Lee Labrada explains Rest Period Between Sets
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Today's "Ask Lee", comes from Joey Smith, Pittsburgh
Q: Dear Lee, I'm still confused about how long they should be resting between sets of exercises. Is there an optimal amount of rest time that I should take between sets? Thanks in advance.
A: Joey, the amount of time that you rest between sets determines to a large extent, how much the target muscle group you're training will recover, before you subject it to the loads and stress of the next set of exercises.
Your goal during a workout should be to progressively tire out your muscles more and more with each successive set. The optimal cadence for doing this is a training pace that ensures the muscle tires out, but not so fast that you run out of breath.
Let me explain. If I do a set of squats and I go all out, I may be breathing very hard for a couple of minutes. If I start the next set of squats before I've fully caught my breath, I will exceed my cardiovascular capacity, before I have fully tired out my legs. In other words, I'll run out of breath before my legs run out of steam.
A good rule of thumb is to rest long enough to catch your breath after a set before you begin your next set.
This will normally work out to be about a minute of rest for smaller body parts like arms, and about 2 minutes for larger body parts like legs or back.
But don't rest any longer than you have to, because if you do, your muscles will recover too much of their original strength levels before you perform your next set, and that's counter-productive too.
So again, the rule of thumb is to rest long enough to catch your breath after a set before you begin your next set.
I hope that's helpful.
I'm Lee Labrada, Your Lean Body Coach. Stay lean and stay strong.
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