Rest is a topic that many athletes don’t fully understand. We get a lot of questions about how much rest is appropriate for different kinds of workouts. There are also the people under the misconception that unless you’re dripping with sweat and can barely move, your workout wasn’t good enough. While there are times when a very intense workout like this can be the right choice, depending on your goals, but it can also be detrimental.
For a sport like golf, our goal is to train you in power, and to do that, we need to understand the systems involved in generating power. Your power systems require a lot of rest to recover, and if you want to practice being as powerful as possible, you need to recover as fully as possible so you can move with as much speed and force as you can. If you’re doing your sets of power exercises very close together and you’re out of breath after each one, you might only be producing 90% as much power each time as the last. This is what we often see happen in high volume overspeed protocols. If your goal instead is to get your metabolic rate up or to focus on power endurance training, then it’s appropriate to give yourself less rest because the goal is to be able to perform better when under that kind of stress.
In the case of golf, though, the goal is to perform very highly for a very short amount of time, and then you’ll have 4 or 5 minutes of rest before you’ll have to do it again, giving you plenty of time to recover and get back to your peak. If we say that the golf swing takes place over 1 second, and you have 5 minutes between swings, that’s a rest to work ratio of 300:1. If, in the gym, you work as hard as you can for 10 seconds and then rest 30 seconds before continuing, that’s a rest to work ratio of 1:3, which is hugely different than what you might experience when playing golf.
If you want to train for body composition, training at a 1:1 or less ration might be appropriate, but you need to consider how closely your goals match your training. It is very hard to train maximal power training and body composition at the same time. The energy systems are in conflict.