How Long You Really Need To Rest In Between Strength Training Sets

Strength training is a great way to build muscle and burn body fat. It's impossible to get through a 30-minute workout without taking breaks, but what is the ideal time to rest between sets? The answer can vary depending on your fitness goals.

If you are strength training with the goal of burning body fat and building lean muscle, you'll want relatively short rest periods. According to Mark Barroso, CPT, resting for 30 to 90 seconds between sets keeps your muscles working hard but gives them enough time to replenish their energy so you can build lean muscle growth.

People who are focusing on strictly building muscle, however, can wait longer. "For absolute strength purposes when performing large, barbell exercises, it's best to rest for two to five minutes," Barroso told Daily Burn. If you want to focus on muscle endurance (training your muscles to last for longer periods of time before they burn out) you should wait 15 to 30 seconds between sets.

What a strength training program should look like

Once again, your training regime will depend largely on your fitness level and goals. Beginners should start with light weights and short routines to avoid injury or overdoing it. According to Verywell Fit, the ideal weights for beginners will be challenging to complete for about 10 reps but will still allow you to keep proper form and complete control during each rep. After about six weeks of the same regime, you can gradually begin increasing the weight you are lifting.

So how often should you lift? The average person will see the best results by strength training just a few times each week. "Beginning lifters should be fine training three days per week with higher volume-at least 20 repetitions per day of each exercise," Melody Schoenfeld, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, told Shape.

If you are just wetting your feet at the gym or don't feel comfortable tackling the weight room on your own, it's a good idea to book a few sessions with a personal trainer. They can help you feel more confident in your strength training routine. They can also ensure that you're keeping proper form while you work out to avoid injury.