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Q&A: How Long Should I Rest Between Exercises?

Dave Cruz

Q: How long should I rest between sets and exercises in my training program?

A: There are no rest periods specifically prescribed in Core Performance training programs. Keep your rest between sets and exercises to a minimum, but don’t rush. If you feel like you’re unable to maintain proper technique, you may need to rest briefly or decrease the amount of weight that you’re lifting. That’s OK. As your movement quality, strength, and overall fitness improve, you’ll be able to cut down on rest time, with the goal of moving swiftly between exercises.

While you may be accustomed to resting between sets and exercises, the unique way in which the circuits, or groupings of exercises, are designed in Core Performance allows you to perform an entire workout with minimal rest periods.

For instance, you might do a squat followed by a row and then a movement to improve pillar strength as one circuit. Or you could do a bench press followed by a stretch and then a move for your legs. These are just a couple examples, but they illustrate how the way in which exercises are ordered minimizes fatigue and allows you to perform more work in less time. What's more, you'll do stretches or stability moves that complement strength-building movements, helping you get the most out of every exercise. All told, this approach helps keep your training sessions efficient and effective.

To learn more about circuits, rest periods, and complementary movements, check out the article Training Efficiency.

About The Author

Kevin Elsey – Kevin Elsey is the vice president of the performance innovation team at EXOS. With three undergraduate degrees from Queen's University in Canada and several years of experience as a personal trainer and physical education teacher, he brings a wealth of educational and practical experience to EXOS.

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Tags: Q&A, Training