Rest 2 to 3 Minutes Between Sets – STR
Max-OT, as its name inspires, is all about maximum intensity and maximum overload for maximum results. Building on the principle of lifting with maximum intensity and overload for 4 to 6 reps, between set recovery is very important. I call this “Short Term Recovery” – STR.
As you perform reps with heavy weight, many physiological reactions are taking place to make all this happen. Muscle contraction takes cellular energy, oxygen, chemical reactions within the cells, and a host of other molecular activities. As each rep is performed, you deplete your muscles’ capacity to contract with the same force as with the first rep. By the time you get to the 5th rep, you have tapped out your muscle intra-cellular energy capacity.
This is Max-OT. It’s pushing a muscle to this extreme (overload not fatigue) that produces results. Recovery between sets allows you to repeat this process until enough overload volume has been performed to stimulate and force new muscle growth.
The idea of maximum recovery between sets is to maximize your muscle’s ability to lift maximum weight during the next set. Notice the word “maximum” used a lot here?
Between set recovery should last about 2 to 3 minutes. This amount of time allows the muscle to recover its intra-cellular energy stores and flush any lactate out of the muscle that’s hanging around from the previous set to restore its anaerobic capacity.
Now between set recovery will vary between individuals. Some people just recover much faster than others. As I pointed out earlier you want to strive for is the recovery that will allow you to lift the maximum amount of weight for your next set. For some this is 90 seconds, for others, it’s the entire 3 minutes – sometimes even longer.
It’s important to be fully recovered before your next set because your ability to maximize the overload on the muscle will directly reflect in the muscle growth it produces
This critical between set recovery phase (STR) is exactly why Max-OT does not incorporate “super-sets,” “pre-exhaustion,” or other fatigue generating techniques. We’ll get deeper into this later, but realize right now that fatigue does not build muscle – overload builds muscle. Fatigue simply fatigues. Once a muscle is fatigued it can’t be properly overloaded.
Never let fatigue hinder overload.