It doesn’t matter what you’re ultimate goal is; fat loss, strength gain or building muscle. In order to obtain either of these goals, working with the proper rest time while you’re exercising is a must.
Failing to work with the proper rest times for your goals during your workout could hinder tomorrow’s workout, cause injury or basically cause you to work your way into a plateau. Which is something that always should be avoided.
Say for example you’re looking specifically to lose fat. If you’re working out and taking 1 – 3 minute breaks between exercises, maybe trying to decide your next exercise, or taking too long to re-rack the weights, or socializing between sets; you’re not putting enough effort and work into your workout in order to obtain the fat loss you’re looking for.
The best way to enhance results is to know the goal that you’re aiming for, and stick with the proper rest time.
Your fitness goal could be…
|| to gain muscle ||
The best rest time would be short to moderate periods between sets, about 45 – 90 seconds. For building muscle I like to use supersets. A superset is where you combine two exercises together which target different muscle groups. You can change the set up of a superset while working on building muscle by combining two exercises which work the same area of the body, but targeting a different muscle.
example || like this workout.
This would cause you to stick the longer rest time of about 60 – 90 seconds between sets. If you’re working with one exercise at a time, I would stick to the 45 – 60 second rest time between sets.
Not sure what a “set” is? Find out here.
|| to lose body fat ||
The best, best, best way to lose fat is limited rest; pretty much continuous exercise with minimal rest (or no rest for that matter) such as circuit training.
You can also obtain excellent fat loss results by creating a superset of two compound exercises which work opposite body parts. Still keeping your rest time short and sweet, only allowing enough time to switch your weights or directly move to the next exercise. This type of training really helps to obtain fat loss, while blasting away calories because you’re constantly moving, and using the compound exercises to build muscle.
A compound exercise is an exercise that targets more than one muscle group;
such as a push up, a squat, or a deadlift.
I sometimes do this type of workout when I work legs and shoulders because these two body parts together create a killer workout! Try it! I’ve posted this workout which works legs and shoulders in a circuit style. It’s a little different because the workout isn’t using compound exercises, but the whole workout combines both legs and shoulders in every exercise.
I love combining weight training with my fat burning workout programs because the more you work your muscles (aka; lifting weights) means the more calories you burn at rest. What’s better than to prepare a workout which will blast fat and burn calories for up to 48 hours? 😉
|| to gain strength ||
If increasing strength is your ultimate goal you need to rest a lot longer between sets to allow both your central nervous system and muscles to relax. Usually resting anywhere between 3 to 5 minutes would be appropriate.
The rest time for this type of training is so long because you need to allow your muscles to fully recover from the previous set. If you fail to rest properly before moving into your next set, it will prevent your from being able to lift as heavy, or it could even slow muscle recovery which can/will affect your next workout.
Always Keep In Mind || Rest time for all goals can vary slightly depending
on the weight you’re lifting, how many sets you’re aiming for, and your body shape/size.
Although rest can sometimes be a little out of the above ranges I mentioned, sticking to the above guidelines for your goal will only help you!
|| but how to track time ? ||
Sometimes it can be annoying to track rest time. You really don’t have to watch the clock for the entire time you’re resting. If you’re in the gym, you can keep an eye on the wall clock, but coming from my experience, the clocks aren’t always in your view.
I like to wear my gymboss interval timer to keep track of rest times. During a fat loss program, I will set my timer for one round of 30 seconds for my rest period. After I complete each set, I start my timer and wait for it to go off. I keep it on vibrate so this way, after each rest round, my timer vibrates and I move into my next set.
If I’m in a muscle-building program, I will either go by the clock on the wall, or wear my timer and set it at 60 seconds rest, but if I’m working in a strength gaining program I don’t bother wearing my timer, I just go with what I think is the appropriate rest time while keeping an eye on the clock.
This type of strength training requires your muscles to be super relaxed, so I judge by how my muscles are feeling. Usually after 2 – 3 minutes of resting, you’ll tend to look like you aren’t working hard enough and people begin to stare….then they see the weight you’re about to lift and totally get it. 😉
I really hope this guideline helps you understand how to work with proper rest times for your specific goals. For those who are interested in working in a fat loss workout program, I have a new four-week workout plan which will be coming soon that I’ve been working on which is specific to fat loss. Be sure to bookmark Lushoius Lifts, follow me on Facebook or subscribe to Lushious Lifts and get all my new posts via email!