Training: How Long Should You Rest Between Sets?

Training: How Long Should You Rest Between Sets?

If you’re one of those people that are training for hours and hours in the gym this article screams your name. The duration of rest intervals significantly affects muscle development. Keep in mind: resting too little or too long will impact your progress.


Types of rest intervals:


Short: less than 30 seconds

By-products and metabolite accumulation increases while training at short resting intervals, which helps promote hypertrophy and muscle endurance, but due to the fact that you can’t recover your strength, it is not as optimal for muscle development but it is a great time saving method.


Moderate: 1 to 2 minutes

Moderate rest intervals promote significant metabolic stress, substantial muscular tension especially when combined with a moderate rep range ( for more info about rep ranges HERE ).

From a muscle building standpoint, 1 to 2 minutes of rest in between sets is optimal.


Long: over than 3 minutes

Long rest intervals are suited for complete muscular recovery after performing a set. Full recovery allows you to train with the heaviest weight, ensuring you generate maximal muscle tension.

This is generally recommended for strength, but it also helps increase size.


Training take home points:

  1. If you want to get stronger and bigger, use long rest intervals while training. By doing this you will recover your strength and you’ll be able to grow some size.
  2. If you just want to grow your muscle size, focus on moderate rest intervals while training in a medium rep range.
  3. If you want to save time while sacrificing some strength, short rest intervals will help you build endurance and some muscle.
  4. Use a stopwatch to monitor your rest intervals.
  5. Don’t waste time in the gym by scrolling through social media, excessive chatting or watching cat videos. You are there to train, focus at what you’re supposed to do and you’ll be happy with your results.



Written by:

Coach Paul Potora, Dietitian, Personal trainer and Founder of CORE.

You can find me on Instagram: @potorafit

Sources: Brad Schoenfeld – Max Muscle Plan