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View Full Version : Heavy Sets And Rest!!!!



TANK25
03-21-2008, 06:18 AM
How long do you rest between heavy low rep sets?

britonarius
03-21-2008, 06:46 AM
I used to give it 2 minutes but my trainer who is 70 insists on 20 seconds maximum. Hurts like hell , i resemble an old racehorse during the workout but it seems to work well.

ArchAngel'73
03-21-2008, 07:00 AM
As long as it takes me to unload/load the weights and catch my breath.
Any where from 30 sec. to 5 min..

How about yourself Tank?
Recommendations?

TANK25
03-21-2008, 07:02 AM
As long as it takes me to unload/load the weights and catch my breath.
Any where from 30 sec. to 5 min..

How about yourself Tank?
Recommendations?

I try no more then 2min.

bodyhard
03-21-2008, 07:04 AM
On squats and deads I rest until my breathing is back to normal. but typically on heavy sets I rest 2-3 minutes.

djflex
03-21-2008, 07:09 AM
I with the 2 minute crowd on heavy sets. I actually wear a cheap timex at the gym to keep track of rest between sets. Lighter sets can be only a minutes rest but heavy sets need a little extra time. I consider heavy anything six reps or under. I really feel cadence is important, so good this was a good question and I will follow everyones reply...

Arlecchino
03-21-2008, 07:29 AM
One minute, unless it is more than 90% 1rm, then I rest up to three minutes (minimum length of time between attempts in a PL meet).

Joe Go
03-21-2008, 07:31 AM
How ever long it takes for me to get drink from the drinking foutain. Do a light stretch and rack on the weights. Of course, I have to jump into my "I'm gonna get crazy mode". Probably about 2 minutes, but I don't time it. I feel it out and go when the mind and body give me the go.

John Prophet
03-21-2008, 07:34 AM
2-3 minutes regularly....if going for a max it could be much more

if u r training strength u need to let the muscles and cns recover so u can achieve max tension.....its not like training for hypertrophy where the short rest period helps build fatigue.

Firminator4
03-21-2008, 07:37 AM
When I do 5 rep sets my goal is to lift as heavy a weight as I can handle for 5 good reps. Usually I need about 2 minutes rest between sets but sometimes if I'm not ready for my next set I'll wait until I am. Again , my goal, for heavy workouts is heavy weights. To me waiting a little longer to allow for more recovery is no different than using wraps to help lift heavier. Whatever it takes.

When I do higher rep sets my rest intervals are usually a lot more strict.

dbx
03-21-2008, 07:40 AM
2-3 minutes. Everyone is different, but in later heavy sets, I find if I go over 3mins by even 15 seconds...my body is already in a shut-down mode.

blkbelt42
03-21-2008, 07:40 AM
1 - 2 min. Unless it's ME
day then about 3 minutes.

:D

Fishhawk
03-21-2008, 07:42 AM
Normally 2 minutes unless I'm going for a PB. Then it can be as much as 4 minutes. Especially with bench press. I workout in a "Fitness Center". Its rare to find someone who knows how to spot me, so I make extra sure I'm ready for the lift and that can take a minute or two more. Its more mental then physical at that point.

3speed
03-21-2008, 07:44 AM
I typically use bodyhard's technique - wait for breathing to return to normal when doing squats and deads. On bench, I just go by feel. I have read quite a bit on this and the general consensus is that it takes between 2 and 3 minutes for the muscles to recover from exertion and if you extend your rest period beyond 5 minutes, you start to lose some of the benefits of multiple set training.

Braindrop
03-21-2008, 07:47 AM
30-60 seconds, depending on the lift. Squats are my longest, almost always a full minute.

Capt. America
03-21-2008, 08:09 AM
None, I'll jump to another body part for my rest.

atoybbacs
03-21-2008, 08:33 AM
30 to 60 seconds

blkbelt42
03-21-2008, 08:53 AM
None, I'll jump to another body part for my rest.

are you not lifting heavy?

