How long should you rest between sets?

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If you read the latest Muscle & Fiction magazines you’ll say 60-90 seconds is the optimal rest interval between sets. This assertion is rarely backed-up with scientific research, and when it is, they will say it increases human growth hormone levels in the body temporarily, which is true, but I haven’t found any studies that correlate it with long-term increases in muscle mass. I have no doubt that many people achieve respectable results from this protocol, especially the enhanced lifters that fill the pages of the muscle magazines, but what is optimal for the natural lifter. What does the science say? Continue reading “How long should you rest between sets?”

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Strength Training Intensity – How Much is Optimal

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The latest issue of Muscle & Fiction and all the High-Intensity zealots would have you believe that if you don’t take a set to absolute muscular failure, you are wasting your time. That just isn’t true. On an effective strength training program for the natural lifter, most sets should stop 1 or 2 repetitions short of failure. We should avoid going to failure on all but the last set of each exercise. A simple, yet effective way to evaluate your rating of perceived exertion (RPE), is using this table developed by respected strength coach and competitive powerlifter Mike Tuchscherer.

RPE Scale (lifting)

Continue reading “Strength Training Intensity – How Much is Optimal”