Resting when working out |Are you abusing it or not using it enough?

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taking breaks during exercise

TrainerCarlos taking breaks during exercise

When your force yourself to rest during a workout you are forcing your body to reach it’s maximum potential.

When you go to the gym, you have basically two types of training.

That which is labeled cardio and that which is labeled strength training.

When it comes to strength training, which you can achieve by using treadmills, ellipticals, and stairmasters as well, the point is to make your body and muscles reach their maximum fatigue point through a series of contractions using resistance through bands, weights, and machines.

Your body uses ATP as energy when you engage in high intensity workouts. Once depleted, basically, your muscle or muscles can’t contract anymore. Hence, you need rest.

When you actually reach 100% fatigue during an exercise, you have a couple things you need to consider. Just because your body can’t perform another repetition using a certain weight, it does not mean it can’t continue contracting with a smaller weight.

Dropping weight to continue performing repetitions is called drop setting.

One great way to lift weights is to use the drop set by dropping one or two levels. You can drop set from one weight to another, and you can also continue to drop set until you can’t drop set any further. You always drop set from a heavier weight to a lighter weight.

In order to be able to do repetitions with the initial weight, it may take anywhere from 45 second to 90 seconds to get most of your energy back.

If you can go back to the initial weight before 30 seconds and continue to do repetitions, this means that you never actually forced your body to 100% fatigue levels.

Most likely you didn’t even reach 50% fatigue level.

If your goal is to increase lean body mass to boost your metabolism, for a toner leaner look, not reaching your 90-100% fatigue levels within 12 repetitions is a big mistake.

Your body will not adapt, it will not grow, and you will not get the results you’re looking for.

What I tell my clients is that your have to earn your rest.

If you aren’t resting, truly resting because you’re completely depleted, you are not working out.

You’re just going through the motions and your results will be minimal. Unless you are already in great shape, already have your desired lean body mass, already at the body fat level you want, going through the motions is a waste of time.

Rest is a variable in exercise all by itself.

Less rest will enable your body to grow as long as you’re reaching that 90-100% fatigue level. Longer rest allows you to lift heavier weights making you stronger. The combination of both systematically will result in whatever results it is you’re looking for.

So what is the ultimate advice I give you when using rest:

#1 Take it whenever you need it. Push your muscles and body to the limits and rest as necessary.

#2 Do not take too long of breaks especially when doing circuit training.

#3 When trying to reach your 100% fatigue levels by drop setting, take as little as rest possible as long as you are maintaining proper form. If you feel any stress in any other body part but the one you’re targetting, either drop the weight further or just stop and get your 45 to 90 seconds break that will allow you 75 to 100% recovery.

#4 Know your limits, remember your fatigue points, keep your form, try to write it all down so that next time you do a similar circuit or workout, you know how far you can push and how much more you can try to push the next time.

#5 Do not be afraid to reach your max fatigue point. By not being afraid I am talking about exercises you know you can maintain great form with and have been doing for a while. You don’t want to go for 100% fatigue point on an exercise you were just introduced to. Allow your body to get a feel for exercises, to adjust, and to properly engage the required muscles for that specific muscle.

#6 When engaging in high intensity interval training classes, do not be afraid to take breaks. Do not feel that you have to go out of your comfort zone in order to impress others. With that said, yes you want to push your limits, yes you want to venture out of your comfort zone, but only if you are positive that you are keeping your form or are under the supervision of a professional.

When it comes to rest, it is important that you understand the true value of it.

Understand how important it is and how to use it properly. I hope this tips help you on your next trip to the gym and you start applying the science to your workout.

If you have a trainer, make sure he is helping you reach your ultimate goals in a professional and responsible manner.

Remember, when it comes to your knees, shoulders, and back, you only have one set of each. Do you really want to tear anything? Work hard, push your limits, but be smart. You have absolutely nothing to gain from getting hurt. You should know your goals, you should have an objective, and work towards those goals and objectives.

Taking breaks during exercise – How and when should you? (Video)

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