When you're working out on your own, without the guidance of a personal trainer or the motivation from a fitness class, it's easy to slack off and wait too long between your sets of strength training. There's also the possibility that you're not waiting long enough, which can be just as damaging. According to Lauren Clare, personal trainer and certified holistic health coach, how long you should be waiting between sets depends on what kind of workout you're doing.
"If you're training for strength, you're most likely doing lower repetitions and higher weights, which requires more rest in between sets, approximately one to two minutes," Clare told POPSUGAR. "If you're training for endurance, you would be doing higher repetitions and lower weights, and [that] would require less rest in between sets, 30-45 seconds."
How long you rest in between sets may not sound like a big deal, but not following this formula could sabotage your whole workout. If you rest for too long, your muscles get cold "and put you at risk for possible injuries," Clare said. She also told POPSUGAR that not resting long enough is just as bad, because your muscles won't have time to recover and thus can't perform well. "You will fatigue quicker and potentially not be able to hit your weight goals," she said.
If you're worried about getting in your full workout in a short amount of time, Clare recommends you do supersets. "Supersets work two different body parts back to back, with no rest in between, which makes your workout much more efficient." Try this time-saving superset workout if you're in a hurry.
But when you're in the weight room and doing a standard strength-training set, be sure to follow these rules. They'll help you get the most out of your workout.