Don't Forget to Rest
Following rest intervals may be the most overlooked aspect of any training program, yet it is really important in helping you reach your goals. In other words, pay attention to the clock when you rest, not the girl in the tight spandex doing Romanian Deadlifts. Again, rest intervals depend on the training phase you are in. For maximal strength and power, rest should be longer—around 2 minutes between sets as you really want to feel recovered in between sets. For size, 45 to 75 seconds between sets is a good rule of thumb. Metabolic training relies on your heart rate being elevated so you don’t want rest to be too long, 30 seconds or less.
Follow the Rules Before You Break Them
There’s a time to break every rule and as you get more experience with writing programs you’ll know when to change things up. But whether you want to gain power, strength, size or leanness, following these general guidelines will help you design a plan that will get you where you want to go. And now that your training is over for the day, feel free to ask the girl in the spandex for her number.
Some Last-Minute Tips
Finally, always remember that when the number of reps decrease the load should increase. So if you are doing sets of three reps the weight on the bar should certainly be higher than what you would be using for 10 reps. And if your program has more than 24 total sets in any given day, take another shot at it because you are focusing on variety more than quality.