While may of the basic concepts for strength training can be applied to the art of building a "wild physique", the issue of rest in-between sets should not be one of them. That's because typically, rest periods of 3-5 minutes are considered correct for lifting what is regarded as “heavier” weights, which is where you do less than five reps per set. However, this low rep range is generally accepted by bodybuilders as pure strength training and therefore I, as well as many other more notable experts, believe this is really taking the long road to building a better body. In short (literally), if you rest too long in-between sets, you will not generate sufficient bodybuilding intensity from your workout to stimulate lean muscle gains.
To be clear, intensity is really dependent on the end goal, and for bodybuilders this is gauged by how much work you do in a given time frame. To maximize the concept of work-over-time, bodybuilders perform multiple sets of roughly 8-12 reps with an abbreviated rest period in-between sets. The result is "cumulative stress", which causes your muscles to increase in size and become visually more impactful than they would by simply increasing their capacity for pure strength.
The idea of more work, in less time, is a technique I learned from the late Vince Gironda, which is a google search every bodybuilder should explore if you’re really interested in maximizing your muscle building and fat loss program.
In more modern times, Mr. Olympia caliber bodybuilders like; Lee Labrada and Gunter Schlierkamp, to name a few, have used a very similar approach to the rest in-between sets plan you’ll see below. This seemingly "faster" style of training has worked for hundreds of bodybuilders who’ve wondered why they still look like weightlifters not bodybuilders––and yes, this includes with or without the help of illegal substances.
With that intro, here is what rest in-between sets looks like when you're training to build and maintain your best body ever.
- Rest only long enough to catch your breath in-between sets.
- The amount of time it takes you to catch your breath in-between sets is tightly related to the exercise you are performing.
- On small bodyparts like biceps or triceps, you can likely catch your breath in 30-45 seconds, maybe a minute.
- On large muscle groups like quads and back, or with multi-joint exercises like squats, bench press, or rows, especially when the reps are over 10, you will likely need 45 seconds up to a 3-minutes to catch your breath.
The key is to hit the next set so that you are fatiguing the target muscle group progressively with each successive set, but not so fast that you are outrunning your cardiovascular system. The tempo should make you breathe hard right after the set, but you should recover enough breath so that your heart isn’t jumping out of your chest.
As a last bit of advice, listen to what one of the all-time best bodybuilders, Lee Labrada says on the subject of training fast; “Don’t worry if your poundages actually go down as this is common because the intensity is increasing early in the workout, within the first few sets. Hence, the muscle will be tired towards the end of the workout, which will diminish your ability to perform repetitions. Once your body adapts to the pace, you should quickly be able to go back up on the poundages”.
I could not have said it better Lee, that's why I quoted him.
Information provided on this blog is solely for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing of any medications or supplements.
Please consult your healthcare provider before starting any supplement, diet or exercise program, before taking any medications or receiving treatment, particularly if you are currently under medical care. Make sure you carefully read all product labeling and packaging prior to use. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, do not take any supplements without first consulting and obtaining the approval of your healthcare provider.
© 2011 Vince Andrich Real BodyBuilding, Vince Andrich Uncensored, & www.vandrich.com. All Rights Reserved.