COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Although many of your members are time pressed, a new study shows that when it comes to lifting, results might just be worth the wait. According to a recent study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, rest periods of three minutes to five minutes are necessary to achieve the full benefit of resistance exercise for recreational lifters.
Researchers at the University of Kansas studied the effects of three rest-period lengths on subsequent set performance in 28 healthy men. All subjects had a minimum of eight-weeks resistance training experience. Men first completed one set of chest presses to fatigue and then were randomly assigned a rest period of one minute, three minutes or five minutes. Then the men performed another chest press set using the same weight, completing as many repetitions as possible.
Study results showed significantly fewer reps during the second set in all rest intervals; however, the total work performed during the second set was considerably less in the one-minute rest interval than with the three and five minute groups. Participants in the three- and five-minute grounds were still able to perform between eight to 12 reps, but those in the one-minute group were only able to perform four to six reps.
This study differs from previous research that examined highly trained weightlifters and bodybuilders where rest periods of one minute were enough for full muscle recovery. More research is needed to determine why the two populations need different amounts of rest.