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Thread: A quick question about rep, set & rest?

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    A quick question about rep, set & rest?

    I was wondering how much rest between sets do you take? I take 120sec b/c that's worked-out fine but I'm wondering if anyone does less. Also, I usually ramp up sets by 10-20lbs from 70% 1RM till I can barely get in my last rep of the last set which is usually 4-6 sets b4 I do clusters. I figure the intesity would be sufficient & I don't want to jump straight to heavy & end up doing only 2 sets. I was wondering if that's how you guys ramp up or if some do it differently b/c sometimes it takes long & I decide to cut some easier exercises like dips/ chins down to 3 sets. Does that make sense. I focus on ramping for major muslce group exercises like dead, bench & squat then cut down for more isolated exercises.

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    Sounds fine to me, the bigger lifts will work your smaller muscles also so cutting down sets on isolation exercises would be fine. Also 120 sec is fine between sets, as Dan says in the program that you can have 2 minutes max. Just make sure the rest between clusters is 30 seconds max

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    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greemah View Post
    Just make sure the rest between clusters is 30 seconds max
    I think that's more of a suggestion, rather than a hardline rule.

    I rest for 60 seconds when I'm doing clusters with my squats, 30 seconds just isn't enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercuryblade View Post
    I think that's more of a suggestion, rather than a hardline rule.

    I rest for 60 seconds when I'm doing clusters with my squats, 30 seconds just isn't enough.
    Wouldn't keeping it 30 seconds or less be important for the hypertrophy aspect of the program? Hmm might need Dan's input here

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    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greemah View Post
    Wouldn't keeping it 30 seconds or less be important for the hypertrophy aspect of the program? Hmm might need Dan's input here
    Dan has said to rest long enough to get the clusters in. That might be as little as 20 seconds or as long as a minute. It's going to depend on your ability to recover fast and is also dependent on how much weight you are using. I can rest 20 seconds for things like curls and chin-ups, but I have to wait a little longer when I do squats.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercuryblade View Post
    I think that's more of a suggestion, rather than a hardline rule.

    I rest for 60 seconds when I'm doing clusters with my squats, 30 seconds just isn't enough.
    I'm kind of the same as you but in between ramping up. I always seem to need a little bit more rest than any other exercise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercuryblade View Post
    I think that's more of a suggestion, rather than a hardline rule.

    I rest for 60 seconds when I'm doing clusters with my squats, 30 seconds just isn't enough.
    Really, I kinda took it strict & try not to exceed 30 as that's an important part of the training program. Unless I can't finish then I just do 1+1+1 or go down weight, wait 2mins & do 6RM +2+2+2. When you think about it it's about the same amount of time spent.


    Quote Originally Posted by greemah View Post
    Sounds fine to me, the bigger lifts will work your smaller muscles also so cutting down sets on isolation exercises would be fine. Also 120 sec is fine between sets, as Dan says in the program that you can have 2 minutes max. Just make sure the rest between clusters is 30 seconds max
    That's what I was thinking. The bigger muscle groups would work the smaller ones also so why not focus more on doing that right with 4-6 ramp sets (or whatever) instead of trying to jump straight up to 6RM. And then if I'm running out of time I can hit the other muscle groups with the limited time I have left (whether its 3 or more sets). Thanks.
    Last edited by Deja; 06-10-2010 at 04:09 PM.

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    Not second-guessing you, but where does he say that? Because in the program it says:

    Rest periods

    On this you have to listen to your body, autoregulate, but I put a hard stop of two minutes between ramping sets and thirty-seconds between clusters. If you’re on fire that day, make the rest periods as short as you want to.

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    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    I can't remember where I read it and I may even be mistaken. I'm certainly not going to go searching for it.

