Heating up Rest Periods

Adding some heat to rest periods.


Phil Maffetone is an underappreciated resource in the fitness community. He has a great insight on heart rate during training. Don’t let your HR get over 180 minus your age and get back to work when you see 160 minus your age. It’s a simple formula:


Age 20: 160-140

Age 30: 150-130

Age 40: 140-120

Age 50: 130-110

Age 60: 120-100


Maffetone’s numbers allow training to be in that “conversation zone.” You will be able to keep a conversation going when appropriate and stay focused on training. The other great boon is that you will be able to come back day after day and continue to train without falling apart or burning up.


Use a heart rate monitor while you do a few normal training days. When I first used one, the device cost almost $400. Today, a superior device is twenty dollars. What is fascinating is to watch the HR rise and fall when you least expect it. Experience has shown some interesting things about keeping the HR up and working strength, mobility and cardio work all at once.


Programs that have a lot of “getting up and down” seem to really make the HR spike. So, mixing swings with push ups or goblets squats with planks will make the veins pump. Try something this simple:


Swings for 15

One Push Up

Repeat this until you drive the HR up to the top number then rest until it comes to the lower number (160 minus age). Then, begin again. Work up to twenty circuits of this.


Rotary stability exercises like Bird Dogs and Single Side Bird Dogs tend to elevate the HR without any movement. It is an odd feeling at first to see the HR rise up while trying to remain still. So, mixing Bird Dogs with a standing press or machine strength movement will raise the HR without a lot of pounding on the body.


Finally, consider something as simple as Marching in Place to not only raise the HR but provide some postural work by greasing and addressing the pelvic tilt. Try holding a load suitcase style (dumbbell in one hand for example) while you pump the knees up and down. This is great for the core, the cardio system and posture all at once. Again, it oddly raises the HR without pounding the concrete.


Start trying to have rest periods become more active by adding some ground work or push ups, rotary stability exercises or marching in place. This will cut time off of your total training time, add some appropriate calorie burning and make you a more efficient trainee.

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