Rest Between Sets: How Much Do You Need

What Is Rest Between Sets?

Rest Between Sets (REST) is the amount of time between two consecutive exercises performed with the same weight. It refers to the period of time after each exercise that you do not perform another set or repetition until your next workout. A good rule of thumb for REST is one minute between sets and three minutes between repetitions.

How Long Should You Rest Between Sets?

There are many opinions about when to rest between sets. Some say that you should rest no longer than one minute; others say it depends on the type of training you’re doing. Others still believe that you shouldn’t rest at all. If you’re looking for a simple answer, then resting less than one minute between sets is probably best because it allows your muscles enough time to recover from the previous set before performing another set.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to lose fat, then resting longer than one minute between sets might be beneficial since it will allow your body to burn off extra calories during these last few minutes of rest. However, if you want to maximize muscle gain while losing fat, then you need to avoid taking any breaks whatsoever.

When Should You Take Rests?

There are some general rules to follow to see whether you need them or not. If you’re new to lifting weights, then it’s best to try without any rest until your body gets used to the routine. As you get more into the swing of things, you’ll know exactly how much rest you need.

If you’re lifting really heavy weights, then it’s best to take a longer break since your body needs more time to recover from the exertion. On the other hand, if you’re lifting a relatively lighter weight, then you’ll probably want to take less time since your body won’t be as tired.

How Many Rests Should You Take?

If you’re lifting very heavy weights, then it’s best to take more rests within a single training session. If you’re lifting really heavy weights and taking long breaks between sets, then it might be beneficial to shorten your rest periods by 30 seconds, or even one minute. If you don’t take any rest at all, then it’s best to complete a whole training session without interruption since your body will be able to recover from the exertion during your regular sleep.

How Is a Rest Period Different From a Break?

A break is an interruption in a set or workout for any reason. A rest period specifically refers to the amount of time between sets during which you’re not lifting weights. A rest period might be anywhere between 15 seconds and five minutes.

When Should You Use a Rest Period?

You should use rest periods if you’re using relatively heavy weights since your body needs extra time to recuperate from the stress that you put it through with each set. When using heavy weights, your muscles get tired faster than when you use lighter weights. You might find that your body starts to ache after you use heavy weights for an extended period of time. Using a rest period between sets allows your muscles to gather their strength before going at it again.

How Should You Use Rest Periods?

There are a few ways in which you can use rest periods. One way is to take a break of 60 seconds after each exercise in a given set. For example, if you’re doing a set of bench presses, then take a rest period of one minute before starting another set of bench presses.

Other people prefer to split their overall training time into four sections and take a different amount of rest between each section. For example, you might spend 20 minutes doing barbell curls before taking a break. Another popular method is to split your training routine into three or even two sections and take shorter breaks in-between every set.

This gives you a little more time to gather your energy after each exercise.

Whatever method you prefer, the key thing is to remember to take some breaks since your muscles will undoubtedly fatigue if you don’t.

When Should You Not Use a Rest Period?

You should never use rest periods if you’re trying to build up your endurance, or if what you’re doing involves a lot of momentum.

Sources & references used in this article:

A brief review: how much rest between sets? by JM Willardson – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 2008 –

Rest interval between sets in strength training by BF de Salles, R Simao, F Miranda, J da Silva Novaes… – Sports medicine, 2009 – Springer

The effects of varied rest periods between sets to failure using the bench press in recreationally trained men by SR Richmond, MP Godard – The Journal of Strength & …, 2004 –

The effect of different rest intervals between sets on volume components and strength gains by JM Willardson, LN Burkett – The Journal of Strength & …, 2008 –

Influence of rest interval lengths on hypotensive response after strength training sessions performed by older men by BF de Salles, AS Maior, M Polito… – The Journal of …, 2010 –

Physiologic responses to heavy-resistance exercise with very short rest periods by WJ Kraemer, BJ Noble, MJ Clark… – International journal of …, 1987 –

Comparison of muscle activity and tissue oxygenation during strength training protocols that differ by their organisation, rest interval between sets, and volume by F Penzer, A Cabrol, S Baudry, J Duchateau – European journal of applied …, 2016 – Springer