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The effects of short versus long inter-set rest intervals in resistance training on measures of muscle hypertrophy: A systematic review

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Although the effects of short versus long inter-set rest intervals in resistance training on measures of muscle hypertrophy have been investigated in several studies, the findings are equivocal and the practical implications remain unclear. In an attempt to provide clarity on the topic, we performed a systematic literature search of PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) electronic databases. Six studies were found to have met the inclusion criteria: (a) an experimental trial published in an English-language peer-reviewed journal; (b) the study compared the use of short (≤60 s) to long (>60 s) inter-set rest intervals in a traditional dynamic resistance exercise using both concentric and eccentric muscle actions, with the only difference in resistance training among groups being the inter-set rest interval duration; (c) at least one method of measuring changes in muscle mass was used in the study; (d) the study lasted for a minimum of four weeks, employed a training frequency of ≥2 resistance training days per week, and (e) used human participants without known chronic disease or injury. Current evidence indicates that both short and long inter-set rest intervals may be useful when training for achieving gains in muscle hypertrophy. Novel findings involving trained participants using measures sensitive to detect changes in muscle hypertrophy suggest a possible advantage for the use of long rest intervals to elicit hypertrophic effects. However, due to the paucity of studies with similar designs, further research is needed to provide a clear differentiation between these two approaches.
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European Journal of Sport Science
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The effects of short versus long inter-set rest
intervals in resistance training on measures of
muscle hypertrophy: A systematic review
Jozo Grgic, Bruno Lazinica, Pavle Mikulic, James W. Krieger & Brad Jon
Schoenfeld
To cite this article: Jozo Grgic, Bruno Lazinica, Pavle Mikulic, James W. Krieger & Brad Jon
Schoenfeld (2017): The effects of short versus long inter-set rest intervals in resistance training on
measures of muscle hypertrophy: A systematic review, European Journal of Sport Science, DOI:
10.1080/17461391.2017.1340524
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The effects of short versus long inter-set rest intervals in resistance
training on measures of muscle hypertrophy: A systematic review
JOZO GRGIC
1
, BRUNO LAZINICA
2
, PAVLE MIKULIC
3
, JAMES W. KRIEGER
4
, & BRAD
JON SCHOENFELD
5
1
Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia;
2
Fitness Academy, Zagreb,
Croatia;
3
Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia;
4
Weightology LLC, Redmond, WA, USA &
5
Department of Health Sciences, Lehman College, Bronx, NY, USA
Abstract
Although the effects of short versus long inter-set rest intervals in resistance training on measures of muscle hypertrophy have
been investigated in several studies, the findings are equivocal and the practical implications remain unclear. In an attempt to
provide clarity on the topic, we performed a systematic literature search of PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science,
Cochrane Library, and Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) electronic databases. Six studies were found to have
met the inclusion criteria: (a) an experimental trial published in an English-language peer-reviewed journal; (b) the study
compared the use of short (60 s) to long (>60 s) inter-set rest intervals in a traditional dynamic resistance exercise using
both concentric and eccentric muscle actions, with the only difference in resistance training among groups being the inter-
set rest interval duration; (c) at least one method of measuring changes in muscle mass was used in the study; (d) the
study lasted for a minimum of four weeks, employed a training frequency of 2 resistance training days per week, and (e)
used human participants without known chronic disease or injury. Current evidence indicates that both short and long
inter-set rest intervals may be useful when training for achieving gains in muscle hypertrophy. Novel findings involving
trained participants using measures sensitive to detect changes in muscle hypertrophy suggest a possible advantage for the
use of long rest intervals to elicit hypertrophic effects. However, due to the paucity of studies with similar designs, further
research is needed to provide a clear differentiation between these two approaches.
Keywords: Exercise, fatigue, kinesiology, fitness
Highlights
.Resistance training with both short (60 seconds or less) and long (more than 60 seconds) inter-set rest intervals can be
effective when training for muscle hypertrophy.
.The use of long inter-set rest intervals (>60 sec) when training for muscle hypertrophy may be advantageous, as it allows
training with a higher overall volume load. However, the approach may vary based on the level of exertion and exercise
selection.
.For future research on this topic we suggest the following: (a) using a sensitive measure (e.g. ultrasound or MRI) of
hypertrophy for tracking muscle growth, and (b) using participants with previous experience in resistance training.
Introduction
It has been hypothesized that increases in muscle
mass are brought about by three primary factors:
mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and muscle
damage (Schoenfeld, 2013b). Mechanical tension
may be considered as the most important factor, as
it has been shown that mechanical tension alone
can initiate mechano-chemically transduced molecu-
lar and cellular responses in myofibres and satellite
cells required for muscular hypertrophy (Toigo &
Boutellier, 2006). However, it is possible that all
three components need to be emphasized to optimize
the hypertrophic response to resistance training.
Accordingly, coaches and practitioners need to
manipulate several training variables, such as inten-
sity, volume, frequency, exercise selection, exercise
order, and inter-set rest intervals given that
© 2017 European College of Sport Science
Correspondence: J. Grgic, Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL), Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. E-mail:
jozo990@hotmail.com
European Journal of Sport Science, 2017
https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2017.1340524
programme design is essential to maximize resistance
training benefits (Kraemer, Ratamess, & French,
2002). Of all these variables, evidence-based guide-
lines for rest intervals are most lacking. Rest intervals
denote the time dedicated to recovery between sets
and exercises (Baechle & Earle, 2000) with the
focus being mainly on inter-set rest intervals. Inter-
set rest intervals may be deemed as a key variable of
resistance training, as they directly influence
fatigue, muscle recovery, the training goal, and train-
ing duration (Willardson, 2008).
Early research on inter-set rest intervals focused on
the acute effects of short versus long rest intervals.
Kraemer et al. (1990) showed that limiting rest inter-
vals to 60 s in a whole-body training session resulted
in greater post-exercise anabolic hormone elevations,
mainly growth hormone. As noted in the latest pos-
ition stand (ACSM, 2009), the acute hormonal
responses are purported to be potentially more
important for hypertrophy than chronic changes. In
accordance, limiting rest intervals to 60 s is com-
monly recommended for maximizing hypertrophic
effects (Willardson, 2008). However, it is important
to note that short rest intervals also have been
shown to acutely increase levels of the catabolic hor-
mones corticotropin and cortisol (De Salles et al.,
2009). Considering that West et al. (2010) found
no association between exercise-induced elevations
in the levels of anabolic hormones and muscular
hypertrophy, the hypothesis of superior hypertrophic
effects associated with shorter rest intervals remains
questionable.
Rest intervals are often neglected by the athlete,
coach, and/or practitioner. During a rest period, the
following events take place: (a) replenishment of the
ATP-CP system, (b) buffering of H+ from glycolytic
energy metabolism, and (c) the removal of lactate
accumulated in the muscles (Ratamess et al., 2007).
