Let’s talk about rest periods! Why should I take time between sets and how long should I take? That’s a good question! We all know to take breaks between sets but do not necessarily know what it is doing to our bodies physiologically.
Our body uses a system called the phospagen system for energy. It is the most effeficient way to resynthesize ATP for all out exercise. ATP carries chemical energy within our cells for our metabolism. This will be the premise for our rest periods variations.
The optimal rest period is 3 to 5 minutes. This varies from person to person depending on that individuals threshold but also allows for full phospagen recovery. 3 to 5 minutes is usually reserved for athletes, power lifters and weight lifters-usually individuals that are engaging in high intensity exercise over short periods of time will benefit the most. Obviously due to maximum recovery culminated with maximum output…If you are a bodybuilder or fitness buff then 30 to 60 seconds is optimal for you (If your time under tension or sport requires 1 to 3 minutes)!
Regardless of your fitness goals, the principals behind this practice are the same. Using rest intervals elevates lactate levels in the muscles. Taking breaks makes your body acclimate to the left over lactate thereby allowing your body to operate at maximum threshold. Shorter rest periods have also shown to increase your growth hormone levels as well…
Simply put, use whatever time you feel works best for your goals. Whether that be a minute or three, choose whatever you are comfortable with and are able to sustain throughout a whole workout.
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