May 2, 2022
3 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Rest During Your Workouts
Once I first started to get interested in my physical fitness, I was under the impression that working out required me to push my body to the max for as long as possible. As a result, I viewed resting as a sign of weakness and silently made fun of others who couldn’t get through a weight-lifting session without stopping for multiple breathers.
Now, I understand that resting is essential for any strength training workout. Pushing through an entire workout without periods of rest isn’t a sign of strength. On the contrary, it’s a good way to over-exert your body and increase your risk of injuries.
If your workouts are only 15-20 minutes, you can probably push through them without needing to rest and recover. But if you are doing longer or more intense workouts, here are three compelling reasons you should allow your body periods of rest between sets.
Recover From Fatigue
The human body becomes fatigued after prolonged exertion. The more fatigued you are when working out, the more likely you are to exhibit poor form and potentially injure yourself. Although it is true that you want to push your body to near-complete muscular fatigue by the time you reach the end of a set, you do not want to become so exhausted that you can no longer maintain proper form.
When you rest between sets, you can briefly recover, so your body has the energy to complete the next set with stellar form. The importance of proper form can’t be overestimated when avoiding injuries during workouts.
Gauge Your Intensity
One good reason to rest between sets is to gauge your intensity and make adjustments as needed. If you don’t feel like you need to rest between sets and that you can keep going indefinitely, you probably aren’t working hard enough to get the results you want.
When choosing the right weight for each set, your goal should be to select a heavy enough weight to make it very difficult for you to finish the reps in each set. If you feel like rest is unnecessary between sets, it’s time to increase your weight!
When you push your body to its limit for too long, it will eventually give out on you. Glycogen, the primary source of quick energy for our muscles, can only last so long. When you engage in continuous, high-intensity workouts, your glycogen stores may only last 20 minutes (or less). But when you alternate between briefly pushing your body to its limit and resting, your glycogen stores could last up to 90 minutes before requiring replenishment!
For similar reasons, it's also important to rest between workouts (not just between sets). Your body needs that recovery period to replenish its glycogen stores, which can take anywhere between a day and a few days to replenish fully. If you don’t give your body time to rest between workouts, your glycogen stores can’t fully replenish and you’ll have a more difficult time maintaining your energy levels throughout your workouts. So, resting can help you get more “bang for your buck” so to speak. It will help you get maximum results from your workouts.
Discover the Benefits of Resting Between Sets
If you have the same way of thinking I used to have and perceive resting as a sign of weakness, it’s time to make a change. Your body may be able to handle more punishment while you’re younger, but if you want to take care of it well into the future, start giving it the rest it needs to recover. Starting today, try resting between sets and experience the benefits of this simple technique for yourself.