Intramuscular acidosis may be relevant, as it is signifi-
cantly related to the loss of force and tetanic tension
(Vaughan-Jones, Eisner, & Lederer, 1987). Restrict-
ing the rest intervals may not allow for the full restor-
ation of ATP and CP (McMahon & Jenkins, 2002),
hindering subsequent performance. Shorter rest
intervals may negatively affect performance (i.e.
reduction in training volume (De Salles et al.,
2009) and have a high metabolic demand (Ratamess
et al., 2007). By contrast, longer duration rest inter-
vals allow for a higher training volume, regeneration
of high-energy phosphate bonds, and are also less
metabolically demanding. However, they are more
time consuming.
It is not entirely clear how the rest interval length
may affect muscle hypertrophy responses. The
current findings of the topic are mixed, with, for
example, the study by Schoenfeld et al. (2016)
indicating an advantage for longer duration rest inter-
vals, and, by contrast, the study by Villanueva, Lane,
and Schroeder (2015) supporting the use of shorter
rest periods. The equivocal nature of the existing
data may leave the reader confused and unable to
draw practical conclusions.
While there are several review articles that have
examined the issue of inter-set rest intervals in
resistance training (De Salles et al., 2009; Hensel-
mans & Schoenfeld, 2014; Willardson, 2008),
none of them was a systematic review of longitudi-
nal studies that compared the effectiveness of short
versus long inter-set rest intervals on measures of
muscle hypertrophy. To avoid a selection that is
biased by preconceived ideas, it is important to
adopt a systematic and standardized approach to
the appraisal of studies (i.e. a systematic review)
(National Health and Medical Research Council,
2000). Accordingly, the purpose of this paper was
to systematically review the literature and objectively
assess the effects of short versus long inter-set rest
intervals in resistance training and their impact on
long-term muscle hypertrophy. Based on a critical
examination of the current body of research, evi-
dence-based recommendations are provided for
practitioners striving to optimize training regimens
aimed at maximizing muscle growth.
Methodology
Inclusion criteria
Studies were assessed for eligibility based on the fol-
lowing inclusion criteria: (a) an experimental trial
published in an English-language peer-reviewed
journal; (b) the study compared the use of short
inter-set rest intervals (60 s) to long inter-set rest
intervals (>60 s) in a traditional dynamic resistance
exercise using both concentric and eccentric muscle
actions, with the only difference in resistance training
among groups being the inter-set rest interval dur-
ation; (c) at least one method of measuring changes
in muscle mass was used in the study; (d) the study
lasted for a minimum of four weeks and employed a
training frequency of 2 resistance training days per
week, and (e) used human participants without
known chronic disease or injury.
Search strategy
We performed the systematic literature search con-
forming to the guidelines set forth by the PRISMA
Statement (Moher, Liberati, Tetzlaff, Altman, &
PRISMA Group, 2009). We conducted a compre-
hensive search of the following databases: PubMed/
2J. Grgic et al.
MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Science and Cochrane
Library. The search strategy encompassed the
period from the inception of indexing concluding
on 20 December 2016. We used the search terms
for rest intervals with the wildcard symbol (rest
interval,inter-set rest interval) in a combination
with Boolean operators (AND, OR) and topic-
related terms: resistance training,muscle hyper-
trophy,muscular hypertrophy,muscle mass,
training load,strength training,bodybuilding,
cross-sectional area,growth,muscular
strength,fitness,recovery time,recovery,
physiological changes,weight-bearing exercise,
skeletal muscle,muscle fibres,measurement,
training intensity,training volume,hormonal
response,muscle thickness,body composition,
and fat free mass. Additionally, we searched the
PEDro database using the term rest intervalin
the fitness training and strength training categories.
The search strategy was conducted independently
by two authors (JG and BL) to reduce selection
bias. Disagreements between the reviewers were
resolved by mutual consensus, and any inter-reviewer
disagreements were settled by consensus with the
third investigator (PM). As a part of a secondary
search, we scanned the reference list in each full
text for additional studies.
Study coding and data extraction
Two authors who performed the search process (JG
and BL) performed independent coding of the
studies. Using the Microsoft Excel software (Micro-
soft Corporation, WA, USA), the following data
were tabulated in a predefined coding sheet: (a)
author(s), title and year of publication; (b) descrip-
tive information of participants by group, including
the number of participants in each group, gender,
age (for age, the following classification was used:
participants aged 1835 were classified as young,
participants aged 3664 were classified as middle-
aged, whereas the participants aged >65 were classi-
fied as older adults), and experience in resistance
training (participants with less than one year of
experience were defined as untrained, by contrast,
participants were defined as trained if they had
greater than one year of experience); (c) study
characteristics (duration of the study, weekly train-
ing frequency, employed exercises, the set and rep-
etition scheme used, and the exact rest intervals for
both groups); (d) the method used for the assess-
ment of changes in muscle mass (skinfolds, circum-
ferences, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging
MRI, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry DXA,
bio-impedance analysis BIA, and/or hydrostatic
weighing) and the region of the body measured for
studies that used circumference, ultrasound or
MRI; and (e) pre- and post-treatment mean values
for assessing changes in muscle hypertrophy. The
coding sheets were crosschecked between coders,
with any discrepancies resolved by mutual
consensus.
Methodological quality
For the assessment of methodological quality, we
used the 11-point PEDro scale (Maher, Sherrington,
Herbert, Moseley, & Elkins, 2003) evaluated inde-
pendently by the two authors (JG and BL), with an
agreement for any observed discrepancies. The first
item of the PEDro scale concerns external validity
and is not included in the total score; hence, the
values from the PEDro scale range from 0 to 10.
However, as it is impossible to blind the participants
in exercise interventions studies, and as the therapists
and investigators are rarely blinded, we elected to
remove the scale items 5, 6, and 7. With the
removal of these items, the maximum result was 7
so we used the adjusted ratings, with results ranging
from 6 to 7 being excellent quality, 5 being good
quality, 4 being moderate quality, and 03 being
poor quality, as done in previous exercise interven-
tion reviews (Kümmel, Kramer, Giboin, & Gruber,
2016).
Results
We evaluated a total of 1960 studies based on the
initial results of the search; removal of duplicates
reduced this number to 1115. After scrutinizing the
abstracts for relevance, we considered 46 full texts
appropriate for detailed reviewing. A review of these
studies revealed that six (Buresh, Berg, & French,
2009; Fink, Schoenfeld, Kikuchi, & Nakazato,
2017; Hill-Haas, Bishop, Dawson, Goodman, &
Edge, 2007; Piirainen et al., 2011; Schoenfeld
et al., 2016;Villanueava et al., 2015) studies met all
the inclusion criteria. Papers that cited the six
included studies were also scanned for additional
studies (an additional 90 results). Finally, we wrote
directly to the corresponding authors of the selected
studies inquiring as to whether they knew of
additional studies that might meet inclusion criteria.
