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Rest periods for weight lifting watch

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    Is there any evidence that trying to reduce your rest periods to being as small as they can possibly be without compromising on form (or decreasing the weight obviously) gives better results?
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    instead of worrying whether it gives better results or not why not try it yourself and see what happens :facepalm2:

    IMO if youre at the gym not timing your rest youre wasting your own time and not really maximising your results.
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    The only "better" approach is one that works best for you. Some programs focus on heavy weight, taking a good amount of rest between sets for maximal overload on each set due the weight being heavy, while others focus more on very short rests. Both work when done correctly, and progressive overload will always be at the forefront of any good routine since building muscle is stimulate-adapt-grow process.
    Let's look at some examples by looking at extremes on both end of the scale:

    Dorian Yates HIT focuses on using heavy weights and training to absolute failure, ramping up to one working set finished with a set extender. Dorian states in several videos when asked about rest periods between sets, just as long as is needed to recover in preparation for the next set - no more, no less, but most people will need 2-3 minutes between sets on upper body exercises and up to 5 minutes on big lower body exercises. The progressive overload principle in this case is simply to improve on your last workout in terms of reps performed before reaching failure, then increasing the weight; rest periods aren't really tinkered with.

    On the other end of the spectrum, we have programs like those by Vince Gironda, known as "density" training. Density focuses more on completing more work in a shorter amount of time as a means of progressive overload. In one of his most popular style of training, 6x6, you start with your 12RM and perform 6 sets of 6 reps on that exercise, with the same weight; the sets get progressively harder due to fatigue, and to begin with you only rest for 30 seconds between sets. Once you can complete all 6 reps of all 6 sets, you decrease the rest periods by 5 seconds each. You continue this process until you eventually arrive at 15 second rest periods between sets! Then once you can complete all 6 sets, you increase the weight and start the process over from 30 second rests. Again, progressive overload is a major factor and ensures continued progress.

    Both approaches are proven to work; the heavy weight, big basic movements, maximal effort as seen in programs like HIT is the basis for a lot of programs. On the other end the density style training, which was used on athletes in the pre-steroid era and is responsible for the creation of many great natural physiques, including the likes of Vince Gironda's himself and Steve Reeves (who it's still unclear as to whether or not was a steroid user as their physique enhancing effects were only just being discoverd at the time), and then used by many of the steroid-using pro bodybuilders of later decades including Serge Nubret and Mohammed Makkawy.

    If you're a beginner (training less than a couple of years) then I'd recommend the more heavier basic approach.
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    If you can decrease the rest periods without compromising on weight, reps or form then clearly it's just lazy not to. Lazy training is less effective, yes. I would know.
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    (Original post by WoodyMKC)
    The only "better" approach is one that works best for you. Some programs focus on heavy weight, taking a good amount of rest between sets for maximal overload on each set due the weight being heavy, while others focus more on very short rests. Both work when done correctly, and progressive overload will always be at the forefront of any good routine since building muscle is stimulate-adapt-grow process.
    Let's look at some examples by looking at extremes on both end of the scale:

    Dorian Yates HIT focuses on using heavy weights and training to absolute failure, ramping up to one working set finished with a set extender. Dorian states in several videos when asked about rest periods between sets, just as long as is needed to recover in preparation for the next set - no more, no less, but most people will need 2-3 minutes between sets on upper body exercises and up to 5 minutes on big lower body exercises. The progressive overload principle in this case is simply to improve on your last workout in terms of reps performed before reaching failure, then increasing the weight; rest periods aren't really tinkered with.

    On the other end of the spectrum, we have programs like those by Vince Gironda, known as "density" training. Density focuses more on completing more work in a shorter amount of time as a means of progressive overload. In one of his most popular style of training, 6x6, you start with your 12RM and perform 6 sets of 6 reps on that exercise, with the same weight; the sets get progressively harder due to fatigue, and to begin with you only rest for 30 seconds between sets. Once you can complete all 6 reps of all 6 sets, you decrease the rest periods by 5 seconds each. You continue this process until you eventually arrive at 15 second rest periods between sets! Then once you can complete all 6 sets, you increase the weight and start the process over from 30 second rests. Again, progressive overload is a major factor and ensures continued progress.

    Both approaches are proven to work; the heavy weight, big basic movements, maximal effort as seen in programs like HIT is the basis for a lot of programs. On the other end the density style training, which was used on athletes in the pre-steroid era and is responsible for the creation of many great natural physiques, including the likes of Vince Gironda's himself and Steve Reeves (who it's still unclear as to whether or not was a steroid user as their physique enhancing effects were only just being discoverd at the time), and then used by many of the steroid-using pro bodybuilders of later decades including Serge Nubret and Mohammed Makkawy.

    If you're a beginner (training less than a couple of years) then I'd recommend the more heavier basic approach.
    Thanks for this btw, I hadn't considered progressively decreasing rest periods as a form of overload.

