If you’ve noticed lately, during your training sessions, we are emphasizing rest and recovery between sets, and even workouts, a lot more than previously. Why are we doing this? Is it to torture you to keep you here longer? Well… maybe- we like having you around! But, there’s also a science behind rest periods, be it between sets or between workouts.

The goal of every training session is to improve in form, function, and strength, and to get the best possible results in that session. If you break it down, in order to have the best possible training session, it’s composed of the best possible sets, which are composed of the best possible reps. Every time you perform a repetition of an exercise or movement, you are “downloading” information into your brain and eliciting an “adaptation” to the load you’re placing on it. Therefore, we only want to download the best possible information if we want to get the best possible results. The brain is capable of downloading and adapting very quickly, but one principle that’s always in play is: “The greater the load, the greater the learning.” This means the more we “load” a movement with weight, speed, focus on form, higher repetitions, etc., the more “learning” for the brain.

Now picture your brain as a very advanced, “super-computer.” Downloading too much information at one time slows the function of the entire computer down until all of that information is downloaded. If you’ve downloaded good information, hopefully your computer still runs well or even better, and performs the tasks you’d like it to do. This same process is happening in your body during your workout! If you don’t allow your brain “download” time, you don’t function as well in your remaining sets, which means you’re downloading “sloppy” information into your body. Sure, you’ll get some benefit, maybe. Or, you may not if you’ve downloaded the wrong, or incomplete information. If you’ve recovered fully before beginning your next set or workout, you’ve given yourself the opportunity to download the best information (perfect reps) you can possibly give to allow your body to adapt and change into what you want it to be- a lean, strong, well-functioning machine! Another cool feature of our brain and body is that we always get better at what we do. This means, the more you practice recovery, you’ll get better at it, recover faster, and be able to get more work done in less time!

All science aside, if you don’t need to rest, did you work hard enough in that set to get a benefit? 🙂 Work hard, and enjoy the “download time” between sets and workouts, because the completion of the download is what’s truly giving you the results!

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