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Thread: Time Between Reps | Andrew Lewis

  1. #1
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    Default Time Between Reps | Andrew Lewis

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    A subtle aspect to lifting that is not frequently considered is the optimal time between reps. This is most apparent in the deadlift. A set of 5 deadlifts with 30 seconds between each rep is NOT a set of 5 it's 5 singles: 5 sets of one produces a fundamentally different strength adaptation than one set of 5 deadlifts.

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    Maybe I missed it in the books, but what is the recommended rest time for chinups/chindowns?

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    Here's my advice:
    Don't stop at the bottom. Get done fast.

    Use the stretch reflex. Breathing is applied a little differently than for the main lifts because of the number of reps you do and the fact that one of the stable positions will make you tired, and the other is the most mechanically disadvantaged position.
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    Andrew, wondering is there a stretch reflex for the press or would using that reduce the stress level for the movement, maybe that's why its not used, we want to maximise stress? I tend to rush thru my presses...and prob shouldn't?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda View Post
    Andrew, wondering is there a stretch reflex for the press or would using that reduce the stress level for the movement, maybe that's why its not used, we want to maximise stress? I tend to rush thru my presses...and prob shouldn't?
    There is a stretch reflex in the press, but not in the typical way like the other lifts. In the bench, the stretch reflex is in the muscles that both lower and raise the bar. In the press, the stretch reflex is in the hips created by the hip movement.

    If you want to use the stretch reflex in the strict press, you just don't stop at the bottom, but this doesn't work as well as the way we do it in the press we teach.

    Yeah, don't rush your presses if you're getting loose and the technique suffers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Panda View Post
    would using that reduce the stress level for the movement
    Why would using the stretch reflex reduce the stress of the movement?
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    When do you breathe during the chin-up? I seem to get more reps if I can hold it for the first few reps. Holding a valsalva and staying tight seems key, which is why I hold my breath this way. If I could hold my breath infinitely, I feel like I could get 10+ reps (I’m around 240 pounds).

    As it is now, after about rep 4 or 5, I need air, and the second I let my valsalva go, that’s it and I’m pretty much toast. I might get one or two more on a good day. I’ve tried breathing every rep, but I don’t feel like I can maintain the proper tightness this way as I can’t get “Big Air.”

    I feel like this is a dumb question…

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewLewis View Post
    Why would using the stretch reflex reduce the stress of the movement?
    Since it increases the weight you can press?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank_B View Post
    When do you breathe during the chin-up? I seem to get more reps if I can hold it for the first few reps. Holding a valsalva and staying tight seems key, which is why I hold my breath this way. If I could hold my breath infinitely, I feel like I could get 10+ reps (I’m around 240 pounds).

    As it is now, after about rep 4 or 5, I need air, and the second I let my valsalva go, that’s it and I’m pretty much toast. I might get one or two more on a good day. I’ve tried breathing every rep, but I don’t feel like I can maintain the proper tightness this way as I can’t get “Big Air.”

    I feel like this is a dumb question…
    I don't think it's a dumb question.

    Hold your breath basically as long as you can, and then on the way down, breathe out and in quickly. That's how I do it.

    I've tried staying at the top for a quick breath, but it doesn't work as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Since it increases the weight you can press?
    Which would increase the stress of the movement.
    Last edited by AndrewLewis; 12-08-2021 at 11:07 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank_B View Post
    When do you breathe during the chin-up? I seem to get more reps if I can hold it for the first few reps. Holding a valsalva and staying tight seems key, which is why I hold my breath this way. If I could hold my breath infinitely, I feel like I could get 10+ reps (I’m around 240 pounds).

    As it is now, after about rep 4 or 5, I need air, and the second I let my valsalva go, that’s it and I’m pretty much toast. I might get one or two more on a good day. I’ve tried breathing every rep, but I don’t feel like I can maintain the proper tightness this way as I can’t get “Big Air.”
    Take your breath quickly on the way down, between the top of the rep (chest touches the bar) and the bottom of the rep (stretch reflex off of straight elbows and fully-stretched lats). The stretch reflex has to happen against a valsalva, just like the squat. You cannot take a breath while hanging at the bottom, and that's what's killing your set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewLewis View Post
    I don't think it's a dumb question.

    Hold your breath basically as long as you can, and then on the way down, breathe out and in quickly. That's how I do it.

    I've tried staying at the top for a quick breath, but it doesn't work as well.
    OK. Then I'm not doing much different. I'll try to be less of a "spaz" when it's time to take my breaths and make it more coordinated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Take your breath quickly on the way down, between the top of the rep (chest touches the bar) and the bottom of the rep (stretch reflex off of straight elbows and fully-stretched lats). The stretch reflex has to happen against a valsalva, just like the squat. You cannot take a breath while hanging at the bottom, and that's what's killing your set.
    Will do, Rip! Thanks. I'll give it a try tonight.

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