Different fitness goals require different periods of rest time between sets. Always time your breaks with a stopwatch or a timer.
For fat loss and muscle endurance, circuit workouts and metabolic conditioning with 30-60 seconds or less between exercises are great for maximum calorie burn. Programs like P90X and Insanity use these formats that keep you moving and keep your heart rate up.
For putting on muscle size, 60-120 seconds rest between sets is a good guideline to follow for a typical format of 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps.
For maximum strength gain, 3-5 minutes between sets is necessary in order to allow your muscles adequate recovery before attempting to lift heavy again on the next set. Studies have shown that when lifting between 50%-90% of your 1-rep max, 3-5 minutes rest produces the greatest increases in absolute strength, due to higher intensities and volume of training.
Committed To Your Health,
Brian Donovan is a certified fitness and nutrition coach, and the founder of Online Fitness Coach, LLC – an online fitness program where clients get direct coaching and personally tailored training and nutrition plans. Coach Brian was voted Chicago’s “Best Personal Trainer” by Chicago Reader magazine, Best Of Chicago 2014 edition. He has been featured in magazines such as Muscle & Fitness, Chicago Reader, Voyage Chicago, and The PTDC as well various other health and fitness blogs.
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