When you train you want to do so with intensity. One technique for increasing the intensity of your training is to manipulate your rest periods. The longer the rest period the lower the intensity. The shorter the rest period the higher the intensity.
There are many excellent ways to manipulate rest periods. The following are some examples of ways you can manipulate your rest periods for intensity.
Supersets for Shorter Rest Periods
A superset is generally thought to involve 2 exercises that utilize antagonistic body parts (ie. chest and back) done back to back with no rest between exercises. For the sake of this discussion, a superset is merely two exercises performed one after another with no rest between them.
By using supersets you are taking the rest period between exercises down to zero. You can then simply manipulate the time between supersets. Keeping that rest period down to 30 seconds will really up the intensity of your training. It is important to note that you will not be able to lift as much when following this protocol. Your heart will race as you progress through your workout, causing a cardio effect as well.
Giant Sets for Shorter Rest Periods
For the sake of this discussion, a giant set is 3 or more exercises performed in succession with no rest between exercises. You will perform your exercises and then rest 30 seconds between each giant set. You will focus on getting your heart rate racing. You will perform each exercise with proper form. This is a very intense technique. It is one I love to use on my legs. A typical giant set workout for legs would include 2 giant sets as follows:
- Giant Set #1 – 4 sets of each group. No rest between exercises.
- Hack Squat
- Leg Press
- Leg Extensions
- Rest 30 seconds
- Leg Press (feet low)
- Leg Press (feet wide)
- Leg extensions
- Lying leg curls
- Rest 30 seconds
This technique will really cause an increase in intensity.
Complexes for Shorter Rest Periods
A complex is where you take 3 or more exercises and perform them in succession, but not only do you not rest between exercises, you don't rest between sets either. Essentially it is a giant set with no rest between sets. This one will make you feel like you are running a marathon. This is one awesome intensity boost.
Share with us your tips for manipulating rest periods for intensity by leaving a comment below.