Lifting weights is one of my favourite things to do in the world, I seem to be able to relax whilst doing it, and during the all-important rest periods I sit and think. What do I think about? Well everything and anything, what's happening in my kid's life, clients, what I am going to do the next day the list goes on and on! Do you know that these weight sessions actually give me MORE time, if I didn't do them I can bet that I wouldn't be sitting down for 1,2, or 3 minutes at a time to think about things!
My life is hectic and just recently it feels like I am just about treading water, so my lifting sessions help me immensely. If I am feeling stressed before, after a 1 hour session my mind is clear and I am ready to finish of the day with a hectic bedtime routine with the kids. I have also found breathing techniques are working very well for me at the moment, straight after my workout and stretches, I shut myself away and breathe for around 5-7mins (I know I am breathing all the time!!) This kind of breathing is more trance like and helps aid recovery as well as clear your mind. Try it, there are lots of apps out there, such as Headspace etc, set some time aside from the chaos and breathe!!
Rest periods during weights are very important, they help your body recover so that it's ready to go for the next set. If there's no rest then your body won't be ready to go again for the next lot of lifts. During a rest period the time rested changes in relation for what your training for, it could be strength (so you want to get stronger), the way you look -hypertrophy, losing weight or building up your muscle endurance and stamina, all these different targets require different rest periods.
With power and strength sessions you should be aiming for 2-3 minutes between each set, this will help build power and strength as quickly as possible. To help improve and increase muscle building (hypertrophy) the optimum rest period is 30 secs -90 secs. For muscular endurance rest for around 30 seconds or even less between sets.
All these specific rest periods are based on how your body makes the energy to be able to perform the work during your training sessions. Throughout your session the body will be using 3 different energy systems at different times, but, the amount used by these energy systems is all dependant on how hard (intensity) the session is and also how long as well.
So remember don't rush through your session if you are aiming for a specific goal. Enjoy your rests, sit, think and breathe, as progress will come sooner through better recovery and muscle repair:).