How Long Should You Rest Between Sets

how much rest between sets

IG: @nicolasiong

One of the most significant training variables is the rest time between sets. How much rest do you need – one, two, or five minutes? If you look into the scientific literature devoted to this topic, you will not see a single position of scientists on this subject, i.e., exact numbers.

Why? Because the studies are carried out by different laboratories according to different protocols. What does this mean? The fact that different studies carry out a different amount of work (the number of sets), a different range of repetitions, and, most importantly, different muscle groups (large and small), different exercises (many and single joint) are trained.

How much rest between sets to have?

In practice, we will demonstrate this by the example of squats with a barbell and lifting on toes while sitting in the training apparatus. Having completed the set to failure or a state close to it in these exercises, you will need different rest times to recover and perform the next set.

rest between sets
IG: @bodyengineers

At the same time, there is no doubt that a decrease in the number of repetitions from set to set is a marker for reducing the effectiveness of the exercise, and maintaining or insignificant reduction in repetitions guarantees sufficient recruitment of muscle fibers (MF) and their subsequent hypertrophy.

Let us explain how this recruiting takes place. Starting to follow the 10-rep set, you initially involved about 75% of the MF out of about 90% possible (science says that 100% cannot be involved, but only about 90) and each subsequent repetition, wearying you, involves an increasing number MF, and in the latter, it is already about 90%. Simply put, if, in the first set, 10 repetitions were performed, and 7-8 in the second, then this indicates a smaller number of fibers involved in contraction and, accordingly, potentially less muscle gain.

For example, the findings of one study sound like this – rest periods of 3 minutes contribute to a greater increase in muscle strength and hypertrophy in young trained men with weights than rest in 1 minute.

We recommend resting between sets for as long as YOU need to recover.

Additionally, you can find out how harmful are pre-workout complexes.