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Resting While Lifting

How long to rest while lifting?


There are three main rest periods when trying to build muscle while lifting:

  • Short rest periods (about 30 seconds)

  • Moderate rest periods (60-90 seconds)

  • Long rest periods (2-5 minutes)


Short rest periods help your muscles grow by tiring your muscles out through weight training. The main drawback to short rest periods is that you aren’t resting long enough between sets to maintain sufficient strength. If you can’t maintain strength then the weights you are able to lift with short rests won’t help your muscles grow as much.


Moderate rest periods hit the sweet spot between short and long rests. This is because you aren’t resting long enough to fully recover but you also aren’t shortening your rests so much that you can’t lift a lot of weight. During moderate rests the weight is still heavy enough to target muscle fibers to be able to grow your muscles.


Long rest periods are long enough to almost fully restore your strength. This means that you can use maximum weights that will help muscle growth results over time. The drawback to long rest periods is the fact that your muscles do not tire out enough when you rest for long periods of time so it may take a lot longer to see results or to even grow muscles bigger.


By increasing strength you will be able to use heavier weight and each time you lift more muscle fibers will be used. Different rest periods give you different results.

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