Rest Between Sets: How Long Should I Wait

Today’s blog will explore How long to rest between sets on a resistance training session. You’ll learn exactly how rest and recovery times change depending on the intensity of the load and rep range completed. Plus you’ll discover the benefits of having the right amount of rest.

If you are working towards your Level 2 or 3 Personal Trainer Qualification, Rest is a key variable that you need to understand, plan and instruct… but how do you plan rest effectively?

Watch the 9-minute video below, then test your knowledge with three mock questions.

Rest Between Sets: How Long Should I Wait

Rest Between Sets: How Long Should I Wait?

Benefits of Rest Between Sets

Rest and recovery is a very important part of resistance training, and it is essential to have enough rest between sets. Adequate rest allows for:

  • a greater force to be generated on the next set
  • energy system refuel in preparation for the next set
  • increased protein synthesis as part of a long-term adaptation

Look for the sweet spot

Although your client needs long enough to fully recover, you still want the PT session to be efficient, with as many working sets as possible. This means you need to find the sweet spot, whereby the rest is long enough that the workout is effective, but short enough to be efficient.

Rest times are dependent on the Rep Max

To help you find the sweet spot there is a guideline that you can follow to make sure you programme enough rest between sets.

  • 15 Reps = 30 seconds rest
  • 12 Reps = 60 seconds rest
  • 10 Reps = 90 seconds rest
  • 8 Reps = 120 seconds rest
  • Less than 5 reps = 180 seconds of rest (3 mins) or more

You’ll notice that the fewer repetitions, the heavier the load, and the more rest is needed

You’ll notice that the more repetitions, the lighter the load, and the more rest is needed.

Rest is a variable that can change

Rest can be used to vary the intensity of the session. You may choose to start your client with the rest guidelines stipulated above. If your client is still recovering at the end of the guideline rest times, you can extend the rest further. If your client wants to progress the intensity of the session, you can equally reduce the rest times to less than the guidelines, as long as this does not suffer the quality of the next set.

Rest is one of many variables for resistance training

There are over 17 resistance training systems that are taught in the Level 3 PT syllabus which can be overwhelming to distinguish which system to use and when to plan them. Our FIT-Progressions online programme breaks down each of these in detail with clear protocol to follow for each one.

Plus you learn how to periodise your planning of these systems to allow for logical progressive overload so your client can get their goal every time.

>>>> Join us for FIT-Progressions here

Become a knowledgeable and confident FITPRO, with a clear strategy to get results with your clients every time.

There’s no more self-doubt. There’s no more guessing what to plan or how to get client results. FIT-Progressions has 8 modules and 18 video tutorials that guide you through every stage of your Level 3 Personal Trainer case study, and how to work with clients effectively.

This is for you if you’re…

  • struggling to complete your coursework for PT, Yoga, or Pilates
  • a newly qualified FITPRO that feels stuck or overwhelmed
  • unsure where to start when planning a client session
  • worrying about applying your course knowledge with a real client
  • doubting you could get results and lack structure to client packages
  • anxious and confused about how to get found and get busy

Click the link to find out more and join us:

Test your knowledge with today’s planning mock questions:

[NOTE: The answers are below the 3rd question]

Q1: When a client has completed a resistance exercise at 8 Repetitions Maximum, how much rest should they have?

A. 8 seconds
B. 80 seconds
C. 90 seconds
D. 120 seconds

Q2: What is the primary benefit of adequate rest between sets?

A. a smaller force to be generated on the next set
B. a greater force to be generated on the next set
C. reduction in energy levels
D. time to stretch

Q3: If a client was to increase the load and do fewer repetitions, what happens to the rest?
A. Have no rest
B. Rest stays the same
C. Rest increases
D. Rest reduces

Answers to the mock questions are :

Question 1= C, Question 2 = B, Question 3 = C

If you want more mock questions like this, then you can download more Free Mock Questions: DOWNLOAD NOW

Dedicated to More

Hayley “How To Do a Pyramid Training System” Bergman

Parallel Coaching

P.S. You can also find us on the following platforms:
Read more Planning blogs: HERE