Motivation / Weight Lifting

How Much Time Should You Rest Between Sets?



 Go to any gym in America and you’ll see too many people wasting time between sets. Resting too long between sets is one of the main reasons people don’t accomplish there fitness goals. Guys will say “I was in the gym for 2 hours….!”. Really???  It doesn’t take anyone 2 hours to get a good workout in. I find it hard to believe that anybody who is not a professional athlete even wants to work out that long. Personally, I’ve got too much to do to spend that much time working out!!!  My average workout takes 30-45 mins a day. My 30 minute workout is more effective than someone else’s 2 hour workout because I rest only 30 seconds between each set!!!

Taking shorter rests between sets is not only more time efficient, but it also works out your muscles much harder!!!! You will see results very quickly if you commit to resting for only 30 or 60 seconds between each set!!!

If you ever see someone who is not timing their rests in between sets, accept it as clear & irrefutable evidence that they don’t have any idea what the hell they are doing! Timing your rest is wildly important. ALWAYS have a watch, stop watch, or cell phone to time your sets.

One of the best things about working out from home is that you can control the environment and eliminate all distractions. I like to wake up at 5 am and workout right away. At that time my girl is still sleep, nobody is calling, texting, or emailing me, and I get the workout out of the way, so I don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day.

If you’re not able to workout first thing in the morning and you have to workout at night,  you can still do a few things to eliminate distractions:

– Put your cell phone on airplane mode so you are not distracted by texts, calls, emails, facebook, twitter, etc.
– Turn off the TV and Computer
– Don’t answer your home phone… (you still have a home phone? Is this 1996?)
– Listen to your ipod with head phones so you can’t be distracted by other noises
Here is a video of me doing an ab workout. People on Youtube left a bunch of coments about how I should “stop texting during my workout” but thats not what I was doing…. I WAS TIMING MY REST BETWEEN SETS!!!! you should be doing the same

For best results, make sure you follow a good total body routine and diet (you get both in my workout plan). It may also help to try a good fat burner like TEA REXX, it is what I use to help me stay ripped.

63 thoughts on “How Much Time Should You Rest Between Sets?

  1. Brandon you are an inspiration to me. I am 15 and skinny. I am 6 foot and 145 pounds.I have been working out with weights for the last 2 months and am having trouble building muscle. Do you have any suggestions to getting ripped. How did you build all that muscle from scratch. Thanks

    • check out with your diet at 6 times in a day its required and you need to put 145g of protein a day to build that skinny body

  2. Hey Brandon, My dad and some other friends that also work out, that it’s best to spilt up certain muscles for certain days. Kinda like doing chest and triceps one day, then the next day do back and biceps. And then either do legs on the third day, or everyday. And is it also best to mix up the exercises instead of doing the same ones over and over?

  3. abdominal is the biggest muscle group, it does not need that much time to rest. 30seconds rest while working on abs is too much, 0-15s is way more efficient

  4. Hey! Man wats up. Im from Canada-Toronto
    I love your fat burning plan work better for me you rock so hard
    But I just wanna add this about working out for 2 hours I don’t really think it’s bad
    because if you workout two group of muscles let say chest and triceps that will take you about an hour and a half first warm up for 15mins and strech then you jump in your workout and at the end you workout your core (abs) don’t forget the 30sec rest BOom it’s almost two hours…it’s not about how much time you use but it’s about how hard and well you do.
    stay fit brothers

    • I think anything of one hour is too much unless your a professional athletes. It over kill and not sustainable for most people. If your MUST workout for that long, split your workout out in to two workouts per day. one in the AM and one in the PM. your energy and stamina will be better that way as opposed to one long marathon session.

