Recovery periods between sets are perceived as the time when you need to rest and get ready for the next set. However, not many people give tips on what to do and not to do during those periods in order to optimize recovery and use your time in the best way. Very often people just stroll around between their sets, sit on a bench or talk and don’t really do what’s needed to be 100% ready to go in the next set. I have analyzed and made a list of the most important aspects of rest periods between sets that you have to remember and implement in your workouts. Here are the things you should do and the ones you should avoid doing so that you know you’ve used your time wisely.
1. Stay away from chatting – talking between sets not only distracts you and lowers your focus, but it also makes you lose track of time. The probability of taking a rest too long is big, especially when you engage in a conversation with somebody. It is a common mistake you see in the gym – people trying to socialize by having 10 minutes long conversation about daily stuff. Make sure you focus on your workout and if someone asks you anything, just respond briefly and let him know you are focused. I have to admit there are annoying guys very often whose main purpose is to engage and keep talking to you – stay way from such people. Let them know that you are busy working out and your mind is “somewhere else”.
2. Drink water and BCAA – Drinking water and BCAA in between sets helps with hydration and muscle endurance. This combination really helps. I often advise my online clients to drink some kind of BCAA drink during their workouts in order to optimize recovery and make sure the body stays hydrated. This will greatly shorten the recovery time after the workout.
3. Walk, do not sit – Waking is recommended since it enhances blood flow to the limbs and improved blood flow means improved recovery and shorter rest periods. The only exception to that rule is when doing heavy deadlifts or squats. Then I recommend you sit somewhere and rest your back on a chair or against the wall.
4. Breathe deeply – Breathing is crucial to normalizing heart rate and supplying oxygen to the blood stream. I recommend you control your breathing, inhale deep and slowly let it out. This way you control you normalize your heart rate and don’t get too tired from long and exhausting working sets.
5. Stay focused – Think about your next set and stay focused on the goal – to work out the muscles. Don’t think about your problems or anything else. Clear your mind while you are at the gym. Let this be your time for mediation and learning your mind of all negative energy.
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