Resting For Longer INCREASES Muscle Growth – This Has Completely Changed My Workout

Resting For Longer INCREASES Muscle Growth – This Has Completely Changed My Workout

Now, the norm when exercising and what we have been told by many professionals is to only rest approximately 30 seconds between sets. However, a recent study by D. Leigh Breen of the University of Birmingham, UK suggests quite the opposite and suggests that longer rests between sets can actually stimulate more muscle growth.

The research carried out showed that the guys who had longer rest breaks between 4 sets displayed an increase in muscle growth when compared to the guys who took less time between sets as per the usual advice.


It is advised, that in order to reap the most from weightlifting the participant should perform the movements in sets, rather than just lifting a weight numerous times then moving on to the next exercise. Therefore, the weights would normally lifted in 3 sets of 8 repetitions for the maximum benefit to be achieved.

Performing sets of each exercise is pretty much commonplace and well known, but what is now up for discussion is the amount of time recommended between sets.

It seems that evidence from the study would suggest extended rest periods increased myofibrillar protein synthesis whereas the popular notion is that shorter rests increase muscle growth.

2 groups of men were instructed to perform 4 sets of weightlifting exercises, 1 group were told to wait for 1 minute before performing the next set whereas the 2nd group were told to rest for 5 minutes before returning to their next set.


Biopsies were then taken from all of the men once all of the sets were completed and again 4, 24 and 28 hours after completing the exercise.

What shocked the researchers were that the men who had the longer rest between sets showed a much bigger increase in myofibrillar protein synthesis that the other group, in fact it was more than double!

It seems then, against all the current advice, shorter rest periods actually hinder muscle growth. Dr. Breen now suggests that rest periods should be of at least 3 minutes for maximum gains.


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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.
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