      I am happy that my fat burning plan is working for you!!! keep up the great work and keep me posted on your progress!!! Thanks

      • Yo Carter
        Man you super awesome, i’m a big fan of what you doin’ when I’ve started I used a lot of workout style and MOST of em didn’t work for…But after I got your HIIT work out plan that lowed my fat down from 12-1.5% My girl was like ” lets rock for for the whole day” if you c what I mean….
        But this is what I do for my muscles training man I train super hard for like 2hours and hard for 1h30…On my Super hard day I hit it super hard with big weight and less reps(4-6), rest is 45”. And on my hard day I got hard small weight, long reps(6-12) on these days I use supersets and 90″ rest after each superset….
        So basically I mix your workout and a workout that i’ve found from the MD magazine I think so far this work well for me
        But bro I’ve got a quest for you, Do you think CREATINE is good ?

  5. Hey Brandon
    I would like to tell me a workout because of what I do I am not satisfied with the outcome.

  6. hi. i am only 16 years old with a little more kg than i should. is any fast way to lose 10kg in only 2 weeks without protein by working at home and gym?

  7. sup bro,
    a little question , am 16 with an aim of getting rid of belly fat to get a more of a flat stomach , my question is should i follow Cardio exercises plus abdominal one that u posted above along with a fairly healthy diet ? OR is cardio alone effecient enough ?
    another thing , do back exerices (specially ones involving holding weights while standing) affect my growth or height in any way ? sry bout the stupid question(s)

  8. Hey Brandon!
    Your workout plans are really good, but a lot of people have told me that if you want your muscles bigger, you have to use a lot of weight in your repetitions so you can do max. 6 – 8 reps until failure.
    They’ve told me that you should rest like 90 sec – 150 sec between sets if your goal is getting your muscles bigger but if you want to get ripped fast as hell you have to rest as you said 30 secs.
    I want to have bigger muscles first so am i doing right when i rest like 90 secs – 120 secs between sets? I usually do 6 – 8 reps with a lot of weight!
    Thanks man!
    Keep getting better and your site is awesomE!

  9. hey brandon i am 15 yrs old and i have been working for the last 5 months….i didnt see the change i was expecting…i weight 110 pounds and am 5.7 feet….any suggestions to put on some muscle….i am following a diet based on increased number of carbo…i already have a six pack and i’d like suggestions for back,chest hands…

  10. Hi Brandon
    I have question about how to loss the fat at lower abs. I can see 4 packs on my body.
    Best Regards

  11. hi , im mario from croatia and im in good shape i have good abbs and shoulders and arms… but my chest sucks i dont know how to built ’em up .i tryed everything but still i cant see resaults ,can you help me? please. (sorry for bad english)

  12. I want to muscled biceps and chest. I put a lot of weight but nothing. what do you suggest; one day I do chest and triceps, 2 days back and biceps,3 days shoulders 4 day legs.
    what do you suggest;

    • You’re right about splitting up your workouts, but you should be more focusing on working them out the moment they stop being soar, or even working out a little bit before that. You probably keep setting yourself back with that big 4 day plan.

  13. can i work out abdominals every day? some say u can some say u cant cause they need rest like any other muscles..


    • Over-carbing is a bad idea if you don’t do anything with it, since carbs will be stored in the body for a longer period of time. I’d stick with the protein and healthy fats such as most nuts and lean meats, can’t go wrong!

  15. Thanks for all your advice, i always follow your blog and video posts, super helpful! I’ve been working out steadily since January and changed it up to your 10min ab routine for the past 2 months on Mon/Wed/Fri and an arms and back weight lifting workout until failure on Tues/Thurs. I’ve noticed a HUGE difference but feel i am starting to plateau. How can I keep improving if i’m already doing all my sets until failure? For background, i don’t do really any cardio (such as going on runs or biking)…i have a feeling that may be the answer? should i try and mix that in with my routine each week? Any advice would be great! I want to keep working out but if i’m not seeing changes as months go by it’s harder to stay motivated, haha. Thanks again!

    • WHats up! i am happy that the workouts are helping you! You should change up your workouts for a month or two. I have a lot of videos here and WAY more in my program, so there should be A LOT of versions of each workout for you to choose from. I think you should change up your workouts once a month. that way you will never plateau. Congrats on the progress! keep me updated!

