A guide to determining sets, reps and rest periods for the strength training beginner
Hypertrophy of the muscle fibers.
The recommendations here are non specific as to sarcoplasmic or myofibril hypertrophy. However, if you want to add strength to your muscles instead of just cosmetic size then stay on the shorter end of the rep ranges for this training cycle.
Due three to four sets of ten to twelve repetitions and rest between each set for approximately one minute. A shorter rest will be more along the lines of the bodybuilding programs, i.e. a 1:1 work to rest ratio. Whereas the longer one will help the muscles recover so more weight can be used thereby increasing the strength and size of the fibers and not the fluids in and around the cells.
For the strength and power training stick with four to five sets of three to five reps with longer rest periods between each set. The rest times during this training phase will be between three and four minutes. This allows the muscles to recover nearly 100% so they can continue putting out the effort necessary to push the weights the next set.
The strength sessions involve three to four sets of between six to eight repetitions with shorter rest periods than the strength and power cycle. Rest for pure strength is between two to three minutes.
A person starting out on a strength program will realize in a short time that these suggestions are the pathways to success.