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If the daily increase in your fitness targets is intimidating you, there’s an important consideration to make. Are you resting during your workouts? Exercises and training sets are best performed with gaps in between!
If not done the proper way, your exercise regime can leave you tired and without expected results. What’s the best lag time for you between different exercises or sets of a specific one? Hit the sweet spot with our take on optimal rest time.
How Long to Rest Between Sets to Build Muscle
1. What Influences Optimum Rest Between Sets
According to training experts, there are 3 major factors that primarily influence the ideal rest time. First, you need to be aware of the rep or intensity range for the given sets of exercises. It’s important to take out time for optimum rest between sets, especially if a particular exercise proves to be very demanding. Additionally, you need to be aware of the primary goals for your training – increasing core strength, building muscles and losing fat. The recommended rest time has to be in line with these goals.
2. How the Boost in Your Intensity Should Change Rest Time
The rest time between sets for muscle growth usually varies in line with the intensity of your exercise regime. Your training intensity is higher when you manage fewer reps per exercise set. Likewise, the intensity becomes lower as you increase the reps. All these calculations directly influence the quantum of rest you require in between your sets. The thumb rule being you need less rest if your intensity is lower or rep range is higher, and vice versa.
3. What Does Your Exercise Demand
The demands set by your exercise sets also influence the in-between rest periods. It’s simple—higher the demand, greater the rest period your body seeks. This effectively means that exercises for muscle groups such as the chest, legs and back require more rest than those for triceps, biceps, and calves. For this fitness challenge, let your body guide you. Rest for a couple of minute after every few reps. If you find planks or crunches particularly hard, rest for a slightly longer interval.
4. Your Goals and Its Influence On Rest Time
While complete rests allow for greater recovery time for the central nervous system, incomplete or shorter rest times also have some metabolic benefits. What should you do? Rest for short durations while working out but make the most of your rest days (yes, there will be those too!).
5. What’s The Best Rest Time for You
You may go in for a combination of complete and incomplete sets. But then, it all depends on the kinds of exercises you’re performing in your sessions and the numbers of reps in it. For instance, go in for an incomplete/complete rest of 1-2 minutes if your goal is to build up muscles or get toned. For this challenge, since we are looking at overall wellness, a combination of short and long rest periods works best.
Go ahead, put your regime in ideal order, take optimum rest between sets, and see better results. After all, increasing your intensity is not enough; it needs to be structured too!