Fitness Friday May 4, 2018
Intra-workout Rest Intervals
2LT Mike Taylor
In this day and age there are a variety of different fitness goals that people strive to meet; from CrossFit athlete, to endurance athlete, to body builder, and strongman. The list goes on and on. Regardless of what your personal goal is, potentially one of the biggest determining factors of success or failure is how you train for the event.
A big question that a lot of people get tied up in is how many sets to reps I need to do to meet my goal? This is a very important question. Just as important a question is; what should my rest interval look like between sets?
In our fitness driven culture, I’m sure that you’ve heard the question “what is the rest muscle and how do I train it?” As funny and motivating as this is, it undercuts the fact that rest is very important during activity. Think about it this way, for whatever you are doing your body has a particular fuel that drives the movement. Each fuel is only readily available for a limited amount of time. Once that fuel source is gone, muscular fatigue sets in and training suffers. Not to mention the strain on the Central nervous system. So your body needs time to completely recover, this is called complete recovery. If you decide that you’re going to forego the entire recovery period, this is called (as you might have guessed) incomplete recovery, and while this can be useful to an extent, overall the amount of work and force produced on this type of recovery will be limited.
Now, that we understand that, it’s important to determine what kind of rest you need. At the simplest level, the more intense the work is, the more recovery you will need. For example a power-lifter will need more recovery time to lift 1000lbs 2 times compared to average Joe doing low-weight bicep curls for sets of 12 at the Y.
Understanding the amount of rest that you need can help you be significantly more successful in your goal!