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Rest periods between sets is an integral and often overlooked contributor to the success of any strength training program. Chances are, you are not optimizing this crucial variable.
So what is the trick to get the most out of your rest? Well, it depends on your training goals and level of conditioning. Optimal rest periods between sets can vary from 30 seconds or less up to 5 minutes!
We know that it takes 2.5 to 3 minutes for the phosphagen (Creatine Phosphate / ATP) stores to fully recover from a set of intense exercise1.
Contrary to what you might think, resting for this time period to allow complete phosphagen recovery is not optimal for all athletes. Let's take a look at some of the facts about rest intervals. I have grouped the information by training goals in order to make it more reader-friendly.
Absolute Strength Athletes
First, let's define who you are. You are training for explosive, low repetition activities of short duration. Muscle hypertrophy and endurance are not your primary concerns. Weightlifters, powerlifters, sprinters, football players, sprint cyclists and any other athletes in a sport emphasizing high intensity/short duration activities, this is you!
Optimal Rest Period
- Your optimal rest period range between sets is 3 to 5 minutes.
- One reason for this longer rest is to allow full phosphagen recovery before you begin the next set. Full recovery allows you to produce the greatest muscular force possible for each set performed, and thus receive the greatest absolute strength gains from your training.
Higher Testosterone Levels
- Another good reason for this rest interval is that when combined with heavy training loads, it appears to produce greater testosterone levels in experienced strength athletes incorporating large muscle group exercises in their training2. A higher testosterone level equates to greater gains in strength.
Hypertrophy & Endurance Athletes
Who are you? You are an athlete training for muscular size and/or to increase your ability to apply near maximal muscular force over a time period. Bodybuilders, fitness buffs, long-sprint runners/swimmers/cyclists, wrestlers, soccer players, and sports similar in intensity, this is you!
- Your optimal rest period range is 30 to 60 seconds.
- Keep in mind that whatever you are training for, beginners need more rest between sets then the seasoned veterans. If you are just starting out, stay in the conservative end of your range.If you are experienced you will benefit more from a shorter rest period. In addition, athletes coming back from periods of detraining due to injury or otherwise should increase the amount of rest between sets until you are back in your normal physical condition.Circuit TrainingTraditional circuit training incorporates a rest period of typically less than 30 seconds, or a work-rest interval a fair margin greater than 1:1. So where does this fit into an athlete's training? One has to understand that circuit training is designed to provide a happy medium between strength and aerobic training.Due to the short rest interval between sets, strength gains are less than optimal with circuit training (30 to 50% less) when compared to traditional strength training1. However, modest gains in aerobic capacity can be achieved.In ConclusionSo who benefits from circuit training? Athletes that require a balance of both strength and cardiovascular endurance for their sport, athletes and fitness buffs with limited time and anyone wishing to add variety to their training would all benefit from circuit training.No matter what your sport or fitness passion may be, understanding the science of rest between sets will put you in the driver's seat on the road to your training goals.As you can see, not all athletes benefit from waiting the full three minutes for complete phosphagen recovery. Different periods of rest can produce very specific results. It is up to you as the athlete to decide which approach will be of greatest benefit to you.Link http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/issa111.htm
Another way to look at this is to shoot for a work-rest ratio of 1:1. This means that you spend the same amount of time resting as it took you to complete the previous set. Athletes whose sport demands 1 to 3 minutes of all out effort with little or no rest may benefit from a work-rest ratio of 1:1 or slightly higher.
This means that you spend the same or less time resting than you do performing each set of exercise1. In either case, the principles behind the practice are the same.
Higher Lactate Levels
- Using this rest interval between sets creates high lactate levels in the exercising muscles3. This forces the body to improve its ability to buffer the accumulating lactate, thereby improving your ability to sustain moderate, near maximal or maximal contractions over a given time period.
Increased Growth Hormones
- High volume, short rest period training has also been found to increase human growth hormone levels when compared to training with longer rest periods 2.
- In addition, muscular hypertrophy (growth in size) will be maximized using the 1:1 work-rest ratio in conjunction with high training volume and a weight load between your 8 and 12 repetition maximum. 1.
If you're training hard Tendinitis is often an uncomfortable symptom that you are more than likely to come across as you put your body through the paces. Don't fret as the painful symptoms do subside with time, however, as always there are steps that you can take to alleviate the symptoms and speed up recovery.....
To treat tendinitis at home, R.I.C.E. is the acronym to remember — rest, ice, compression and elevation. This treatment can help speed your recovery and help prevent further problems.
- Rest. Avoid activities that increase the pain or swelling. Don't try to work or play through the pain. Rest is essential to tissue healing. But it doesn't mean complete bed rest. You can do other activities and exercises that don't stress the injured tendon. Swimming and water exercise may be well tolerated.
- Ice. To decrease pain, muscle spasm and swelling, apply ice to the injured area for up to 20 minutes, several times a day. Ice packs, ice massage or slush baths with ice and water all can help. For an ice massage, freeze a plastic foam cup full of water so that you can hold the cup while applying the ice directly to the skin. For more chronic tendon conditions, heat can be helpful in increasing blood flow to the muscle and tendon. This includes deep heat, from a therapy such as ultrasound.