This action, however, did not yield additional
studies. Figure 1 presents a flow diagram of the
search process. Ethics approval from the local insti-
tutional review board was noted in all of the included
studies.
Five of the studies involved untrained (Buresh
et al., 2009; Fink et al., 2017; Hill-Haas et al.,
Hypertrophy and rest intervals 3
2007; Piirainen et al., 2011; Villanueva et al., 2015)
and one study (Schoenfeld et al., 2016) involved
trained individuals. The total number of participants
was n= 115, with the sample comprising 97 men and
18 women. The studies were relatively short in dur-
ation with the mean duration of the studies amount-
ing to 8.3 weeks. The length of rest intervals in the
short inter-set rest interval groups varied from 20 to
60 s. For the long inter-set rest interval groups, the
duration of rest intervals ranged from 80 to 240 s.
The weekly training frequency varied from two to
three training days per week. None of the studies
reported using very high training intensities (>85%
of one repetition maximum). A mixture of both free
weight and machine-based multi-joint and single-
joint isolation exercises were used in five of the
studies (Buresh et al., 2009; Hill-Haas et al., 2007;
Piirainen et al., 2011; Schoenfeld et al., 2016; Villa-
nueva et al., 2015), while one study (Fink et al.,
2017) used only free weight multi-joint exercises.
The highest adherence (100%) to the programmes
was reported in the study from Villanueva et al.
(2015). All of the training programmes along with
the exact duration of the rest intervals for each
study including the percent change from pre- to
post-training intervention in muscle hypertrophy is
presented in Table I.
The mean PEDro score was 5.3, indicating high
quality of the observed studies. Specifically, three
studies were deemed to be of excellent quality, two
studies were considered to be of good quality, and
one study was rated to be of moderate quality.
Discussion
The purpose of the present study was to systemati-
cally review the effects of short versus long inter-set
rest intervals on measures of muscle hypertrophy,
with the intent of developing evidence-based guide-
lines for optimization of training regimens. We
initially intended to quantify results by conducting a
meta-analysis; however, the small number of studies
meeting the inclusion criteria and heterogeneous
designs of studies precluded our ability to obtain
reliable estimates in a random-effects model. A
robust variance regression analysis of the per cent
changes comparing short and long inter-set rest inter-
vals showed a non-significant advantage to the long
inter-set rest condition (long: 9.2 ± 0.1%; 95% confi-
dence interval: 7.4%, 10.9%; short: 5.8 ± 1.1%, 95%
confidence interval: 8.1%, 19.7%; P= .22).
However, these results should be interpreted with
extreme caution due to the limited number of
studies used in the regression.
Figure 1. Flow diagram of the search process.
4J. Grgic et al.
Table I. Studies meeting the inclusion criteria.
Study
Participants
characteristics;
study design Treatment groups
Duration;
weekly
training
frequency Training programme
Method of
hypertrophy
assessment Relative effects (%)
Adherence to the
programmes
Quality
score
a
Buresh et al.
(2009)
Young untrained
men; RT
Participants were assigned
either to a SHORT (60 s)
rest interval group (n= 6), or
a LONG (150 s) rest interval
group (n= 6) resistance
training programmes with 16
different exercises. A
mixture of both free weight
and machine-based multi-
joint and single-joint
isolation exercises was used
10 weeks; 2
training
days per
week
Both of the group performed
two different resistance
training sessions using the
following set and rep
scheme: 3 × 10 and 2 × 10
repetitions
LBM via hydrostatic
weighing,
circumference and
skinfolds performed
at arm (AMR) and
thigh (TMA)
.3.2% in LBM
for the SHORT
group
.1.9% in LBM
for the LONG
group
.5.0% in AMA
for the SHORT
group
.11.5% in AMA
for the LONG
group
.3.2% in TMA
for the SHORT
group
.6.7% in TMA
for the LONG
group
Mean adherence
to training of 89%
with no changes
between groups.
6
Fink et al.
(2017)
Untrained young
men; NRT
Participants were assigned
either to a SHORT (30 s)
rest interval group (n= 11),
or a LONG (150 s) rest
interval group (n= 10)
resistance training
programmes preforming two
exercises (squat and bench
press)
8 weeks; 2
training
days per
week
Both of the group performed
the same resistance training
sessions using 40% 1 RM
preformed to muscular
failure, for 4 sets
MRI preformed at the
triceps and thigh
(CSA)
.9.1% in the
triceps CSA for
the SHORT
group
.9.4% in the
triceps CSA for
the LONG
group
.5.6% in the
thigh CSA for
the SHORT
group
.8.5% in the
thigh CSA for
the LONG
group
> 90% in both
groups.
5
(Continued)
Hypertrophy and rest intervals 5
Table I. Continued.
Study
Participants
characteristics;
study design Treatment groups
Duration;
weekly
training
frequency Training programme
Method of
hypertrophy
assessment Relative effects (%)
Adherence to the
programmes
Quality
score
a
Hill-Haas
et al.
(2007)
Untrained woman
(exact age is
unknown); RT
Participants were assigned
either to a SHORT (20 s)
rest interval group (n= 9), or
a LONG (80 s) rest interval
group (n= 9) resistance
training programmes with 11
different exercises. A
mixture of both free weight
and machine-based multi-
joint and single-joint
isolation exercises was used
5 weeks; 3
training
days per
week
Both of the group performed
the same resistance training
sessions using the following
set and rep scheme: 2-5 ×
1520 RM
Thigh and mid-thigh
circumference
.2.3% in thigh
circumference
for the SHORT
group
.0.9% in thigh
circumference
for the LONG
group
.4.4% in mid-
thigh
circumference
for the SHORT
group
.1.2% in mid-
thigh
circumference
for the LONG
group
Not reported 6
Piirainen
et al.
(2011)
Untrained young
men; RT
Participants were assigned
either to recovery time based
on individual heart rate (on
average 55 s) inter-set rest
interval group (n= 12), or a
LONG (120 s) rest interval
group (n= 9) resistance
training programmes with 14
different exercises. A
mixture of both free weight
and machine-based multi-
joint and single-joint
isolation exercises was used
7 weeks; 3
training
days per
week
Both of the group performed
the same resistance training
sessions using the following
set and rep scheme: 3 × 10
repetitions and 3 × 1520
repetitions
LBM via BIA .2.6% in LBM
for the SHORT
group
.2.5% in LBM
for the LONG
group
No significant
differences
between groups
(exact values are
not presented)
4
6J. Grgic et al.
Schoenfeld
et al.
