Rest Time Between Sets
This is a common question that is often wondered by a lot of people and if you’re reading this you’re probably wondering as well. What is the optimal rest time between sets? Is it one minute? 2 minutes? 3 minutes? Some of you may have heard that if you’re looking to gain strength, you should wait anywhere between 2 to 3 minutes between each set and if you’re looking to achieve muscle hypertrophy that anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute is the max you should rest. What is my opinion on rest times?
Well, in my opinion, you should wait as long as necessary to ensure your body is mentally and physically ready for the next set. Everybody’s body reacts differently from stress loads that are put on it, some may take longer than others to recover. Now I’m not saying that you should rest up to 10 minutes between each set. But having a set rest period between sets often ignores the fact that some exercises are more stressful on the body then others. Let’s take deadlifting and bicep curls for example.
Deadlifting is way more stressful on your body and you may require longer than a 3 minutes max between sets, while your biceps are ready to go once again after 30 seconds to a minute and 3 minutes would be too long. If you perform a workout set when your body is not fully ready and recovered from the last set, you will be selling yourself short and you will be minimizing the amount of overload on the muscles. How many times have you followed a set rest time in the gym on a particular exercise and ended up only able to do maybe 4 reps instead of the 7 or 8 that you did in the previous set? This is what I’m talking about. You should rest until you feel fully able to perform the next set with enough intensity. You are training for muscle hypertrophy and you should always aim to perform more reps in order to progress and trigger muscle growth and gain strength. It doesn’t matter if you take 5 minute or more. Rest time between sets does not matter. Once you feel physically and mentally ready to attack the next set, only then should you perform the set. Just aim to be efficient when you’re looking to maximize your results in the gym.