How long should You rest between sets to build muscle?
Posted on 13 December 2013
There are a lot of factors that go into muscle growth, and rest periods are one of them.
Long rest periods – 2 minutes to 5 minutes
Moderate rest periods – about 60-90 seconds
Tiring your muscles through weight training is key to getting them bigger. By limiting rest periods to about 30 seconds between sets of strength training exercises, you’ll do just that. The drawback of such a short rest period, however, is that you won’t be resting long enough to maintain sufficient strength. If strength can’t be maintained, then the weights that you’ll be able to lift with shorter rest won’t be heavy enough to help your muscles grow.
The primary advantage with long rest periods is that, because they’re long enough to almost fully restore your strength, you can use near maximum weights that result in some monster gains in strength over time. The drawback to long rest periods, however, is that you often don’t tire your muscles enough, which is a draw back if you’re looking to pack on size.
You actually don’t want to fully recover between sets, because building muscle requires tiring them out, but you also want to rest long enough that you can repeatedly use a weight heavy enough to stimulate growth. That’s why moderate rest periods hit the sweet spot of building muscle mass: the weights lifted are still heavy enough to target the muscle fibers with the greatest potential for growth, and the fatigue is sufficient to flip the switch to turn on the mechanisms that result in muscle growth.
Assuming you’ve developed good exercise technique with your big exercises (bench press, chinups, shoulder press, squat, deadlift, etc.), focus on getting stronger in the next few months. Your goal is to activate as much muscle as possible at any one time.
At this stage in training, your goal to increase your volume of exercise which will help build your muscles.
You’re at the point where you’ll need a stronger stimulus to get big, so you’ll need to focus on either strength or muscle size development.
~ By bill Hartman "the muscle guy"