Monday, July 04, 2016

Extended rest between weight lifting sets could help muscle growth

I read a study some years ago that found that people gained strength faster if they exercised every other day than if they exercised every day.

Public Release: 3-May-2016
Extended rest between weight lifting sets could help muscle growth
University of Birmingham

Researchers from the University of Birmingham have found that extended rest intervals between sets of weight-lifting could help with muscle growth.

The findings, published in Experimental Physiology, go against the conventional belief that favours shorter periods of rest. The study highlights that short rest intervals may actually impair the processes that control muscle growth.


16 males completed resistance exercises interspersed by either one minute or five minutes of rest. Muscle biopsies were obtained at 0, 4, 24 and 28 hours post-exercise and analysed to determine myofibrillar protein synthesis (MPS) and intercellular signalling.

In the early part of recovery, the increase in MPS from resting levels was two-fold greater in those with longer rest periods. They saw a 152% increase, versus 76% increase in those with short rest intervals.

Dr Leigh Breen, from the University of Birmingham, explained, "With short rests of one minute, though the hormonal response is superior, the actual muscle response is blunted. If you're looking for maximised muscle growth with your training programme, a slightly longer interval between sets may provide a better chance of having the muscle response you're looking for."

The team recommend that novices starting out on weight training programs should take sufficient rest, of at least 2-3 minutes, between weight lifting sets.


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