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Old 11-08-2012, 06:54 PM   #1
BlahBlahYouToo
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Default rest more between sets to get more reps, or less rest and less reps

my endurance and recover period is pretty bad.
if I don't rest for more than 2 minutes, I will barely be able to do 5 reps on the next set.

so the question is, do I rest the recommended 1 minute and get 2 - maybe 4 reps out, or rest 3+ minutes and get 6-8 reps?
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:58 PM   #2
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Rest more to push more weight
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:25 AM   #3
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http://forums.anandtech.com/showthre...t+between+sets

There may be some physiological reason to rest longer but why isn't it just about breaking down muscle fiber? Or does the ATP have to replenish so you're able to work harder and break down more? Meaning that the ATP stores are down and you're not breaking down as much fiber as you would with a longer rest period?
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:38 AM   #4
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What are your goals? If you wanna get stronger, rest longer - sometimes if it's a heavy set 3-5min is not unreasonable. If you want to be more functional for a sport or something (other than powerlifting, strongman stuff), then I'd say rest less. Maybe use a lower weight initially as well to get the desired reps.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:28 AM   #5
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Goals are More for size than strength, though I always thought the 2 were related.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:34 AM   #6
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If your recovery is that bad you should start doing more Cardio. You'll find your sessions are less gruelling when you recover faster. Also, high intensity sessions are great as plateau busters and should be in every gym-rats repertoire, but you need good all around fitness to handle them. I throw in a fast, high intensity session every few weeks to change things up and it means a 90 minute session can be over in 60 minutes instead.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:41 AM   #7
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If your recovery is that bad you should start doing more Cardio. You'll find your sessions are less gruelling when you recover faster. Also, high intensity sessions are great as plateau busters and should be in every gym-rats repertoire, but you need good all around fitness to handle them. I throw in a fast, high intensity session every few weeks to change things up and it means a 90 minute session can be over in 60 minutes instead.
if you have to speed things up to get to 60 minute sessions, you are doing something wrong....
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:21 AM   #8
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Goals are More for size than strength, though I always thought the 2 were related.
Building muscle mass and building strength are different. That's why the starting strength and the 5x5 programs use a lower rep range while the bodybuilding programs use the higher rep ranges with lower weights and shorter rest periods.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:48 AM   #9
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I'm still doing the 5x5 beginner program even though I have been doing it for almost a year but my rest periods are different depending on the lift.

Working sets of squats and deadlifts, I usually rest 3-4 minutes. I do it by feel. Once my breathing has calmed down to almost normal.

The rest of my compounds I only rest about 2-3 minutes because my breathing goes back to normal faster on those lifts.

All of my warmup sets for all my lifts practically have no rest periods, I do the sets, add weight, do the sets, add weight, do the sets, add weight, do my first work set, then rest.

I don't know for the rest of you, but I feel just doing the beginner 5x5 program also works out my cadio. My heart rate is elavated the entire 60-75 min workout. I've also been able to have better endurance for all of my activities.

Edit: Also eat more. I noticed that If I consciously eat more, my rest periods go down by 25% for each movement. If I happened to not eat as much, I need an additional 25% rest period.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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Building muscle mass and building strength are different. That's why the starting strength and the 5x5 programs use a lower rep range while the bodybuilding programs use the higher rep ranges with lower weights and shorter rest periods.
I would have to agree with a footnote to your statement. Most of the stuff I have read says the same thing EXCEPT that before you build mass, you need to have a foundation in strength first.

The higher reps with "lower weights" is all relative to your strength level. To a beginner with no strength, "lower weights" for a bench press would be like 75 lbs. Pumping 75lb bench with high reps isn't going to efficiently build muscle mass.

Now if the beginner strength trained and can now bench 300 lbs, his relative "lower weights" is 200lbs. Pumping 200lbs bench with high reps is going to be VERY efficient at building muscle mass.

Moral of the story, for a beginner, always build strength first, then decide if you want to continue strength or go bodybuilding.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:18 PM   #11
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I would have to agree with a footnote to your statement. Most of the stuff I have read says the same thing EXCEPT that before you build mass, you need to have a foundation in strength first.