    (Original post by trapking)
    instead of worrying whether it gives better results or not why not try it yourself and see what happens :facepalm2:IMO if youre at the gym not timing your rest youre wasting your own time and not really maximising your results.


    This is idiotic.

    I could suggest to you that lifting whilst wearing a pink tutu would give better gains and tell you to just try it and see.
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    (Original post by Masih ad-Dajjal)
    Thanks for this btw, I hadn't considered progressively decreasing rest periods as a form of overload.
    There are several forms of overload mate, overload basically is just doing more over time however it's achieved. Here's a nice copy-pasta that detail all the practical approaches:
    • Lifting the same load for increased distance (range of motion)
    • Lifting the same load and volume with better form, more control, and less effort (efficiency)
    • Lifting the same load for more reps (volume)
    • Lifting heavier loads (intensity of load)
    • Lifting the same load and volume with less rest time in between sets (density)
    • Lifting a load with more speed and acceleration (intensity of effort)
    • Doing more work in the same amount of time (density)
    • Doing the same work in less amount of time (density)
    • Doing more sets with the same load and reps (volume)
    • Lifting the same load and volume more often throughout the week (frequency)
    • Doing the same work while losing body mass (increased relative volume)
    • Lifting the same load and volume and then extending the set past technical failure with forced reps, negatives, drop sets, static holds, rest pause, partial reps, or post-exhaustion (intensity of effort)

    Obviously, the only one that's really sustainable is increasing the weight over time - you can't keep decreasing rest periods until there are none left, or keep increasing the reps until you're doing 50, or adding a set each time you can complete them all until you're doing 50+ sets per workout, as they'll all stop producing results. However, a combination between increasing weights and one or maybe two other methods works well - the most common combination being increasing reps, then subsequently increasing weight. As also pointed out in my other post, decreasing rests and then increasing weight is also an efficient combo. Most of the above will work well when combined with increases in weight on the bar when a certain parameter is set and then reached.
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    (Original post by WoodyMKC)
    There are several forms of overload mate, overload basically is just doing more over time however it's achieved. Here's a nice copy-pasta that detail all the practical approaches:
    • Lifting the same load for increased distance (range of motion)
    • Lifting the same load and volume with better form, more control, and less effort (efficiency)
    • Lifting the same load for more reps (volume)
    • Lifting heavier loads (intensity of load)
    • Lifting the same load and volume with less rest time in between sets (density)
    • Lifting a load with more speed and acceleration (intensity of effort)
    • Doing more work in the same amount of time (density)
    • Doing the same work in less amount of time (density)
    • Doing more sets with the same load and reps (volume)
    • Lifting the same load and volume more often throughout the week (frequency)
    • Doing the same work while losing body mass (increased relative volume)
    • Lifting the same load and volume and then extending the set past technical failure with forced reps, negatives, drop sets, static holds, rest pause, partial reps, or post-exhaustion (intensity of effort)
    Obviously, the only one that's really sustainable is increasing the weight over time - you can't keep decreasing rest periods until there are none left, or keep increasing the reps until you're doing 50, or adding a set each time you can complete them all until you're doing 50+ sets per workout, as they'll all stop producing results. However, a combination between increasing weights and one or maybe two other methods works well - the most common combination being increasing reps, then subsequently increasing weight. As also pointed out in my other post, decreasing rests and then increasing weight is also an efficient combo. Most of the above will work well when combined with increases in weight on the bar when a certain parameter is set and then reached.
    It all makes a lot of sense now you mention it, of course I will probably go for the usual combo of decreasing rest periods and increasing the weight. Previously I would increase the weight, but I really do need to standardise or at least regulate rest periods


    The second bullet point amused me slightly, you get guys who are really strong on paper but have appalling form and don't perform the full range of motion and they look small physically despite how arrogant they are and despite the time they spend lifting.
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    (Original post by Masih ad-Dajjal)
    It all makes a lot of sense now you mention it, of course I will probably go for the usual combo of decreasing rest periods and increasing the weight. Previously I would increase the weight, but I really do need to standardise or at least regulate rest periods


    The second bullet point amused me slightly, you get guys who are really strong on paper but have appalling form and don't perform the full range of motion and they look small physically despite how arrogant they are and despite the time they spend lifting.
    Yeah I prefer to keep my rest periods between sets at 2 minutes, who's to say that if I was stronger on one workout than I was the previous one that it wasn't because I rested for longer between sets this time?

    Haha yep Links to the first point as well, if you think it's easy partial-repping on the bench then try increasing the range of motion and do it properly, then it won't be so easy Do love it when I see the "swingers" doing their cheat-curls with a 50kg bar strutting around like they're Hercules after their set, then I come along and curl 60kg with strict form and then look at them in the mirror when I catch them mirin' with a look that says "Yep, that's why my arms are twice as big as yours, I'm actually training my biceps and not my back "
 
 
 
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