You are missing out on one of the most effective way to change your body.
You love to hear about all the cool sets and reps or periodization schemes… You almost get a tingle when you read about a new training method or technique … You become frantic when you learn a new exercise.
Yet rarely do people talk about what I consider to be one of the most important aspect of a successful training program: the pace of the workout.
I like to train fast. And I believe that if there is no performance decrease, training at a fast pace will give you better overall results.
A fast workout pace keeps you focused. Nothing takes me out of the zone more than long rest between sets, or worst chit chatting between two bouts of efforts.
There is a place for everything… when you are trying to learn a new movement or to perfect an old one, it’s fine to take longer rest periods and think about your technique. But these should be practice sessions and are either done on an off day or at the end of a regular workout and should use light weights and maximum focus on technique.
BUT when you are actually training to get results you should almost become dumb…just execute, do not think about the details it will actually hurt your performance. I always said that when you grab the bar, you should become dumb… focus on the general movement performed with the most force and power as possible.
When you keep a fast workout pace you instinctively stop overthinking. One of my olympic lifter was really off with her technique and made it worse by thinking too much during the session. The solution I used was to have her do 16 sets of 2 reps on the competition lifts with 30 sec. of rest between sets. She was too focused on the job at hand, and on the recovery, to think. As a result it fixed her technique almost instantly!
A sense of urgency give you an adrenalin boost or a stronger drive to get things done. We all had these workouts where we are pressed for time and HAVE to get the workout done within 30 minutes (sometimes less). I don’t know if you are like me, but these workouts often turn out to be the best ones because you go “combat mode”… more focus, more drive, no wasted efforts.
A faster workout pace increases energy expenditure and is great to lose fat and to improve conditioning.
NOW, at first it might be hard to increase the workout pace if you are used to long rest intervals. So I recommend gradually working toward a high density/fast pace workout. Don’t go from 3 minutes rest down to 30 sec in one shot, you WILL have a decrease in performance and that goes against what I believe in.
But work toward working faster and faster… DO NOT time rest intervals. Rather use total workout time as a guide… if I complete my session in 50 minutes last week, and in 43 minutes this week, that is a good improvement
Trust me… increasing workout pace is probably the secret to unlocking major progress.