Have you ever tried to build muscle and got into a heated argument with a local gym rat about the best approach?
If so, you’re not alone. There are many different ways to build muscle, and it can be difficult to figure out the best option.
At Performance U, we try not to get caught up in the argument about all the different philosophies. Instead, we hone in on basic principles that are essential for muscle hypertrophy (i.e., muscle growth).
You don’t need to lift an insane amount of weight or perform crazy exercises to build muscle. The goal is to create an environment in your body that stimulates muscle growth. And to do so, you need to focus on your rest time between sets.
According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30 to 60 seconds of rest between sets elevates growth hormone levels, which may contribute to muscle growth. 
A second study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine confirmed that a 30- to 60-second rest interval paired with moderate-intensity sets increases growth hormone release. 
Based on these results, you can conclude that brief rest intervals are crucial for building muscle. If you don’t give your body the opportunity to fully recovery, you increase the challenge you place on your muscles to complete the next movement.
Pair brief rest intervals with a moderately intense weight and perform two to three sets of 10 to 12 reps. That is a recipe for success.
This doesn’t mean you can never rest longer than 60 seconds, especially if the exercise is intense. It simply means that you should focus on the rest interval between sets for the majority of your exercises.
 Willardson, J. “A Brief Review: Factors Affecting the Length of the Rest Interval Between Resistance Exercise Sets.” Journal of Strength and Conditoning Research
, 2006, 20(4), 978–984.
 Freitas de Salles, et al. Rest Interval between Sets in Strength Training. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2009; 39 (9): 765-777.