Weight and Resistance Training - Between sets

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06-16-2005, 05:30 PM
Someone has just mentioned to me that 3 minutes is the optimum time to pause between sets. Does anyone know of any evidence for that? And how long do you pause?

Whilst pausing, what do you do? Daydream? Make shopping lists? Other?? (I think you can tell that I sometimes design questionnaires!)

Yesterday was an abs day so I worked abs in with the lifting. It worked very well and I think I was able to do more abs work than usual. But not every day is an abs day, of course, and 3 minutes is quite a time just to hang around for someone as pressed for time as me!

Thanks everyone!

06-16-2005, 07:27 PM
I don't usually wait as long as 3 minutes, but I agree - what to do?? I take a few seconds after all my sets of an exercise to record the weight/reps, and then take a drink of water. Sometimes I adjust my MP3 player. Other times I look out the window, or at the other gym folk. This is when it's nice to have a partner to pass the time I guess. :) I like the idea of doing abs. I notice that my gym has moved the stability balls down to the larger weights area (larger in area; we have a smaller one upstairs with some machines that look like medieval torture devices, never have figured them out :lol: ). I've also read/heard that you can do abs every day as they don't need the rest - not that I'm inclined to do them that often, I'll skip them as often as I can. :D

06-16-2005, 09:39 PM
The only time I rest that long is if I'm doing power training with very high weight and low reps, working towards specific goals such as increasing my bench press numbers or when I was really working on heavy squat goals. Resting 3 to 5 minutes is really a powerlifting technique. For general lifting, if you are staying in the 10-15 rep range, I'd rest 45 seconds to a minute unless you are doing supersets or giant sets and need more time to recover.

If you are doing power training, your really need to REST. Read a magazine, set a stop watch. Otherwise, throw in a set of abs, people watch, plan your next exercise :)


06-16-2005, 10:46 PM
I think Mel is right on the money. I took a strength training class (when I was an undergraduate) and our instructor/certified trainer said that typically 45-60 seconds of rest between reps would be sufficient.

06-17-2005, 12:52 AM
I've never rested more than a minute unless someone comes over for a chit-chat which is rare.... I superset or is it compound set all the time .... let's say I work chest and triceps ... I will do a set of a chest exercise then go over and do tricep exercise, come back and do chest then back to tris, 3-4 times .... then on to the next chest/tri exercise ....

06-17-2005, 10:43 AM
I usually work out with a partner so only rest as long as it takes him to complete his set. He gets up, I'm back down doing my second set. Maybe 45 - 60 seconds?

I tell my clients to rest 30 - 60 seconds between sets and suggest stretching in the pause. So if we do a set of shoulder presses, they'll stretch shoulders in the break. Overhead extensions - triceps stretch. Lat pulldowns - back stretch, and so on. If you hold a stretch for 20 - 30 seconds per side, you're ready to go again when you're finished. :)

06-17-2005, 04:53 PM
Thanks, everyone. As you probably know, or have guessed, I'm not a power lifter! Not yet, anyway. 45 secs or so is just about what I'm doing at present.

I like the idea of stretching in between sets. Also working in with other exercises (Ilene's chest and triceps example). I'll have a go with those ideas tomorrow. It's a legs day ...