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Rest Periods for Heavy Lifting

I’ve always followed the guideline of resting 3-5 minutes between sets when doing heavy lifting.

Supposedly a minimum of three minutes rest is needed to rebuild ATP and allow the CNS to recuperate.

I’ve recently started to wonder if it would make any difference if I rested less than three minutes when lifting heavy.

As long as I rest enough to finish a set, does it matter how long I rest?

For example, if I do ten heavy singles with three minutes rest, would it make a difference in my training if I did ten heavy singles with two minutes rest?

We might need more information how heavy your lifting and what exercise you are performing. What % of max are you doing and at what pace/tempo, if any.

[quote]basementD wrote:
For example, if I do ten heavy singles with three minutes rest, would it make a difference in my training if I did ten heavy singles with two minutes rest?
[/quote]

If you can do ten singles with two-three minutes rest in between sets the weight that you are lifting is not ‘HEAVY’…

For me within 2-3 minutes I feel ready to lift again when doing singles. But there have been studies done to show many weight trained individuals are capable of doing singles with 1 minute rest.

http://nsca.allenpress.com/nscaonline/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1519%2F1533-4287(2003)017<0634:EORILO>2.0.CO%3B2

On a heavy bench day 3-5 rep range, I would defiantly say you need 3-5 min rest especially when you are lifting 85-100% of you max. This will allow for full recovery so you can do the same weight again for another 3-5reps. Now on a lighter day 8-12 reps, 12-15 for some people, it is good to rest 60-90 seconds between sets. Why? Because this recruits new muscle fibbers to come into action, this is because of the short rest periods you will be fatiguing the main muscle fibbers and forcing new fibbers to help lift the weight.

This is also the same procedure that can be followed for all other lifts.

The 3-5 minute window is not for both the CNS and chemical recovery, just chemical recovery.Check out Poliquin of CT’s black book for details…

[quote]Aaron Avila wrote:
We might need more information how heavy your lifting and what exercise you are performing. What % of max are you doing and at what pace/tempo, if any.[/quote]

90-95% of max

[quote]earthshaker wrote:
For me within 2-3 minutes I feel ready to lift again when doing singles. But there have been studies done to show many weight trained individuals are capable of doing singles with 1 minute rest.

http://nsca.allenpress.com/nscaonline/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1519%2F1533-4287(2003)017<0634:EORILO>2.0.CO%3B2[/quote]

Thanks for the link earthshaker. I am thinking of shortening my rest periods to conserve time, since time isn’t a luxury for me these days.

[quote]mastemah wrote:
The 3-5 minute window is not for both the CNS and chemical recovery, just chemical recovery.Check out Poliquin of CT’s black book for details…[/quote]

So how long does it take for the CNS to recover? The CNS is what you use when lifting heavy, right?

And is chemical recovery needed for when you are lifting lighter weights?

A Powerlifting friend of mine swears by long rest periods between singles, doubles and triples. I have timed them before in the Gym and they range from 6:00 on the short side to almost 9:00!

Naturally I rag on him telling him how many sets that I do while he is just sitting there. His response: “Can you Deadlift over three times your body weight?” My answer…um, no (looking down at the ground). Hey, I can’t argue with results.