Increased neuromuscular activity, force output and resistance exercise volume when using 5-minute compared to 2-minute rest intervals between sets

Gerard McMahon, Nathan Best, Timothy Coulter, R M Erskine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Longer rest intervals between resistance exercise (RE) sets may promote greater muscle hypertrophy and strength gains over time by facilitating completion of greater training volume and intensity. However, little is known about the acute neuromuscular responses to RE sets incorporating longer vs. shorter rest intervals. Using a within-subjects, cross-over design, 8 healthy, young participants completed two separate acute bouts of 4 sets of 8  3-s maximal isometric contractions using either a 2-min (REST-2) or 5-min (REST-5) rest interval between sets. Peak torque (PT) and EMG were measured pre and 5-min post-exercise. PT and mean torque (MT), EMG, mean and median frequencies were measured during each set, while blood lactate (BL), heart rate (HR) and RPE were measured following each set. PT and MT were lower (p<0.05) in sets 3 and 4, and sets 2-4 in REST-2 compared to REST-5, respectively. EMG and BL were lower and higher, respectively, in REST-2 vs. REST-5. There was no main effect of condition on HR or RPE. Pre-to-post exercise reductions in PT (-17±9% vs. -4±7%) and EMG (-29±14% vs. -10±7%) were greater (p<0.001) in REST-2 vs. REST-5. Total exercise volume was less in REST-2 vs. REST-5 (9,748±2296 N.m vs. 11,212±2513 N.m, p<0.001). These results suggest that incorporating 5-min between-set rest intervals into a resistance exercise session facilitates improved neuromuscular function, increased exercise volume and less metabolic stress compared to 2-min rest intervals. Thus, 5-min rest intervals may be more efficacious for promoting muscle hypertrophy and strength gains in a chronic resistance training programme.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • activation
  • fatigue
  • quadriceps
  • recovery
  • strength

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Increased neuromuscular activity, force output and resistance exercise volume when using 5-minute compared to 2-minute rest intervals between sets'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this