30 seconds? 1 minute? A quick chat with a friend? How long we rest between sets has an impact on how fast our muscles recover and grow.
A team of researchers fitness has recently carried out a systematic review on the question of how long should we really rest between sets. They looked at all published that measured muscle mass for longer than a month and compared rest intervals of less and more than a minute.
So what did they find? It seems that more than 60 seconds rest between sets leads to better muscle growth hypertrophy when compared to shorter rest periods. More rest simply enables a higher total volume.
It also seems that there is a difference between those who are just starting out a workout routine and those who are more experienced. Those with more training experience benefit more from longer rest periods. The newbies, however, make good progress independent of how long they choose to rest.
So, basically, if you are new to the gym, rest as much as you need to ensure completing the entire routine. For those who are well-trained, lifting to failure, and then resting for up to 3 minutes seems to result in better muscle growth.