Rep Speed?

Q: I get a little confused at the speed I should doing reps during timed workouts.  

A:  This was discussed briefly HERE, but there is more to know.  

Rep speed is important to your increased health and fitness.  We gain benefits from all different types of reps, done at all different speeds.  Even variable reps (reps that change speed in the same movement).  To the put the type of health & fitness onto you that GPP is known for, we have to deliberately change rep speeds often.     

Rep speed can become confusing during timed workouts.  It would seem to the uninitiated that timed workouts call for high speed reps.  This isn't necessarily true.  While rep speed is certainly a factor for improving health and fitness, understand that it is fairly far down the priority list in terms of importance.  The following are more important and should be considered first: 

  1. Safety.  Your first consideration with completing any exercise should be staying safe while doing so.  This requires experience with a lift.  Until you have been instructed in the particulars of an exercise and AFTER you have logged several hours under this specific instruction, you cannot be sure you'll be safe.  
  2. Range of motion.  A more complete range of motion (for any exercise) is most beneficial.  Repetitions done at higher speeds are usually done at the expense of full ranges of motion.  Before you increase the speed, or intensity of any exercise, first look to see that you are completing the entire range of motion (safely).  
  3. Exercise Volume.  There is no point increasing the speed of a movement until you can complete all the recommended reps.   
  4. Intensity.  After you understand movements and have gained experience performing them safely, and AFTER you are able to complete all the reps recommended for a given workout - THEN you should increase the intensity of your workout.  Speed is an effective way to increase the intensity of a workout.  However, increasing the speed of your movements is STILL down the priority list in terms of importance.  More important is: 
  • Decreasing rest times.
  • Increasing weight  (as recommended)

Only after you've done all of the above, should you consider increasing the speed of your reps.  Remember, high speed movements done for the sake of high speed has no place in fitness.  High speed movements done for the sake of improving health has purpose as long as it falls within the parameters of your specific workout and the guidelines above.  

Cardio Machines - A Position Stand

Cardio Machines - A Position Stand

We are not big fans of treadmills, elliptical machines or steppers.  Don't get us wrong, we love that they will help a person get healthier and obtain a modicum of fitness.  In the absence of ANY other way to improve health, these will do.

The problem is, the fitness you might obtain on one of these won't transfer.

You can spend hours and hours on one of these machines all winter long.  Come Spring ... 

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Faster, or More Strict?

Derek:  ... My mind usually tells me to do the movements strictly, which I do. This costs me time on "the clock" which, in my mind is ok. So, with workouts like today (Burper), should I bag the strict push-ups and snake them, saving valuable time, or stay strict, or both? I'm feeling like I'm not doing it right...for some reason. Is the cardio benefit of snaking and speed more important than the strict movement on the push-up? Am I over thinking this? Have I lost my rudder?

It's only wrong if you have the intention of gaining one thing, while achieving the other. 

Lately, I've been working on my upper body pushing strength and some shaping (for vanity reasons). Because of this, I've been doing a lot more of my pushups and etc. strictly during workouts. 

The cool thing about GPP programming is most of our workouts yield the same results irrespective (within reason) of how you perform them. Like with today's workout, there wasn't much you could have done to get away from your heart pounding out of your chest and every region of your body (push, pull, squat, core) reaching high levels of fatigue. High heart rate and regional fatigue was paramount to this workout. As long as a person stays true to the premise of the workout they'll get most of the benefits to be gained from it. 

Knowing this, it becomes possible to build certain emphasis into a given workout. Someone working on push strength and shoulder shaping (vanity reasons) could slow down and  form up on pushups and OHs without losing the over-all benefit of the daily programming.  Even when forming up isn't called for in the workouts.

In other words, each workout is open to your additions and subtractions based on what you want most out of your workouts.  I suggest reviewing your strengths and weaknesses and doing some micro programming of your own inside of each workout. We (trainers) are not only open to that, we encourage it and stand ready to help you make adjustments that will keep you within the intended parameters of each workout.