How Long Should You Rest Between Sets? | Maximum Muscle Growth (Science-based Bodybuilding)


Yo what’s up?! Dr. Swole here MD
bodybuilder back with another video in my basics of training series so I got
asked a question on one of my youtube videos about how long we should be
resting in between sets and today we’re gonna answer that question so starting
up with the research we have right now there have been a few studies testing
rest periods sort of between 30 seconds and 5 minutes and what those studies
showed was that there was no major effect on hypertrophy when changing rest
intervals but there may be a slight benefit of longer rest intervals we’re
gonna talk about why this might be now it’s important to consider that among
the variables in a training program training volume is king so I want you to
be thinking about training volume as we go through this and this is defined as
the number of sets times reps times load ultimately when choosing the length of
our rest intervals it’s going to come down to a trade-off between efficiency
and volume all right so here’s a graph I made to conceptually explain these
concepts on the x-axis you’ve got time in terms of length of your rest periods
in minutes and then we’ve got efficiency in black and then volume now you can see
that efficiency goes down as we spend more time in between sets which makes
sense because we’re taking longer in the gym I propose that volume goes up in
this s-shaped fashion as you spend longer time in between sets now let’s
see what this implies for different lengths of rest intervals first of all
if you’re resting for less than a minute in between sets as you can see you’re
pretty efficient you’re saving a bit of time in between sets
however you’re going to lose some volume this is because fatigue will impair your
ability to perform well on the next set and you won’t be able to get in as many
reps or a lift as much weight as you otherwise would have which decreases
volume for example if you imagine doing a heavy set of five on the deadlift and
resting for only a minute and trying to repeat that set you’re going to get far
fewer reps between 1 and 5 minutes I would say that you’re maximizing the
productivity of your sets in terms of volume while still keeping efficiency
pretty high and keeping your work up as rest periods get longer you’ll see
that you’re not really getting more productive volume since you’re already
fully recovered but your workouts are taking much longer
you might say that I want to take longer rest periods to really maximize the
amount of volume I get out of each set in terms of reps and weight performed
however if you think about it with your workout getting so long you may as well
take shorter rest periods and actually fit in more sets which also increases your
volume okay so let’s boil this down to some
practical recommendations basically we want to keep our rest periods as short as
possible in order to maximize efficiency while still getting most of our recovery
in between sets so that a performance stays high for most exercises this means
about one to two minutes of rest in between sets and for heavy compound
movements you’ll probably want to be in the 3 to 5 minute range where do you go
exactly in this range will depend on how your body responds to certain exercises
for me for example I tend to take one to one and a half minute rest for isolation
work like bicep curls or tricep press downs I’m more like two minutes for
machine type compound movements like lat pull-downs
or leg presses in terms of my heavy compounds when I’m doing heavy sets of
benchpress I’ll be taking 3 minutes of rest and
when I’m doing heavy squats or deadlifts I might take up to 5 minutes rest
sometimes I’ll time my rest periods with a stopwatch but this isn’t necessary I
think you should be resting until you feel you’re ready to perform the next
set of well and that you can keep your reps up it’s normal for your reps to
drop a little bit for the course of a workout but if your reps are dropping
drastically in between sets you may consider taking a longer rest break for
example when during sets of 12 it’s pretty common for me to see my reps go
down from say 12 11 and then 10 but it would not be ideal in terms of volume if
I saw my reps going down from 12 to 7 to 4 that’s all for now guys thanks for
watching make sure you subscribe like the video and leave me a comment below
let me know what you think about my recommendations for rest periods see you
next time

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