How much should the break between sets be – hypertrophy vs strength?

According to popular opinions, strength building training includes long, multi-minute breaks between sets. Hypertrophic training, in turn, is characterized by a greater number of repetitions and shorter breaks between sets. As repeatedly demonstrated in scientific studies, these statements do not have to have anything to do with reality. Why? For example, beginners react perfectly with the increase of strength even to the seemingly purely hypertrophic bodybuilding training (in the range of 8-15 repetitions), there are also many representatives of typically threesome or two-room training – who successfully developed their profiles in 3-6 repetitions. If that was not enough, for the beginners, hypertrophic effects are brought by training … interval. 

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Examples 

In the study from 2014 (Schoenfeld BJ) 1 in hypertrophic groups 3 sets of 10 repetitions, with a break of 90 seconds and strength series 7 after 3 repetitions, with a break of 3 minutes there were twin similar effects – results in the squat, bench press or increase of the circumference the arms were similar (with a small advantage in terms of strength increase for people performing 3 repetitions, instead of 10 in the series). 

 

Results? 

In Willardson’s JM and Burkett’s study (2008) 5, two and a four-minute breaks were compared between the series during several training mesocycles in 15 men. They were trained athletes (squats performed at least for 4 years), aged 20-23, height 180-182 cm, body weight 82-92 kg (average). The men were checked four times for strength in the squatting of a bodybuilder, the barbell set on a four-sided one. A limiter was used to indicate the appropriate depth of the squat in each case. 

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