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:
- 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.
- 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).
- Exercise Volume. There is no point increasing the speed of a movement until you can complete all the recommended reps.
- 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.