Are you looking to build muscle mass? If so, you need to be sure that you are taking the rest between sets into account. This is an often overlooked factor when it comes to hypertrophy. In this article, we will discuss the importance of rest between sets and provide you with a guide on how much rest you should be taking for optimal results.

What is hypertrophy?

In order to understand the importance of rest between sets, it is first essential to understand what hypertrophy is. Hypertrophy is the process of muscle growth. This can be accomplished through both resistance training and eating a nutritious diet.

When you are lifting weights, your muscles undergo a process of breaking down and rebuilding. This is how muscle growth occurs. However, in order for your muscles to rebuild, they need time and rest. That is why rest between sets is important.

Why is rest between sets for hypertrophy important?

When you are lifting weights, your muscles are actually breaking down. It is during the rest period that your muscles rebuild and grow larger. If you do not allow your muscles adequate time to rest, they will not grow as quickly or as efficiently. If you do not take enough rest between sets, your muscles will not have adequate time to recover and grow. On the other hand, if you take too much rest between sets, you will start to lose the intensity of your workout which can impact results. Therefore, it is important to find a balance.

How much rest should I take? The amount of rest that you take between sets will depend on a few factors, including:

  • The intensity of your workout: If you are working out at a higher intensity, you will need more rest.
  • Your level of fitness: If you are just starting out, you may need more rest than someone who is more experienced.
  • The type of exercise: Some exercises, such as lifting heavy weights, will require more rest than others.

Strength training

If you are lifting heavy weights (80% of your one-rep max or more), you will need to take three to five minutes of rest between sets. -If you are lifting moderate weights (60-80% of your one-rep max), you will need to take two to three minutes of rest between sets. -If you are lifting light weights (less than 60% of your one-rep max), you can take one to two minutes of rest between sets.

Endurance training

If you are doing endurance training, such as running or biking, you will need to take less rest between sets. If you are working at a moderate intensity, you can take 30-60 seconds of rest between sets. If you are working at a high intensity, you can take 15-30 seconds of rest between sets.

Benefits of long rest times?

Long rest periods are beneficial for gaining muscle because they allow us to take a break and recoup our energy between sets. If we don’t get enough air between sets, we may be limited by our cardiovascular systems rather than our muscles’ strength, resulting in the wrong kind of adaptation.

If we don’t take a break between sets, we won’t be able to lift as much weight for as many reps. This means that we won’t be putting as much tension on our muscles, which will make it harder to grow them. Even though we’re not lifting as heavy, we still need to do challenging sets in order to stimulate muscle growth.

However, between sets, we may require very long rest times to fully recover our strength. According to a study conducted in 2020, resting eight minutes between sets allows people to keep more reps across sets than five-minute rests do, and it’s unclear if that’s even the end.

Consider how many exercises you could complete within that time period. Even if you don’t get as many reps in later sets, the general training volume would be far greater, indicating greater muscle building over the same period of time.

  • Allows for full recovery so you can give 100% effort on each set
  • Reduces the risk of injury
  • Can help to improve cardiovascular endurance
  • smaller risk of overtraining

Benefits of short rest times?

So, first and best, there may be a fallacy to end. Because of their association with increased growth hormone levels, short rest times were thought to stimulate better muscle development. The term “hormesis” was even stamped for this theory. Bodybuilders would build their entire workout plans around maximizing anabolic hormone production in order to maximize muscle growth. However, disobedient to its fantastic name, recent research has shown that growth hormone does not stimulate muscle development.

The fascinating thing about exercises that aim to squeeze a lot of work into a short time period is that they cause us to adapt by increasing the amount of energy stored in our muscles, or sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. We’re not only getting stronger, but we’re also growing faster and more efficient at putting out effort. And both of these changes will make us bigger, more powerful, and sexier.

Study about long and short rest times

We are here for muscle growth, not our cardiovascular system. It would be a waste of time to live longer and healthier lives if we were just going to remain weak and skinny for the sake of it. Fortunately, by utilizing higher-rep sets with shorter rest periods, we may acquire more muscular growth than with longer rest times if we do it right. This study discovered that shortening rest intervals approximately doubled muscular growth:

  • After long rest times between sets of 8 reps. Muscles grew 4.73% bigger
  • After short rest times between sets of 20 reps. Muscles grew 9.93% bigger.

What are drop sets?

A drop set is a weight training technique where you perform a set of reps to failure, then immediately reduce the weight and continue performing reps until failure again. This type of training is very effective for stimulating muscle growth because it increases the time under tension, which is one of the key drivers of hypertrophy.

Drop sets are also a great way to increase the intensity of your workout without having to use heavier weights. This can be beneficial if you’re trying to avoid injury or if you’re working out in a crowded gym and don’t have access to heavier weights.

To do a drop set, start by selecting a weight that you can lift for around 12 reps. Perform as many reps as possible with this weight, then immediately reduce the weight by 20-30% and continue lifting until failure.

Study about drop sets

We can also reap the benefits of longer rest periods if we compare them to fewer. For example, drop sets, where we lift to failure (or near it), reduce the weight by 20–25%, and then immediately do another set, have shown interesting research results:

  • 3 sets of 6 reps at 90 seconds rest in between (3 sets total): Muscles grew 5% bigger.
  • A normal set was followed by 3 drop sets (4 sets total): Muscles grew 10% bigger

Combining long and short rest times.

We can see from these studies that there are benefits to both long and short rest times, so what’s the best way to utilize them?

The answer may be a surprising one: a mix of the two.

A study conducted in 2016 took two groups of people and had them do the same workout for 12 weeks. The only difference was that one group rested for three minutes between sets while the other rested for just 60 seconds.

At the end of the 12 weeks, both groups had gained muscle, but the group that rested for three minutes between sets gained significantly more muscle mass than the group that rested for just 60 seconds.

So, if you’re looking to maximize muscle growth, it’s best to take a mix of long and short rest times. By doing so, you’ll be able to take advantage of the benefits of both.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are benefits to both long and short rest times. If you’re looking to maximize muscle growth, it’s best to take a mix of long and short rest times. By doing so, you’ll be able to take advantage of the benefits of both. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with the article? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

References: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov