After completing a set, I rest for 30 to 60 seconds, depending on the intensity of the workout. At times, during my arm and chest workout, I get so tired that during my rest periods, I sit down, as standing up and doing things like jogging doesn't help my arm muscles feel relaxed. I do the same thing too for leg workouts. Then I wondered if that could hinder my muscle growth or endurance.

Note - I am somewhat lean and toned with average muscle size but not as much as I need

  • Your title says during sets, your question asks about inbetween sets. Btw, what is your goal? If you want to get the maximum out of your chest, you should do what gives you the maximum of rest between sets. If you are just doing general fitness or are for example rather obese so that standing alone is a workout, well, perhaps – Raditz_35 Aug 15 '18 at 8:37
  • I've added additional details to my question. What I'm saying is this - from what I've seen from YouTube, during resting, they always say to jog or shake your arms, but due to how tired I get after a set, I just sit down. So, I wondered, is it right for me to be sitting down – Prince Aug 15 '18 at 10:17

There's nothing wrong with it if you need to. Try doing a heavy set of 20 rep squats, or loading 1.5x your bodyweight on a sled and pushing / pulling it for 20m. Sitting down won't be an option.

If you've got the energy, then there is an argument for corrective type work between sets, so if you know you've got tight hip flexors, then do some hip flexor stretches between sets of upper body work; if you've got tight chest muscles, then stretch your chest between sets of lower body work.

One of the StrongFirst kettlebell courses I attended recommended walking round and shaking out between sets, and arguably, there is some benefit to it, but if you need to sit down because you've pushed yourself particularly hard, don't sweat it.

Basically, stop overthinking it and don't worry about it :)

  • stretches between sets are decreasing force production, it has been studied. Also, in general, stretching is not useful outside of activity you want to get better to do. – aaaaa says reinstate Monica Aug 16 '18 at 13:44
  • @aaaaaa so you're saying when I stretch my chest between sets of squats, allowing me to maintain a tighter back, it's decreasing force production? – Dark Hippo Aug 16 '18 at 15:39
  • i don't know how that will help you keep tighter back. Maybe it is helpful as you stretch the movement you want to stretch (squeezing shoulder blades for squats) – aaaaa says reinstate Monica Aug 16 '18 at 16:46

As Dark Hippo states, there's nothing physically wrong with sitting in between sets, and indeed, a rest in between is often what you need to give your body a chance to restore glycogen in your muscles for a fuel source and to catch your breath.

Psychologically, however, I would add a caveat that sitting down can put you in a mental state of "rest", making it easier to start thinking "Oh, well, I feel tired enough. Let's pack up for the day". It varies among people, but I know that I'm a bit prone to taking too long if I don't time myself, or keep moving.

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