The Rest Between Sets Question!

Hail to the Dinosaurs!

Rob Condon asked me what kind of weight
progressions I use, and how long I rest
between sets.

We'll cover weight progressions tomorrow.
For now, let's focus on rest between sets.

First of all, there's no magic number for
how long to rest between sets. I'm sure
there's someone who posted an internet
article claiming to have discovered the
scientific basis for the perfect amount
of time to rest between sets, and I'm
even more sure I'm never going to look
for it, much less read it.

Like everything else, how long you rest
between sets depends on a number of

For example, I train in an unheated
garage, with no a/c. It gets cold in
the winter, and hot in the summer.
I tend to rest less in the winter,
just to stay warm. In the summer, I
rest a bit longer because it's so

Rest periods also depend on how heavy
you go. On a day you're going after a
new PR or a day when you're upping the
weight on squats or deadlifts, you're
probably going to go a bit slower.

As a general rule, you can go faster when
you do upper body exercises. Squats and
deads generally require a bit more rest
because they take so much out of you.

In my experience, you need more rest
when you're doing squats and deadlifts
when you're doing explosive movements
like snatches and cleans.

And speaking of explosive movements --
you need to be sure you get enough rest
that you avoid getting a pump. A pump
throws your timing and coordination off.
(Don't disagree -- this comes directly
from Tommy Kono.)

For most Dino's, high rep sets are more
taxing than low rep sets, and that means
you need more rest between sets or between

If you do multiple working sets, you need
enough rest between them to do justice to
each set. Doing 3 x 5 work sets with a heavy
weight is tough to do, and you won't get
your reps if you go too fast.

You need much less rest between warm-up sets
than you do between your working sets. I
usually just load the bar, record the previous
set in my training journal, and then go back
and do the next set when I'm doing my warm-ups.
As the weight gets heavier, I rest a bit

The bottom line is this: rest long enough to
get the most out of the next set. But when
you rest, stay focused. Close your eyes and
think about the next set. Don't make a call
on your cell phone, don't watch the idiot
box, don't listen to talk radio, don't jump
on Facebook, and don't surf the internet.
It's training time even when you're

Sometimes, though, it all comes down to what
Life has to say about it.

The other day I was doing power snatches, and
I had exactly 30 minutes to do the entire
workout because Trudi was working late and
I had to go pick her up. I didn't want her
to have to wait around, since she was already
late getting home and it had been a long day
for her.

That meant I had to go faster than usual --
but I wanted to do five working sets and then
do one additional, slightly heavier set to
finish things off. And I wanted to do all
of my warm-ups, because doing heavy snatches
without warming-up is silly -- especially for
a 55 year old Dino.

So I worked FAST -- and I did all of my warm-up
sets, worked my regular weight progressions, and
hit the five working sets and the heavier set.
I finished in exactly 30 minutes. And get this --
it was a GREAT workout, and the bar was really
moving fast. In fact, that 30 minute workout was
BETTER than the last time I did the same workout
at a much more leisurely 50 or 55 minute pace.

As always, thanks for reading, and have a great
day. If you train today, make it a good one.

Yours in strength,

Brooks Kubik

P.S. Dinosaur Dumbbell Training is looking great,
and we'll be shipping it soon. There's still time
to grab a copy during the pre-publication
special and grab the pre-publication bonuses
when we fill your order:

P.S. 2. If you want to SEE what one of my current
workouts looks like, grab this:

P.S. 3. My other books and courses -- and DVD's --
are right here:

P.S. 4. Thought for the Day: "How long to rest
depends on how much iron you just killed."
-- Brooks Kubik