(2016)
Trained men
(exact age is
unknown); RT
Participants were assigned
either to a SHORT (60 s)
rest interval group (n= 11),
or a LONG (180 s) rest
interval group (n= 10)
resistance training
programmes with seven
different exercises. A
mixture of both free weight
and machine-based multi-
joint and single-joint
isolation exercises was used
8 weeks; 3
training
days per
week
All of the group performed
the same resistance training
sessions using the following
set and rep scheme: 3 × 8
12 RM
Ultrasound performed
at the biceps,
triceps, anterior
quadriceps and
vastus lateralis
.2.8% in biceps
thickness for the
SHORT group
.5.4% in biceps
thickness for the
LONG group
.0.5% in triceps
thickness for the
SHORT group
.7.0% in the
triceps thickness
for the LONG
group
.6.9% in anterior
quadriceps
thickness for the
SHORT group
.13.3% in
anterior
quadriceps
thickness for the
LONG group
.10.0% in vastus
lateralis
thickness for the
SHORT group
.11.5% in vastus
lateralis
thickness for the
LONG group
Overall
adherence to
training of 86%
5
Villanueva
et al.
(2015)
Untrained older
men; RT
Participants were assigned
either to a SHORT (60 s)
rest interval group (n= 11),
or a LONG (240 s) rest
interval group (n= 11)
resistance training
programmes with seven
different exercises. A
mixture of both free weight
and machine-based multi-
joint and single-joint
isolation exercises was used
12 weeks; 3
training
days per
week
All of the group performed
the same resistance training
sessions with the first 4
weeks considered as a
preparatory phase
performing 24 sets with 8
15 repetitions, the reaming
8 weeks were performed
using the following set and
rep scheme: 23×46
repetitions. None of the
repetitions were to failure
LBM via DXA .1.7% in LBM
for the SHORT
group
.0.5% in LBM
for the LONG
group
100% for both
groups
6
Note: SHORT: short inter-set; LONG: long inter-set; RT: randomized trial; NRT: non-randomized trail; RM: repetition maximum; MRI: magnetic resonance imaging; BIA: bio-impedance
analysis; AMR: arm muscle area; TMA: thigh muscle area; DXA: dual energy X-ray absorptiometry; LBM: lean body mass.
a
The total score on the PEDro scale.
Hypertrophy and rest intervals 7
On the surface, evaluation of the per cent change
for both groups indicates similar effects of short and
long inter-set rest intervals on changes in hypertro-
phy, suggesting that both strategies can be used inter-
changeably to maximize muscle growth. However, it
is unclear if the differences in hypertrophic responses
to a rest interval duration may vary between trained
and untrained individuals. A closer scrutiny of the
study by Schoenfeld et al. (2016) indicates an advan-
tage for the use of longer rest intervals. Specifically,
the study showed a greater effect size for increases
in muscle mass for the long (3 min) rest interval
group, in three out of four sites used in the assess-
ment. Results from Fink et al. (2017) support these
findings (in untrained individuals) for lower body
hypertrophy, with the effect size for thigh cross-sec-
tional area favouring long versus short inter-set rest
interval (Cohensd: 0.93 vs. 0.58, respectively). Rata-
mess et al. (2007) showed that training with longer
inter-set rest intervals allows an individual to train
with higher overall volume. This may help to
provide a possible mechanistic reason for a hyper-
trophic benefit to longer rest intervals, as training
with higher volume has been shown to enhance
both the acute anabolic response (Burd et al., 2010;
Terzis et al., 2010) and long-term muscular adap-
tations (Schoenfeld, Ogborn, & Krieger, 2017)to
resistance training. Higher volumes are speculated
to be necessary for trained individuals, and, accord-
ingly, it may be hypothesized that training status
might play a role when planning rest interval dur-
ation. Limiting rest intervals to 60 s or less ultimately
impairs recovery, and, consequently, results in a
lower number of repetitions per set at a given load
(Ratamess et al., 2007). Thus, short rest periods
may be suboptimal for a trained individual seeking
to maximize hypertrophy. This hypothesis merits
further robust research.
A recent study from McKendry et al. (2016) pro-
vides further insights into the topic. Sixteen men
were randomized to resistance training using either
1-min (n= 8) or 5-min (n= 8) inter-set rest intervals,
with each group performing four sets of bilateral leg
press and knee extension exercises at 75% of one rep-
etition maximum (1 RM) to momentary muscular
failure. Biopsy results showed that the 5-min rest
interval group increased myofibrillar protein syn-
thesis by 152%, while the group that rested for
1 min increased by only 76%. This lends support to
a hypertrophic benefit of longer rest periods, as an
increase in myofibrillar protein synthesis that
exceeds muscle protein breakdown theoretically
leads to a net gain in protein pool size (i.e. hypertro-
phy) (Phillips, 2014). Importantly, the 1-min rest
group displayed significantly greater acute elevations
in testosterone despite the blunted protein synthetic
response, thus refuting the hypothesis that short rest
intervals are needed to optimize muscle hypertrophy
due to the post-exercise anabolic hormonal response.
Given these findings, the results obtained from
Schoenfeld et al. (2016) are not surprising. While
shorter rest intervals have long been recommended
for hypertrophy-oriented resistance training proto-
cols, there seems to be a paradigm shift, as longer
duration inter-set rest intervals might provide more
benefits not only for strength, but also for muscular
hypertrophy. That said, the lack of studies using
direct measures of muscular hypertrophy diminishes
our ability to draw strong evidence-based inferences
on the topic.
The prescription of inter-set rest intervals depends
greatly on the effort expended, as it may be advan-
tageous to use longer rest intervals when training
with maximal and near-maximal efforts (Wernbom,
Augustsson, & Thomeé, 2007). As high levels of
force and maximum recruitment of motor units are
important factors in stimulating muscle hypertrophy,
it appears beneficial to use longer inter-set rest inter-
vals between sets of very high levels of effort
(Wernbom et al., 2007). However, when a sub-
maximal load is used, and repetitions are not per-
formed to momentary muscular failure, the use of
shorter rest intervals may be adequate. It is important
to note that regular use of shorter rest intervals
attenuates decreases in performance, and increases
the ability to train with a higher percent of 1 RM
(Kraemer, Noble, Clark, & Culver, 1987), possibly
due to an increase in the number of capillaries per
fibre with training (Campos et al., 2002). In that
regard, de Souza et al. (2010) reported that decreas-
ing rest intervals over time (i.e. from 2 min to 30 s)
did not hinder hypertrophic effects, at least over a
short-term training intervention (i.e. 6 weeks).
