Rest Time Between Sets for Muscle Development

Question: I noticed that I was very tired when I kept it short between sets, but when I kept it a little longer I could always perform more. Now, is it a good thing to get tired quicker or rest longer?

Answer: It is difficult to answer this question without knowing your goals for your training. I constantly change the rest periods between sets, especially when I train women who strive for certain areas such as legs to be muscular.

When you keep the rest periods less (about 30 seconds), you will achieve the aerobic fat burning effect of lifting weights. Generally, this is like a cyclic operating system.

To be honest, I have not used this kind of training system much, although I have followed a path aimed at gaining mass. In my opinion, a lot of people struggle to burn a lot of fat by building some muscle mass and taking advantage of cardio.

Those who want to gain a lot of mass can remove cardio from the first phase of their training program and focus only on optimal rest time to build muscle. However, that shouldn’t mean you stop cardio completely. In fact, Vince Delmonte recommends that at the No Nonsense Muscle Building, you initially gain some muscle mass and do cardio after training.

So, what is the optimal rest period between sets to gain muscle mass?

Rest Time Between Sets for Muscle Development

If you keep the rest period of 1 minute or more, it tends to give the body a greater opportunity to get the maximum effect on muscle development from weight training. By allowing the oxygen reservoirs to be replenished between sets, you ensure the chance for other future sets to deliver as much instant energy to the body as possible. This means more weight lifting and maximum muscle development.

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There is also the fact that you can keep the recovery time longer depending on your training intensity. But keep in mind that the average rest time between sets is 1-2 minutes.


  • Timothy P. Carnes

    Timothy P. Carnes is a certified personal trainer with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from the University of Florida. With over 8 years of experience in the fitness industry, Timothy is an expert in strength and conditioning, body composition, and overall health and wellness. He also holds certifications in strength and conditioning through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and corrective exercise through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). As an author at FitGAG, he shares his knowledge and expertise on a variety of topics, including strength training, body composition, and overall health and wellness tips. Timothy believes that consistency and discipline are the keys to achieving fitness goals, and he strives to inspire his readers to prioritize their fitness and wellness journey. Through his articles, Timothy aims to empower his readers to take control of their health, enhance their performance, and live their best lives.

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