T Nation

Rest Periods

If you were trying to do 3 sets of 8 reps with a minutes rest in between but could only do say 8, 6 and 5 reps would you increase the rest period in between the sets so as to hit the right rep range or just keep the rest period the same until you could hit the right reps somewhat later down the line in your training?

As cliche as it is, the answer to this question really depends upon your goals. If your goal is strength (which would probably mean a longer rest period to begin with) then you should definately lengthen the rest period and hit your desired rep range.

However, assuming based on your set/rep scheme and rest period that your goal is general conditioning or fat loss then I personally would stick to the rest period plan and try every session to get one more rep than the previous. Once you complete your 3 sets of 8 reps with these rest periods, then I would up the weight and progress in this manner until progress stops.

[quote]Norvegicus wrote:
If you were trying to do 3 sets of 8 reps with a minutes rest in between but could only do say 8, 6 and 5 reps would you increase the rest period in between the sets so as to hit the right rep range or just keep the rest period the same until you could hit the right reps somewhat later down the line in your training?[/quote]

I’d start by lowering the weight a little. Its unlikely that you’ll get 3 sets of 8 using your 8 rep max (which is what it looks like youre doing)…even if you rested 3 minutes.Start out with a weight you can lift for 10 reps and rest 90-120 seconds between sets is what i’d say.

I disagree with Skull crusher. That way would mean you did 1-2 warm ups and MAYBE 1 work set. … This idea is ok for 8-10 sets in an exercise, but not for such only 3.
In my personal opinion that is.

I WOULD use an 8RM and keep at it until you managed to complete all 3 sets, then with a new, higher 8RM - do it all over again.

Joe

I see no reason to do 3 sets with the same weight, maybe unless you’re working on form. Do a progressive warm up about 2-3 sets, then lift that 8rep weight for as many reps as you can before failure. When you can do 10, add a small amount next workout.