I recall not very long ago that it was common and customary to spend over an hour at the athletic club working out. The old mantra of 3 sets of 10 with 30-45 seconds rest still seems to resonate in my memory banks. The rest time was even longer for power lifting. According to recent research, as long as you fatigue within 60-90 seconds, strength benefits are realized. Another recent finding is that rest is not even as effective as performing active core exercises between upper or lower body strengthening.
So, do we even need to sit around between sets, trying not to be an inconvenience while others are waiting to the use the same equipment that you are resting near? Perhaps an even better question would be why are we segregating resistance training from cardio conditioning? Why can’t we do both simultaneously?
Enough questions, let’s start answering. Traditional weightlifting exercises require a high level of energy expenditure followed by rest. This rest period may be unnecessary for many exercisers. Not only are you allowing the heart rate to slow but you are also wasting valuable time–unless you are using this resting time to meet new people or catch up on your emails. Seriously though, you can cut the rest time completely out and perform an exercise with unrelated muscle groups alternately such as circuit training. An additional benefit was revealed in In a 2007 study by Navalta et al., it was found that performing core stabilization exercises including side plank, cobra and prone plank was more effective at reducing lactate levels than when compared to rest. Surprisingly, performing core stabilization exercises after intense bouts of exercise has been shown to decrease lactate levels by as much as 22% http://blog.evidencebasedfitnessacademy.com/2011/04/27/core-training-as-ac.aspx
Let’s break this down into simple terms. For example, you are performing push-ups when you reach fatigue at about 50 seconds or 23 reps Prior to returning to a second set, you could move on to lunges or perform a side plank instead of resting for a minute or two for the start of the second set.
This concept of active rest is a fundamental practice during the Halo cardio core programming. For more information about the Halo cardio core program please stay tuned.