🏋️♀️ “Are you getting enough rest between your sets?” Learn more…
How long should you rest between sets? This is a question that is frequently asked and the answer is dependent on the type of training you are doing. Strength or resistance training can be done to increase maximal strength, hypertrophy, power, and localized muscular endurance, and the rest period is the time spent between sets, allowing your muscles to recover.
There are many variables of your training program that can be manipulated and these really should be dependent on the goal of your strength or resistance program. Variables such as exercise order, volume, frequency, velocity of movement, number of sets and repetitions, load or intensity, and rest intervals are variables that can be manipulated to address specific training goals, individual needs, and help to achieve better results.
Shorter rest periods, between 30 to 60 seconds, have been shown to provide a superior stimulus for muscle hypertrophy and endurance than longer rest periods as this increases the metabolic stress put on your muscles. Tiring your muscles through weight training is key to getting them bigger or more toned and the rest period should be short in duration. The combination of moderate-intensity exercise with short rest intervals might be the most effective method due to greater acute levels of growth hormone produced during these workouts. If your goal is fat loss, your resistance training should incorporate a combination of circuit training and alternating unrelated exercises to burn as many calories as possible. The rest periods during these sets should be short.
With shorter rest periods, your muscles become fatigued and you are not able to lift as heavy of weight. Longer rest periods (2 minutes to 5 minutes) will allow your muscles to fully recover between sets and you will be able to lift heavier weight or perform more reps during those sets. If you are training for strength or power, you should increase your rest periods to allow your muscles and central nervous system to fully recover. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a load intensity between 1 to 6 reps to train and develop muscular strength. It further recommends that the rest period be between 2 to 3 minutes between sets for multi-joint exercises that work the large muscle groups that incorporate several muscles.
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EP Health Team