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This month’s theme here at Advantage Rehab is “Take Advantage of Rest”. This blog is about just that. I hope to offer a few thought-provoking ideas in regard to rest and your fitness goals.

As a fitness professional, I often get asked several questions on the topic of Rest. Here is just a few that I will touch on for this blog.

How long should I be resting between sets?

There are a few variables when it comes to rest time between working sets while strength training. One of the biggest variables is the rep range. What I mean by this is that you typically will rest longer between heavy low volume sets than you will between moderately heavy higher volume sets. For general strength/hypertrophy training working sets I suggest resting 45 to 90 seconds. You should feel like you can go again but wish you could rest a little longer. So, find the balance that works for you; not too short and not too long.

How much sleep should I be getting?

The amount of sleep that people need or should get is case by case. The commonly recommended 8 hours per night is great but not always realistic. So, I’m going to deviate from how many hours you should be getting and instead focus on the importance of consistent going to bed and waking up times. The more structured these times are the better, and how much sleep or lack thereof you had the night before is irrelevant. Keeping consistent times when going to bed and when you get up is good sleep hygiene and will provide your body the chance to rest and normalize appropriately.

How do I know if I’m overtraining?

With proper rest and proper nutrition, overtraining is harder to do than you would think. Now, this is within reason of course. If I had the leg day of the century tonight, I’m not going to do the same thing tomorrow. But with that being said, I’m not afraid to work a muscle group that are still a little sore from a workout a few days ago. Try to organize your training splits so that every muscle group is getting the work and attention they deserve as well as the rest and recovery they deserve. Plateaus in strength and endurance can often be linked to not enough work and overload just as much as not enough rest and recovery. Find the balance!

The National Sleep Foundation recommend sleep times.