If you are like every other person out there, time is valuable. Since we cannot add time to our day, we need to be efficient with the time we have. Most people do not have the time for a quality workout each day. If we are trying to Run Your Gas Tank Empty (refer to my article), burning as many calories as possible during the workout is a priority. How can you Maxine the effectiveness of your workouts in a short period? Reduce your recovery time.
What does the research say?
When training for "pure" strength gains, your recovery may be at 3 minutes and last as much as 10 minutes between sets. However, if you are focusing on losing body fat and/or gaining muscle mass, your recovery should be significantly reduced to 30 seconds. The College of New Jersey found that when men rested for 30 seconds between bench press sets, they burned 50% more calories vs. resting 3 minutes.
Syracuse University studied participants engaging in supersets (refer to The Unknown Benefits of Super Setting). What they discovered was the subjects burned 35% more calories during the workout as compared to the subjects who did the same exercises but did not engage in supersets.
What are you to do?
Combine two exercises back to back (called supersets). Instead of taking a full break between sets, shorten the recovery to 30 seconds. Use a stop watch or timer to keep yourself accountable. When working yourself hard, time flies during your recovery.
For example, if you are performing pull-ups, immediately do pushups with no recovery. Once you have completed the pushup, allow yourself no more than 30 seconds recovery before you begin your pull-up again. Keep repeating this until you have fulfilled your set goal. Try to keep your recovery near 30 seconds. While the workout will be uncomfortable, it will be hard but you will adapt and eventually will get comfortable with it (refer to Comfortable Being Uncomfortable).
By doing the supersets and limiting recovery to 30 seconds, you will burn up to 85% more calories than by doing the exercises separately with full recovery between sets.
Do this and watch the fat melt off in a shorter period of time!
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