Did you know that the rest intervals that you take can have a huge effect on your training? Yup. It’s true.


When you change your rest time in between sets, you are actually adjusting how much your energy supplies can be regained. Basically the shorter the rest interval, the less your energy will be replenished. Sometimes this is good for increasing intensity for advanced lifters, to improve endurance or to include hypertrophy work. BUT in terms of maximal strength, too short of a rest period can lead to decreased motor recruitment, faulty movement patterns and dramatically increase your risk of injury.


Rest interval between sets in an important variable to consider because it affects immediate responses in your workout and also adaptions that occur in your program down the road. In short, rest is an important thing to consider in your training.


OK, ok. But how long should you rest? Well, like mentioned before, that depends on your fitness goals and the type of training you do. For example, I rest for 3-5 minutes between my heavy, primary lifts (at least lol) between sets since I’m focusing on maximal strength. Psychologically, I feel like this is also a safer and more reliable timeframe to recover.


So why wouldn’t everyone rest 3-5 minutes? Well, to get “bigger” research indicates you may only want to rest 1-2 minutes between sets. Shorter rest periods of between 1 and 2 minutes cause a greater release of anabolic hormones when compared to longer rest periods.



So it all comes down to your goals; however, these guidelines may help:


  • 20-30 seconds will allow about 50% recovery (muscular endurance training should have rest periods of 0-90 seconds)
  • 60 seconds will allow about 85-90% recovery (best for hypertrophy training)
  • 3 – 5 minutes will allow 100% recovery (best for maximal and power strength training)



Have a question about how long to rest? Feel free to shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to answer.





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