To Top


By Nathane L. Jackson, RHN, CSCS


Most of us would like to see greater muscle building returns from our workout investments. What if we gave you a way and it required you to do next to nothing?


Resting longer between sets is a key to greater muscle growth. Researchers from the University of Birmingham found when lifting weights using the typical one-minute rest interval recommendation, myofibrillar protein synthesis, or MPS, a process responsible for growth and multiplication of myofibrillars inside a muscle cell, wasn’t as stimulated as it was when there was a five-minute rest interval.

Volume (sets x reps x weight) is the main predictor of muscle growth. You might feel that you can increase volume by cramming more sets and reps into a training session as a result of resting less, but less than one-minute rest intervals don’t provide adequate recovery. This approach may increase metabolic stress and acute hormonal signaling, but if slightly longer rest intervals are used, more repetitions of the same weight (about 75% of 1RM) can be performed, increasing volume and doubling MPS. Basically, fatigue sets in quicker with short rest and you would continually lift fewer reps at the same weight with each subsequent set.

Longer rest periods are necessary for increasing strength and the same is true for building muscle according to recent studies. Research published in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found when they split participants into groups of either one-minute or three-minute rest intervals, participants in the group that rested longer not only experienced greater muscle growth, but also performed better on a one-repetition max lift.
It’s important to note that insufficient rest intervals, especially during sets of multi-joint exercises like squats and deadlifts, require more recovery time. Why? Because fatigue can lead to reduced postural integrity and poor body awareness.

While your muscles recover from a set, maximize gym time with a superset by adding an antagonist exercise or a mobility drill. For example, combine the bent over row with a chest press or work on mobilizing the hips. This way you’ll be working the whole time, but you won’t be overtaxing the muscles you just finished training.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Featured Post

  • Total Knockout!

    You already fell for Lindsay Christiansen with one simple glance. Are you man enough to dive into who she really is?...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 16, 2017
  • 9 Reasons To Take Branched-Chain Amino Acids

    If you are serious about your physique, you'll seriously want to give this supplement a look. By Sarah Butcher   BCAA:...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 16, 2017
  • The Spartan Chest Workout

    Add size and definition to your chest with this next level chest workout. By Raphael Konforti MS, CPT   History tells...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 13, 2017
  • Massive Gains From Head To Toe

    A total body overload plan for virtually guaranteed hypertrophy. By Sarah L. Chadwell, NASM-CPT   Broscience states that lifting heavy junk...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 13, 2017
  • Danny Hester: King of Consistency

    If you want results, you do the work. If you want to be one of the fittest men on the planet...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 12, 2017
  • Berry Blast!

    Make this shake for more power, greater gains and to boost your entire body into a muscle-building machine! By Maria Romano...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 12, 2017

    Tired of the same old chicken? Try this new take on the old standard from the comfort of your grill. By...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 11, 2017
  • Brain Stimulation Helps Battle Obesity

    The battle of the bulge has been raging for decades. Scientists constantly look for ways to help obese people return to...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 11, 2017
  • The Key To Fat Loss? Smell!

    Science just uncovered research that says the secret to losing weight is right under your nose! BY SARAH CHADWELL, NASM CPT...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 10, 2017