A lot of guys just want to GET BIG, so the lift heavy weight, few reps and spend lots of time in front of the mirror.
Some people are trying to sweat off pounds, so they typically limit most of the regiment to cardio: stair-climbers, ellipticals, spin classes, etc. You never see these folks near the weight training areas.
Most fitness enthusiasts are somewhere in between. They want to build muscle and burn fat. They want to be strong and defined. Hell, they want to look good!
If that’s you, then why waste a single second in the gym. Sure, say hello to the other regulars, be cordial but don’t lolli-gag between sets, and allow your heart-rate to fall back towards sittin’-on-your-butt-in-front-of-the-flat-screen levels.
When I’m doing weight sets, I also do something during my 60-second (or so) “rest” periods: sit-ups, push-ups (regular, with a Bosu ball, like the guy at left; or on an incline with the bench, if I’m using one), agility drills (love how they work the legs, especially if I’m doing upper-body weight work), jumping jacks-anything that keeps my heart rate up while allowing me to also rest the muscles I’m working.
This active recovery also promotes blood flow (which helps muscles recover) and increases the production of lactic acid, which boots your immune system.
If you’re working out with a buddy, do the “in-between burn” while they’re doing reps (assuming you don’t have to spot them).
Active recovery is also good when you’re coming back from an injury or simply extremely sore.
And if you’ve just finished a competition, i.e., run a race, finished a bike event or played a sport for a long period of time, active recovery is great for, well, recovering! Much better than simply sitting on your ass.
Calories and fat hate this “in-between burn”!
I love it.
By the time I leave the gym I want to feel as if every moment I was there counted–even those in-between.