Why do we need to rest?
Your body needs to recover after each exercise. Training constantly with high intensity without giving yourself some time to recover will not help you get the outcome you want from your workouts. Your muscles build when you rest, while over-training can make sleeping difficult and have a negative effect on your mood.
Resting is just as significant as working out because it’s an integral part of the process required to build strength, endurance, and muscle. Remember that the biggest factor of an effective workout—a workout moving you towards your goal—is intensity.
And the two most important factors that contribute to your workout intensity are:
– Volume – weight x sets x reps
– Rest time
Poor management of the resting periods—resting too little, or even too long—is a bigger hindrance to progress than inappropriate volume. If you wish to perform at an optimum level without problems, then the equation of success is the following:
TRAINING + RESTING = BEST PERFORMANCE
Resting is a crucial part of working out, but unfortunately, it is often not part of the routine. People seem to neglect the amount of rest needed for optimum results.
The amount of rest our body needs between sets of exercises depends on:
– the program you pursue, based on your goal
– the repetitions you perform
– the level of intensity
Now that you know why rest periods are essential, let’s look at optimal rest times for different workouts.
If you are training for strength, you opt for workouts that target your neuromuscular system and make your muscles stronger. As a general rule, exercises that give maximum strength to the muscular system are characterized by a maximum of three reps, using a weight just over 90% of repetition maximum. Because this type of exercise produces a very high degree of fatigue in the central nervous system, muscles, and joints more rest is required: three to five minutes. It’s important to remember that your muscles may feel rested after only one or two minutes, but your nervous system needs greater recovery time to perform the next set without problems.
For intense strength training where reps range from three to eight, the break you need is two to three minutes. However, in programs of maximum strength with 100% intensity, the recess may take more than three minutes to restore our neuromuscular system and ensure your body can cope with this demanding workout.
Training for muscular growth
If you are interested in muscle growth, you aim to modify your muscle cell physiology and enlarge your muscles. A classic training method to achieve this consists of short rest periods lasting between 0 and 90 seconds in-between the sets. Volume and tension are essential factors in muscle growth, and according to recent studies, the short rest time can reduce the amount of weight you can lift.
It was recently discovered that resting longer allows you to increase the volume and the tension, which is going to lead to better results. Depending on the exercise that you perform and the weight that you use, rest periods lasting from 30 seconds to three minutes, can be suitable for muscle growth.
Training for weight loss
When you follow a weight-loss regime, your diet and exercise are very important factors. Resting time, however, between exercises plays a considerable role in your body’s ability to metabolize stored fat. To burn calories, you need to activate your metabolism and optimize the consumption of the stored energy. It is recommended to
– rest for about one minute when doing multiple repetitions, using lighter weights
– rest for two to three minutes when the exercises are intense, using heavier weights
HIIT and Tabata are great examples of using rest time
HIIT and Tabata are both based on intervals of rest between sessions of intense training. You exercise with a high heart rate but then also take a break to bring the heart rate back down.
High-Intensity Interval Training, commonly known as HIIT, is a training method that maximizes your metabolism and helps you burn calories at a very high rate. As the name suggests, the workout involves various intervals of high intensity that ensure you get maximum benefit from your exercise. The workout intervals are alternated with time of complete rest (or active recovery performed at 40% to 50% of your maximum heart rate) that have the same duration. Resting time can be longer or shorter, depending on your fitness level.
Tabata is a very popular form of HIIT that brings the greatest possible benefit, with the minimum amount of time for the same, or even better results. Tabata consists of 20-second training and 10 seconds rest lasting up to four minutes. It is a super effective and efficient form of exercise, but it works only if you do these 10 seconds of rest!
Love your body!
Rest is an important feature of every optimized training program. It is important to remember that no matter what your goal in the gym, you need to love your body and strive to find balance. Every day in the gym is a different day and respecting the rest your body needs will lead you on the right path.
If you want help fine-tuning your training and seriously improving your fitness levels, you need to consider joining a Fitness Retreat. A fitness holiday at the eXtreme Fitness Cabarete in the Caribbean will provide all the support and the inspiration you need to make lasting changes in your routine and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
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