weight loss habits

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Habit #2: Taking a Break at the Gym

Consider this the best thing we've heard about lifting weights in a long time: Longer periods of rest between sets can boost muscle growth, according to a recent study in Experimental Physiology, and the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Researchers had 16 male subjects do a series of resistance exercises with either 1 minute or 5 minutes of rest in between sets, then measured the protein synthesis in their muscles afterward (a proxy for muscle growth). Those who took the longer break saw a 152 percent increase compared with a 76 percent increase among those who only got 60 seconds of downtime. The same effect likely happens in women, says lead study author Leigh Breen, PhD, a lecturer in exercise physiology and metabolism at the University of Birmingham in the UK. So if you've been going through your weight routine Speedy Gonzalez–style, slow it down—the researchers say the minimum amount of time you should be resting between sets is 2 to 3 minutes.