The Science Of Rest Periods

The Science Of Rest Periods

We often focus on exercises—reps, weight, sets—when working out. But what about those sets’ breaks? Relaxation intervals may seem trivial, yet they can help you get fit. Researchers have thoroughly examined rest periods, and their findings can help workout optimisers. Hence, whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting out, it’s important to look at rest times and how they affect performance and results. On this episode of The New Helix Experience podcast, Tim Frey shares about The Science Of Rest Periods.

You’ll Learn:

  • Introduction to Rest Periods
  • The Physiology of Rest Periods
  • The Psychology of Rest Periods
  • Factors that Affect Rest Periods


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Alright guys, today we are talking rest periods in the gym and the science of rest periods in the gym, so rest periods in the gym are highly debated.

You have the science side of rest periods and then you have the anecdotal side. So science is essentially what it says in the scientific literature or what they’ve been able to prove. And then anecdotal is.

What the pros say, or the practitioners, so my anecdotal experience after 13 years as a coach and two degrees in exercise science, it’s probably less important than you think, in my opinion.

There are very there are various factors that go into it. So before we go any further, I just want to take you guys through the Physiology of rest periods.

So we have three main energy systems, first ones ATP PC, which is a phosphate system. Second one is the anaerobic glycolytic system, or the lactic acid system, and the third one is the.

The aerobic system so you’ve got essentially there’s three energy.

Systems, when you start training or you begin like a set, or you begin to run all three of them start at the same time and then they stop at different time periods.

So the first one that stops.

Is the ATP PC.

System. Then the second one that stops is the anaerobic system and the third one that just goes forever. As long as you go is called the aerobic system, so the ATP.

The system lasts about 10 seconds like most guys.

And the SAC and then the second one is the anaerobic system lasts about 2 minutes, which is probably where 90% of guys last and then the aerobic system is the final one.

So what you need to know here is you’ve got three men energy systems, all which run on different types of fuel, which are essentially put back in.

Via your diet.

Or your body’s ability just to produce.

Full rest periods play a crucial role in the level of muscle fatigue. They deplete your glycogen stores and other physiological factors that affect performance and recovery, so here are some ways that rest periods affect those factors.

So in terms of muscle fatigue, rest periods can reduce muscle fatigue by allowing time for the body to replenish.

Energy stores such as ATP and the phosphate creatine system. They also remove metabolic waste products such as lactic acid, short wrist rest periods for 2030 and 90 seconds have been shown to effectively.

Maintaining performance during high intensity exercise while longer rest periods like 2 to 5 minutes can enhance recovery between sets. The second factor here is the glycogen stores.

So like rest periods can also impact glocken stores and muscles, which are important, which are important source of energy during exercise during long duration exercises, glycogen stores can become depleted and without adequate rest and nutrition this can lead to fatigue and a decrease in performance. Longer risk per three to five minutes have been shown to improve.

Oxygen resynthesis. So your body’s ability to recreate it, especially when combined with the carb intake, which can help to maintain energy.

Levels. The other physiological factors that impact it are like muscle damage, inflammation, hormone levels, you know, famous strength. For Charles Poliquin always used to say in terms of like hormone levels and information, you don’t want your workouts to go longer than 60 minutes during high intensity exercise, muscle damage and inflammation can occur.

Leading to soreness and reduced function. Adequate rest periods does allow that time for that to be regenerated. Additionally, like hormone levels such as testosterone and cortisol can be impacted by rest periods with longer rest periods being associated with higher test levels and lower cortisol levels.

So you know overall the duration and frequency of rest periods can impact muscle fatigue, glycogen stores and other physiological factors.

So, you know, in terms of like a psychological approach to it, it’s such a varied thing between, like different athletes.

So for some people, you know, a longer rest period can provide some stress reduction mentally. You know, we can see improved confidence. We can see increased motivation.

We can see reduce, reduce, fatigue and burnout. I feel like that’s very.

Athlete dependent. Personally, for me, I’m someone that wants to get it done as quick as possible. It’s just how I roll.

Like, that’s just essentially like I’m a hard and fast get it done getting get out kind of guy a lot.

Other people like to take their time with training and rest periods, so I would feel more stressed psychologically the longer I took in the gym.

