How long should I rest between sets? For best results, never stop!
The Question: How long should I rest between sets? You should go to the gym, lay on the bench press, and start pumping that bar for an hour straight non-stop! Wouldn’t that be some workout? You would get so jacked you wouldn’t be able to see your feet from your chest. Every single body part you work out, you should do it non-stop for an hour. Also, at maximum speed!
In reality, the rest between sets all depends on what your goal is! If you are looking to get stronger, or if you are looking to increase muscle mass. These two are simple to explain.
#1 Increase strength
Strength is nothing but a practiced skill. Once again, just look at powerlifters. They take a long time and rest between sets until they recuperate their strength and breath fully. They want to approach every set FRESH, so resting for several minutes, is ideal. Not to say you can’t build muscle if you take long breaks, but they won’t be as good.
You are looking to shock the muscle and produce growth. Allowing your muscle to fully recover, is doing the opposite of the desired goal. As crazy as it sounds, strength is not 100% related to muscle size. This is because there is different type of strength, and there are different muscle fibers. With heavy lifting and long breaks, you only activate your fast twitch muscles, and totally neglect the slow twitch muscles which are also a major part of muscle size.
#2 Increase Muscle Mass
If you want to increase muscle mass, then the rest between sets should be minimal. You want to push your muscles to new limits, you should rest 10 – 30 seconds between sets. Resting a little bit more won’t kill you, but the shorter the better!
It’s really that simple. Short rest periods, and a rep range of 12 -15 reps is proven to generate the best results. You can be someone that grows muscle with lower reps, and if that is the case, do lower reps! This is what studies have proven to be true for MOST people.
Time under tension is something you heard of millions of times, and the longer you rest, the shorter the time under tension is. The rest between sets is very important, and it makes a huge difference. To grow muscle, and also increase your hear rate (burning calories = shredded), shorter rest periods are required.
This is just advice, do whatever the hell you want!