I want to do weight lifting sets through the day, instead of the one after another. Does this have any difference? As i understand the pause between sets needed for the muscles to recharge energy. So maybe having longer pauses actually have some benefits? Or at least there is no difference?

  • Define throughout the day. More important, how often? Daily? Weekly? Weekends only? – Kneel-Before-ZOD Jul 21 '14 at 22:54
  • The weight lifting(or body weight) exercise is done in sets of reps. Like: do 7 chin ups; rest 3 min; then do again 7 chin ups; rest 3 min and again 7 chin ups. What i want is to do this 7 chin ups and then next set only after several hours. I wondering is that have any difference. And if so - how big, and positive or negative? – user1061173 Jul 21 '14 at 23:14
  • I plan to exercises every next day. Mostly for weight loss and general fitness. – user1061173 Jul 21 '14 at 23:16
  • Final question: do you have enough free time daily to perform those exercises? And can you maintain this schedule for a long time? :) – Kneel-Before-ZOD Jul 22 '14 at 4:22
  • I have seen claims that one of the peculiarities of the human body is that you have to have a certain amount of "ramp up" time before your body catches on and actually starts giving you the benefit of exercise. Then again, interval training seems to counter that assertion. My suspicion is that you'll find that a) the warm-up and cooldown before each set will start to become unwieldy and b) as @Kneel-Before-ZOD is suggesting, this may lead to schedule slip. My experience is that it's easy to skip the last 3 or so exercises when you realize it's almost midnight. – Sean Duggan Jul 22 '14 at 19:43

It depends what you want to get from your workouts. Here's a general way of thinking about it:

As you increase time you have between exercises (up to, say, 5 minutes) your muscles can perform better in consecutive exercises because they have recovered more from the stresses of the previous exercise. This may mean that your muscles can gain more from each individual exercise in terms of strength gains, because you were able to work harder in each one. However, you lose the benefit of cardiovascular training because you're allowing your cardio system to relax more with higher rest intervals. You will also not make great gains in terms of muscular endurance, or lose much weight. (Here, the muscles will mostly rely on muscle glycogen as their fuel for exercise, not fatty acids like you would want if you're trying to lose weight. Glycogen is usually easiest for the muscles to use for shorter duration exercises like chin-ups, sit-ups, etc. When you rest more, like a few hours, you're allowing the body to replenish muscle glycogen stores, electrolytes, and flush lactic acid, which will allow you to perform short term exercise again).

As you decrease rest intervals, your muscles get less of a chance to recover, and you cannot exert as much in each exercise compared to having more rest time. Here you would see more gains in muscular endurance, but less-so in pure muscular strength. However, you cardiovascular system is working harder, and therefore benefits more from shorter rest.

If you are looking for a balance of muscle hypertrophy (gains in muscle "size"), cardiovascular ability, weight loss, and muscular endurance, I would shoot for rest intervals to 30-60 seconds between sets. These intervals have also been shown to have an effect on the release of human growth hormone during exercise, which will help you out a little bit as well (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19691365).

The way you would design your rest intervals would essentially hinge on what you want from your workouts. From the comments, if you're looking for weight loss (fatty acid mobilization & metabolism) and general fitness, I would shoot for 30-60 seconds of rest between sets.

  • >>> not fatty acids like you would want if you're trying to lose weight. >>> So here we have a theory that fat can be consumed directly to give energy for exercises - i have big doubts in this actually. – user1061173 Jul 31 '14 at 6:41
  • I prefer other exercises for cardiovascular training. So it's not a problem that "cardio system will relax more" with higher rest intervals. – user1061173 Jul 31 '14 at 6:45
  • Interesting link though... maybe i will mark the question as answered. but actually it's not... – user1061173 Jul 31 '14 at 6:52
  • Curious to hear where your doubts come from. Though you can believe what you like, fatty acids actually are used for energy during (longer duration, eg > 2 minutes) exercise. (kines.umich.edu/sites/…) That's why I said for short duration exercises, like chin-ups and sit-ups, you will not really lose weight, as these will mostly use glycogen (stored sugar in muscles). Exercising for "weight loss and general fitness" like you said, with these exercises only, you really won't see much weight loss... – user3194712 Jul 31 '14 at 13:37
  • thanks for a clarification, really interesting link. Basically my theory and understanding of the weight loss mechanics because of the weight lifting trainings was that with muscle growth i am switch my energy consumption to the higher level, as bigger muscles consume more energy through the day. And that in result will lead to the fat reduction, as it (if not change the caloric intake) will be processed to get the energy. It's maybe a naive theory but it's what i get from really many articles about the weight lifting... – user1061173 Aug 2 '14 at 8:37

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