I have increased my workout intensity recently… what about you?
If you want to lose fat then you have to make your body say good rid-dins! And that comes from an intense workout that pushes your muscles and your body to work hard.
There are a few ways to burn the most calories possible in your workout….
Of course you can:
- Increase the weight (which means decrease the reps)
- Decrease your rest period between exercises
- Increase the reps (going back up to weight increase)
- Or you can use your rest period to keep moving…
Active rest just means while you’re giving your muscles that you just worked out a rest and a few minutes to recover so you can get going again, you still keep moving and keeping your heart rate up but you’re at a low intensity while it’s going on.
My favorite form of active rest is jump roping. If I am doing 60 second rests then I might just rope for 30 of those seconds and allow the rest of the time to get ready for the next weight lifting exercise.
If you do this between each set then 30 seconds worth of jump roping can turn into 5-7 minutes of jump roping. Which may not seem like a lot still but can add an additional calorie burn of close to 100 calories!
Other forms of active rest
Jump roping in my opinion is the best, it’s definitely going to keep your heart rate up and it’s easy to do anywhere. You don’t have to run to a piece of equipment between moves. But there are of course other ways to get some rest in there too…
- Running in place
- Jumping jacks
- Step-ups (body weight)
- Straight body jumps
What not to do…
Don’t confuse active rest exercises with plyo (jumping) exercises. These can tire you out too much and instead of resting your muscles you’re fatiguing them faster. Stay away from moves like squat jumps, lunge jumps, burpees, and bench jumps.
You just want a movement that keeps your heart rate up but doesn’t wear you out where you can’t finish your sets, you really just want to go for an exercise that keeps your heart going at 65% max.
Are active rests for all women?
Nope… if you’re trying to add a lot of strength to your body then you definitely need your rest time to… do nothing but rest. Your muscles run from an energy source called creatine phosphate and with those active rest you might go through your supply too fast. This can potentially make it harder for you to get those big strength gains. Also with strength remember you are lifting HEAVY… like 6 reps, so your rest are going to be longer than I talked about above, close to 3 minutes.
If you walk into my gym tomorrow you’ll see me and my jump rope going to town. I have a crappy rope but it gets the job done for now!