I am firm on using 3-5 minute rest periods between sets. Well, sometimes even longer than 5 minutes if it's a large muscle group or it's a weight I've never done before.
However, I thought about it and wondered about rotating muscle groups and taking shorter rests? I know there are some training programs where people go into the gym and lift weights almost non stop.. and they still gain muscle. I never understood why, but maybe they are rotating muscle groups. I thought it was just the steroids, but there must be some reason why people can work out non stop in the gym and still gain muscle.
So my question is:
Do you think or know that rotating muscle groups and taking shorter rests, would allow you to gain just as much muscle, or almost, or more, than doing nothing for 3-5 minutes between sets?
What I mean is this:
-instead of waiting 3-5 minutes between sets, you could rotate muscle groups and take shorter rests
-you might wait 1 minute between sets, but after 1 minute, do a different excersize. I.e. after doing bench, do leg extension. SO effectively you are waiting 3-5 minutes between muscle groups, but only 1 minute between sets.
-When doing a full body excersize like a squat, it would be hard to find a muscle that isn't used, to do next. However, you could calculate which muscle was used the least amount and work that muscle group. Or you could make an exception for that particular excersize, and do nothing between sets on that one.
But what I am really keen to know, is whether the muscle gains are much MORE if you do nothing between that 3-5 minutes compared to rotating. The thing about rotating, is you'd have to have some your weights pre-set up, because 1 minute does not give you very much time (or however long the rest is).
This would allow you to get more done in the 45 minutes, if after 45 minutes there really is a cortisol problem in long rest weight lifting.
If there are still about the same muscle gains to be got, I'd like to train this way. If there is a really big advantage, and the muscle gains are moreso when doing "nothing at all" between sets, and letting "the full body rest", then I'd stick to that method.
-more work done in less time
-make more use of the cortisol problem after 45 minutes.. if you aren't done your session within 45 minutes when waiting 3-5 minutes between sets, at least shortening the rest period would help get the session done in less time
-more sets could be done in a session, working more of the whole body. If you take only 45 minutes for a session with long rests, it is really hard to get done in 45 minutes. Sometimes you can only do one excersize, if the rests are long, OR you end up going beyond 45 minutes.
Last edited by ps101; 06-08-2004 at 11:19 PM.