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18.07.2016


Progress with short rests between sets - the familiarisation factor

Bodybuilders and other strength athletes can optimise their progression by resting for two minutes between sets, we wrote recently. But if you're short of time that might not work. There is a solution we read about in a 2010 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. If you give yourself the time to get used to shorter rests, you can make just as much progression with short rests as with two-minute rests.

Study
The researchers got two groups of 10 students, all of whom were experienced strength athletes, to follow almost identical training schemes for 8 weeks. The difference between the schemes was in the rests between the sets. One group kept to consistent rests of 2 minutes, while the other group gradually reduced the time they rested. The table below shows how they did that.


Bodybuilders and other strength athletes can optimise their progression by resting for two minutes between sets, we wrote recently. But if you're short of time that might not work. There is a solution we read about in a 2010 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. If you give yourself the time to get used to shorter rests, you can make just as much progression with short rests as with two-minute rests.


Progress with short rests between sets  the familiarisation factor


The researchers made scans see the examples above of the cross sectional area (CSA) of the students' arm and thigh muscles before and after the training period. In addition, the researchers measured the subjects' maximal strength before and after the training period.

Results
The training volume of the subjects who shortened their rests remained constant; the training volume of the other group increased. But the students who gradually shortened their rests built up the same amount of muscle mass and strength as the subjects in the other group.


Progress with short rests between sets  the familiarisation factor


Progress with short rests between sets - the familiarisation factor


Conclusion
"The results of this study showed no significant differences in maximal strength or muscle size over 8 weeks of training using either a constant rest period length (2 minutes0 between sets and exercises or a decreasing rest period length (2 minutes decreased to 30 seconds)", the researchers summarised.

"Thus, a weight training program using decreasing rest periods between sets and exercises for at least short training periods can be used to bring about the same adaptations in strength and muscle hypertrophy as a constant rest period resistance training program."

Source:
J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jul;24(7):1843-50.

More:
Taking 2-min rest between strength training sets works better than 1-min rest 26.06.2016
Five minutes rest between sets = maximal strength gain 03.08.2010
Rest periods of 2 or 5 minutes between sets? It makes no difference to muscle growth 20.07.2010

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