Q&A with Mike Furci


A column by Mike Furci that brings you research, trends and other info to help you with your fitness, health and nutritional needs.

Q: Hi Mike
Hope this email finds you well.

Just read your article “build your back” and found it interesting. I read it carefully and I really liked your focus on detail. I will try it in the near future.

I have only one question. You never mentioned the duration of the break among the first sets. I mean the sets before you meet your maximum weight. And since your article is very carefully written (e.g., you mention the 20sec rest among the last sets), my thought was that wasn’t an accident!

Is it the typical 1-1.5 min rest? Or, even more intensive workout -like 30sec rest?

Thanks in advance for your reply


A: I probably should have explained rest periods between warm-up sets, but left it open-ended so to speak.

Always keep in mind, to get the fastest gains in muscle size and strength one must perform their sets and reps with 100% intensity. This includes warm-up sets. In order to do this, recovery between sets is essential. You never want to start a set until you’re ready. Generally speaking, if you’re breathing returns to normal, and the body part your training feels recovered from the last set, you’re ready. You can go as low as 30 sec for the first few warm-ups, but as the load gets heavier, you’ll find you’ll need a longer rest period.

I probably should have clarified it more, because it is the meat of the workout, but the 20 sec rest periods are a continuation of the same set. These small rest periods allow you to perform more reps with the same load than you would be able to without the rest. It’s a way of increasing the intensity by keeping the highest tension on the muscle for the longest amount of time.

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