- Compression. Because swelling can result in loss of motion in an injured joint, compress the area until the swelling has ceased. Wraps or compressive elastic bandages are best.
- Elevation. If tendinitis affects your knee, raise the affected leg above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
Although rest is a key part of treating tendinitis, prolonged inactivity can cause stiffness in your joints. After a few days of completely resting the injured area, gently move it through its full range of motion to maintain joint flexibility.
You can also try over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), in an attempt to reduce the discomfort associated with tendinitis.
What Is It?
How Does It Work?
How Safe Is Creatine?
Is It Necessary To Load On Creatine?
Is It Necessary To Cycle Creatine?
What Is The Best Time To Take Creatine?
Will Taking Creatine Before A Workout Give Me More Energy?
Does Liquid Creatine Work?
What Is The Best Type Of Creatine?
As amazing as it may seem, it is possible to boost your metabolism with metabolism foods. Since metabolism is basically how fast and efficiently your body burns the calories you eat every day, the idea is to eat only what your body needs for optimal cell function on a daily basis. That means choosing foods low in caloric value, but high in nutritional value. In addition, some of the foods found in nature can speed up your metabolism and help with fat burning.
9 foods that boost metabolism are:
Water is a natural appetite suppressant that will help increase your body's metabolism by 30% after drinking just 17 oz of it. Your can stay hydrated for your workouts and keep your metabolism high by drinking 6 glasses (8 oz.) a day.
Grapefruit has unique chemical properties that, for the last 30 years of studies have shown, promotes weight loss. This citrus fruit, that is full of vitamin C, will reduce insulin levels which ultimately promotes weight loss. One thing to remember is that grapefruit can interact with medications. So check with your doctor before adding it to your diet.
Oatmeal is a great fat-soluble fiber that fills you up quickly, gives you lots of energy for working out, lowers cholesterol and is high in nutrients.
Broccoli is high in the vitamin C our bodies need to effectively absorb the calcium we eat. And studies indicate that calcium aids in weight loss. Plus, broccoli also has phytochemicals that boost immunity and protect against disease--all while being very low in calories!
5- Green Tea
Studies show that green tea boosts metabolism, has great antioxidants and may help prevent some forms of cancer. It's also famous for being a mood enhancer, which is great for helping you get in the mood for that workout.
6- Hot Peppers
Hot peppers speed up your metabolism and cause you to burn more calories by releasing the chemical Capsaicin (found in cayenne and jalapeno peppers) into your system. In response, the body temporarily releases stress hormones that speed up your metabolism. So you burn more calories as your body copes with the spicy, tasty food.
7- Low-fat Dairy
Low fat dairy is high in the essential calcium needed for fat burning and weight loss. In addition, it is high in nutrients and great for a healthy digestive tract.
8- Lean Meats
Lean Meats are great sources of protein, and they take longer to digest than fruits and vegetables. They also give you more energy for exercise, so you get twice the metabolism benefit from one food.
9. High Fiber Foods
High fiber foods, like beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, keep your insulin levels steady, which helps your body prevent fat storage that leads to weight gain.
Some metabolism supplements will speed up your metabolism, but aren't as healthy as the metabolism boosting foods found right in nature. They can contain animal thyroid that can have unhealthy side effects like nervousness, diarrhea, increased heart rate, tremors, excessive sweating and bulging eyes. Never take a supplement or without first consulting your physician.
Most experts agree that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, accompanied by healthy exercise, will help stablize the metabolism. However, if you have difficulty either gaining weight or losing weight, and you currently lead an active lifestyle that includes and exercise, it could be a sign of metabolism issues. Consult your personal physician to discuss medical testing that will eliminate those possibilities before making significant changes to your diet or exercise program.
- Tone Up on the Treadmill"Save time at the gym with this 10-minute cardio/sculpt session: Hop on a treadmill holding a three- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand, and set the speed to a brisk walk. Do a one-minute set each of shoulder presses, biceps curls, triceps extensions, side laterals, front laterals and standing triceps kickbacks one after another as you walk. I's an amazing upper-body challenge that also gets your heart pumping. Do this series two or three times each week. As you improve, work up to doing four-minute sets."
--Michael George, trainer and owner of Integrated Motivational Fitness in Los Angeles
- Power Up Your Runs"Adding wall sits to the end of every run will strengthen your quads, hamstrings and glutes, improving your speed and endurance. Lean against a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart, then squat until your knees are bent at 45 degrees. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds; work up to doing 10 sets. Add a challenge by including heel raises: Lift your left heel, then the right, then lift both together twice."
--Mindy Solkin, owner and head coach of the Running Center, New York City
- Chart Your Progress"Stay motivated using a fitness report card. Jot down these subjects: Cardio, Muscle Conditioning, Flexibility and Attitude. Set goals (for example, doing 10 "boy" push-ups) and grade yourself A through F at least four times a year. When you see how much you improve, you'll want to stay in great shape."