Mr. Someday
03-21-2008, 08:59 AM
Who cares? I never really understood the fascination with timing of rest between sets, unless you're on some sort of aerobic circuit training. Only time I count is on rest-pause sets, which are to failure, 15 deep breaths (about 20 seconds), to failure again, another 15 deep breaths and then failure one last time. On straight sets, I never count....I go when my breathing gets back to normal. Hell, last night after doing my heavy leg press set (1180#), it was probably 7 minutes or so before I got to my widowmaker set as I had to pull off all the dumbells stacked on top of the press, unrack 5 plates/side so that Shelli could do her 20 rep set, then rack the 10 plates back on and catch my breath before banging out 810 for 20. Luckily I didn't have to do anything after the widowmaker set as I was breathing like a locomotive and it was probably 10 minutes before my breathing returned to normal (right around the same time the migraine set is...which always tells me I just killed it! lol).

Hound53
03-21-2008, 09:40 AM
I am in the 60 - 90 second crowd myself.

Getsum
03-21-2008, 09:41 AM
I normally take a few minutes to rest between heavier sets, pretty much until I feel good to go again.

thomasale
03-21-2008, 09:57 AM
2-3 minutes sometimes a little longer on deads and squats and sometimes a little less on arms or calves

BergMuscle
03-21-2008, 10:33 AM
2 minutes on heavy stuff, like my bench press.
Otherwise it's 45-75 seconds (I use a timer to keep track).

I know it sounds kind of anal, but I'm the type of guy who wants to jump right in again as soon as I'm finished (which is one reason why I'm becoming the King of the Supersets - check out my journal thread). The timed rest is discipline for me to allow my muscles to rest just enough to put out another good quality set.

Wayne Evans
03-21-2008, 10:39 AM
How long do you rest between heavy low rep sets?

Hey Tank25.....

I stick to about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes.
I started 2 1/2 years ago on the MAX-OT routine (6 rep max) and got used to it.
About 2 months ago I changed my routine to 3x10 and am still able to get back to it comfortably in 1 1/2 minutes.

Happy Friday!

ProOne
03-21-2008, 10:43 AM
2-3 minutes max....

labradarep
03-21-2008, 10:48 AM
Complex( olympic style lifts & variations) & the big compound movements (squats & Deadlifts) 3-5 minutes.

Think of it this way . The movements mentioned above involve a lot more Primary, secondary assistance & stabilizing muscles than smaller movements. They also involve moving the load a longer distance. Therefore, longer rest periods to help with energy system & NS recovery. This is important because these movements also require more co-ordination. If you are not recovered properly and perform these with poor form you are bound to get injured or over work assistance & secondary muscles due to fatigue & sloppy form.

You could also utilize incomplete rest periods. But, they are better suited to exercises that require less co-ordination or the use of machines or single joint exercises or exercises that allow for spotters.

Bronzebird
03-21-2008, 12:05 PM
How long do you rest between heavy low rep sets?

I'm a geek when it comes to measurring consistantcy to measure progress. If the rest periods are not timed and consistant my Reps till failure will increase on long duration rest. And 60 second rest gets me into aerobic breathing with 3or4 less reps till failure than 90 seconds. If I rest for more than 2 minutes my reps jump back up and muscles are refueled and don't seem taxed enough. (lactic acid burn)
Great question on this subject!!

JoeFab
03-21-2008, 02:29 PM
On squats and deads I rest until my breathing is back to normal. but typically on heavy sets I rest 2-3 minutes.

Same here. My thinking is that once my breathing is back to normal I'm ready for another all out effort.

John Prophet
03-21-2008, 02:37 PM
Who cares? I never really understood the fascination with timing of rest between sets,

you keep track of the weight on the bar?

you measure your bodyfat?

you measure your weight?

you count reps?

you count calories?


see where I am going with this?


amount of rest between sets is a pretty critical component to track..otherwise you are shooting in the dark IMO. If a dude says "I did 3x10 with 95 lbs" it means nothing if he doesnt specify his rest between sets

John Prophet
03-21-2008, 02:38 PM
I'm a geek when it comes to measurring consistantcy to measure progress. If the rest periods are not timed and consistant my Reps till failure will increase on long duration rest. And 60 second rest gets me into aerobic breathing with 3or4 less reps till failure than 90 seconds. If I rest for more than 2 minutes my reps jump back up and muscles are refueled and don't seem taxed enough. (lactic acid burn)
Great question on this subject!!

exactly...controlling the rest between sets is as critical as any other parameter. you cant just randomly pick to do either 2:00 or 20 secs...it has to fit the other parameters

Guff
03-21-2008, 02:41 PM
How long do you rest between heavy low rep sets?

