When it comes to resistance training, the rest periods between sets can have a significant impact on your results. While it’s important to allow your muscles to recover, taking too long of a break can actually hinder your progress. So, is stopping between reps a bad thing? Let’s explore the optimal rest intervals for different training goals.

Muscular Endurance

If your aim is to improve muscular endurance, the National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends 30-second rest intervals between sets. This helps keep your heart rate elevated and your muscles working continuously, which is essential for endurance-based training.

Muscle Growth

For those looking to build muscle mass, a moderate rest period of 30-90 seconds between sets is suitable. This allows for some recovery while still keeping the muscles under tension and metabolically stressed, which is key for hypertrophy.

Strength and Power

When training for strength or power, longer rest periods of 2-5 minutes are recommended. This gives your muscles enough time to replenish their energy stores and prepare for the next heavy lift. Rushing through these sets with insufficient rest can compromise your performance and increase the risk of injury.

It’s important to note that while stopping between reps is generally fine, it’s best to keep those breaks short, around 3 seconds or less. Consistently going over 10-15 seconds can cause your heart rate to drop out of the optimal zone, reducing the effectiveness of your workout.

Ultimately, the ideal rest period depends on your specific training goals and the demands of the exercise. Experiment with different intervals and pay attention to how your body responds. By finding the right balance, you can maximize the benefits of your resistance training and achieve your fitness objectives.

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