Natural Bodybuilder Joe Schretz Demystifies Rest Time Between Sets

Joe Schretz rest time between sets

INBA PNBA Pro Classic Physique competitor Joe Schretz proves why resting longer between sets is imperative to build muscle. 

Rest time between sets is vital for getting the results you want in the gym. Often, people aren’t resting the required amount of time to meet their fitness goals, especially lifters seeking to build muscle. This is because they tend not to rest long enough. According to International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA)/Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) pro Classic Physique competitor Joe Schretz, you should rest longer if you want to build muscle. On Instagram, Schretz claimed:

“Often associated with hypertrophy (muscle gain) is the notion that you should have short tests [sic] between sets (about 60 seconds). This may have benefit in keeping a workout shorter if time management is an issue and will help keep you “pumped up”. However, after doing some research, the “pump” is not a necessary factor for muscle hypertrophy.”

Schretz shared a study that resting longer between sets (3 minutes) is more effective for strength and hypertrophy than resting for one minute between sets. 

Below you can see the study Schretz shared and his complete statement on social media. 

Proper Rest Time Between Sets for Your Fitness Goals 

Many lifters looking to build muscle will rest shorter than they should for maximal muscle growth. Strength is strongly correlated with how much muscle you build. And to get as strong as possible, you’ll have to rest long enough between sets. That’s because your muscles need enough time to recover after each set. We recommend you rest for 2-4 minutes if your goal is to build muscle. 

That’s not to say shorter rest periods don’t have their time and place. Joe Schretz says:

“For maximal growth, you should rest as long as you need between sets until you’re fully recovered and ready to hit it again (may be longer/shorter for certain individuals and also dependent on the exercise – squats need more rest between sets than a bicep curl).”

So rest longer for big compound movements like barbell squats. On the other hand, you can shorten your rest for isolation movements like dumbbell bicep curls

Furthermore, resting for shorter periods also comes in handy if you’re looking to increase your endurance or are short on time. For example, circuit training is built upon minimum rest and can improve your strength and endurance simultaneously

*Note: It’s worth noting that if your muscles don’t feel fatigued after each set, which prompts you to shorten your rest period, you’re likely not using heavy enough weight. 

Natural Bodybuilding

Natural bodybuilding is an ever-growing sport with the progressive INBA PNBA league. The INBA PNBA awards its top competitor cash, prizes, and contracts. Competitors in the INBA PNBA compete from over 60 countries for a chance to compete at the biggest stage for natural bodybuilders – Natural Olympia.

Its crucial contenders do well in the shows leading up to the Super Bowl of natural bodybuilding held in November to earn a spot. The first INBA PNBA competition is only a few weeks away – the INBA PNBA Workshop on Saturday, March 19, 2022, in Corona, California!

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Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.