In addition to the level of exertion, the use of either
type of rest intervals also depends on the exercise
selection, as multi-joint free weight exercises induce
a greater amount of fatigue and, as such, require
more time to recover from than single-joint,
machine-based exercises (Senna et al., 2011). This
hypothesis is supported by the recent findings of
Senna et al. (2016). The possible hypertrophy-
related benefits of this approach were observed in
the study by Fink, Kikuchi, and Nakazato (2016),
who reported similar hypertrophic effects in a group
that trained with a 30-second rest intervals compared
with a group that trained with a 3-min rest intervals.
Both training groups trained only the arm muscles
using single-joint exercises. However, a caveat to
the study is the use of different training loads
between the groups (20 RM in the short rest group
vs. 8 RM in the long rest group), which may have
confounded results. Still, this raises the possibility
8J. Grgic et al.
of a benefit to using long rest intervals when perform-
ing multi-joint exercises while employing shorter rest
intervals when using single-joint exercises. Namely,
the use of longer rest intervals enhances volume
accumulation and directly impacts mechanical
tension and muscle damage, while the use of short
inter-set rest intervals influences metabolic stress.
By limiting rest intervals, the body is not able to re-
establish homeostasis (Henselmans & Schoenfeld,
2014), resulting in a heightened build-up of lactate,
inorganic phosphate, and hydrogen ions (Schoenfeld,
2013a) possibly stimulating increased fibre recruit-
ment, elevated systemic hormonal production, altera-
tions in local myokines, heightened production of
reactive oxygen species, and cell swelling (Schoen-
feld, 2013b; Henselmans & Schoenfeld, 2014).
Hypothetically, the combination of these factors
may have a synergistic effect on enhancing muscle
growth. A graphical display of the hypothesis may be
observed in Figure 2. It should also be noted that
the use of shorter rest intervals is certainly more
time-efficient, which may allow a greater adherence
to exercise in individuals with limited time to train.
Additionally, shorter rest intervals may be more ben-
eficial to females, as they seem to demonstrate better
inter-set recovery compared to men (Ratamess
et al., 2012). This may explain to an extent the
superior hypertrophy observed for the short inter-set
rest interval group in the study from Hill-Haas et al.
(2007), which employed women as participants.
A rather novel topic in the research literature is the
use of a self-suggested (SS) approach to inter-set rest
intervals. It has been suggested that using a fixed rest
interval may be an erroneous method due to differ-
ences among individuals and different performance
behaviour for upper and lower body exercises (De
Salles et al., 2016). As demonstrated by De Salles
et al. (2016), a possible benefit of using an SS
approach to rest intervals may be a greater time effi-
ciency, with no decrease in the number of repetitions
per set. However, the findings of De Salles et al.
(2016) are in contrast with the results of Goessler
and Polito (2013), who found that an SS approach
compared to fixed rest intervals lasting 1 and 2 min
resulted in a longer rest interval (157 ± 37 s). The
differences may be attributed to the applied resist-
ance training protocols, as De Salles et al. (2016) sep-
arated the protocol in sessions targeting upper and
lower body, while Goessler and Polito (2013)
employed a whole-body resistance training session.
It may be hypothesized that resistance-trained indi-
viduals may efficiently auto-regulate their rest inter-
vals and successfully maintain performance, rather
than using a predetermined rest interval. Possible
benefits of an SS approach, as it relates to muscle
hypertrophy, other than increased time efficiency,
remain unclear and warrant further investigation.
The most apparent drawback of the current body
of literature relates to the total number of studies
(and with small sample sizes) meeting the inclusion
criteria, and the methods used to assess changes in
muscle mass. Except for two studies, the proxy
measurements for hypertrophy were all global
measures (i.e. skinfolds, DXA, circumference).
While measures such as DXA and hydrostatic weigh-
ing do provide useful insights in changes in lean body
Figure 2. Hypothetical display of possible benefits of combining both short- and long-duration inter-set rest intervals during one training
session on three factors contributing to muscle growth.
Hypertrophy and rest intervals 9
mass (and, consequently, in muscle hypertrophy),
they are only a gross estimate and lack the sensitivity
and specificity for a precise estimation of muscle
growth (Nelson et al., 1996). Some measures, such
as circumference and BIA, might be unpredictable
when assessing changes in muscle mass. Accordingly,
caution is needed when extrapolating the presented
findings to practical settings. Finally, only one study
involved resistance-trained individuals. While most
of the studies were categorized as being of either
good or excellent methodological quality, it is impor-
tant to note that we did not include the items con-
cerning blinding when assessing the methodological
quality of the studies. While we do realize the chal-
lenges that the researchers face when conducting
longitudinal studies, for future research, we suggest
the following: (a) using a sensitive measure (e.g.
ultrasound or MRI) of hypertrophy for tracking
muscle growth, and (b) using participants with pre-
vious experience in resistance training.
Practical applications
The observed findings may suggest the use of longer
inter-set rest durations (>60 s) when the goal is to
maximize muscle hypertrophy, as it allows training
with a higher overall volume load. However, the
approach may vary based on the level of exertion and
exercise selection. When the exertion is maximal or
near maximal, a longer rest interval may be necessary
to maintain the level of performance. By contrast, a
sub-maximal exertion may allow training with
shorter rest intervals. Exercise selection is also one of
the key components that dictates optimal rest dur-
ation. Multi-joint free weight exercises are more
demanding and more fatiguing, therefore warranting
longer inter-set rest intervals. By contrast, single-
joint machine-based exercises are less taxing and
reduce the need for a long rest interval. The use of
shorter rest intervals may be beneficial for metabolic
stress accumulation an important aspect to muscle
growth. On a final note, the best approach to a hyper-
trophy-based resistance training session may be to
focus on training volume by performing complex,
multi-joint exercises and incorporating longer inter-
set rest intervals in the first part of the training
session, and then shift the focus to inducing a greater
metabolic stress by performing isolation exercises
and incorporating shorter inter-set rest intervals
towards the end of the training session. This hypoth-
esis requires further study.
Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
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Hypertrophy and rest intervals 11

Supplementary resource (1)

... The effect of Strength Training (ST) on strength and muscle mass is generally accepted and well documented, as well as its contribution to sports performance, but also when incorporated into fitness programs to promote individuals' general health. Essentially, it is the adaptation to a continuous and specific external stimuli in the neuromuscular system that activates the motor units and increases the muscle time under tension, generating mechanical damage and metabolic stress, which can lead to an adaptation response in the muscles and, over time, maybe the hypertrophy process can occur [1,2]. Electromyostimulation (EMS) is a training technology known as a complementary training method, applied both locally [3][4][5] or to the whole body [6], which is becoming increasingly popular in recent years. ...
... The STG was submitted to the following conditions: 3 exercises in the following order: barbell biceps curl, dumbbell biceps curl (with the forearm in a neutral position) and biceps curl in the Scott bench. In each session, the individuals performed a warm-up, with two sets of 12 repetitions at 60% of 10 RM with a rest interval between sets of 120 s [1]. Subsequently, three sets of 10 RM were performed for each exercise. ...
