We all know by now that active recovery is better than passive recovery. It's better to keep moving between sets than to sit on your butt. Physically, it helps flush out waste products, prevent blood pooling and lightheadedness, and keep you warm. Mentally, it keeps you focused and motivated.
Moving between sets is one aspect to consider; resting too long is another. Most people don't regulate their rest intervals – they do their next set when they feel like it. That's a mistake! How can you truly gauge progress if this parameter is constantly varying from one workout to the next?
A better approach is to set a rest interval length and stick to it. I do it by pacing a specific distance between sets: walking one length of the gym and back is thirty seconds, two lengths is sixty seconds, three lengths is ninety seconds, and so on. I don't need to use a clock. I know from experience that once I complete a set, that amount of pacing will give me the exact amount of rest that I've assigned.
Take-Home Message: Use a clock or a specific distance to regulate your rest intervals, and keep moving between sets.
To your success,
John Paul Catanzaro
P.S. Rest interval is one of the most neglected parameters in strength training, yet it can have dramatic impact on your performance and results. I devote an entire chapter on this topic in The Elite Trainer.
Posted Aug 21, 2017