Rest-Based Training is a program in which the exerciser’s primary goal is to push himself until he needs to take a rest. The exerciser then rests as long as he needs to and returns to the workout when he’s ready. Indicators that rest is necessary include: weights become heavy, form erodes, talking is not possible and muscles are burning.
Depending upon the exerciser’s level, he can choose heavy dumbbells and perform fewer repetitions, or lighter dumbbells for more repetitions. The resistance should always be somewhat heavy in order to regularly achieve rest.
The workouts last no longer than 30 minutes (includes a 5 minute warm-up and 5-minute cool-down) so that the focus can be placed on high-intensity versus pacing. Many research reports point out that short-duration, high-intensity workouts show significant potential for building muscle and burning fat.
Here are a few of the pros:
* exerciser determines intensity level so he is challenged appropriately (neither pushed too hard nor too little)
* the workouts are short and effective
* increased hormonal balance for greater potential to burn fat and build muscle
* experienced exercisers have been conditioned to “keep up” or pace, and not take breaks. Pacing is the opposite of intensity; intensity is necessary for success.
For more information on Rest-Based Training, read the following article: http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/rest-based-metabolic-training
The benefit as stated in Ryan’s answer is basically that you can increase the intensity of exercises with correct form. The drawback is you do not work the human energy systems when you force yourself to work before you feel ready. Shortening your rest periods target different energy systems.
Nick Rainey, BS,CSCS, SPT
I read the mantra in the IDEA Fitness Journal that I really like. “Go until you can’t. Rest until you can.”
I like to do several variations on rest-based training. One exercise at a time, alternating between exercises, and in circuit.
I’ve found this to be most effective for exercisers who have good body awareness so they know how hard they can work, and how to set up their exercises to be “hard.”