How long should I rest between sets to build muscle?
-Edwardo, El Paso, TX
There are a lot of factors that go into muscle growth, and rest periods are one of them.
Rest periods can be broken down into three categories:
Short rest periods – about 30 seconds
Long rest periods – 2 minutes to 5 minutes
Moderate rest periods – about 60-90 seconds
Short Rest Periods
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.