--Ken Alan, Los Angeles--based personal trainer
- Try This All-in-One Toner"A side-step squat with wood chop works your arms, torso, abs, back, legs, inner thighs and butt. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a three- to four-pound medicine ball in your hands. Bend your arms up so that the ball is at eye level over your right shoulder. As you bring the ball toward your left knee, step out with your left leg and bend it no further than 90 degrees, keeping your right leg straight. Return to the starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps and repeat on the other leg."
--David Kirsch, trainer and author of The Ultimate New York Body Plan (McGraw-Hill, 2004)
- Break Out the Shovel"Why pay someone to clear snow from your driveway? Besides burning nearly 400 calories per hour, shoveling snow develops muscular endurance and power. But be safe: Minimize the amount of snow on each shovelful, and bend from your knees and hips, not your back."
--Tom Seabourne, Ph.D., exercise physiologist and sports psychologist at Northeast Texas Community College in Mount Pleasant, Texas
- Work Out During Your Workday"Sit on a stability ball to strengthen your core, and keep dumbbells or exercise tubing at your desk. Squeeze in 12 to 15 reps of exercises like dumbbell curls, overhead presses and ab crunches; aim for two or three sets of each. This gives you more free time to fit in fun workouts like biking or tennis."
--Gregory Florez, personal trainer and CEO of Salt Lake City -- based FitAdvisor.com
- Take This Jump-Rope Challenge"The best cardio workout is the jump-rope double-turn maneuver. It's intense: You'll burn about 26 calories per minute! Do a basic jump for five minutes, then jump twice as high and turn the rope twice as fast so it passes under your feet twice before you land. This takes timing, patience and power. But you'll get in great shape just by working at it."
--Michael Olajide Jr., former number one world middleweight contender and cofounder/trainer at Aerospace High Performance Center in New York City
- Give Yourself a Break"You don't have to be a fitness saint to get results. Follow the 80/20 plan: Eighty percent of the year, you'll exercise regularly and eat well. Know that you'll slip 20 percent of the time due to holidays and work deadlines. When you accept that fitness isn't an all-or-nothing proposition, you're more likely to stick with it for life."
--Maureen Wilson, owner/personal trainer/instructor, Sweat Co. Studios, Vancouver, B.C.
- Get a Jump on
--Michael George"Add plyometric box jumps to your workout to improve your cardiovascular stamina and leg strength -- you'll really sculpt your hamstrings, quads and glutes. Find a sturdy box that';s at least one foot high [like a Plyo Box, $139.95; 888-556-7464; performbetter.com]. Starting from a standing position, explosively jump to the middle of the box, then jump back down. Repeat 20 times."
- Don't Skimp on Carbs"Your body needs them to fuel a workout, so reach for fruit or high-fiber crackers an hour beforehand. If you'e exercising for 90 minutes or longer, include some protein so that the carbs break down more slowly, giving you longer-lasting energy. Your best bets: low-fat cheese and crackers, trail mix or half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich."
--Cindy Sherwin, R.D., personal trainer at the Gym in New York City
- Maximize Your Crunches"Don't relax your abs as you lower your chest away from your knees during a crunch -- you get only half the ab-toning benefit! To get the firmest abs possible, you need to sustain the contraction on the way down."
--Steve Ilg, founder of Wholistic Fitness Personal Training and author of Total Body Transformation (Hyperion, 2004)
- Intensify Your Push-Up"Squat-thrust push-ups get you in great shape because they work your upper body, core and lower body and improve agility, strength and endurance all at once. From a standing position, bend down, put your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart, and jump your feet back into plank position. If you're strong, cross your ankles; otherwise, jump your feet wide apart. Do a push-up, then jump your feet together or uncross your ankles. Jump your feet back to your hands and stand up. Do eight reps total, rest for one minute, and repeat."
--Keli Roberts, Los Angeles -- based trainer
- Paddle Your Way to Flatter Abs"Go kayaking to get a taut stomach -- it's ideal because much of your rowing power comes from your core. Mimic the motion and resistance of the water at home by looping an exercise band around the bottom of a table leg or other fixed object. Sit on the floor with legs extended, knees slightly bent; grasp one end of the band in each hand. Rotate your torso to one side as you bring the elbow back slightly, then switch sides. Do three sets of one to three minutes each."
--Barbara Bushman, Ph.D., associate professor of health, physical education and recreation at Southwest Missouri State University
- Make Over Your Running Routine"Unless you're training for a marathon, skip long, slow, distance running -- sprinting builds more muscle. Add a few 10- to 60-second sprints to your run, slowing down just long enough to catch your breath between them."
--Stephen Holt, 2003 ACE Personal Trainer of the Year
- Super-Sculpt Your Butt"Get great glutes by targeting the muscles and connective tissues buried deep in your body. To hit them, do high-intensity squats, such as jump squats. Then, blast off butt flab with cross-country skiing, bleacher running and stair climbing."
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