Why Rest Between Sets is Important

Have you been finding yourself not necessarily knowing how long to rest between sets? Maybe your workouts are taking a long time and you don’t know why? Or maybe you feel completely winded within the first few sets? Then let’s talk about rest time and why rest between sets is important. 

Why Rest Between Sets is Important

There are a few reasons why taking rest between sets is important, and also some benefits to specific amounts and lengths of rest.

When you exercise, your body produces lactic acid which makes that “burning” feeling in your muscles. The rest times allow your body to flush out the lactic acid and return to normal and ready to lift again. 

There are general rules about how much rest you should be taking between sets:

Muscular endurance (12+ reps): 30-60s 

Hypertrophy(6-11 reps): 30-60s

Strength and power(1-5 reps) 2-5 minutes

Each of these rest times serves a specific purpose, and they are all beneficial to getting the most out of your workouts and lifting sessions.

Another way rest times can be used is in progressive overload. Progressive overload means slowly adding “stress” to your workouts over time. One way to do that is by decreasing rest time.

Let’s say you’re doing 5 sets of 5 reps of back squats at 100 lbs. At first, you rest 2 minutes between sets. Next time 1:45 between. Then 1:30, etc… This will increase your musculoskeletal strength because even though the weight isn’t going up, the amount of stress you’re putting on your muscles is increasing. 

Now these are general rules of thumb for rest times, but they work very well with whatever goals you have in your workouts and should be implemented if you really want to take advantage of not only your gym time, but your muscles as well. 

Do you pay attention to your rest times between sets? Let us know how we can help!


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