Clever pausing during strength training
Strength training is highly diverse. Some do it because they want to improve in their sport. Others because they want to lose weight or be fitter in general. Still, others do it to build up their muscles. The way you take your pausing during strength training plays an essential role in this.
Why the right pausing is so important
Strength training is a science in itself. Just going in, lifting a few weights, and hoping for the best is undoubtedly the wrong way to go. In muscle training, success and failure are closely related. Above all, strength training is structured during breaks can be decisive for success, failure, the optimal load, or even the wrong load. I have gone through the sports science sources again.
Strength training with the right weights
First you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I want to achieve?
- How often do I want to and can I train?
- Which weight should I choose?
- How many repetitions should I do?
- How long are the breaks?
A lot has changed here in recent years due to new studies. More on this below. First of all: It is always a good idea to test your repetition maximum. You can find out how to do this here. As a rule, if you work with too light weights, your training will not be successful. The only way to compensate for this is to do a corresponding number of repetitions. If you work with too many weights, there is a risk of injury. Here is an overview of the most common types of training in the gym or at home and the breaks recommended by experts:
Strength endurance training and the breaks
Strength endurance training is suitable for all healthy people who train for health reasons, who want to reduce fat, and generally become stronger.
- The weight should correspond to 50 – 60 percent of the repetition maximum.
- The exercises should be performed continuously and calmly with correct movement.
- Ideally, 6 – 10 series with 25 to 40 repetitions.
- The pause between series is 1 – 3 minutes, depending on the load.
- Good results can be achieved with two to three training units per week.
Extra tip: If you feel tired after three or four series, you can either reduce the weight or the number of repetitions. Disadvantage: It takes a relatively long time for each session.
Fitness-oriented strength training and pausing
Suitable for anyone who wants to get stronger, shape the body, lose fat and improve strength endurance.
- The weight should correspond to 70 percent of the repetition maximum.
- Perform the exercises continuously and calmly with correct movement.
- Ideally, 3 – 5 sets of 8 to 15 repetitions. The number of repetitions depends on the fitness level.
- Tip: The last two repetitions should be difficult for you, but you must still perform them technically correctly.
- The interval between repetitions is 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the intensity. It is essential to listen to your body. Two to three training sessions per week are best.
Maximum strength training
Suitable for all healthy and already trained people who want to improve in fast-paced sports (e.g., ball games and most athletic disciplines) and all those who wish to gain more visible muscle.
- The weight corresponds to 80 % of the repetition maximum.
- The exercises can be performed quickly if the movements are performed correctly.
- Ideally, 3 sets of 8 – 12 repetitions (depending on the exercise). It can be as many as 12 repetitions; for the bench press, 8 repetitions are sufficient.
- The interval between sets should be at least 3 minutes.
Training of the maximum strength
- Suitable for all healthy and already well-trained athletes who want to gain a significant plus in muscle mass.
- The weight corresponds to 80 – 95 % of the repetition maximum.
- The exercises are usually performed at a controlled movement speed.
- The pausing between the breaks is up to 5 minutes.
Latest findings in pausing design
Several studies have taken a closer look at the design of breaks during strength training. They have shown that shorter recovery intervals within sets have a more significant effect on muscle strength and increased performance than the more extended and previously standard rest periods. For all those who do strength training regularly, it may be worthwhile to try out the so-called intraset rest. What it is and how it works can be found here.