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The aim of this study was to verify and compare the effects of electromyostimulation training (EMS), strength training (ST), and both combined (STEMS), through the analysis of the elbow flexors muscle thickness. Forty subjects (24.45 ± 3.53 years), were randomly divided equally in 4 groups: 3 experimental groups and 1 control group. Each experimental group was submitted to one of three interventions, either an ST protocol, an EMS protocol, or a STEMS protocol. The control group (CG) did not perform any type of physical activity. Ultrasonography (US) was used to measure muscle thickness (MT) at 50 and 60% of the distance between the acromion and the olecranon. The results showed a significant difference in the elbow flexors muscle thickness after 8 weeks, both in the STG, EMSG, and STEMSG, but not in the CG. However, no significant differences were observed between the intervention protocols. It seems that an increase in MT can be obtained using either with ST, EMS, or both combined, however, the results doesn't support the overlap of one method in relation to the others. EMS can be another interesting tool to induce muscle hypertrophy, but not necessarily better.
... A collection of publications evaluated whether hypertrophic gain could be increased through specific changes to the RET protocol. Overall, these studies provided no compelling evidence for a hypertrophic advantage of higher frequency training (i.e., 6 vs. 1 to 2 or 3 days per week) [50][51][52]; changes in inter-set rest intervals [53]; and slow versus fast velocity training [54] or concentric-versus eccentric-only training over traditional concentric-eccentric RET [55], as long as volume and intensity were equated. Some evidence, however, was in support of performing RET sets to failure [56], and for longer inter-set rest intervals [53], particularly for experienced lifters [57]. ...
... Overall, these studies provided no compelling evidence for a hypertrophic advantage of higher frequency training (i.e., 6 vs. 1 to 2 or 3 days per week) [50][51][52]; changes in inter-set rest intervals [53]; and slow versus fast velocity training [54] or concentric-versus eccentric-only training over traditional concentric-eccentric RET [55], as long as volume and intensity were equated. Some evidence, however, was in support of performing RET sets to failure [56], and for longer inter-set rest intervals [53], particularly for experienced lifters [57]. Additionally, a recently released position stand from the International Universities Strength and Conditioning Association [57] and a recent meta-analysis [58] reaffirmed that training volume is the most important variable for dictating muscle hypertrophy and that high volume may be better achieved through a variety of exercises rather than by high sets of the same exercise. ...
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Purpose of Review Sports nutrition guidelines typically state that athletes desiring weight gain follow a regimen that includes increasing energy intake by ~ 300–500 kcal/day with an emphasis on adequate protein and carbohydrate and judicious inclusion of energy-dense foods, in combination with rigorous resistance training. This regimen is thought to promote weekly gains of ~ 0.45 kg (1 lb), mostly as lean body mass (LBM). This review summarizes the evidence supporting these intentional weight gain regimens in athletes. Recent Findings Although some research has been conducted in the past 5 years, research on intentional weight gain is lacking. Summary Currently, available data suggests that weekly weight gain of 0.45 kg (1 lb), primarily as LBM, may be difficult for some athletes to achieve. Available evidence, however, suggests that commonly recommended strategies to promote calorie surplus, including consuming larger portions, incorporating energy-dense foods, and prioritizing liquid over solid foods, may prove helpful.
... Scores were assigned, based on assessing each study against the eleven criteria used to rate internal and external variability, on a scale from 0 (high risk of bias) to 10 (low risk of bias). A score of 6 or more represents the threshold for studies with low risk of bias [41,42]. In training intervention studies, it is impossible to blind participants to an exercise program, and the investigators are rarely blinded. ...
... In training intervention studies, it is impossible to blind participants to an exercise program, and the investigators are rarely blinded. Therefore, we removed PEDro scale items 5, 6, and 7, which reduced the maximal score to 7. Based on previous reviews of exercise interventions [41,42], studies with scores were interpreted as follows: 6-7 "excellent quality", 5 "good quality, 4 "moderate quality", and 0-3 "poor quality." If possible, we aimed to include studies with a score ≥ 6 from the PEDro Scale (i.e., 0-7); however, the score itself was not a criterion for inclusion or exclusion. ...
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Background The role of trunk muscle training (TMT) for physical fitness (e.g., muscle power) and sport-specific performance measures (e.g., swimming time) in athletic populations has been extensively examined over the last decades. However, a recent systematic review and meta-analysis on the effects of TMT on measures of physical fitness and sport-specific performance in young and adult athletes is lacking. Objective To aggregate the effects of TMT on measures of physical fitness and sport-specific performance in young and adult athletes and identify potential subject-related moderator variables (e.g., age, sex, expertise level) and training-related programming parameters (e.g., frequency, study length, session duration, and number of training sessions) for TMT effects. Data Sources A systematic literature search was conducted with PubMed, Web of Science, and SPORTDiscus, with no date restrictions, up to June 2021. Study Eligibility Criteria Only controlled trials with baseline and follow-up measures were included if they examined the effects of TMT on at least one measure of physical fitness (e.g., maximal muscle strength, change-of-direction speed (CODS)/agility, linear sprint speed) and sport-specific performance (e.g., throwing velocity, swimming time) in young or adult competitive athletes at a regional, national, or international level. The expertise level was classified as either elite (competing at national and/or international level) or regional (i.e., recreational and sub-elite). Study Appraisal and Synthesis Methods The methodological quality of TMT studies was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale. A random-effects model was used to calculate weighted standardized mean differences (SMDs) between intervention and active control groups. Additionally, univariate sub-group analyses were independently computed for subject-related moderator variables and training-related programming parameters. Results Overall, 31 studies with 693 participants aged 11–37 years were eligible for inclusion. The methodological quality of the included studies was 5 on the PEDro scale. In terms of physical fitness, there were significant, small-to-large effects of TMT on maximal muscle strength (SMD = 0.39), local muscular endurance (SMD = 1.29), lower limb muscle power (SMD = 0.30), linear sprint speed (SMD = 0.66), and CODS/agility (SMD = 0.70). Furthermore, a significant and moderate TMT effect was found for sport-specific performance (SMD = 0.64). Univariate sub-group analyses for subject-related moderator variables revealed significant effects of age on CODS/agility ( p = 0.04), with significantly large effects for children (SMD = 1.53, p = 0.002). Further, there was a significant effect of number of training sessions on muscle power and linear sprint speed ( p ≤ 0.03), with significant, small-to-large effects of TMT for > 18 sessions compared to ≤ 18 sessions (0.45 ≤ SMD ≤ 0.84, p ≤ 0.003). Additionally, session duration significantly modulated TMT effects on linear sprint speed, CODS/agility, and sport-specific performance ( p ≤ 0.05). TMT with session durations ≤ 30 min resulted in significant, large effects on linear sprint speed and CODS/agility (1.66 ≤ SMD ≤ 2.42, p ≤ 0.002), whereas session durations > 30 min resulted in significant, large effects on sport-specific performance (SMD = 1.22, p = 0.008). Conclusions Our findings indicate that TMT is an effective means to improve selected measures of physical fitness and sport-specific performance in young and adult athletes. Independent sub-group analyses suggest that TMT has the potential to improve CODS/agility, but only in children. Additionally, more (> 18) and/or shorter duration (≤ 30 min) TMT sessions appear to be more effective for improving lower limb muscle power, linear sprint speed, and CODS/agility in young or adult competitive athletes.
