Effect of Rest Interval Length on Repeated 1 Repetition Maximum Back Squats


To examine the effects of different rest intervals on the repeatability of 1 repetition maximum (IRM) efforts in the free-weight back squat exercise, 17 weight-trained men served as subjects (mean age 22.0 years). One repetition maximum was tested on each of the first 2 days of testing to establish a stable baseline (IRM = 184.9 kg). Each of the next 3 sessions involved performing 2 1RM back squats, with the rest interval between attempted lifts being either 1, 3, or 5 minutes, assigned in a counterbalanced fashion. For the 1-minute rest interval, 13 of 17 subjects successfully completed the second lift; for the 3-minute rest interval, 16 of 17 were successful; and for the 5-minute rest interval, 15 of 17 were successful. Cochran Q analysis determined no significant difference (p > 0.05) in the ability to repeat a successful maximal-effort back squat when different rest intervals were used. These findings are consistent with the literature for the bench-press exercise and indicate that 1-minute rest intervals are sufficient for recovery between attempted lifts during 1RM testing or training for the free-weight back squat when involving lifters of this caliber.

Publication Title

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research