Effect of rest interval length on repeated 1 repetition maximum back squats

J Strength Cond Res. 2003 Nov;17(4):634-7. doi: 10.1519/1533-4287(2003)017<0634:eorilo>2.0.co;2.


To examine the effects of different rest intervals on the repeatability of 1 repetition maximum (1RM) 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 (1RM = 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 types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Rest / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*