The Importance Of Proper Rest Intervals

I just finished up a rather intense metabolic resistance training session.

For this particular session these are the exercises I used:

  1. Dumbbell Squat to a Dumbbell Shoulder Press to a Dumbbell Reverse Lunge
  2. TRX Row
  3. Kettlebell Swing
  4. Push Ups

I did these in a circuit with no rest between exercises and about 60 seconds of rest between each circuit.

By the time I had finished 5 of these circuits I was sweating buckets and the entire workout had only lasted about 20 minutes.

Afterwards, I did a few auxiliary exercises and finished up with 5 short intervals on the rowing machine.

All-in-all it took about 35 minutes to get a great workout in.

One of the most common mistakes I see in the gym is people taking way too much rest time between exercises in their workout. 

If your goal is weight loss or fat loss you have to keep your rest intervals short. How short you may ask?

I wouldn’t go any more than about 60 seconds between exercises. Ideally you would go for about 30 seconds of rest between exercises or 30-60 seconds between a circuit of exercises. 

This workout I did is part of a fat loss type of program I designed. Therefore, as I mentioned previously, the rest intervals are kept short – raising the metabolic cost of the session.

Essentially, I’m making the workout more difficult and causing more of a disturbance in my body by training with rather short rest times between exercises. My body will respond by burning more fat than it would have if allowed more time to recover between exercises.

If you would do the workout above taking 3 minutes of rest between circuits instead of 1 minute and 1 minute of rest between exercises instead of no rest at all the workout would be tremendously different – it would be much easier, take a lot more time, and not get as good of results at all.

Now, mind you these short rest intervals are intended for people who specifically want to lose weight or lose fat.

What should you do if you are trying to gain strength?

First off, realize that you can get stronger taking short rest intervals. However, if you are pushing up 90% of your squat max for a set you won’t be able to get the same number of reps the next set if you are only taking 30 seconds of rest between sets.

If you are training heavy and trying to get stronger then you could take anywhere from 2-5+ minutes of rest between sets, it just depends on how heavy you are going and how many reps you are doing each set.

Your time is extremely valuable, make the most of your time in the gym by taking appropriate rest intervals between exercises.

If you are looking for a trainer to help you out feel free to contact me! I currently train clients in the Milwaukee area as well as online.

Have a great day!

Justin

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