5 Common Beginner Athlete’s Questions Answered

Nearly every time I begin consulting with a new client, I ready my programming paperwork, my application forms, and my video technique tutorials. Another thing I always like to have present in my mind is a short list of answers for questions that I am inevitably asked by new clients. These questions seldom vary from person to person, as a great deal of new people simply don’t know the answers to what some of us consider to be fairly obvious questions. This doesn’t mean my new clients are stupid, they just don’t know, and it is my job to educate them. I have assembled a league of extraordinary questions that most of my new clients ask during our first call, in hopes that some of you will no longer have to wonder what the answer is, for fear of looking like a simpleton when you ask. 1. How long should I rest between sets? This is a question that I, along with others, get asked on an almost daily basis. New athletes want to know how long to rest in between sets, and this question has its roots in bodybuilding. Some bodybuilders, when chasing the pump, like to keep rest intervals short, so as to maximize their muscle pump during their training. While this can be beneficial for bodybuilders, it does not necessarily apply to the training that a lot of us are doing. Now, this is not to say that we don’t use it on occasions, in fact I personally use short rest intervals when I finish my main lifts and am doing high rep accessory work.  However, attempting to keep rest periods short when you are working with heavy weights will usually only hinder you. Let’s say you have to squat for sets of five rep squats at 82% of your max. This isn’t back-breaking weight, but it is heavy, and as such, requires recovery in between sets, so you can hit the next set effectively. If you plan on taking 60-90sec rest intervals between these sets, there is a high chance that you will be failing the sets you should be accomplishing easily. Our cookie-cutter response to this question is: “Rest as long as it takes for you to hit the next set as effectively as possible.” This is not a race, and as such, should not be treated like one. The goal here is an increase in strength, not a muscle pump. Save the pump for lighter hypertrophic movements. Read more on this topic