Have you ever wondered how long you should rest between sets? Here is an objective answer to that.
Building muscle is a science. There are so many variables when it comes to hypertrophy that it’s hard to explain how to do one thing over another. The truth is that every human being is unique and so is every person to achieve their fitness goals.
When it comes to training, some of the variables are sets, reps, exercises, intensity, how much or how light to lift, etc. Rest periods are also a key ingredient in building muscle, but unfortunately some people don’t think about it.
If this is you and it only hits you after the first set of the workout when you’re wondering how long you should rest between sets, keep scrolling down for answers from the always reliable Dr Mike Israetel.
Dr. Mike Israetel holds a doctorate in sports physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization. In a video posted by Juggernaut Training Systems, he talked about the length of rest between sets.
How long should you rest between sets?
As mentioned earlier, the optimal rest period between sets can differ from person to person and Israelel explains very early on the answer they are going to give. “It only gets you into the pretty decent middle zone of how long you should be resting, but it’s way better than chance and way better than no information at all.”
So how long should you rest between sets? It depends on your goals and Israel divides goals into three categories:
- Hypertrophy – to challenge local muscle as a limiting factor for at least 5 reps
- Strength – to reach the programmed weight at the programmed repetitions
- Power – to be able to reach 90% or more of peak power in the next set
The purpose of the rest period depends on the goal of your workout. If you feel you can do the same exercise with the goal written above for the next set, you have rested enough.
How do you know if you’re training hard enough?
This number can vary between 1 minute and 3 minutes for most people. However, for example, if you are training for hypertrophy and in your second set you can only throw 3 reps with good form, you have not achieved the exercise goal and therefore should have rest longer before attempting the next set.
It’s a learning curve to figure out how long you need to rest between sets. Trial and error, like most fitness-related things, is what you should do.
Dr. Mike Israetel also talks about a checklist of things to keep in mind when resting to know if you’ve rested long enough before starting another set or exercise.
For this information and a more detailed argument from him, click on the video below.
VIDEO – How long should you rest between sets?
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