By Chad Zimmerman
Rest isn't defined as time spent not working; it's way more technical than that. Every second between every set does something to better your game. "Rest allows you to regenerate ATP (your muscles' fuel source), so you can exert the greatest possible force and effort during each set," says Daniel Jahn, strength and conditioning coach for the 2005 national champion Washington Huskies women's volleyball team. "If you don't allow for full recovery, you can't give maximum effort to get the most out of the exercises you perform. This is why rest time is critical to speed development."
Beyond boosting speed, proper rest can build mental toughness. To stay mentally ahead of their competition, Jahn's athletes never show their fatigue. Even if they're exhausted, "they should fake it" so they look like they're not.
Here are a few more of Jahn's rest-time secrets.
Encourage your teammates who are performing drills
Spot teammates finishing a rep
Keep moving and walking around
Use a 4:1, 5:1 or even an 8:1 rest-to-work ratio for exercises that take less than 10 seconds and work maximum speed
Use a 2:1 or 3:1 rest-to-work ratio for exercises that take 30-60 seconds and work aerobic capacity
Put your hands on your knees
Let your mind wander
Drink more than 3 oz. during a water break
Cut your rest time short
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