... As criterion 1 concerns external validity, it was considered in the total score; similarly, criteria 5, 6, and 7 were removed due to the impossibility in physical exercise intervention studies to allocate groups of participants blindly; in addition, researchers rarely act blindly [27]. With the removal of these items, the maximum value on the PEDro scale is 7 points, with adjusted scores ranging from 0-3 being "poor quality", 4 being "moderate quality", 5 being "good quality", and 6-7 being "excellent quality" (Table 1) [27,28]. ...
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Resistance training (RT) has been considered an intervention with effective stimulus on bone mineral formation and is, therefore, recommended to decrease the rate of bone morpho- functional proprieties loss with aging. Thus, this meta-analysis aimed to analyze the effectiveness of RT protocols in promoting changes in bone mineral density (BMD) in older adults. The systematic reviews and meta-analysis followed the PRISMA guidelines (PROSPERO CRD42020170859). The searches were performed in the electronic databases using descriptors according to the PICO strategy. The methodological quality and risk of bias were assessed with the PEDro scale, and the magnitude of the results was determined by Hedges’ g. Seven studies involving 370 elderlies, with the RT planned as a unique exercise mode of intervention, showed designs with four to five exercises for upper- and lower-limbs musculature, two to three sets per exercise, eight to twelve repetitions to failure at 70–90% 1 RM, 60–120 s of rest between sets, and executed three times per week for 12–52 weeks. The RT protocols were classified between good and excellent and evidenced a positive effect on the BMD at the hip (0.64%) and spine (0.62%) but not in the femoral neck (−0.22%) regardless of the intervention length. The narrow range of either positive or negative changes in the BMD after the RT intervention support, at best, a preventive effect against the increasing risk of bone frailty in an older population, which is evident beyond 12 weeks of RT practice engagement.
... As criterion 1 concerns external validity, it was considered in the total score; similarly, criteria 5, 6, and 7 were removed due to the impossibility in physical exercise intervention studies to allocate groups of participants blindly; in addition, researchers rarely act blindly [27]. With the removal of these items, the maximum value on the PEDro scale is 7 points, with adjusted scores ranging from 0-3 being "poor quality", 4 being "moderate quality", 5 being "good quality", and 6-7 being "excellent quality" (Table 1) [27,28]. ...
Article
Resistance training (RT) has been considered an intervention with effective stimulus on bone mineral formation and is, therefore, recommended to decrease the rate of bone morpho-functional proprieties loss with aging. Thus, this meta-analysis aimed to analyze the effectiveness of RT protocols in promoting changes in bone mineral density (BMD) in older adults. The systematic reviews and meta-analysis followed the PRISMA guidelines (PROSPERO CRD42020170859). The searches were performed in the electronic databases using descriptors according to the PICO strategy. The methodological quality and risk of bias were assessed with the PEDro scale, and the magnitude of the results was determined by Hedges’ g. Seven studies involving 370 elderlies, with the RT planned as a unique exercise mode of intervention, showed designs with four to five exercises for upper- and lower-limbs musculature, two to three sets per exercise, eight to twelve repetitions to failure at 70–90% 1 RM, 60–120 s of rest between sets, and executed three times per week for 12–52 weeks. The RT protocols were classified between good and excellent and evidenced a positive effect on the BMD at the hip (0.64%) and spine (0.62%) but not in the femoral neck (−0.22%) regardless of the intervention length. The narrow range of either positive or negative changes in the BMD after the RT intervention support, at best, a preventive effect against the increasing risk of bone frailty in an older population, which is evident beyond 12 weeks of RT practice engagement.
... In particular, regarding modulation of inter-set lengths, evidence suggests that either shorter or longer inter-set duration (within a range of 60 s to 3 min) may promote muscle hypertrophy (Grgic et al., 2017), while longer rests (usually 3 min or longer) seem to be more beneficial for strength development (de Salles et al., 2009). Therefore, it is still not clear which mechanisms mediated by inter-set length may determine hypertrophic adaptations. ...
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... The correct manipulation of resistance training variables is needed to maximize the increases in muscle mass (Kraemer and Ratamess 2004). When optimizing the resistance training programming aimed to increase muscle hypertrophy, different variables such as volume (Schoenfeld et al. 2017a;Baz-Valle et al. 2018), load/intensity (i.e., % of 1RM) (Schoenfeld et al. 2017b), inter-set rest (Schoenfeld et al. 2016b;Grgic et al. 2017), and frequency (Schoenfeld et al. 2016a(Schoenfeld et al. , 2019b have been reported to produce the maximum hypertrophic response. In fact, resistance training is just a specific training based on programming external variables such as load or exercises selection to generate high mechanical forces by the neuromuscular system against resistance. ...
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We investigated the effects of low load resistance training to failure performed with different rest intervals on acute hormonal responses and long-term muscle and strength gains. In the acute study, 14 participants were assigned to either a short rest (S, 30 s) or long rest (L, 150 s) protocol at 40% one-repetition maximum. Blood samples were taken before and after workout. Both groups showed significant (p<0.05) increases in growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 immediately postworkout. In the longitudinal study, the same protocol as in the acute study was performed 2 times/week for 8 weeks by 21 volunteers. Both groups showed significant increases in triceps (S: 9.8±8.8%, L: 10.6±9.6%, p<0.05) and thigh (S: 5.7±4.7%, L: 8.3±6.4%, p<0.05) cross-sectional area. Onerepetition maximum also significantly increased for the bench press (S: 9.9±6.9%, L: 6.5±5.8%, p<0.05) and squat (S: 5.2±6.7%, L: 5.4±3.5%, p<0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that acute hormonal responses, as well as chronic changes in muscle hypertrophy and strength in low load training to failure are independent of the rest interval length.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of short rest intervals normally associated with hypertrophy-type training versus long rest intervals traditionally used in strength-type training on muscular adaptations in a cohort of young, experienced lifters. Twenty-one young resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to either a group that performed a resistance training (RT) program with 1-minute rest intervals (SHORT) or a group that employed 3-minute rest intervals (LONG). All other RT variables were held constant. The study period lasted 8 weeks with subjects performing 3 total body workouts a week comprised of 3 sets of 8-12 repetition maximum (RM) of 7 different exercises per session. Testing was carried out pre- and post-study for muscle strength (1RM bench press and back squat), muscle endurance (50% 1RM bench press to failure), and muscle thickness of the elbow flexors, triceps brachii, and quadriceps femoris via ultrasound imaging. Maximal strength was significantly greater for both 1RM squat and bench press for LONG compared to SHORT. Muscle thickness was significantly greater for LONG compared to SHORT in the anterior thigh and a trend for greater increases was noted in the triceps brachii,(p = 0.06) as well. Both groups saw significant increases in local upper body muscle endurance with no significant differences noted between groups. The present study provides evidence that longer rest periods promote greater increases in muscle strength and hypertrophy in young resistance-trained men.
