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Saturday, March 24, 2012

How Much Should I Rest between Sets?

Effort perception (which is how your body measures the intensity of the workout) is very important when having a long-term goal in gaining muscles. A hardcore workout that will make you throw up is acceptable once or twice, but most of the people cannot handle such an intense effort for a long time. Brazilian scientists have measured the effects of having a 1 minute break, a 3 minutes break or a 5 minutes break between the sets. The tests were made on both the upper and the lower side of the body.

Effort perception was similar when taking 3 and 5 minutes breaks, but it was much lower compared to 1 minute breaks. When breaks were longer the subjects were able to do more reps and to train more intense. After all, the 3 minutes break seems to be the best choice! It will allow your muscles to recover better (not like the 1 minute break), but it will also allow you to have a relatively short workout (compared to the 5 minutes break).  Source: The Journal of Strength and Conditioning, 25: 3157-3162, 2011.

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