Take Home Points

  1. The results indicate that the training session performance is reduced by shorter intervals, being the initial exercises less affected during the progression of the sets.

     


Resistance training can provide a number of variables such as intensity (load), number of repetitions and sets, rest period length between sets and exercises, length and type of muscle contractions, order of exercises and repetition velocity. Changing these training variables alters exercise induced adaptations and gains in muscle strength, endurance, power and hypertrophy. For example, it is well known that higher training intensities (≤11RM) lead to greater muscle strength and hypertrophy whereas lower intensities (≥20RM) are related to greater muscle endurance adaptations (Senna 2009). Using multiple set regimens have shown to be superior to lower training volumes (single set programs) in resistance-trained individuals. Rest intervals between sets appear to be an important variable that can directly affect training volume and fatigue.

Senna (2009) compared the influence of two and five minute rest intervals on the number of repetitions per set, per exercise and total repetitions in resistance training sessions. Fourteen trained men (23.0 yrs; 74.9 kg; 1.75 m) completed three sets per exercise, with 10RM load in four training sessions. Two sessions involved lower body exercises (leg press, leg extension and leg curl), with two-minute (SEQA) and with five-minute interval (SEQB). The other two sessions involved upper body exercises (bench press, pec-deck and triceps pulley), with two (SEQC) and five-minute intervals (SEQD). For two-minute, five of six exercises presented reductions in the second set, compared with the first set, and for the third set compared with the first and second sets. For five-minute, three of the six exercises presented reductions in the third set, compared with the first sets, and two of the six for the third set, compared with the second sets. The total number of repetitions in SEQA (66.7) was significantly smaller than in SEQB (80.9). Similarly, the total repetitions was significantly lower in SEQC (71.1) compared with SEQD (83.7). The results indicate that the training session performance is reduced by shorter intervals, being the initial exercises less affected during the progression of the sets.

The two minute rest intervals resulted in a decrease in repetitions performed. For all the exercises in the second set compared with the first one, except for the pec deck, and for the third set compared to the first and second set, except for the leg extension. For five-minute, the decreases in repetitions were only noticeable for leg press, leg curl and triceps pulley exercises in the third set. The total number of repetitions for all the exercises and the total number of the repetitions in the sessions showed significantly reduced values in SEQA and SEQC (sessions with two-minute intervals between sets and exercises) (Senna 2009).

To maintain resistance training goals intensity and volume are important to alter during your training program. Rest interval time between sets and exercises is also an important component to meet different training goals. This affects the number of repetitions during the progression of the sets, the total number of repetitions per exercise and the total number of repetitions of the session (Senna 2009). These results suggest that these values can decrease by using shorter intervals (two versus five-minute). These decreases are less evident during the progression of the sets in the initial exercises. The importance of the rest intervals between sets and exercises in a training session still needs more research. Since it is important with the order in which a certain exercise is placed in the session.

COR provides athletes with different training variables that may increase their training abilities. The types of rest intervals in between each exercise or exercises differ with every phase we provide. We always want to keep the body guess so there can be a better chance to have a positive adaptation.
Reference:
  1. Senna G, Salles BF, Prestes J, Mello RA, Roberto S. Influence of two different rest interval lengths in resistance training sessions for upper and lower body. J Sports Sci Med. 2009 Jun 1;8(2):197-202.
Written by Coach Chris