I had a great but short conversation with a member at the gym as she was taking a rest between efforts of an interval workout. It was something along the lines of 30 burpee box jumps and 5 rope climbs, 3 rounds… so yes a big tough workout but it had 5:00 of rest between efforts. During one of her rest periods she asked “Do I need to take the full rest?” My anwser was simple, “work hard enough to need the rest.”
I elaborated explaining that the purpose of the workout was to develop her oxidative energy system (body’s ability to utilize energy toward long or high rep work). She had two choices. One, hold a very strong pace so that her oxidative energy system could develop the ability to hold strong paces for high reps or longer work periods. Two, go at a slower pace with shorter or no rest allowing her energy system to develop the ability to go slow but still get the work done. Two potential adaptations that are entirely different. Depending on what you are training for one may be more favorable to your sport, life or goals.
Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training
Generally, higher intensity conditioning (if appropriate of course) will yield more benefits. Such as the ability to do more work, higher capacity thus higher fitness. More muscualar development with less muscle wasting (muscle breakdown). A reduced risk of injury since you will be having intentional rest allowing for moments to gather yourself and hone in on technique between efforts. A significantly increased potential for strength and power development. Increased metabolism several hours after the workout has completed yielding extra calories burned. The list goes on. The gym member didn’t have time for me to expand on the benefits before her next interval started but she summed it up perfectly. “Wait and work harder.”
Why Patience matters in the gym and outside the gym
In our society we get so use to instant gratification and the expectations of having things come quick and easy. The reality is that good things take time and effort. They must be earned. In the fitness realm that is true for everything from strength, to flexibility to our example today on conditioning. Be patient. Work hard when you have the opportunity and do everything else right outside the gym so you can come back ready tomorrow.
What’s one area of fitness for you where you would benefit from having the mindset of being patient and putting in the work?
And if you need help in the process and direction, we are here for you. Book an intro to talk with a coach about how we can help you with what is next in your fitness journey.