Until I'm sure that I'm not going to puke.

dbx
03-21-2008, 02:55 PM
amount of rest between sets is a pretty critical component to track..otherwise you are shooting in the dark IMO. If a dude says "I did 3x10 with 95 lbs" it means nothing if he doesnt specify his rest between sets

I understand Steve's point, but I agree with this ^. I mean, not for competing or bragging purposes (lol), but for development. I have even avoided going up in weight on some occasions, and instead chose to use the same weight with less rest. I believe there is value in doing so (maybe just endurance factor?). And on the other end of the spectrum, as I mentioned earlier, I "lose it" if I wait too long in between the last sets of heavy sets. Longer might be better after the 1st or 2nd set, but by the third (heavy sets here) and extra 15-30 secs past 3 mins is like missing a window....and the muscles feels more fatigued. Weird? I've made the mistake of answering a call between sets. I go back 4-5mins later? Forget it....I'm done (again, on heavy sets).

And you guys saying you do 45 seconds between heavy sets....I don't see how you do it. If I'm doing heavy sets of say, 3x5....I'd be lucky to get 2 reps with 30-45sec rest between. I suppose we're all different, and that it's our own training that "conditions" us to respond better/worse with varied rest times.

Mr. Someday
03-21-2008, 04:17 PM
you keep track of the weight on the bar?

you measure your bodyfat?

you measure your weight?

you count reps?

you count calories?


see where I am going with this?


amount of rest between sets is a pretty critical component to track..otherwise you are shooting in the dark IMO. If a dude says "I did 3x10 with 95 lbs" it means nothing if he doesnt specify his rest between sets

I couldn't give a rats ass what someone thinks about the weight I lift and if its less impressive because my rest periods are longer than his/hers. I judge how effective something is by what I see in the mirror.

Reality_Check
03-21-2008, 04:46 PM
I rest 5min between bench sets and 2-3 min for everything else. But I wouldn't think twice about resting 10min if I thought my muscles would be more rested after that. I don't believe in letting lactic acid accumlation get in the way of maximum muscle exertion. Endurance is great thing to train for but not in the same workout that I'm training for power.

Arlecchino
03-21-2008, 04:52 PM
And you guys saying you do 45 seconds between heavy sets....I don't see how you do it. If I'm doing heavy sets of say, 3x5....I'd be lucky to get 2 reps with 30-45sec rest between. I suppose we're all different, and that it's our own training that "conditions" us to respond better/worse with varied rest times.

In my case several reasons affect my ability to keep rest time to a minimum:

1. My overall reps per set are probably lower than many people here.
2. Good genetics for that sort of thing (thanks Mom and Dad).
3. Conditioning. I actually work on conditioning for lifting (GPP). Extra workouts serve this purpose.

jimbop99
03-21-2008, 04:52 PM
I read an acticle on T-nation about how long to rest between sets. Before I read it I would just wait until I was ready. Well, when I took the articles advice, it was the most intense workout I've ever had. So I bought a clock with a second hand on it just so I can keep track of the time between sets. I now wait between 90 secs and 2 minutes when doing a high load low rep set.

Bando
03-21-2008, 04:53 PM
I superset even with heavy sets, probably not more than 20 seconds between the two lifts, then as soon as my heart rate/breathing calm down (2-4) minutes, do the two lifts again.

bigeugene
03-21-2008, 05:03 PM
I with the 2 minute crowd on heavy sets. I actually wear a cheap timex at the gym to keep track of rest between sets. Lighter sets can be only a minutes rest but heavy sets need a little extra time. I consider heavy anything six reps or under. I really feel cadence is important, so good this was a good question and I will follow everyones reply...

Ditto. Cheap Timex and around 2 minutes. Sometimes a bit more or less depending on level of muscle burn.

Fishhawk
03-21-2008, 05:25 PM
I couldn't give a rats ass what someone thinks about the weight I lift and if its less impressive because my rest periods are longer than his/hers. I judge how effective something is by what I see in the mirror.

