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Other/Mixed Passive or Active Rest in strength training ?

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)
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Mateusz Calisthenics

Level 1 Valued Member
What do you prefer to do between sets?
Passive or Active Rest ?
Passive : Do nothing, seat etc
Active : Walking, Stretching etc

During passive rest I lose my energy to training faster than in active.

What is the best option in your opinion ?
Can you explain why ?
What is your experience ?
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sinister
I use active rest between sets of exercises that get my heart rate and breathing up, such as kettlebell swings, squats, or tire flips. I think the active rest helps buffer the lactate produced during a hard set. Some muscles produce it, other muscles use it up (such as the diaphragm, with recovery breathing). Active rest helps keep the blood flowing and the heart rate drops faster than it does if I just stand still. This indicates to me that the active rest assists recovery.

I usually just use passive rest between sets of strength exercises like bench press, deadlift, or pull-ups (i.e. sets of 5 or less). These are taxing, but don't really get me breathing hard. Between strength sets, the body just needs time to restore ATP to the muscles; and maybe the CNS needs to recover, I'm not sure. I don't do as much walking, etc. but I do use "fast and loose" type exercises to encourage relaxation of the muscles between sets.
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 6 Valued Member
Active or passive are also terms people interpret differently in certain contexts. For example between TGU reps I stay on the floor and do some breathing and neck nods. I consider this as active rest, for others it would be passive.
 

ShawnM

Level 8 Valued Member
It would depend what I'm doing. If swings or snatches I walk and shake it out. If I'm pressing I'm doing chins or TRX rows for sets of 3-5 between sets of presses, same with Squats. I'm normally pressed for time so I find adding chins and rows in between sets of presses or Squats gives me a much better session and ensures I get my pulling in.
 

Michael Scott

Level 7 Valued Member
Interesting, I do some breathing & shoulder stretching, arm bent 90 degrees at the elbow, try and touch the back and the palm of my hand onto the floor a couple times. Then I shake out my arms before grabbing the bell again.

Active or passive are also terms people interpret differently in certain contexts. For example between TGU reps I stay on the floor and do some breathing and neck nods. I consider this as active rest, for others it would be passive.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
I often go by feel. Mostly I use recovery very much as described by Anna C depending on grinds or ballistics.

I found using a HR monitor that standing still and using deep diaphragm breathing - fairly rapid at first and then driving the exhale longer and further past tidal bottom with each breath - actually lowered my HR faster than active recovery.

I feel better if I hop a little, do some arm swings/circles/shadow box. For grinds I prefer to move around as little as possible.

When I was younger I used to really get fired up between some of my sets - not active recovery but more of a mental pre-charge that included pacing and emptying my head.
 

Jevgenij

Level 6 Valued Member
I do joint mobility stuff between the sets. I used to do it as a warm-up. But between sets I can do much more reps because I'm not in hurry anymore. Doing 50 joint circles after a hard set can be ok, because this time is needed for rest anyway. If it was part of the warm up I would not do more than 10 reps, because warm-up must be quick, it's "wasted" time. Right now I do ROP press ladders and after 3 ladders there are no joint mobility movements left and it's ok, because for the remaining 2 ladders - as I get more tired - passive rest is welcome.
 

Tarzan

Level 6 Valued Member
I just walk around and play with my balls.
I mostly just roll them around in various ways, but when I'm doing grip work or weighted pullups I do teacups while rolling two of them, one hand at a time. It's a good balance to any heavy work and keeps my hands and elbows in great shape.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

I do fast and loose and also some ab breathing. That way I can get a slightly better oxygenation, and I can remove some lactic acid.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 
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