The higher reps with "lower weights" is all relative to your strength level. To a beginner with no strength, "lower weights" for a bench press would be like 75 lbs. Pumping 75lb bench with high reps isn't going to efficiently build muscle mass.

Now if the beginner strength trained and can now bench 300 lbs, his relative "lower weights" is 200lbs. Pumping 200lbs bench with high reps is going to be VERY efficient at building muscle mass.
I never mentioned not building a foundation in strength first. However, if his goals are sarcoplasmic hypertrophy...weight numbers are far less relative than time under tension (for body building). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Mj8o...tailpage#t=45s (Kai Green on weight lifting vs body buidling). Everyone has different goals, figuring out the end goal is most important so you can plan how to get there. For what it's worth, I have no idea what the experience level of OP is.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:05 PM   #12
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for me personally it depends on the exercise and weight that i'm putting up. typically when i put up heavier weight i rest longer, since it takes more out of me.

like for shoulders i rest longer between doing shoulder presses than i do for some type of delt raises.

same with chest. right now i'm doing 5x5 to change stuff up with 255 and trying to go up each week by 5lbs. since i'm not used to doing 5 sets for flat bench, i find myself resting more between the sets especially between the last 2. but then when i go and do flies as my last chest exercise, i'm using like 55 or 60 lb dumbells and i won't rest nearly as long as when i do the presses.

i also find myself resting shorter between my bicep and tricep exercises since the most weight i'm really using is like 145lbs for curls or 205lb for closegrip bench press.

so to me it's really all relative to the weight that i'm putting up.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:55 AM   #13
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for me personally it depends on the exercise and weight that i'm putting up. typically when i put up heavier weight i rest longer, since it takes more out of me.

like for shoulders i rest longer between doing shoulder presses than i do for some type of delt raises.

same with chest. right now i'm doing 5x5 to change stuff up with 255 and trying to go up each week by 5lbs. since i'm not used to doing 5 sets for flat bench, i find myself resting more between the sets especially between the last 2. but then when i go and do flies as my last chest exercise, i'm using like 55 or 60 lb dumbells and i won't rest nearly as long as when i do the presses.

i also find myself resting shorter between my bicep and tricep exercises since the most weight i'm really using is like 145lbs for curls or 205lb for closegrip bench press.

so to me it's really all relative to the weight that i'm putting up.
Ditto for me on the above. For the larger muscle groups and associated compound exercises where I'm aiming for 5 sets of 4-6 reps max (e.g., squats, flat bench, dead lifts), it's not at all unusual for me to rest 3 to possibly 5 minutes between sets, if I can keep my impatience in check.

For things like bicep curls, tricep extensions, or shoulder raises, though, my rest time is about half that even when using heavier weights, and I'll generally superset to help keep my heart rate up and speed the workout along.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:13 PM   #14
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I never mentioned not building a foundation in strength first. However, if his goals are sarcoplasmic hypertrophy...weight numbers are far less relative than time under tension (for body building). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Mj8o...tailpage#t=45s (Kai Green on weight lifting vs body buidling). Everyone has different goals, figuring out the end goal is most important so you can plan how to get there. For what it's worth, I have no idea what the experience level of OP is.
My fitness level is prob intermediate to advanced.
I'm benching 1.5x bw and squat/dl is 2x bw.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:55 PM   #15
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My fitness level is prob intermediate to advanced.
I'm benching 1.5x bw and squat/dl is 2x bw.
without your bodyweight, stats mean nothing.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:12 AM   #16
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without your bodyweight, stats mean nothing.
I dunno that I personally would say the stats mean nothing without body weight, as even if the poster weighs 130#, throwing up 260 for squats or 195 for bench at that size isn't insignificant.

That being said, yeah, when using terms like intermediate/advanced, the actual raw numbers are good to know (as would be the length of time the poster's been lifting).

Edit: In response to the OP's original question, I agree with the above posters that it's going to depend in large part on the goals. If you're looking to increase endurance, then aiming for more reps (depending on what you're already doing) could be helpful. With size as a goal, like DeckardBlade mentioned, time under tension is important. Anecdotally, my body-building friends generally live in the 8-12 rep range, and they typically tend to take less rest between sets than would someone on a 5x5-type routine.

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Old 11-16-2012, 07:47 AM   #17
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Less rest is best.