I don't think thats his point. I think what he's getting at is, we measure every thing about our workouts. Why leave out the amount of time between sets?. Everything we do in the weight room has some sort of purpose. Including the amount of time between sets.

Mr. Someday
03-21-2008, 05:36 PM
I don't think thats his point. I think what he's getting at is, we measure every thing about our workouts. Why leave out the amount of time between sets?. Everything we do in the weight room has some sort of purpose. Including the amount of time between sets.

I understood it, but I don't measure it for a reason...it adds no value to my workout. I don't train for endurance nor overall health...I train to someday blot out the sun! :D Don't confuse working out harder with working out better....the two aren't always the same thing.

John Prophet
03-21-2008, 06:28 PM
I don't think thats his point. I think what he's getting at is, we measure every thing about our workouts. Why leave out the amount of time between sets?. Everything we do in the weight room has some sort of purpose. Including the amount of time between sets.

well, at least u understood

Fishhawk
03-21-2008, 06:52 PM
I understood it, but I don't measure it for a reason...it adds no value to my workout. I don't train for endurance nor overall health...I train to someday blot out the sun! :D Don't confuse working out harder with working out better....the two aren't always the same thing.

I really don't think this has anything to do with working out harder, or better. We're just very anal creatures. Different from the rest of society. We log our workouts down to the last pound lifted, and the last calorie injested. We count the amount of time doing cardio, and we measure the amount of protein we put in our PWO drinks. Seems to me that watching the amount of time between sets only would come as a natural part of the entire process ........... then again, I always thought there was a scientific reason for the last solar eclipse. Now I know better.

And OT .... watching Barrett Jackson ..... they just sold a 68 Mustang 428 Cobra Jet for ONLY $68,000. I think I soiled myself.

Bando
03-21-2008, 07:19 PM
We log our workouts down to the last pound lifted, and the last calorie injested. We count the amount of time doing cardio, and we measure the amount of protein we put in our PWO drinks. Seems to me that watching the amount of time between sets only would come as a natural part of the entire process ....

Who has time for this? I go to the gym and hammer the iron, I'm trying to get away from all the "counting" at work. When I'm in the gym the last thing I wanna do is be bossed around by a clock.

chodan9
03-21-2008, 07:29 PM
I dont time myself strictly
I generally give myself enough time to recover.
I timed myself early on and sort of got a feel for how much time I need.
longer time on heavy compound lifts, less on the rest.

Reality_Check
03-21-2008, 07:46 PM
Don't confuse working out harder with working out better....the two aren't always the same thing.

Thats so true. Repping that post.

Well I would if I could, yet another "you must spread...."

dbx
03-21-2008, 08:59 PM
I understood it, but I don't measure it for a reason...it adds no value to my workout. I don't train for endurance nor overall health...I train to someday blot out the sun! :D Don't confuse working out harder with working out better....the two aren't always the same thing.

Yep, this something that often gets lost when advice is given out here. This thread could have been titled, "How many calories do you eat?" and we'd have seen people telling others that they eat too much or not enough...without ever knowing what that person's goals are. We have guys here that compete, those who want to compete, those who don't ever want to compete, those who PL, etc., etc... And that's forgotten all too often around here, and you see the confusion in almost every on topic thread.


And OT .... watching Barrett Jackson ..... they just sold a 68 Mustang 428 Cobra Jet for ONLY $68,000. I think I soiled myself.

I think BJ has almost single handedly ruined the muscle car market by over inflating prices. And it makes it hard for the average guy to try to buy his dream car and also inflates the prices on parts & restoration. But don't get me started..... :)

Fishhawk
03-21-2008, 09:11 PM
Who has time for this? I go to the gym and hammer the iron, I'm trying to get away from all the "counting" at work. When I'm in the gym the last thing I wanna do is be bossed around by a clock.

Judging by the amount of people that log their workouts, have journals on BB.com, and count calories on fitday.com, quite a few.
I personnally watch how much time I take in between sets so I DON'T spend to much time in the gym.

