Beginner Workout Principle: Regulated Rest Periods

As you set out to start your training program, one important point that you need to pay attention to is the amount of rest that you're taking.  The first few workouts you perform you may not be watching this point at all as your main objective is just to make sure that you get the exercises done properly, but as you progress onwards, it becomes much more important that you are looking at how much rest you're using as this can directly correlate with the results you see.

Here are the important things to know about rest as it applies to your workout program.


Compound Exercises Require More Rest Periods

The very first thing to know is that if you're doing compound lifting exercises, it's during these that you will need the most rest out of the whole workout program.  These exercises are going to have you working more than one muscle group at a time, therefore in order to allow those muscles to recover after the lift, more time must be given.

The compound exercises being referred to here include bench press, squats, deadlifts, shoulder press, as well as bent over rows.  Any time you are performing these you'll typically require at least 45 seconds of rest, sometimes up to 3 minutes of rest depending on the overall structure of the program.


Heavier Weights Require Greater Rest Periods

The second thing to know when it comes to rest is that if you're lifting heavier weights, that too will necessitate longer rest periods.  Since heavy weights will really tax the body and the muscles, if you aren't resting on each successive set you'll see the weight lifted go down.

Usually compound exercises are where you will lift the most weight, which makes sense given the point above.


Lower Rest Periods Can Boost The Metabolic Rate

The amount of rest you take is also quite correlated to what your metabolism does in response to the workout session.  Lifting extremely heavy weight, regardless of what your rest period is does tend to boost the metabolism over the long term since this helps build lean muscle mass. Directly from that workout session however, one of the best ways to boost the metabolism is by shortening the rest.

If you keep the workout moving along quickly – say taking 15-30 seconds of rest between exercises, this is going to have you seeing greater metabolic increases than if you had used longer rest periods between sets.

So if you're looking to increase the metabolism, this is something you should definitely be keeping in mind.  It can make a difference in overall results, however you also should be sure you don't take it too far and lower the weight significantly or else that will not maintain strength levels as well either.

Rest is a critical aspect of any workout program that needs to be addressed so always keep it in the back of your mind. When you begin using correct rest periods you are going to see noticeable improvements in your results and will have success that much faster.