How much time to rest between sets?

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    Sep 02, 2011 1:17 AM GMT
    Recently my trainer wants me to rest a full 2 minutes between sets. (Before we were just winging it, anywhere from 1-2 minutes). This obviously limits my time actually lifting, and I'm wondering, is there any data to support this for building bulk?
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Sep 02, 2011 3:01 AM GMT
    i think i do about 30 secs to a minute... but i let my body dictate how much it needs.
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    Sep 02, 2011 3:09 AM GMT
    I do approximately 30-60 seconds.
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    Sep 02, 2011 3:26 AM GMT
    I think the optimal amount to rest between sets depends on your goals. If it is to keep your heart rate elevated and get a bit of a cardiovascular workout while lifting, then you'll want to limit the rests to maybe 30 seconds or so. If you are trying to lift heavy, then longer rests are called for. Sometimes even longer than two minutes. But really, it depends on what you are trying to get out of the workouts such as getting leaner, or bigger, or stronger etc.
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    Sep 02, 2011 3:27 AM GMT
    How much resting I do depends on my weight/reps per set or just how I'm feeling.

    Heavy weight sets with like 6 reps max I'll usually rest around 1-2 minutes
    Medium weight sets with 10-15 reps I'll rest around 45 sec. - 90 sec.
    Light weight sets with 15-20 reps I'll rest around 30 sec. - 60 sec.

    As far as support, I usually hear that amount of rest suggested for heavy sets or borderline powerlifting.
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    Sep 02, 2011 4:28 AM GMT
    20 secs
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    Sep 02, 2011 4:56 AM GMT
    Makes sense, but what about when ur working different body parts ... wouldn't it be okay to take shorter rests between sets because ur working different muscle groups?

    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidIt really depends on your goals.

    The less rest you allow yourself between sets will not allow you to lift as heavily. The intensity is there because your body needs oxygen to carry through the workout but without adequate rest your muscles can only lift a certain limited amount of weight.

    For those saying twenty to thirty seconds between sets they will basically be working at an elevated heart rate and induce a sort of cardio style workout. This is fine to get the blood pumping but really not ideal for overall strength.

    I tend to rest three minutes between sets and give myself five minutes rest when I change exercises. This allows me to recuperate as much as possible so that I can lift the heaviest weight possible. A stronger muscle is a bigger muscle.


    You'll see that the proof is in the pudding. Those that advocate resting for a minute or less have a sinewy smaller build. Those that advocate resting a bit longer to lift heavier weights tend to have more bulk to their muscles. It all depends on what you're looking to do.
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    Sep 02, 2011 5:14 AM GMT
    Has anyone said : "It depends on your goals" ?

    My goals include getting done and going home.

    I don't rest between sets;
    I do some other set of something else between sets.
    So really only as many seconds as it takes me to switch.

    For instance:
    It only takes a few seconds to roll over between Dumbbell Reverse Fly On Incline Bench and Incline Dumbell Pec Fly

    Since I usually have the gym to myself, I don't feel guilty about having 2 pairs of 2 different sizes of dumbbells with me at the incline bench when I do these.
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    Sep 02, 2011 10:29 AM GMT
    So do supersets work better on people who already have bulk?
  • Montague

    Posts: 5205

    Sep 04, 2011 6:10 AM GMT
    Zeus17 said20 secs


    this.
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    Sep 04, 2011 6:23 AM GMT
    . . . one condoleeza, two condoleeza . . . .
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    Sep 04, 2011 6:25 AM GMT
    no going to comment...it has all been said well just want to say thanks. I learned some new stuff reading this!
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    Sep 04, 2011 6:44 AM GMT
    I do what my PT says and rest anywhere between 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The heavier I lift the longer I rest between sets. It just depends on your goals.

    MuchMoreThanMuscle sums it up perfectly in his posts.