Get XXL Arms

Go light on work and heavy on rest for a new, re­laxed ap­proach to adding ex­tra bulk and get­ting the most from your min­utes off

Men's Health (Australia) - - Contents -

Bust out of your shirts by re­think­ing your rest time.

FOR­GET WHAT YOU know about reps and rest. The ‘12 reps punc­tu­ated by a minute’s rest’ pro­to­col, long re­lied upon by bulk­ing bros, is now as out­dated as their snap­backs. New re­search flex­ing its sci­en­tific mus­cle sug­gests that you need to lift lighter and rest longer to really pack on size.

Ob­serv­ing a test group who per­formed up­per-body iso­la­tion moves, sports sci­en­tists found that a gen­er­ous help­ing of five-minute rest pe­ri­ods pro­duced the great­est over­all rep out­put in those lift­ing weights at 50 per cent of their 1RM. The study, pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Hu­man Ki­net­ics, found that a re­cov­ery time of 60 sec­onds – or even up to three min­utes – wasn’t enough to fully recharge.

But that doesn’t mean rest­ful ses­sions need to over­run. Longer rests will al­low you to lift ef­fec­tively in the 20-25 rep range, fit­ting in the same vol­ume of work into fewer sets. Es­sen­tially, a sci­en­tific re­jig of your cur­rent work­out will see you rest more and yet build a bet­ter body.

Ex­tended rest pe­ri­ods are not an ex­cuse to ex­er­cise your thumbs on In­sta­gram, how­ever. Off­set your pur­suit of ‘the pump’ by spend­ing the in­ter­ven­ing five min­utes work­ing on your mo­bil­ity with our mus­cle­loos­en­ing ex­er­cises (be­low). Match the move to your lift to make the most of your newly found free min­utes in the gym.

A time out is the key to fast gains.

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