How Long Between Sets?

How long should I wait before starting my next set?

That’s a very general question which will depend on your goals. But, you should rest as long as it takes to be able to do you next set effectively. Unless you’re training for fat loss and are doing something which requires shorter rest periods.

[quote]chimera182 wrote:
you should rest as long as it takes to be able to do you next set effectively.[/quote]… but no longer.

As I heard from Nick Tumminello: “Rest as much as you need to, but as little as you have to.”

It’s one of the things you’ll learn about yourself as you gain experience lifting consistently.

In other words, you should always try to rest as little as possible, but understand that you’ll still be resting relatively-longer after your heaviest sets. The old guidelines like “rest 1-2 minutes after sets of 8-12, rest 3-4 minutes after sets of 2-4” are definitely not the best way of doing things (but like chimera said, it can be goal-dependent. When you’re training for strength/power, rather than bodybuilding, the rules are different.)

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]chimera182 wrote:
you should rest as long as it takes to be able to do you next set effectively.[/quote]… but no longer.

As I heard from Nick Tumminello: “Rest as much as you need to, but as little as you have to.”

It’s one of the things you’ll learn about yourself as you gain experience lifting consistently.

In other words, you should always try to rest as little as possible, but understand that you’ll still be resting relatively-longer after your heaviest sets. The old guidelines like “rest 1-2 minutes after sets of 8-12, rest 3-4 minutes after sets of 2-4” are definitely not the best way of doing things (but like chimera said, it can be goal-dependent. When you’re training for strength/power, rather than bodybuilding, the rules are different.)[/quote]

Good point, thanks for adding that on.

Think of it this way. You’ll need a lot less rest after curling the 25lb dumbells for 10 reps than you’ll need after deadlifting 550lbs for 8 deadstop reps.

Well, right now I am trying to bulk up and gain like 5 pounds. I gained 10 pounds between June and October and now have seemingly hit a plateau.

also if I “rest as much as i need to, but as little as i have to” how do i know when i have rested enough but not too much?

[quote]FirstBlood wrote:
also if I “rest as much as i need to, but as little as i have to” how do i know when i have rested enough but not too much?[/quote]

The only way you WOULDN’T know is if you didnt even attempt to do it. Go to the gym and figure it out. Or go to the library and read everything and become real real smart and become an academic.

When you do your set of bench press take not of how gassed you feel after your 3rd set (you shouldnt be gassed after your first two sets, assuming youre ramping the weights). When that feeling starts to subside begin to mentally prepare for the final set. Then destroy the final set. It’s simple.

Also 10 pounds in 4 months is not good progress. Youve hit a plateau because you aren’t eating enough of the right foods. Dont argue with me because I’m right.

well i guess i should rest to the point where i would be able to do as many reps in the next set at the same weight, right?

ok. how many reps per set should i be aiming for with bench?

yea 10 pounds in 4 months is not great. i thought it was pretty good tho because i went from 125 to 135, which is an 8% gain. i am really new to learning about weightlifting and eating right, etc but i am eager to learn. i’ve figured that my diet hasn’t been on target like it should be. do you have any tips as to the foods i should be eating?

thanks!

well what exactly are your goals?? i know you weigh 135lbs, but how long hae you been training?? what are some of your lift numbers?? primarily, bench, squat, deadlift?? do you even do squats and deadlifts cuz if not that could be a reason why you only put on 10lbs in 4 months!! anyway, just fill us in with some more information about your training/diet…

…and Bonez, your following me haha jk, good to see people helpin out

IronWarrior

Hey,
thank you, i really appreciate the help.

so as i said i am 135 pounds, 5’6" (167 cm to be more precise)

i have been training since the beginning of the summer so like 9 months?

i only started doing bench press like a month or so ago when i started transitioning to free weights.

i bench like 3x7 115 pounds, constantly trying to increase the weight but its tough.

i did squats for the first time thursday, 115 lbs like 3x15 i think, not really sure but my legs were so sore for the next couple of days.

my diet is random, lke whatever food is available, usually oatmeal for breakfast, i eat a lot of pasta and macaroni and cheese but i try to work in protein so i am trying to eat some frozen chicken pot pie and cheese and i also have a protein supplement for after i lift.

for training, i try and do one muscle group a day so something like:
Triceps, Forearms
Chest
Shoulders
Legs (just started this) <-this is on thursday
Back & bicep <-i do this on friday

and the weekend i usually rest

as i said i am just a beginner but i am looking to bulk up to like 140-145 and get down to like 4% body fat. I don’t know what body fat i am at now but my waist is 29" and my chest is 40" if that is any indicator?

ok, first off, dont worry about getting to 4% body fat, just get big…for bench, since your still a beginner i wouldnt do any less than 8 reps, personally i think its too heavy for a beginner, i would stick with the 10-12 rep range or maybe even 15 at most for all the big movements like your bench, squat, and deadlifts, but thats my opinion…i think how you did your leg day of 115 for 3 x 15 is a good choice, make sure your focusing on your form and your depth, dont worry about the weight, it mean jack shit if your not doing the exercise the right way especially as a beginner…
if you wanna do a split routine (a body part a day) why waste a day just on tris and forearms?? do chest/tris…back/bis…shoulders…legs…i mean theres a million different ways to set up your workout but to dedicate one entire workout to such small muscle group like tris/forearms as a beginner doesnt make much sense to me…

as for your diet, you gotta eat big to get big yet somewhat clean, dont be eating shitty wasteful calories…do you eat any eggs??? chicken??? steak??? i mean getting a frozen chicken pot pie is gonna be absolutely loaded with bullshit calories and sodium i think…

how old are you?? all in all you need some work both in and out of the gym, which is expected for a beginner so dont let all this bring you down…hopefully others will throw in their 2cents to help you out too, ill keep checking up on your thread to see how your doin…

IronWarrior

Read “Massive eating 1 and 2” by CT.

