Is it possible to rush a workout and still benefit?

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As is always the case, there are never enough hours in the day and so when it comes to your workout do you skip it or rush it.

Skipping it is not a good idea but could you save time by skimping on the rest periods between sets? Or do you leave out a few exercises and cheat yourself.

Well, a new study appearing in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research says you could possibly compromise without any negative effects. Firstly their research showed that the people who rested three to five minutes between sets were able to lift 30-32% more on their second set than those that only rested one minute. However five minutes made very little difference so three minutes is good.

Also it was discovered that for recreational lifters the benefits of a second set far outweighed the benefits of a third set, so for those in a hurry you don’t need a third set as long as you do the same number of reps in each set and to failure i.e. so the last repetition in each set is a struggle and you’d be unlikely to complete another rep in proper form.

In this well-controlled study, 28 men aged 18 to 24 each completed one set of eight to 12 bench presses to failure. Those who then rested one minute did not even reach eight repetitions in their next set, while the groups that rested three and five minutes each managed eight to 12 reps in set two.

So, to save time, drop a set and rest for only three minutes. However, for some people three minutes can seem a long time so what do you do to keep things moving, well almost anything as long as you do not stretch or stress the muscles you are working.

Data suggest that stretching may “disturb the elastic component” of muscle and thus limit its ability to hoist heavy weight,

So try alternate upper and lower body workouts. If you are bench-pressing then you could work your legs during the rest period or if you are working arms alternate then to Abs.

By using the method suggested you should not only get a quick workout, but a complete and effective one to.

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