Resting like a Pro

I’m here to talk about one of the most underrated secrets to achieving incredible gains in your weightlifting journey. 

Picture this: You’re at the gym, pumping iron like a champ, but hold on! Before you implode, let’s chat about the art of taking rest periods.

Rest is like a sweet vacation for your muscles. 

Just like how you need a siesta after a fiesta, your muscles also deserve some downtime. It’s during these well-deserved breaks that your muscles and central nervous system recharge.

“But why?” you ask, raising an eyebrow in curiosity. 

Well, science has our back, pals! When you rest between sets, your muscles get a chance to recover their strength and energy. 

It’s like giving them a power nap before they burst back into action!

Think of your muscles as a high-performance sports car. You wouldn’t drive that sleek beast at top speed 24/7, would you? 

Nope! You’d give it time to cool down, refill the gas tank, and oil up those gears. That’s precisely what rest periods do for your muscles – they refuel and recharge for the next set of heavy lifting!

The energy systems of your body need time to replenish after the effort of lifting. 

If you don’t rest between sets you’ll never be able to lift to your true potential. Therefore, you won’t stress the body as much as is needed, you won’t adapt to this stress and you won’t get better.

Think of a car in a mud pit spinning its wheels. You can slam the gas all day but you won’t go anywhere.

When you rest between sets you may need a bit more time to workout or you may not get quite as much done in the given time but it will ALL be more effective.

And isn’t that the point of lifting in the first place?

Now, let’s talk about results people. 

Consistent rest periods during workouts can lead to better performance, greater volume, and muscle growth. 

It’s like planting seeds in a garden; you give them time to sprout, and soon enough, you’ll be picking ripe, juicy gains off the vine!

“But what about those gym junkies who never rest?” you ponder. Ah, well, let’s just say they’re on the fast track to Burnout City. 

Overtraining not only stalls progress but can also lead to injuries and nobody wants to be sidelined by those sneaky buggers.

Rest periods look different for different types of goals.

For pure strength or power training I usually aim for a minimum of 2 minutes and sometimes up to 5 (for very heavy 1 rep max type lifting or max power which is not necessary for most). 

For muscle hypertrophy (pumping those muscles up with lots of reps ) I aim for 1 – 2 minutes of rest.

For weight loss goals, the rest periods can be reduced even further. However, you still want to challenge yourself with the weight. 

Muscular endurance will have yet another rest period strategy. Higher reps and little rest can be used. Again, this is intelligently used for specific goals. Another way in which the way you lift can affect your results.

Weight loss goals is where far more nuance comes into play as metabolic conditioning can be used for building/maintaining muscle and losing fat can be achieved.

Finally, everyone has their own conditioning level and individual ability to recover between sets to account for. But many people are only worried about “feeling the burn” and buzzing around like a hummingbird than truly pushing themselves on each set.

After a set you should be thinking, “Damn! I need to rest for a bit if I want to lift that again.” If you’re not, maybe you should lift heavier?

Don’t be afraid, the dumbbells won’t bite you. Slowing down a bit and bumping the weight up can offer a huge change in the results you see. 

The next time you hit the gym, remember to sprinkle some rest periods into your routine. Treat your muscles with care, and they’ll reward you with strength and growth beyond your wildest dreams!

Keep lifting, take a chill pill sometimes, and keep getting those gains.

Wade Dickinson

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