If you are one of those who regularly workout in the gym, you have surely noticed that people have the same amount of exercises as the amount of ways to kill time in between. When the rest time between two exercises comes, some people tend to simply do nothing, while others text their significant other or some people even continue exercising – short series of cardio or jumping jacks.
These are all the people you normally see at your gym and this is simply what they do between exercises. However, one research claims that they are doing it wrong – instead of walking or doing some short exercise, you should sit and let your body rest and prepare for the next set. That is why the period between two exercises is called “rest” time.
One group of people participated in the research and their task was to do an intense CrossFit workout on three different occasions. In order to get the most accurate results, all people who took part in the research had to perform the same workouts – one set consisted of 8 to 10 repetitions of a strength exercise and immediately after it, one participant had to a full sprint on a rowing machine or an exercise bike. The whole workout had six sets and the designated rest time between sets was two minutes.
While the workouts were the same, the two minutes of rest time participants spent differently. Participants usually laid on the ground, walked slowly or sat on a bench. This is where the research shown that people who have sat or laid have worked up to 7% harder in the following set. Furthermore, those who decided to rest between sets had lower breathing and heart rate, just because they have sat or laid for two minutes.
If you are wondering how those who have rested between sets performed better – there is a simple explanation – walking as an activity requires much more energy than lying down or simply sitting on a bench. When you sit or lay down, you don’t have to carry your body and your weight, which allows your body to concentrate on healing, instead on activity like walking. The best thing is that, by doing this, you will be better prepared for the next set, which means that your whole workout should get you better results.
However, just because you could perform better in the next set, it does not mean that you should just sit or lay down after every set. Depending on what your fitness goal is – you should either sit or walk during rest time. For example, if you want to increase your overall fitness level and help your body perform better in the next set – then you should sit during rest time, on the other hand, if your main fitness goal is to simply burn as many calories as possible, you should try just simply standing or pacing throughout your whole gym. By doing this, you keep your heart rate at higher level, meaning that your body will burn more calories.