“Active Rest”. It sounds like a contradictions in terms… you know, like the ones language professors make unfunny jokes about. Pretty ugly. Independent colony. Liquid ice. Government planning. Military intelligence. Working journalist. (You get the picture.)  It really does sound like a bad joke, though… and at this morning’s RIPT class, I wasn’t the one laughing.

During the METCON portion, we did a circuit of seven stations: battle rope / one-leg hurdles / weight plate frontal raise / lunge with rotation (medicine ball) / ab rollouts / crunches with bar / kettlebell swings (it’s all in the picture below). We did each station twice, for 20 seconds at a time, with a 10-second break in between.

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Now here’s the thing: usually I would spend those 10 seconds standing around, goofing off, taking a 45-second water break. “Resting”, you might call it.

At this morning’s RIPT class, we spent those 10 seconds moving: either doing star jumps, or knees-up running on the spot. “Active rest”, the coach called it. “HolysmokeI’mgoingtocollapse,” I called it. The difference, though, was incredible. Just by keeping my body moving and my heart rate up, I had what I felt was one of the best workouts I’ve had at RIPT.

Try it yourself next time you’re at the gym. Instead of arbing around, checking out the yoga class through the one-way glass (Newsflash: it’s not one-way), klapping your mid-workout protein shake, waiting for your machine to come available… Keep moving. Your body – and your workout – will thank you for it.