One of the keys to our sport is taking short, frequent breaks in the middle of conditioning. You learn quickly to break up your sets early on rather than coming out the gate hot on 3… 2… 1… GO! with a massive, muscle fatiguing, unbroken first round. So put your hand in the air if you’ve ever tried to go unbroken on the first round of Fran, only to follow that blazing take off with sets of 3 thrusters for the next 7 minutes. Some can go unbroken on Fran, most cannot, and no one can go unbroken on every workout there is. So when should you break to maximize your bodies output?
Let me offer one big tip, just one: Don’t rest in between movements. Sounds crazy, that’s the perfect time to rest right? Wrong! Not because rest at that point isn’t beneficial, but because there is a MORE beneficial places to rest. And that place is within the same movement.
I’ll put this in bold so that you can scroll through real quick and get the important parts:
You SHOULD rest during the same movement.
You SHOULD NOT rest in between movements.
Why you should rest within the same movement:
This one is obvious, your muscles are too tired to perform another pull up, so you drop off the bar. That’s great. If you want to minimize total time remember to drop frequently but for a short duration. I don’t think this needs more elaboration. The next point I will have to explain more.
Why you should not rest in between movements:
In between movements you are likely switching muscle groups, so the muscles which you need are ready to go when you arrive at the next movement. Go ahead and get that first set knocked out of the new movement (trust me, your muscles are ready to go) then rest in the middle of the movement to allow those muscles to recover briefly.
Let’s do a case study on Fran. Say you just wrapped up the first set of thrusters with 3 sets of 7, and are about to start pull ups. This is not the time to rest because what exactly are you resting? Pull ups need fresh lats and biceps, which you have! Yes, your quads and shoulders may be screaming, but you don’t need those for pull ups. So knock out that first 7 reps and drop from the bar. That is a legitimate break because you need to regain pull up strength for more reps. Then, as soon as you finish your 21st pull up, grab the bar and go. Knock out the first few thrusters and then rest.
This goes for any workout in which you cannot go unbroken every round. Implement this one tip and you’ll find a better pace and learn to maximize output, not only in the gym but functionally in all of life.