Day 11 - Rest Timing

January 24, 2020

I know this is a tough week, but you are killing it!


You've heard it all before...


Pain is a weakness leaving the body

Mind over matter

[Insert generic mind vs. body quote here]


It's not intellect, or a lack of vast physiological information; but your brain gets in the way of your training...And it's because your brain is lazy.


We have all been conditioned to be somewhat lazy, or perhaps it is just physics; the path of least resistance. To sit is better than to stand, to walk is better than to run, to do jumping jacks is better than to do burpees... This is just nature, and since there is no changing nature I say we just roll with what we got and see what we can do.


The brain is tricky. When it comes to fitness it often acts independent of you. Assume for the rest of this article that your brain is inherently lazy, yet wants what is best for you and your health; and your brawn is what limits you.


This leaves you with two ways to take over your brain: Execution and visualization.


Execution - or making the deal.


You are pumped up and ready to go! The workout is written on your whiteboard, a piece of paper or maybe even your hand. You are ready to destroy your workout. Just one problem. You get going and your muscles or lungs are burning and they start to tell your brain...STOP!! So you stop...and you know you could have done more...


How do we deal with this? The answer: Make a deal with your brain.


Studies show that if you make a deal with your subconscious...your brain will actually listen! The study was primarily done with those who had 'busy brains' and could not sleep. By telling your brain 'I promise I will think about XYZ tomorrow', you brain will actually relax and let you go to sleep. Kind of crazy, right?


Same principle applies when you are really trying to push yourself in working out. When things get REALLY tough you need to tell your brain, I know this sucks, but let's just do five more repetitions, or 10 more seconds. You will be really surprised how much your brain will relent and let you go a little bit further.


What you are actually doing every time you do this is building up your mental toughness and your overall threshold.


Next - Visualize!


If you can see yourself accomplishing something, you are already half way there. Visualization is great for competition, max lifts and any physical activity, really.


Some people think visualization is a joke.


Maybe you try to ignore what you are doing before it happens to prevent any anxiety. This is a good way to be completely unprepared for everything. When you are about to try something, just visualize. Visualize in great detail too.


Try to imagine exactly how it will feel and what it will look like. More importantly, think of how you will feel if you accomplish what you are setting out to do, doing so will also provide some short-term motivation.


Today, your brain will take over your brawn in a training session known as rest timing.






High-intensity exercise and it's relationship with the clock can be seen as an avant-garde approach to functional fitness, or as an ironic self-destruct countdown that will bring you to your knees. A little dramatic, I know.


However, I have found that the clock in high-intensity exercise is the genius behind the sport and also the downfall of many. Just like any good idea; communism, capitalism, or public restrooms, they are all good in theory. However, once you throw in the human element the theory starts to crumble.


Tick, tock, tick, tock...


It wasn't that long ago that the only question I got in the gym was "How much do you bench?", as if the bench press is some extraordinary test of fitness or strength. It is neither. Now, if you participate in high-intensity fitness, the question is "How fast can you do X workout?".


Having the clock as a benchmark is great, but it can also be terrible for you.


What do I mean? I have seen guys in the gym sacrifice all shoulder mobility and all proper form for a 400 lb bench press. They just want so badly to get that number... they will do whatever it takes. But is that where you want to be headed because of a clock, or silly benchmark? Will you sacrifice full range of motion and perform half reps to get a 'faster time'?


The answer is, no.


We are going to turn your bad clock into a good clock, we are going to practice rest timing.


Rest Timing:


It is as simple as it sounds. Time only your rests. Get a stop watch for your workout. A wrist watch with a stopwatch feature is ideal. Now, every time you stop doing work start the timer. Once you decide to get back to work stop the timer.


BAM! Rest timing!


You can't sacrifice form in rest, all you can do is rest more or less. Hopefully resting less will not cause you to have crappy form or else you have just undermined the entire system.


I don't care how fast you do any workout. However, if you can get your rest time to 0:00, you are doing great! Constant movement; get your rest times down, get your fitness level up.


Rest timing may surprise you. You may rest way more than you realize.


To be clear, your time of completion is irrelevant during rest timing WODs. The time you will track is how much you rest. You will need a stopwatch handy, I recommend one you can wear. Every time you stop to take a breath, or rest, start your stop watch. Once you start working again stop the timer.


Our goal is to never rest, thus being restless.


Rest timing will...


1. Decrease rest times in workouts

2. Increase intensity, thus work capacity, thus overall fitness!

3. Help you tremendously build your mental toughness and stamina.


Today's workout - Rest timing


3 Rounds for REST TIME


Run 400 meters

30 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball (Or DB Thrusters)

30 Box jump, 24 inch box (Or Squat Jumps or Squats)

30 Kettlebell Swings @35lb KB


Note, Defining Rest: If you walk or stop on the run - that is rest. If you are not holding the ball on wall balls - that is rest - and if your hips stop for more than 2 seconds - that is rest. Box jumps - standing on top of the box for more than 2 seconds - that is rest - same for on the ground. If the kettlebell is not in your hand - that is rest - or if your hips stop moving for more than two seconds.


Bronze: 12-16 lb. ball, 20" step-ups, 1 pood or lighter dumbbell.

Silver: 16 lb ball, 24" step-ups, 1.5 pood.

Gold: As written.


Don't have the equipment? Do the best substitute you can or build it! 


Good luck with your rest-timing workout!!




TASK for today:


Complete the rest-timing workout

Tactics to use:


Make a deal with your mind for a good rep scheme

Visualize the workout in its entirety

Control your breathing

Relax your face, and muscles

Use legit positive self-talk with the visualization element...flood the amygdala!


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