I would feel less confident because I feel like I’m wasting my day. I would feel less motivated also because I feel like I’m wasting my day and I would feel probably more fatigued for all those reasons as.

Well, so we’ve got a few factors that affect rest periods.

We’ve got age, fitness level, injury history, training load and sports specific demands, so you know, I did talk about this in the ageing podcast, ageing and training.

As you get older, your body requires longer rest periods to recover from workouts and competition. This is because older athletes have a reduced ability to repair and regenerate tissue, second one being.

At this level, I can personally vouch for this. I train with people.

In the gym and they do the relative same, you know loads and weights as I am and they get ******* crushed.

Whereas I’m fine with it, it’s cause I have a higher fitness level compared to them at the same weight.

I’ve been doing this for longer, so generally just your your fitness level increases over time. Specifically to the exercise that you are doing.

The third one is injury history, so if someone is coming back from a an injury, they’re going to be more fatigued.

Best fit all those types of things, so they’re probably going to need longer rest periods depending on the athlete.

Then we’ve got training load, so the amount of intensity of an athlete’s training can also.

Impact their rest periods.

Athletes who are training at high volume and intensity may require longer rest periods to allow for proper recovery and overtraining, essentially, on the other hand, athletes who are training at lower volumes and intensity may require shorter rest periods.

Maintain their performance.

So there are a few things you need to consider there. Injury wrist training, load fitness and age in terms of like practicality of rest periods.

This was drilled into me and my Masters degree. My retouches and tutors and lecturers. They said it takes 90 seconds to reproduce.

88% of ATP to its full regeneration, so ATP is the thing that’s running the short duration, so it’s zero to 10 second.

And so you know what I like to think about it as soon as you stop lifting weights so literally like last rip is done, the clock starts and that’s your rest period.

A lot of people, especially at my gym, they feel like they don’t get a lot of rest period because it’s active, so they’re not sitting down. So our rest periods are not sitting on a bench.

Looking at a clock.

You know, twiddling their thumbs. We’re like going in threes. So you’re in a in a group of three or four or whatever and your rest period is as long as it takes 2 for the people to complete their sets.

So if you’re doing sets at 10, your rest period is pretty big because you got.

Three or four people.

That all need to get three sets of 10, so you know, I think a lot of people feel like they’re getting less.

Rest periods than they actually are. If you were to do your last Rep and then actually watch the clock and see how many seconds it was between your next set, you’d find that it’s probably 90 seconds to two minutes.

So when I write a strength programme, I always cater for 90 seconds minimum as a rest, sometimes up to two minutes between sets.

I prefer that I prefer shorter rest periods. There are some benefits, two shorter rest periods for muscular growth, and hypertrophy responses, which most of the time people want to get a.

And muscular growth or hypertrophy response in terms of rest periods, I’d say shortest 30 seconds, medium 60 to 90 long as 90 to 180 and extra long is 180.

You know, for like big powerlifting style programmes, you know that you can see them rest for up to 6 minutes.

You know, that’s what the science says. Also, that demographic is not very fit. And their ability to recover between sets is is less and diminished. So the less.

Fit you are.

The longer it’s going to take you to recover.

Rest between settle and the more fit you are, the less time it’s going to take you. It’s just one of.

Those things that’s like, very uncomfortable too.

Have short rest periods because your body is under stress for such a like an intense time. But if you’re someone that freaked out about their rest periods, literally finish your last set, watch the clock and see how long you’re actually getting between.

I bet it’s longer than you think it is. So in terms of the science of rest periods, you really need to think about like your age.

Fitness levels and training load. Are you coming back for an injury?

There’s a psychological component to it as well. Are you someone that gets stressed when you’re not getting enough rest, you know, does improve your confidence?

Does it increase your motivation? Does it reduce your fatigue and your ability to burn?

Out and then from a physiological.

Point of view, obviously, rest periods do decrease muscle fatigue, improve glycogen stores and other physiological factors.

You just want to think about your rest periods as like the time where your body is having its ability to recover, regrow, and regenerate its.

Which is an important thing to do. But you wanna. It’s always like a catch 22. You want to balance super long rest periods with actually wasting your time in the gym and not getting the work done.

What gets the work done in the gym is doing reps over time, so lots of reps, consistency over time. We’ll get you a better result and I stand by that.

Back over and over. Thanks for listening.

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