Shorter rest period between exercise sets is better for strength and muscle growth

Research has shown that a rest period of 1 minute in between exercises is best for strength and muscle growth.

Rest between exercisesResearchers from California investigated 22 older man (65 years and older) and looked at the effect of rest between exercise sets. The group was divided in two and each group had to perform the same 8 week workout routine. The first group had to take 4 minutes of rest in between each exercise set and the other group took only 1 minute of rest in between each set. During the 8 week workout routine, the researches measured the growth of strength and muscle mass and compared the two groups.

The optimal amount of rest in between exercise sets

Not surprisingly, both groups became stronger after the 8 week workout program, but the group who took only 1 minute of rest in between each exercise set was significantly stronger and grew more muscles!

The research clearly showed that both strength and muscle mass developed faster when a shorter rest period was taken while performing bench presses, leg presses, lat pull-downs and the stair climbers.

So, what does this mean for you?

A short rest period of 1 minute in between street workout sets, may be better than a longer rest period when it comes to building strength and muscle mass. But keep in mind that the research was applied to older man and the researcher only investigated a group of 22 persons. One cannot reliably draw the conclusion that the same effect will appear for younger man or women when performing street workout routines. The research has to be re-performed with a larger group and younger adult to draw stronger conclusions.

Reference: Villanueva, M. G., Lane, C. J., & Schroeder, E. T. (2014). Short rest interval lengths between sets optimally enhance body composition and performance with 8 weeks of strength resistance training in older men. European Journal of Applied Physiology, doi:10.1007/s00421-014-3014-7 [doi]