I’m interested in how people handle their rest periods between sets. Recently, I’ve been having trouble progressing without increasing my rest periods, but at the same time a part of me feels like that’s not real progress because I’m not so stronger, just better rested.
It is complicated by the fact that when I was in my twenties I never rested longer than two minutes between sets. Back then weight lifting was, for me, cross training for martial arts and everyone I knew thought my 300 pound bench and 500 pound leg press were pretty impressive (I know better now), so I was happy.
However, lots of life stuff happened so I lost years of lifting. Now I’ve been back into it a while, and my bench + squat + dead lift = 1008, but I’m in my mid-40s and rest three minutes between benches and squats and 4 minutes between dead lifts. I feel like I’m pressing up against a ceiling, and the only way to break it is to rest four minutes between squats and five between dead lifts, but a voice in the back of my mind is guilt tripping me, saying that’s cheating all over again.