Recovery is the time it takes for your muscles to rebuild from the breakdown of training. Rest is how long you spend catching your breath between sets. Recovery can take up to 48 hours, and many experienced weight lifters spend a minute or two between sets. A study published in the journal Experimental Physiology suggests taking twice that long can stimulate greater gains.
Researchers had 16 male subjects bang out sets of reps with one minute rest between sets or 5 minutes of rest. Although the hormonal response was greater with a shorter rest interval, muscle biopsies showed greater protein synthesis and intercellular signaling with a longer period of between sets rest. Check out the blog at americanbodybuilding.com to bust another popular gym myth.