Should You Use Short or Long Rest Periods Between Sets?

Buresh 2009 Study: The Effect of Resistive Exercise Rest Interval on Hormonal Response, Strength, and hypertrophy with Training

TLDR Version
Use 60-90 sec rest periods instead of 3 min because:

(1) Time – you will spend way less in the gym
(2) Injury – less likely to hurt yourself because you can’t lift as heavy with short rest periods
(3) Results – little difference in strength or size

SUMMARY
This study compared two different rest intervals:

Short Rest (SR) 2-3 sets of 10 reps with 1 min rest
Long Rest (LR) 2-3 sets of 10 reps with 2.5 min rest


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Short vs Long Rest: Which is Better for Body Composition

Villanueva 2015 Study: Short Rest Interval Lengths Between Sets Optimally Enhance Body Composition and Performance with 8 weeks of Strength Resistance Training in Older Men

TLDR Version
1 min rest periods produced superior results compared to 4 min in older men:

(1) Time – they spent way less time in the gym
(2) Results (Strength) – Stronger Bench, Leg Press, Pulldown
(3) Results (Body Composition) – lost more Body Fat, Gained more Muscle

SUMMARY
This study compared two different Rest Intervals in older men:

Short (1 minute) 2-3 sets of 4-6 reps with 1 min rest
Long (4 minutes) 2-3 sets of 4-6 reps with 4 min rest


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How Long Should You Rest Between Sets to Generate the Most Testosterone

Villanueva 2012 Study: Influence of Rest Interval Length on Acute Testosterone and Cortisol Responses to Volume-Load-Equated Total Body Hypertrophic and Strength Protocols

TLDR Version
The lower your “Rest to Work” Ratio is the more testosterone you generate

(1) More work (time under tension) = more testosterone
(2) Less rest between sets = more testosterone

I suggest:
(A) 60 sec rest periods to generate the most testosterone
(B) 8-10 reps to generate the most most testosterone

SUMMARY
This study compared four different training protocols:

Hypertrophy Training (3 sets of 10 reps) with 60 sec rest
Hypertrophy Training (3 sets of 10 reps) with 90 sec rest
Strength Training (8 sets of 3 reps) with 60 sec rest
Strength Training (8 sets of 3 reps) with 90 sec rest


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Short vs Long Rest Periods: Effects on Hormones, Strength, and Size

Ahtiainen 2005 Study: Short vs. long rest period between the sets in hypertrophic resistance training: influence on muscle strength, size, and hormonal adaptations in trained men

 

TLDR Version
Short rest is better than Long rest periods because:

(1) Time – you will spend way less time in the gym
(2) Testosterone – You produce more Testosterone with less rest
(3) Results – no difference in strength or size

SUMMARY
This study compared two different training protocols:

Short Rest (SR)(2min) 5×10 Leg Pres, 4×10 Smith Machine Squats
Long Rest (LR)(5min) 4×10 Leg Press (+15% weight), 3×10 Smith Machine Squats (+30% weight)


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Bodybuilding vs Powerlifting: Which Builds more Muscle and Strength

Schoenfeld 2014 Study: Effects of different volume-equated resistance training loading strategies on muscular adaptations in well-trained men

TLDR Version
Use 60-90 sec rest periods instead of 3 min because:

(1) Time – you will spend way less in the gym
(2) Injury – less likely to hurt yourself because you can’t lift as heavy with short rest periods
(3) Results – little difference in strength or size

SUMMARY
This study compared two different training protocols:

Hypertrophy Training (HT) 3 sets of 10 reps with 90 sec rest
Strength Training (ST) 7 sets of 3 reps with 3 min rest


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