On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m answering a question about how long to rest between sets for fat loss, muscle growth, and strength building.
When it comes to the time period of rest between sets, it’s not a one size fits all situation.
For example, if your goal is strength, your rest between sets is going to be much different than if your goal is fat loss.
Of course, if you’re a beginner to working out, you can make some level of progress with just about any type of rest period.
But if you’re a Live Leaner, I know you prefer optimal results, in the fastest time possible.
The amount of time you rest between sets is one of the most important training variables to get faster results.
Based on this, let’s discuss how to follow this important training variable correctly, so you can get optimal results, in the fast time possible.
Resting between sets gives you time to regain your short-term energy, so you can give maximal performance during your next set.
Resting between sets gives your body the necessary time to clear out the built up metabolic waste in your muscles from the previous set.
Resting between sets allows your central nervous system to recover.
Resting between sets allows your heart rate to recover and lower back down, if desired.
We’ll talk about why this may not be as important for some goals, shortly.
The amount of rest between sets affects which hormones are produced by your body.
These hormones then help you achieve your desired goal of strength, muscle growth, or fat loss.
Now it’s time to breakdown the optimal amount of time to rest between sets, based on the following three fitness goals.
If your goal is maximal strength, the amount of rest between sets should be higher.
Stick with higher rest intervals in the 3 minute range for isolation moves, and the 4 minute range for compound moves.
This rest time is sufficient in allowing your nervous system to properly recover after each set, so you can keep the intensity high for your next max lift.
Now you may be thinking that 4 minutes is a long time to rest.
That’s true, but there are ways to make the most of that time.
When training for strength, I like to alternate opposing muscle group exercises between sets.
For example, if I’m hitting my shoulders and back during my strength workout, I would do the following:
Although the rest between sets is only 2 minutes, you actually have about 4 minutes of rest before doing your next set of the seated dumbbell shoulder press.
By working opposing muscle groups like this, you can activate even more motor units during the contraction.
That’s a good thing.
The optimal rest between sets for muscle growth and fat loss is a little more straight-forward.
For muscle growth, I recommend 60-90 seconds rest between exercises.
And of course, let’s move on to everyone’s favorite fitness goal, fat loss.
When your goal is fat loss, it’s important to keep your body moving to ensure your heart rate is up to burn more calories.
So yes, you guessed it, shorter rest periods when your goal is fat loss.
For my fat loss programs, I usually design the rest between sets for 30 seconds, and sometimes less, as you’ve probably seen in my Live Lean Afterburn 6 week programs.
You have picked up a copy of our Live Lean Afterburn Dumbbell 6 week home workout program, right?
Of course you have.
And that’s why you’re looking so lean and sexy.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.