimately yours really, but I would like to bring to your attention some very solid strategies for achieving the training goals you want. It makes more sense to work out according to your goals, in the most efficient and effective way, rather than just riding along not really getting anywhere.
Strength = (240 seconds rest)
Endurance = (30 seconds rest)
Hypertrophy = (90 seconds rest)
The reason why these rest periods are so different is that the longer the rest intervals, the more weight you can use. That means, your training intensity increases far more. It makes sense though, doesn’t it? When you only have 30 seconds rest, you won’t be able to lift as much or at a higher intensity. Each rest period provides different results with your musculature structure.
Let me also point out that shorter rest periods also increase the rate of fat burning and torching calories too. But that would be less than 30 seconds rest period, and more like 15–20 seconds. It’s very intense, but that’s what is needed in order for your nervous system to switch the efficiency of how it uses energy (calories).
Now, I do believe you are after strength gains, given the time you allocate to rest. This is necessary between sets because it will allow you to build up to lifting some massive weights. What you must consider is how much weight you are actually lifting and what exercise you are performing. These longer rest periods should be saved for compound movements, such as squats, deadlifts, lunges and bench presses. Don’t rest for 5 minutes when performing flys or lat pulldowns. It’s not necessary. These compound movements are what’s really going to help you make massive strength gains all over your body. Remember, you aren’t just working the legs on a deadlift; – It’s your back, glutes, calves and abs (plus more of course, but I wanted to highlight that a deadlift is quite powerful for you).
Allow yourself enough time to get these workouts done. I would recommend the weekend so you have enough time to go through your whole workout routine. It can become quite a bit time-consuming – but well worth it.
Next time you work out, keep these factors in mind next time you work out, but you are on the right track if it’s the strength you want. Do change it up and spend time on endurance and hypertrophy so you don’t wipe out your nervous system.
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