J Strength Cond Res. 2006 Nov;20(4):978-84. Links
A brief review: factors affecting the length of the rest interval between resistance exercise sets.Willardson JM.
Physical Education Department, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL 61920, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Research has indicated that multiple sets are superior to single sets for maximal strength development. However, whether maximal strength gains are achieved may depend on the ability to sustain a consistent number of repetitions over consecutive sets. A key factor that determines the ability to sustain repetitions is the length of rest interval between sets. The length of the rest interval is commonly prescribed based on the training goal, but may vary based on several other factors. The purpose of this review was to discuss these factors in the context of different training goals. When training for muscular strength, the magnitude of the load lifted is a key determinant of the rest interval prescribed between sets. For loads less than 90% of 1 repetition maximum, 3-5 minutes rest between sets allows for greater strength increases through the maintenance of training intensity. However, when testing for maximal strength, 1-2 minutes rest between sets might be sufficient between repeated attempts. When training for muscular power, a minimum of 3 minutes rest should be prescribed between sets of repeated maximal effort movements (e.g., plyometric jumps). When training for muscular hypertrophy, consecutive sets should be performed prior to when full recovery has taken place. Shorter rest intervals of 30-60 seconds between sets have been associated with higher acute increases in growth hormone, which may contribute to the hypertrophic effect. When training for muscular endurance, an ideal strategy might be to perform resistance exercises in a circuit, with shorter rest intervals (e.g., 30 seconds) between exercises that involve dissimilar muscle groups, and longer rest intervals (e.g., 3 minutes) between exercises that involve similar muscle groups. In summary, the length of the rest interval between sets is only 1 component of a resistance exercise program directed toward different training goals. Prescribing the appropriate rest interval does not ensure a desired outcome if other components such as intensity and volume are not prescribed appropriately.
1 to 2 minutes for me. The more heavy I train the more I feel I need more rest between sets.
"The medals don't mean anything and the glory doesn't last. It's all about your happiness. The rewards are going to come, but my happiness is just loving the sport and having fun performing" ~ Jackie Joyner Kersee.
I can't take less than 2mins between compound lifts without my weight or rep numbers dropping significantly.
"In any contest between power and patience, bet on patience."
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
Great article Jb since it addressed differant goals for differant people. For me persoanlly I have used the 30- 60 second rest period, 4 -5 sets. I have had great results from this and have been very pleased in my increase in strength. I found this section in your post to be very interesting.
When training for muscular hypertrophy, consecutive sets should be performed prior to when full recovery has taken place. Shorter rest intervals of 30-60 seconds between sets have been associated with higher acute increases in growth hormone, which may contribute to the hypertrophic effect.