Brad Schoenfeld – What is the Ideal Rest Interval for Muscle Growth?

Brad shares his new study that tries to answer the question, “What is the ideal rest interval for muscle growth?” I have never timed my rest intervals instead I prefer to rest long enough that I feel I can hit the next set with 100% effort again which according to the study might be the best approach, check it out!

What is the Ideal Rest Interval for Muscle Growth? Implications from Our Recent Study

Current resistance training guidelines recommend long rest intervals (i.e. 3 minutes) to maximize muscle strength. Alternatively, short rest intervals of around 1 minute are generally recommended for maximizing muscle growth. This is based on the premise that higher metabolic stress associated with limiting rest between sets will promote a greater muscle-building stimulus. Some have specifically pointed to acute post-exercise increases in anabolic hormones as a primary driving factor in the process.

Back in 2014, I co-authored a review paper on the topic with my colleague Menno Henselmans that was published in the journal Sports Medicine. After a thorough scrutiny of the literature, we determined that there was little basis for the claim that shorter rest intervals was beneficial to hypertrophy. As I discussed in this blog post, It would appear from current evidence that you can self-select a rest period that allows you to exert the needed effort into your next set without compromising muscular gains. That said, our recommendations were limited by a dearth of controlled studies on the topic. Moreover, no study had investigated the generally accepted guidelines of taking 3 minutes rest for strength gains and 1 minute for hypertrophy in resistance-trained individuals.

[ Until now… ]

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