WATCH THE CLOCK - REST INTERVALS DO MATTER

Image: Designed by Freepik

Image: Designed by Freepik

One of the easiest and most neglected variables that we can use to generate and change the intensity of any exercise, is the time we take to rest between sets and exercises. A large percentage of us don’t pay much attention to this, taking anything between 30 seconds to five minutes, often defined by what they are doing on their phone or whom they are talking too!

The fact is that the amount of time we rest is very important if we want to maximise the effects of our training, much like a swim, bike or run set. If your rest periods aren't in-line with your training goals and if you aren't monitoring them, you won't see the same results as if you were going by the clock.

Image: Designed by Freepik

Image: Designed by Freepik

Regardless of whether you are new to strength training or pretty comfortable around the gym and make sure you're resting for the right amount of time. Taking too long between sets, will effectively destroy any training stimulus that you have generated during the exercise, but equally being impatient and rushing will encourage poor technique and more chance of injury as you're not allowing your body to recover both metabolically and neurologically.

The ideal length of rest depends on the intensity of your efforts, as well as the type of exercise performed (i.e. you will recover faster from a set of cable pull throughs than from a set of barbell back squats). If you are a beginner to strength training aim to rest between 60-90 seconds between the main compound lifts (eg. squats and deadlifts) to guarantee that you recover and are able to perform consistently and with safe technique. For exercises that are more focused on conditioning, 45-60 seconds will allow adequate recovery.