rest periods

What your body feels on the outside isn’t always what your body feels on the inside. What your body feels on the inside isn’t always what your body feels on the outside.

When you don’t get enough sleep you feel sluggish and you don’t work to the best of your ability. Our bodies work off of rest. If we lack rest, we lack ability.

We are going to have times when we just feel sluggish, regardless of rest. Our bodies aren’t going to work at full capacity all the time. That doesn’t mean your effort should suffer, it just means you just might not have your best performance.

What am I getting at?

I am talking about is rest periods and the effect they have on our performance. We are often so focused on our excises routine that we forget about the importance of our rest periods.

Rest periods should vary, it depends on the exercise, goal, and intensity. If your rest periods don’t alter you can’t expect to have different results.

Before I move on I should mention our energy system. Our body has three different energy systems and they all affect our bodies in different ways.

The first energy system we have ATP-CP. ATP-CP is what our body uses for high intensity training. High intensity training consists of heavy lifting for 1-2 reps or sprinting. Our ATP-CP is only activated for 10-15 seconds; it consists of short all out bursts. It takes up to three minutes to fully recover your ATP-CP.

The second energy system is glycolytic system. This system provides enough energy for 30 seconds to two minutes. The recovery on the glycolytic system can take up 90 seconds.

The last is the oxidative system. The oxidative system is what we use for fuel for anything longer then two minutes.

So now that I got that out of the way lets get back to rest periods. Rest periods should be dictated by your goal and the work that you are trying to achieve at that present moment.

I am fan of short rest periods, I think it helps build work capacity and gets your heart rate going. But it also makes you push through when you’re not fully recovered.

I am also fan of long rest periods, anywhere from three to five minutes if you working with heavy weights. I see a lot of people working on strength who don’t use the right rest periods.

If you don’t give your body adequate rest how do you expect to hit a max lift consistently?

If our all out work is fueled by ATP-PC but you’re only resting two minutes, your results aren’t going to be what you would like. When lifting heavy and the goal is pure strength your rest periods should be a minimum of three minutes.

Those three minutes sometimes may feel like forever. On the outside you feel ready, but just cause you feel ready on the outside doesn’t mean your Central Nervous System (CNS) is ready.

When working with heavy weights for, lets say 6-12 reps; the goal isn’t max out strength. Your goal is usually building size, which ends up building strength. When working in this rep range your using the glycolytic system. Give yourself the proper amount of rest to recover for the next set – around 90 seconds. Doing so will help give you your best results.

Matching your rest time to your goal is essential to your success. When working with extra heavy weight being under rested will not only diminish your results but also give you a chance for injury.

As always if you have any questions please comment below and if you liked this post please share it!

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