More often then not, when a client comes to me, they usually say they are not seeing or feeling the results from their current programs/workouts. They feel as though they are working hard and they are sometimes at the gym for hours, but they are still unhappy with their overall performance at the gym. Why is that? If you are working out, why are you not seeing results?
First off, there is a huge difference between "Going to the Gym" and actually "Getting in a Good Workout." We can step foot in the gym, but showing up is just the first step. We now need to learn how to push ourselves, apply our workouts efficiently, and train in a way that will help us reach our goals. The number one suggestion I can give you to get the most out of your workouts is to time your rest periods!
Why is it important to time your rests?
You may think that as long as you are following a program and doing the exercises listed you are getting the full benefits of a program. Although that is beneficial, the real intensity of a workout comes from a few major factors. We know that increasing our resistance or increasing our reps will help us get stronger, but probably the most overlooked factor to a successful workout is your rest period. During your rest, your body is able to restore the energy it needs to perform the exercise (This energy source is referred to as ATP which is used during muscle contraction). ATP can quickly start restoring the second you stop the exercise, and can fully restore after about 3 minutes of rest. Knowing this, if you rest for about 60 seconds between sets, you will have a decent amount of energy restored, but not as much as you would if you used a 3 minute rest period. With a 60 second rest, the exercise will therefore feel much harder than it would with that longer 3 minute rest. So by shortening the rest period, we are able to push ourselves and increase our muscle strength and endurance without even having to increase the resistance or reps.
To better understand, think about doing 10 bicep curls. If you do this exercise with a medium or heavy weight, your biceps will be burning by the end of the 10 reps. Now if you wait 60 seconds and try the same exercise again, it will feel much harder, even though you are using the same weight. If you waited 4-5 minutes and tried the same exercise, it would feel pretty similar to the first set. This isn't as beneficial because we are not increasing the intensity between sets. Simply by shortening our rest periods, we are increasing the intensity of the exercise.
Different Types of Training Call for Different Rest Periods
1. Some people like to train with large bursts of energy for short periods of time, such as a heavy weightlifters. If you are training for Max Strength and lifting heavy weights in the 1-5 Rep range, you will need maximum energy to perform these exercises. Therefore, when training like this, a long rest period of 3-5 minutes between sets is suggested. This long rest is needed to allow for ATP to fully restore. Once the energy is fully restored it will give you maximum power for each set. In this case, Rest is a factor we don't manipulate too much and instead focus on the resistance and reps to increase our strength.
2. When training for hypertrophy (increasing muscle volume) and muscle endurance, shorter rest periods of about 30-90 seconds are recommended. Using this shorter interval creates high lactate levels, causing our body improve on its ability to perform under these conditions. Our bodies will grow and adapt to sustain the exercises; therefore improving our overall endurance and strength.
Programming at RippT!
All of our Programs at RippT have recommended rest periods for each workout. We recognize the goals of each program and plan the rest periods accordingly to help our members get the most out of each workout. Having these rest periods planned out will help our members reach their goals faster, and also will keep their workouts quick and efficient. If you are interested in seeing what these programs entail, check out getrippt.com/programs . We add new programs every month and are currently offering a free 5 day trial for you to try out any program you like. We offer a wide range of levels and intensities, with more programs being added to give everyone a program to follow that is challenging, exciting, and manageable.