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The aim of this study was to investigate the acute effects of different inter-set rest intervals on performance of single and multi-joint exercises with near maximal loads. Fifteen trained men (26.40 ± 4.94 years, 79.00 ± 7.10 kg, 176.6 ± 6.06 cm, 11.80 ± 2.47 % body fat, and bench press relative strength: 1.26 ± 0.19 kg/kg of body mass) performed eight sessions (two exercises x four inter-set rest intervals), each consisting of five sets with a 3-RM load. The exercises tested were the machine chest fly (MCF) for the single joint exercise and the barbell bench press (BP) for the multi-joint exercise with 1, 2, 3 and 5-minutes of rest between sets. The results indicated that for the MCF, significantly higher total number of repetitions were completed for the 2 (12.60 ± 2.35 reps; p = 0.027), 3 (13.66 ± 1.84 reps; p = 0.001) and 5-minute (12.93 ± 2.25 reps; p = 0.001) versus the 1-minute (10.33 ± 2.60 reps) protocol. For the BP, a significantly higher total number of repetitions were completed for 3 (11.66 ± 2.79 reps; p = 0.002) and 5-minute (12.93 ± 2.25 reps; p = 0.001) versus the 1-minute protocol (7.60 ± 3.52 reps). Additionally, subjects completed significantly higher total number of repetitions for the 5-minute (12.93 ± 2.25 reps; p = 0.016) versus 2-minute (9.53 ± 3.11 reps) protocol. Both exercises presented similar and progressive reductions in repetition performance for all rest protocols along the five sets, starting as soon as the second set for the shorter 1-minute rest protocol. In conclusion, to maintain the best consistency in repetition performance, rest intervals of 2 minutes between sets are sufficient for the MCF and 3 to 5-minutes for the BP. Thus, it appears that longer acute recovery time is needed for a multi-joint (core) exercise like the BP versus a single-joint (assistance) exercise like the MCF.
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Background and Purpose. Assessment of the quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) is common practice in systematic reviews. However, the reliability of data obtained with most quality assessment scales has not been established. This report describes 2 studies designed to investigate the reliability of data obtained with the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale developed to rate the quality of RCTs evaluating physical therapist interventions. Method. In the first study, 11 raters independently rated 25 RCTs randomly selected from the PEDro database. In the second study, 2 raters rated 120 RCTs randomly selected from the PEDro database, and disagreements were resolved by a third rater; this generated a set of individual rater and consensus ratings. The process was repeated by independent raters to create a second set of individual and consensus ratings. Reliability of ratings of PEDro scale items was calculated using multirater kappas, and reliability of the total (summed) score was calculated using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC [1,1]). Results. The kappa value for each of the 11 items ranged from .36 to .80 for individual assessors and from .50 to .79 for consensus ratings generated by groups of 2 or 3 raters. The ICC for the total score was .56 (95% confidence interval=.47–.65) for ratings by individuals, and the ICC for consensus ratings was .68 (95% confidence interval=.57–.76). Discussion and Conclusion. The reliability of ratings of PEDro scale items varied from “fair” to “substantial,” and the reliability of the total PEDro score was “fair” to “good.”
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We investigated the effects of volume-matched resistance training (RT) with different training loads and rest intervals on acute responses and long-term muscle and strength gains. Ten subjects trained with short rest (30 s) combined with low load (20 RM) (SL) and ten subjects performed the same protocol with long rest (3 min) and high load (8 RM) (LH). Cross-sectional area (CSA) of the upper arm was measured by magnetic resonance imaging before and after 8 weeks of training. Acute stress markers such as growth hormone (GH) and muscle thickness (MT) changes have been assessed pre and post a single RT session. Only the SL group demonstrated significant increases in GH (7704·20 ± 11833·49%, P<0·05) and MT (35·2 ± 16·9%, P<0·05) immediately after training. After 8 weeks, the arm CSA s in both groups significantly increased [SL: 9·93 ± 4·86% (P<0·001), LH: 4·73 ± 3·01% (P<0·05)]. No significant correlation between acute GH elevations and CSA increases could be observed. We conclude that short rest combined with low-load training might induce a high amount of metabolic stress ultimately leading to improved muscle hypertrophy while long rest with high-load training might lead to superior strength increases. Acute GH increases seem not to be directly correlated with muscle hypertrophy.
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Background: Manipulating rest-recovery interval between sets of resistance exercise may influence training-induced muscle remodeling. The aim of this study was to determine the acute muscle anabolic response to resistance exercise performed with short or long inter-set rest intervals. Methods: In a parallel-group designed study, 16 males completed 4 sets of bilateral leg press and knee extension exercise at 75% of 1RM to momentary muscular failure, followed by ingestion of 25 g of whey protein. Resistance exercise sets were interspersed by 1 min (1 M; n = 8) or 5 min of passive rest (5 M; n = 8). Muscle biopsies were obtained at rest, 0, 4, 24 and 28 h post-exercise during a primed-continuous infusion of L-[ring-(13) C6 ]phenylalanine to determine myofibrillar protein synthesis (MPS) and intracellular signaling. Results: MPS rate increased above resting values over 0-4 h post-exercise in 1 M (76%; P = 0.047) and 5 M (152%; P < 0.001), and was significantly greater in 5 M (P = 0.001). MPS rates at 24-28 h post-exercise remained elevated above resting values (P < 0.05) and were indistinguishable between groups. Post-exercise p70S6K(Thr389) and rpS6(Ser240/244) phosphorylation were reduced in 1 M compared with 5 M, whereas eEF2(Thr56) , TSC2(Thr1462) , AMPK(Thr172) phosphorylation and REDD1 protein were greater in 1 M compared with 5 M. Serum testosterone was greater at 20-40 min post-exercise and plasma lactate greater immediately post-exercise for 1 M vs. 5 M. Conclusions: Resistance exercise with short (1 M) inter-set rest duration attenuated myofibrillar protein synthesis during the early post-exercise recovery period compared with longer (5 M) rest duration, potentially through compromised activation of intracellular signalling. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.