Tag Archives: push-pull exercises

How Long Should You Rest Between Exercises and Sets?

17 Feb

Rest-period[1]Rest periods, between exercises and sets, can vary depending on the sport or exercise.  As a general rule, when strength or speed training, your rest intervals should be proportional to the intensity of your workout.  The purpose of rest periods is to ensure adequate recovery in order to perform subsequent exercises with maximal effort and proper technique.

Strength Training

Depending on your primary resistance training goal/strategy (and commensurate intensity level), below are recommended rest intervals:

  • Strength & Power: Heavy weight (75% – 90% loads, relative to % 1RM) and low repetitions (4-6 range) warrant longer rest intervals, 2-5 minutes.
  • Hypertrophy (size): Moderate-to-heavy weight (67% – 85% loads) and low-to-medium reps (6-12 range) = 30 seconds – 1.5 minutes rest intervals.
  • Endurance: Moderate weight (loads of 67% and less) and high reps (12+) = rest intervals of less than 30 seconds.

Speed Training

Since the goal of speed training requires exercises and drills to be performed at maximum speed — and with proper technique — you must avoid excessive fatigue.  Sprinting when you’re tired results in poor running mechanics and slower speeds.

  • Recover fully between sprints (30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on distance).
  • Don’t overdo it; 3-10 sprints, with full recovery, are adequate.
  • Sprints should be done toward beginning of workout when energy level is highest.

Growth Hormone and Testosterone

The length of your rest intervals can also influence production of growth hormone and testosterone, according to Rahimi, et. al., in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.  “… short rest intervals (60-second) elevated greater increase in growth hormone (GH) compared with 120-second rest,” while “… testosterone (TS) response was greater in the resistance exercise protocol with a 120-second rest interval between sets.”

At Athletic Performance Training Center, we utilize agonist-antagonist paired sets (APS), alternating “push and pull” exercises for opposing muscle groups (for example, the bench press and row), primarily for the purpose of increasing efficiency by reducing training time.  Basically, one muscle group’s “work” exercise is the opposing muscle group’s “rest.”  “The use of APS training is an efficacious and time-effective method for developing strength and power…” (Robbins, et al.; Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research).

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Here’s Why You Should Train With Supersets

17 Jun
Barbell Bench Press

Barbell Bench Press

Seated Cable Row

Seated Cable Row

Supersets are a workout strategy in which you perform sets of two different exercises back-to-back with little or no rest.  They are a great time-saver, and can make your workout more efficient and effective.

Generally, supersets are used for opposing muscle groups, such as chest (e.g., bench press) and back (e.g., row), so that one muscle group can recover while you train the other one, thereby reducing the time needed to rest. These types of supersets are referred to as agonist-antagonist paired sets (or, push-pull sets), since they work opposing muscle groups.  This is an approach we favor at our facility.

Recently the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that subjects who performed leg extension and leg curl supersets also performed better.  In fact, they completed more reps on the leg extension when the leg curl was done immediately beforehand than when done alone, despite getting no rest in between lifts.  Furthermore, when the subjects did rest, even up to 30 seconds, they completed significantly fewer reps and were shown to be activating less muscle in their quads.

Here’s the rationale behind the effectiveness of supersets: Working an antagonistic muscle group increases the nervous system’s activation of the agonist.  In this case, training the hamstrings enabled the quads to work better.  Straight sets (doing a set of one exercise, resting, and repeating) probably have their place when you’re going heavy (although at our facility, we also superset heavy sets), but supersets can boost your workout effectiveness and efficiency.

This is an example of a few of our paired exercise supersets we use at Athletic Performance Training Center:

  • Squat + Glute-Ham Raise
  • Bench Press + Row
  • Shoulder Press + Lat Pulldown

If you need extra time to recover from high-intensity sets of exercises such as the squat or bench press, by all means perform those exercises by themselves.  Then perform your assistance exercises as supersets.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

How Long Should You Rest Between Exercises and Sets?

18 Feb

Rest-period[1]Rest periods, between exercises and sets, can vary depending on the sport or exercise.  As a general rule, when strength or speed training, your rest intervals should be proportional to the intensity of your workout.  The purpose of rest periods is to ensure adequate recovery in order to perform subsequent exercises with maximal effort and proper technique.

Strength Training

Depending on your primary resistance training goal/strategy (and commensurate intensity level), below are recommended rest intervals:

  • Strength & Power: Heavy weight (75% – 90% loads, relative to % 1RM) and low repetitions (4-6 range) warrant longer rest intervals, 2-5 minutes.
  • Hypertrophy (size): Moderate-to-heavy weight (67% – 85% loads) and low-to-medium reps (6-12 range) = 30 seconds – 1.5 minutes rest intervals.
  • Endurance: Moderate weight (loads of 67% and less) and high reps (12+) = rest intervals of less than 30 seconds.

Speed Training

Since the goal of speed training requires exercises and drills to be performed at maximum speed — and with proper technique — you must avoid excessive fatigue.  Sprinting when you’re tired results in poor running mechanics and slower speeds.

  • Recover fully between sprints (30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on distance).
  • Don’t overdo it; 3-10 sprints, with full recovery, are adequate.
  • Sprints should be done toward beginning of workout when energy level is highest.

Growth Hormone and Testosterone

The length of your rest intervals can also influence production of growth hormone and testosterone, according to Rahimi, et. al., in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.  “… short rest intervals (60-second) elevated greater increase in growth hormone (GH) compared with 120-second rest,” while “… testosterone (TS) response was greater in the resistance exercise protocol with a 120-second rest interval between sets.”

At Athletic Performance Training Center, we utilize agonist-antagonist paired sets (APS), alternating “push and pull” exercises for opposing muscle groups (for example, the bench press and row), primarily for the purpose of increasing efficiency by reducing training time.  Basically, one muscle group’s “work” exercise is the opposing muscle group’s “rest.”  “The use of APS training is an efficacious and time-effective method for developing strength and power…” (Robbins, et al.; Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research).

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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