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Circuit with Minimal Rest vs 1-2 Min Rest Between Sets/Exercises?

Hello, Dr. Darden. I bought the e-book from this site. I made up a workout similiar to the Nautilus (1975?) circuit. With Barbells and dumbbells. If you count Incline-Fly then press when flyes fail, and flat fly then press as 1 exercise. And Lying Tri ext end close grip press as one exercise. I added DB Calf Raise and a set of crunch,leg raises as one exercise, it comes to 13 exercises. It took 18 min 55 sec. very little rests between sets (exercises), because I set up the equipment before I started. I was sweating and puffing. (im 53 by the way). I can see how this can be good for aerobic. But is this type of circuit good for strength and muscle??? or should I rest between sets (exercises) like a minute to psych up and recover? Thanks. by the way I probably should use the aerobic aspect because I hate riding my exercise bike.


Sounds like you’ve organized a nice routine. You don’t have to make it a race between exercises. I like about 30 seconds between all the back-to-back exercises. You should be able to do both: build muscle and work your heart/lungs.

Thank you, sounds good. It will be easier to add a rep every workout or so that way

Dr. Dardens advice is good! I’ve found through out the years that 30 seconds or less between sets or exercises works best for me. If it’s between exercises it’s the time it takes me to get into the other machine and then go! If I wait longer like a minute or more it seems like I’m starting the workout all over again . That’s one reason I like working out at home, in the gym there’s always someone on the machine I want to use next.
I know I’ve read where people going for maximum lifts sometimes take 5 minutes between sets but I never cared about one time maximums so I never did that and besides waiting around until you are completely recovered drags out the workout forever.

True. “normally” my rests between sets were usually 1 minute, or about 2 minutes if you count changing weights. Sometimes when training the Deadlift for max poundage it would be about 3 minutes. But with the Darden workouts id like to get a little cardio involved because im not in the mood to do other cardio stuff… So I think I will extend it to about 30 sec (prob not going to time it. Just take some deep breaths, stretch and clear my head then do next set. Yes I love working out at home. I live in a 1 bedroom by myself and the bedroom is my weight room. It is tough moving all those weights though lol. I don’t have Olympic set, just standard 1 inch plates, 5 ft and 6 ft bars, EZ bar, Tricep Bar, Bench without uprights that has leg ext/leg curl. I do have squat stands, (but knees hurt when squating so just do Leg ext, Leg Curls, Deadlifts and sometimes DB at sides squats. I have a Total Gym, I like it but prefer real weights mostly. Good reply. lets lift forever!!!