Fishhawk
03-21-2008, 09:15 PM
I think BJ has almost single handedly ruined the muscle car market by over inflating prices. And it makes it hard for the average guy to try to buy his dream car and also inflates the prices on parts & restoration. But don't get me started..... :)[/QUOTE]

Agreed, it just makes me sick to know I sold my 68 mustang for $1500 in the mid 80's

Bando
03-21-2008, 09:50 PM
Who has time for this? I go to the gym and hammer the iron, I'm trying to get away from all the "counting" at work. When I'm in the gym the last thing I wanna do is be bossed around by a clock.


Judging by the amount of people that log their workouts, have journals on BB.com, and count calories on fitday.com, quite a few.
I personnally watch how much time I take in between sets so I DON'T spend to much time in the gym.

I tend to get towards the end of my workout and then look at the clock, sometimes I'm surprised that I have another 20 minutes and sometimes I'm surprised that I should be back in the office in 8 seconds. Gym time can be like the twilight zone for me, I'm into the weights, not the clock. My body determines when I'm done, not my watch.

Fishhawk
03-22-2008, 05:31 AM
I tend to get towards the end of my workout and then look at the clock, sometimes I'm surprised that I have another 20 minutes and sometimes I'm surprised that I should be back in the office in 8 seconds. Gym time can be like the twilight zone for me, I'm into the weights, not the clock. My body determines when I'm done, not my watch.

Unfortunately, after a nine hour work day and a five hour round trip commute I'm lucky to even get to the gym. I have no choice but to pay attention to the clock. As it is, I don't get home until a little before 8:00pm, eat a light dinner, get ready for the next day and climb into bed a little after nine, so I can at least get six+ hours of sleep before the alarm goes off at 3:45am. I'm a slave to the clock.

SR800
03-22-2008, 05:37 AM
Whatever it take for me to regain my breath and focus, could be 30 seconds could be 5 minutes or more when doing maxes, to be sure I can do another heavy set with perfect form. Just be natural, no hurry, no dragging.

Minotaur
03-22-2008, 07:43 AM
How long do you rest between heavy low rep sets?

Until I'm breathing normally and feel I can get a good set. If that takes 5 minutes, it takes 5 minutes. When you rest you replenish ATP in the muscles, which is the source of their energy. Rapid fire sets don't serve any purpose except in endurance type training. You won't get as much size or strength that way, imo.

beachstoyboy
03-23-2008, 06:58 PM
It depends on what I am trying to accomplish. And if I am going heavy, that usually means strength increases. For that, I take enough rest for each set to be just a bit tougher, but not undoable. If I set out to do 5x5's, I want to be able to do them with my 5RM, and either barely be able to get 5 on the last set or just miss.

If I am just trying to fatigue the muscles, I put more of an emphasis on rest periods, but I try not to overemphasize this at expense of the weight I am using.

bulldog71
03-23-2008, 08:19 PM
Heavy stuff is about 2 mins. more if I need it, but usually don't. Hypertrophy type training is a whole different ballgame, and then it's 60-90 secs. max!

fognozzle
03-23-2008, 09:05 PM
I'm the guy that checks his watch after the last rep. I start with 45 sec. after the first set and increase by 15 sec. with each set. I don't live or die by it but it helps me keep my focus. I read it in a MF mag long time ago and started doing it. Does it really help? Who knows, who cares? It has just become part of my routine and is now second nature. If I happen to get to the gym and don't have my watch, I'm bummed and try to keep an eye on the clock. I'm sure it's 80% mental but wtf, if it helps... Just sayin'

O/T Whoever started that "just sayin'", Thats some funny s#!t
I started sayin' it offline and my wife asked, "ok, who do you talk to that says that?"

just sayin'

Karl_Hungus
03-23-2008, 09:19 PM
Heavy sets with compound moves (e.g. bench, squats, or deads), I rest roughly 5 minutes between sets. Lighter high rep stuff, or isolation exercises, I'll rest 1-2 minutes.

Stenn
03-23-2008, 09:42 PM
I usually rest 2-3 minutes between heavy sets although I'm getting to be more like Mr. Someday. If I need a little more rest to lift a little more weight, I'll take the rest.

I tend to time my rests, but only because I run the risk of resting too little. When things are going well, I get over-excited and want to do my next set too soon. If I watch the clock, I can ensure that I get at least two minutes before I attack the bar again.

Wooly_Ace
03-24-2008, 04:05 AM
My resting time is usually no more than 1 minute.