Hitting the weight room every day can help carve out a lean physique, but it’s the rest time that’s spent between the sets that could expedite the progress. A study coming out of the University of Birmingham has found that extended rest intervals between sets could equate more muscle.
The study involved a group of healthy men who completed a weight-lifting workout with varying rest periods of either one mine or five minutes. Post-workout, muscle biopsies were taken and analyzed to determine myofibrillar protein synthesis (MPS) and intercellular signaling for each rest periods. Results: there was a 152 percent increase in MPS for those who took a longer rest period. Dr. Breen, a researcher from the University of Birmingham says, “With short rests of one minute, though the hormonal response is superior, the actual muscle response is blunted. If you’re looking for maximized muscle growth with your training program, a slightly longer interval between sets may provide a better chance of having the muscle response you’re looking for.”
With all that said, consider upping your rest time between sets to two to three minutes. But remember, rest periods will vary from person to person, depending on how long you’ve been training and what type of lifting program you’re following.