Read the nutrition articles in the sticky in this forum.

Read the “best of T-Nation” threads in the BB forum

Read ALL of it.

i waste a day on triceps and forearms because i enjoy working those muscles.

my diet is pretty bad because i am at college and i have to cook all my own food and its tough to come up with quality nutritious meals.
i usually down a couple raw eggs at least every other day, but i was reading on the site that that wasn’t good.
i was also reading that processed sugary oatmeal is bad, which happens to be the kind i eat…

i made a shake yesterday with 3 raw eggs, a banana, a bunch of ice cream and protein but i’m guessing thats not that good either…
basically i need food that i can make fast that wont go bad in a short amount of time because i dont get the chance to go shopping frequently.
any suggestions?

im 21 years old, i go to the gym at my college.

i recognize that i’m not in top form but i am big on dedication so i can make this work. thanks for your support.

and bonez, i’ll be sure to read up on all of that, thanks.

well if you wanna do your tri/forearm work save it for the end of the week, do yo think burning out your tris on monday and than doing chest the following the day is smart?? i usually save Saturdays as an accessory day where i just do stuff like curls, light tri work, extra abs/calves, all the beach muscles as they say…i just graduated college last year, and during my time in college i trained for powerlifting competitions, i weighed 1801-183ish, i had to be less than 181.5 so i know what its like to have to diet in college yet still keep strength…

does your college have a cafeteria that grills chicken, has a salad bar, wrap station, or any 1 of those?? in the morning do they have breakfast, such as hot oatmeal (usually the plain oats they had at my college, along with yogurt and a bananna), or just choke down those shitty scrambled eggs they have i absolutely hated those god damn shit eggs the cafeteria made in bulk but sometimes you just gotta load it up with hot sauce and eat it haha…

theres a ton of shit you can do with meals at college…you just gotta experiment, and definitely read those articles Bonez suggested…do more research on this site and you will find endless information on quick and easy solid meals…

IronWarrior

[quote]FirstBlood wrote:
my diet is random, lke whatever food is available

i waste a day on triceps and forearms

my diet is pretty bad because i am at college and i have to cook all my own food

i dont get the chance to go shopping frequently.

i recognize that i’m not in top form but i am big on dedication[/quote]

You sure about that last part? I’m seeing a lot of excuses, even though you do seem open to advice.

Keep things simple. Read this, and focus on the foods it suggests:

[quote]FirstBlood wrote:
i am looking to bulk up to like 140-145 and get down to like 4% body fat.[/quote]

4% is close to on-stage bodybuilder condition. (One reason you shouldn’t stress about hitting a certain percentage. Chart your progress based on strength, measurements, and photos.)

For reference, Urijah Faber is 5’6" and 145 with low bodyfat in this pic. If you want to look anything similar, you should have in mind (for the mid-to-long term) bulking closer to 160, and then being able to cut down to a weight like that. But first things first. We need to get your nutrition and training in order.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]FirstBlood wrote:
i am looking to bulk up to like 140-145 and get down to like 4% body fat.[/quote]

4% is close to on-stage bodybuilder condition.[/quote]

I hate to self-quote, but for comparison, this is Chris Darby. 5’5" and competing in the NPC bantamweight division (143 pounds).

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]FirstBlood wrote:
i am looking to bulk up to like 140-145 and get down to like 4% body fat.[/quote]

4% is close to on-stage bodybuilder condition.[/quote]

I hate to self-quote, but for comparison, this is Chris Darby. 5’5" and competing in the NPC bantamweight division (143 pounds).[/quote]

And he’s probably around 3% bodyfat and water depleted. And only stays in that condition for a day or two at a time. Just for perspective of how impossible it is to want to be anywhere close to that lean for extended time period.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]FirstBlood wrote:
my diet is random, lke whatever food is available

i waste a day on triceps and forearms

my diet is pretty bad because i am at college and i have to cook all my own food

i dont get the chance to go shopping frequently.

i recognize that i’m not in top form but i am big on dedication[/quote]

You sure about that last part? I’m seeing a lot of excuses, even though you do seem open to advice.

Keep things simple. Read this, and focus on the foods it suggests:

[/quote]

Very helpful link. As to your previous comment, yes i am sure i am a dedicated person.
i was saying that i want to FIX my diet
and that i guess i SHOULDNT waste a day on triceps

the fact that i have to cook all my meals and can’t go shopping to frequently is a restraint, not an excuse.

the link you provided said to stop working a single muscle group for a day.
What are more compound exercises I should do?
Which days should I do them?

Also, is there a sample bulking diet I can try that specifically spells out which meals to have when?

Thanks!