  16. Hi Brandon
    I’m 17 and my weight is 132 pounds and my height is 5’9.
    I want to know how can i increase my height and how do i make my biceps and chest more lareger?Please suggest me a workout.
    thank you

  17. (16) Hey brandon, I have been following your workout routine for 2weeks now and im starting to see my abs building, and im so motivated to keep it up until next summer. But I want to know what keeps you motivated to workout everyday?, and how long did it take you , to form and notice your ab formation?

  18. hey
    i know i should rest 30 sec between sets but if i do more than one exercise for a muscle how long should i rest between exercises
    for example:
    bicep day :
    barbell curls 3 sets
    21’s 3 sets
    how long should i rest after i finish the barbell curls 3 sets before i do 21’s

  19. Hey Brandon. Im pretty thin, with a tiny bit of extra fat on my stomach. It isnt noticeable when my shirt is off, but it is preventing me from having a six pack. Ive been doing ab workouts for a while now, and have strong, but not very visable abs. What would you reccomend for me to lose that tiny bit of fat, and to tone and define my abs?

    Thanks, Chris.

  20. Hi brandon I’m tryin 2 work out n get bck in shape cuz I’m goin bck into mma well I wanted 2 ask how can I get in shape for my cage fights n everything???? Any pointers

  21. hi, Brandon i don’t even speak English well ,but i’m fan o you, i’m 43 years old man , is to hard for me to be in shape,i had 4 years going to the gym ,but i feel ,that my biceps are to small ,i don’t know how to get more muscle and look more strong in my arms…

    what kind of protein should i have to take?
    thank u

  22. good info bro, this actually cleared some questions I had. I usually spend around 45 seconds between each set so I guess I’m good. Thanks man

  23. Hey Brandon,
    Man, you ROCK!!
    Just a lil qs , I USED lots of programs to bulid muscle and gain weight but non of them worked, I am 20 , 132 pounds ,and my height is 5’11 . you can tell I am pretty skinny -.-‘
    Any suggestions, bro ? I would appreciate your Help
    ~ Thanks big man

  24. hey i am 19, i am trying to gain more weight and muscles.. and i have a high metabolism. Do you think it is okay for me to take weight gainer or protein shake? And if so, how long does it take to see the difference?

  25. hey brandon, i bought your program and tried out the lateral pushdowns and i feel as if i’m doing them wrong because i feel alot of pressure on my triceps more so than my back.

    also for the backrow (machine), i feel it more in my arms than in my back. i keep my back straight in both excercises but idk what i’m doing wrong

    any advice?

  26. Hey Brandon,

    I’m 19 years old and i started lifting weights 6 months ago.
    I have a couple of questions I hope you could answer.
    Ok, so first one: My arms grew 4.5 cm since i started. Is it any good?
    how much can i expect them to grow in the next 6 months?
    Other one: I’ve been doing supersets on my biceps for a while now…What do you think about them? also my biceps supersets look like this: i do 3 exercises one after another with one hand then I change hand. Does the time when my right arm is resting when i’m working on my left can influence the results?

    I hope you can help me with some answers.
    Thanks , Marius

  27. Hey man I was just wonder what good workouts there are to get a nice v-cut for lower abs. Ive got kind of big hips so my love handles are a little more noticable. Ive been told not to do side crunches for obliques because they will just make the area of the body stronger but bigger as well. Is there any validity to that? I really want to hear your opinion!

  28. hey wts up man how are u ive been following yout vids.. but i got a question if i wanna get more ripped should i do more sets? and could u make a daily gym routine for me? if no? pleas tell me the best way to get ripped

  29. Hey Brandon, I recently began to follow you and am very appreciative of the information you provide. My 6pack will be like yours in less than a month, I been following your 15ab plan and am already seeing the difference (watch out now, lol). I had to comment on this posting because every time I am at the gym I am amazed at how much time people spend resting than working out, I’ve already did 2 sets and they still resting, lol. And like you said, wonder why they never reach their fitness goals. I keep pen and paper next to me….keep up the good work my dude. Its awesome.

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