Rest Periods Should Reflect Your Goals
Rest periods are one of the most commonly misused and abused aspects to a workout program. There isn’t a “perfect” rest period for everyone and the truth is that your own “perfect” rest period will vary from session to session.
With that being said, its still important to keep in mind the roundabout rest times based on your training goal. If you’re trying to deadlift 3x bodyweight its probably not in your best interest to only rest 30sec between sets.
As a beginner I like to recommend using the general “industry standard” type guidelines listed here. I do this because:
When you’re just starting out, you don’t really *know* your limits for better or for worse so timing the period can help ensure a good workout and more importantly, athlete safety.
Secondly, it is imperative to learn how your body responds to training. In most cases it takes a few training cycles to really feel out just how much you can do and how fast you can do it while still being able to recover from sessions (if you want to nerd out, look up the term Max Recoverable Volume (MRV), I’ve been reading/studying a ton about this from @rpstrength).
Faster does not always equal better. I’d argue that a little longer rest period with more total volume lifted would win the results battle 9/10 times. But, thats why it is important to figure out your baseline before you start making those judgment calls for yourself.
A general rule of thumb is that when you’re training for metabolic conditioning/endurance and for hypertrophy (lean mass gains) that loads will be lighter and rest shorter. On the flip side, general strength training and max strength training will have less volume (reps, anyway) and much longer rest times that allow you to give complete maximal effort every time.
Work on finding your rest time sweet spots this week!
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