Another study found that a 2-minute rest period resulted in a more constant power output across sets compared to a 1-minute rest period. In the study, the participants were asked to do 6 sets of 6 reps of squats with 1, 2, and 3-minute rest periods between sets. The power output decreased as the workout progressed, as expected. But the average decrease in power output was found to be lower with a 2-minute rather than a 1-minute rest period.
Generally, you know that you have rested well enough when you feel that your muscles have recovered from soreness. Any physical activity results in mild muscle soreness, so you must wait before this soreness is gone or has improved before beginning your next set or rep.
You can use a wristwatch or your phone’s timer to time your rest periods. There are also several phone apps that allow you to create custom work and rest periods so you can better tailor-fit your workout according to your needs.
What else can I do to improve my workout?
Now that you have an idea of what you can do when you ask “how long should I rest between workouts,” here are some additional tips to keep in mind about rest and recovery:
Stay hydrated. Hydration is one of the most essential parts of training. It allows your body to work more efficiently by regulating your body temperature and lubricating your joints. This is so that your body is subjected to less physical stress. Not hydrating yourself before, during, and after workout can cause muscle cramps, dizziness, and easy fatigability.
Eat right. Eating right does not mean eating more. Eat a well-balanced diet before and after workouts to ensure that your body receives the right kinds of nutrition to fuel your body during training. Try to incorporate a lot of protein and carbohydrates into your meals. Carbs give you energy, while proteins enable your muscles to rebuild themselves.