Workout Tips

How Long Should You Rest Between Exercises?

Adjust your rest times based on your desired results.

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How long should I wait in between sets? Does it depend on the exercise?
—Gabe L., Cary, NC

We have our athletes rest one minute. That’s enough time to recover and progress from one exercise to the next. This varies, though. For example, you need to rest up to two minutes for strength-focused programs to allow for optimal recovery. Also, you can slash your rest time to 30 seconds to jack up your heart rate and burn a little more fat. Lastly, you can strategically pair movements together in a pull/squat or press/hip extension format so that one muscle is resting even though the athlete isn’t.

—Walter Norton Jr., Strength Coach & Trainer at the Institute of Performance & Fitness in North Reading, MA

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