    Like I said, if I am using a big weight on a big lift that is my true 6 rep max, I will need more than 30 seconds between clusters or I will fail. When I'm squatting close to 400 lbs for 6 reps, there's no way I'm jumping back under there in 30 seconds. If I'm curling 125 lbs for 6 reps, which is my 6 rep max, I can easily jump back in there in 20 seconds.You are welcome to wait for Daniel's answer, he might be more strict about the rest periods.
    Last edited by Off Road; 06-17-2010 at 10:36 PM.
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    Skinny Feet Kiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    I can't remember where I read it and I may even be mistaken. I'm certainly not going to go searching for it.

    Like I said, if I am using a big weight on a big lift that is my true 6 rep max, I will need more than 30 seconds between clusters or I will fail. When I'm squatting close to 400 lbs for 6 reps, there's no way I'm jumping back under there in 30 seconds. If I'm curling 125 lbs for 6 reps, which is my 6 rep max, I can easily jump back in there in 20 seconds.You are welcome to wait for Daniel's answer, he might be more strict about the rest periods.
    Off Road doesnt need to 'Get back under' in thirty seconds we have all seen his squat sessions, he never gets out from under the bar...
    Last edited by Kiff; 06-18-2010 at 09:20 AM. Reason: Spelt Off wrong cause im a twit
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    There's some wiggle room. Of course I have to write specific guidelines but for each individual there's a different level of conditioning, wildly different strength levels and I cannot legislate for all eventualities.

    OR is correct, a 400lb squat places very different demands on the body than a 200lb squat. Someone who's squatting 400lbs is likely to be a lot more in tune with his/her body than a 200lb squatter and therefore able to make the necessary tweaks to rest periods to make the program work for them.

    In the end most should follow the guidelines. Those that have more experience can play around a bit - but that's not something you can write in an article because everyone likes to think they're experienced and advanced. OR's recommendations are about right.

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    FWIW, the article says this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Roberts View Post
    Rack the bar. Rest as long as you need before attempting two more reps, approximately 30-60 seconds. Rack the bar, breathe deeply for another approx thirty-seconds and try for another two reps. Repeat. And that’s it..
    I'm with mercury and OR. There's no way I'm taking a 30 second rest after squats. Curls I can take 20 and be fine, squats (which for me is now ~300lbs for 6 reps) I generally take a full 60 seconds rest after the first set, then 45, then 30-40.
    Last edited by J.C.; 06-18-2010 at 05:33 AM.

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    Ok good to know, might be handy for the future

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    Do you guys actually use a stop watch or do you just feel it out?

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    There's a clock on the wall near the chin-up bar. For everything else I estimate. 1 deep breath = about 2 seconds.

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    If you've never actually timed yourself then you'll be surprised how over/under you are on your estimations. Just like calorie counting, if you've never done it, you should just to get a frame of reference.

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    Agreed. I was quite surprised when I started using a timer at how quickly 1:30 goes by. But it really makes my time in the gym more productive and efficient.

    Just get a digital kitchen timer, I got one at Target for 7 bucks.
    Last edited by Bosch232; 06-19-2010 at 06:29 PM.
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    Smeagol on Steroids Mercuryblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosch232 View Post
    Agreed. I was quite surprised when I started using a timer at how quickly 1:30 goes by. But it really makes my time in the gym more productive and efficient.

    Just get a digital kitchen timer, I got one at Target for 7 bucks.
    I use a pink egg timer, the wind-up kind.
    Bystanders love the 'ding' that signals that it's time for me to get back under the bar, and the constant ticking lures the woman in like feral cats.
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    Since starting HCT-12 i've tried to keep the same rhythm...

    When benching I do my 6 set, sit up, count to 8, lay back and do 2, then repeat.

    For squatting I count to 15 and do my clusters. Up to about 240 on squats I was able to count to 8 but after 255 I'm still panting like a little girl by 8... the 15 works though. I figure by the time I get back under the bar, get set and derack it, i've probably taken 30 seconds total with counting to 15 included...
    Last edited by SplitQuick; 06-21-2010 at 01:44 PM.

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