Training

Take a Load Off Between Sets

Resting between sets can improve performance.

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Take a Load Off Between Sets

OPENING ARGUMENTS

DEFENSE 

Between sets, it's important to rest by sitting or lying down to regain your strength and mental drive.

PROSECUTION

Sitting or lying down can inhibit motivation to continue your training session.

EVIDENCE

  1. Subjects who sat or lay down between sets were able to perform more work compared with subjects who stood or kept moving.
  2. Not sitting after exhausting sets can prolong the sense of fatigue.
  3. Active rest between sets may not allow complete myoglobin reoxygenation and/or phosphocreatine resynthesis.
  4. Sitting allows for faster recovery of heart rate than standing.

VERDICT

WHEN POSSIBLE, SIT BETWEEN SETS

Research shows more complete physiological recovery between sets when sitting or lying supine compared with active rest or staying on your feet. This greater recovery increases work capacity on subsequent sets.

SENTENCING

You’ll perform better if you sit or lie down and truly relax between sets. Greater recovery and higher work capacity mean a greater chance of topping your personal bests on each exercise. Keep track of how long you rest with a stopwatch or a smartphone and monitor the time between sets so that you can both maximize your recovery and keep up the tempo of your workout.

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