Rest LONGER Between Sets For Faster Muscle Gains


What’s up guys, Sean Nalewanyj, RealScienceAthletics.com. And in today’s video we are talking about
rest time between sets, and why taking too short of a rest is actually reducing your
ability to build muscle at your maximum potential. Before we get started if you find this video
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in for that. So this is something you’ll see a lot in different
training plans. You’ll find online or workouts that are posted
on YouTube, where there’s a prescribed rest time in between sets for each exercise. Whether it’s one minute, 90 seconds, two minutes
or whatever. And in a lot of cases the rest times that
are given are just too short. Not to mention that there’s really no good
reason to stick to a set in stone rest time in between sets to begin with. The bottom line is that when you’re in the
gym, your goal, if you want to stimulate hypertrophy to your maximum potential is to lift the maximum
amount of weight that you’re capable of, for the maximum number of reps that you can, in
a proper form. So, I don’t mean that you need to be trained
to failure on every set, or performing super heavy low rep sets all the time. What I just mean is that within the parameters
of your training plan, so maybe on a given lift, your rep range is six to eight, and
you’re training one to two reps short of failure. Within those parameters, your goal is to generate
maximum performance in terms of weight lifted in proper form. The more weight that you can lift in proper
form, using a full range of motion across however many sets you’re doing for that exercise,
and across your entire workout in general, the more growth you’re ultimately going to
stimulate. And the problem is that when you jump into
your next set, before you’ve had a chance to fully regenerate your strength back to
its full potential from the previous one, you end up sacrificing your overall performance
on that upcoming set, which then negatively impacts the overall growth stimulus. Keep in mind that a hypertrophy based workout
is not about getting the biggest pump possible, or the most burn possible, or getting as tired
and sweaty as you can. It’s not about improving muscular endurance
or cardiovascular conditioning. If you want to train for those things that’s
totally fine, but if your goal is to build muscle at the end of the day, it ultimately
comes down to maximizing progressive overload. So if the amount of rest between sets that
you’re currently taking means that you end up lifting less weight, or performing fewer
reps with the same weight than you’d ultimately be capable of if you rested a bit longer,
then assuming you want to squeeze out as much growth as possible, you should be resting
longer. And this isn’t just my random opinion that
I’m throwing around here, although this is something that I’ve definitely seen firsthand
in my own training, especially back in my previous bodybuilding years where I was a
lot heavier, and where I was training for maximum growth. But this is something that’s also pretty clearly
shown in the research, where longer rest times consistently outperform shorter ones. And I’ll link a few studies in the description
box if you do want to check them out. Now I already know what probably a few people
in the comments are going to say, something like, “I only arrest 60 or 90 seconds between
sets and I get great results, or so and so whichever YouTuber or Instagrammer, recommends
two minutes of rest and he’s way bigger and stronger than you are,” or something along
those lines. But keep in mind that I’m not saying that
shorter rest times don’t work, right? Obviously there are plenty of people out there
with great physiques, who don’t rest that long in between sets. I’m just saying that for the average natural
lifter, with average genetics who wants to gain muscle as effectively as possible to
their full potential, longer rest times that allow you to move more total weight across
the workout as a whole, will be superior in the longterm. So this is not a question of ineffective versus
effective. It’s just a question of effective versus optimal. And of course if your goal isn’t to be as
big and as strong as possible, you’re not trying to look like a bodybuilder. Maybe you just want to make some solid gains,
but not necessarily all the way up to that maximum level. And maybe you just enjoy a slightly faster
paced workout, or you have time constraints to where you can only be in the gym for a
set period of time, and you need to move through things more quickly, then of course shorter
rest times are going to be fine and there is going to be some individual variation at
play. Or if you’re just performing some, let’s say,
supplementary work toward the end of your workout later on after your heavier compound
work is done, maybe some higher rep pump type of sets just to squeeze in some more volume. I personally don’t think that type of training
has a lot of value, but if you are including that sort of work, then of course shorter
rest times are going to be fine in that situation as well. But again, if we’re talking about someone
who wants to gain muscle size and strength as effectively as possible, and being in the
gym for a slightly longer period isn’t going to be an issue, then resting a bit longer
is definitely going to be the better option. Especially when we’re talking about the big
basic compound lifts. So in terms of practical recommendations,
I don’t think there’s any necessity to have a pre-set rest time in between sets, where
you’re literally looking at the clock and using that to determine when to do your next
set. I would just say to perform your set, and
then rest as long as you need to in order to feel fully, physically, and mentally recovered
and to where you’re ready to give a maximum effort on the next set. So wait until your heart rate and your breathing
are back down to normal. The muscle burn from the previous set has
subsided, and you feel mentally calm and prepared to train again at your full potential. It’ll probably end up falling into the same
general range over time, but depending on how you feel on any given day or just how
much effort you ended up exerting on the last set. So, whether you went three reps short of failure,
or one rep short, or all the way to failure, and also very importantly what specific exercise
you were performing, those things are all going to influence just how much rest you’re
going to end up needing. If you’re doing a squat or a deadlift or some
other very challenging compound lift, that’s going to require a lot more rest from you
in comparison to a smaller isolation exercise. For an isolation exercise, you might only
need two minutes of rest for complete recovery. Whereas, for a heavy compound set, it could
be three minutes all the way up to four to five minutes or more. And as a general rule, I would say, if in
doubt, rest longer rather than shorter. And another factor to consider is that, not
only does resting longer improve your muscle building results, but it also lessens your
chances for injury as well. If you’re moving through your workout at a
faster pace, and jumping into your next set when you’re still physically and mentally
fatigued from the last one, that’s going to increase the risk for injury because your
form might end up getting sloppy, or you might end up having a sudden slip up and end up
getting hurt. Probably not a big deal for smaller isolation
exercises, but for those big compound lifts that are more technically complex, and where
you’re moving more total weight, especially if you’re training in close proximity to failure,
you want to be going in fully recovered and with a clear mindset, to make sure that your
technique remains as solid as possible. But the ultimate bottom line here is that
when it all comes down to it, whatever training of system allows you to achieve progressive
overload as effectively as possible, and build upon your previous weight and reps from the
last workout on each lift as consistently as possible, that will also be the approach
that adds muscle to your frame as effectively as possible. And taking slightly longer rest times in between
sets will improve your ability to achieve progressive overload in the big picture. And it will be the superior choice if your
goal is to maximize your overall size and strength gains. So thanks for watching guys. Make sure to hit the like button and subscribe
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