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Rest Time Between Sets?

Over the years, I have always read the rest times between sets should be minimal for maximum intensity and growth. somewhere in the range of 30-90 seconds depending on the exercise.

Now that I’m getting older, I can’t quite keep up with those time frames and have begun to extend my rest times. I am currently resting somewhere close to 2.5 to 3 minutes between sets. Since I began doing this, a funny thing happened that goes against everything I’ve read…I’v e gotten significantly stronger (bench up 60+ pounds in 3 months with noticeably added muscle bulk) and I can do many more reps each set. I am currently doing my own modified version of the 100+ rep routine with a sample as follows:

set 1 180 lbs X 50 reps
set 2 195 x 25 reps
set 3 210 x 15 reps
set 4 225 x 15 reps
set 5 240 x 15 reps
set 6 255 x 10 reps
set 7 270 x 5 reps
set 8 285 x 3 reps

YES that is 8 sets and 130 some reps for my flat bench routine. In three months I’ve gone from benching 280 max to 340 max. Between sets, I’m resting up to 3 minutes and each subsequent set I feel rested and fairly fresh and can crank out heavier weight and more sets much easier than resting for 60 to 90 seconds.

These are my current weights. When I started my first set was in the 150 -160 lb X 50 range and would end after about the 5th set.

Has anyone had similar experience and if so, why have I never heard this mentioned. In theory, I understand this and it makes since that the more rested I am the more weight and reps I should be able to do. I am amazed, however about the significant strength gains and muscle I have added in a short amount of time doing this.

What are other experienced lifters thoughts on this?

The basic rule I’m aware of is that for building muscle, the higher the reps, the longer the rest period. So anything above 12 reps should be 2min or more.

On your huge pyramid, I would start off with more rest and eventually shave it down. Especially with the crazy number of high repetition sets you’ve got there.

[quote]Majin wrote:
The basic rule I’m aware of is that for building muscle, the higher the reps, the longer the rest period. So anything above 12 reps should be 2min or more.

On your huge pyramid, I would start off with more rest and eventually shave it down. Especially with the crazy number of high repetition sets you’ve got there.[/quote]

Rest-pause sets may be an exception, but I always thought it was the other way around. It is low rep sets which require the most rest.

[quote]hYperTrOphY_07 wrote:
Rest-pause sets may be an exception, but I always thought it was the other way around. It is low rep sets which require the most rest. [/quote]

Yep. This is too what I’ve always used. You try backing up to a 3RM with 30secs rest. It’s not going to happen.

[quote]Majin wrote:
The basic rule I’m aware of is that for building muscle, the higher the reps, the longer the rest period. So anything above 12 reps should be 2min or more.

On your huge pyramid, I would start off with more rest and eventually shave it down. Especially with the crazy number of high repetition sets you’ve got there.[/quote]

I was under the impression that the more intense the set (The higher the weight) the more you needed to recover from it.

You do a heavy set of 5, and I mean 5 reps was all you could get, its gonna be impossible to only wait 30 seconds to get back in the game.

There’s aerobic recovery and muscular recovery (cns. ATP, LA, etc.) between sets.

Generally, I require more of both kinds for higher rep sets though it can be a mixed bag depending on what’s being worked.

Heavy calf raises don’t get me as winded, but need more time than other groups because of lactic acid buildup.

My muscles seem ready quicker from a set of squats, but I need more time to catch my breath.

Just as a fer instance.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
I was under the impression that the more intense the set (The higher the weight) the more you needed to recover from it.

You do a heavy set of 5, and I mean 5 reps was all you could get, its gonna be impossible to only wait 30 seconds to get back in the game.[/quote]

That’s for pure maximal strength, I specifically mentioned size.

Longer rests = better performance during a set, whether you train with low reps or high reps. I would think that’s obvious.

Conventional wisdom says that the most effective training routine is the one you’re not doing. If the OP never trained in this style before, it may be that he’s seeing good gains from changing his routine to something very different.