Earning that rest….
It’s an important concept because sometimes we program in 3 minute rests between exercises at BEFIT.
And if you feel you didn’t give close to YOUR 100% – and BE HONEST with yourself!!! Then do you really need that long of a rest?
The obvious answer is: NO. YOU DON’T!
So adjust the rest based on your effort level (yes, even if it says it on the whiteboard – but keep in mind, less rest does not necessarily mean more results – more than often, it’s the opposite!)
For example, if you are banged up and injured, you’re probably not going to attempt your heaviest deadlift or squat, so just do your best with the weight that you choose and do as many reps as you can with great form.
Yes, even if we program in say… 5 reps @ 3 secs down, if you select a weight that is not challenging enough for you, we want you to keep going until you feel that burn in your muscles or cannot complete another rep with perfect form.
Yes, and it’s important to stop before good form goes (and this comes with experience).
We all just do our best not to let any bad reps slip by. Because when bad reps slip by repeatedly, this is how you get beat up really fast in the gym.
A reminder about intensity in every exercise.
- It’s not about the reps, it’s how you do the exercise.
- It’s the stress that you put on your body when you do it.
- It’s the intensity you bring and any exercise can be the hardest set of your life!
- But you have to bring the intensity!!!!!
So back to the point of this post…
If you don’t challenge yourself with the most challenging weights that you can do for 5 reps and then end up doing 9 reps, then we really don’t want you taking 3 mins rest (if that was the rest on the whiteboard), because you are now challenging a different energy system and the rest in fact should be shorter!
Yep, generally speaking, the more reps you do, the shorter the rest, because the weight (or intensity) is not challenging your body enough to denote a longer rest (for your muscular and nervous system to recover).
Sidenote: Intensity can be interchanged with reps for the purpose of this discussion. The lower the reps, the higher the intensity. Think about that… You have to give your absolute maximum focus to lift the heaviest you could lift a weight for 1 rep and that will decrease as the reps get higher…
For example, we have 3 weights:
- 200lb weight that you squat for 3 reps
- 100lb weight you squat for 10 reps
- 10lb weight you squat for 50 reps
It’s going to take your nervous system a long time to recover from that 3 rep lift to REPRODUCE the same reps in your next set. (Yes, we want to reproduce that effort or even increase it!!!!!)
It won’t take as long to reproduce the set of 10.
You could prob reproduce the set of 50 pretty quickly.
See the heavy 3 squats challenges your atp-cp (explosive power) system requiring a work : rest ratio of: 1 : 12-30 (meaning if the exercise takes 10 secs you need 12-30 x 10 for your rest).
The 10 squats challenges your glycolytic system (lactic acid system) requiring a work : rest ratio of: 1 : 5-12 (meaning if the exercise takes 30 secs you need 5-12x 30 for your rest).
The 50 squats challenges your aerobic system requiring a work : rest ratio of: 1 : 1-3 (meaning if the exercise takes 90 secs you need 1-3 x 90 for your rest).
You can see how each system needs dramatically different rest periods, so it’s vital that you push yourself accordingly.
For best results, we want to train atp-cp and glycolytic systems the most, thus why you may hear your BEFIT coaches suggesting to challenge yourself if we see that you are capable of more.
And as always, let us know if you require assistance with any weight selection at the gym. We want you to get the most out of your movements so that you can get the most from your training sessions with us.
Lift heavy. Earn rest.
Josh Saunders, BSc, CSCS
Lifestyle. Strength. Performance.
Langley Times Readers Choice Favourite Personal Trainer 2017