It sounds like you gotta reduce the weight more than anything.
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:57 AM   #18
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I superset squats and benchpresses so I can lift heavy and rest longer.

Then I do muscleups with box jumps

standing shoulder barbell presses with deadlifts

stretch for a few, then I'm out
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:15 AM   #19
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if you have to speed things up to get to 60 minute sessions, you are doing something wrong....
If your normal sessions only last 60 minutes, you're doing something wrong!
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:10 AM   #20
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Goals are More for size than strength, though I always thought the 2 were related.
Sort of, Strength is built by moving heavy shit. Size is more of a time under tension. You'll get bigger as you get stronger but not bodybuilder huge until you're spending a lot of time under weight and it doesn't have to be that much see: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...hiwNeEwNeither neither of these are really affected by rest time.

and to answer your question I rest between 2-5 min depending on the day/lift. I try to keep my accessory lift rest to 1-2 min, 8-10 rep range I'll keep at 2-3 maybe a little longer towards the end or one longer rest period in the middle to allow for a bit of recovery. 3-6 rep range is 3-5 min the closer I get to 3 reps the closer each rest period gets closer to 5 min.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:14 AM   #21
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If your normal sessions only last 60 minutes, you're doing something wrong!
I'm going to respectfully disagree. I'm stronger than most and my typical session isn't more than an hour, some longer days might be a little longer. I'd say 60 +/15 min is enough to get a good workout in.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:52 PM   #22
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Depends really. For People who are fairly new, I say go with more rest. Those of us who have been lifting for years the faster the better the rip. Listen to your body. Don't forget nutrition, sleep and stress can affect this too.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:16 PM   #23
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What is the goal? To reduce workout time?

If so, I usually alternate push/pull exercises. I'll bench then do bentover rows. Something like that.

I usually mix in calf raises when doing squats.

It tends to save time.

I basically do bench. Ten immediately do bent over rows. Then wait no more than 5 minutes since I started bench to repeat it.

Running helped me alot. But weights alone work to. You can build up endurance over time just like you can with running. If you are doing bench, military and squats for example. And your body is fatigued at the end of squats. Keep doing it till you can do it without muscle wobble/fatigue. Then add another exercise like arm curls. Do that till you overcome the same wobble/fatigue issue.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:31 AM   #24
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I'm going to respectfully disagree. I'm stronger than most and my typical session isn't more than an hour, some longer days might be a little longer. I'd say 60 +/15 min is enough to get a good workout in.
I would agree, but that's just based on my own personal observations of gains made by routine. My typical workout nowadays averages about 70-75 minutes (including the walk in from the car), and I've yet to lose any strength relative to when I would spend 90+ minutes in the gym. In actuality, I (subjectively) feel like I'm getting a better workout, particularly because the overall number of sets and exercises that I do hasn't decreased any.

As for alternating workouts, as I mentioned above, I also do that and would recommend it if you're looking to cut down on time at the gym. The most brutal supersetting I've thus far experienced was a month-long period where I was swapping between squats and straight-leg deadlifts. It got both exercises knocked out in about 15-20 minutes, but good lord was I ready to puke and/or pass out by the time I'd finished.
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:16 PM   #25
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My philosophy in the gym is to waste no time. I try to never just sit there. I get past the problem of recovery between sets by doing something different in between. I have a choreographed routine. Between strenuous sets I'll work in other exercises, crunches of various kinds, a variety of stretches. I never go super heavy, but do get heavier toward the end of the workout. I do a lot of reps. Nowadays I'm finishing with 30 minutes of cardio and a skate home. The skating included it comes to over 2 hours.
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If your recovery is that bad you should start doing more Cardio. You'll find your sessions are less gruelling when you recover faster. Also, high intensity sessions are great as plateau busters and should be in every gym-rats repertoire, but you need good all around fitness to handle them. I throw in a fast, high intensity session every few weeks to change things up and it means a 90 minute session can be over in 60 minutes instead.
This seems like a really intelligent approach. I sometimes have a reason to hurry my workout, maybe I have to be somewhere or else I'm skating home and need to beat sundown (like today). I'll jam 80 minutes worth into 60 minutes sometimes. But I haven't viewed it as a plateau busting strategy. That's interesting and I'll have to put more thought into that.
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