Turns Out, 70 Seconds as the Set Length is a Long Freaking Time
I just found out something rather profound. It turns out that the set length in the Vertex Fitness gym actually only lasts for about 70 seconds. Not three years, not the rest of my natural born life, but about 70. Blessed. Seconds.
I was not prepared to know this. How can that be possible? You’re telling me that the set length, the amount of time I spend on the leg press, otherwise known as the amount of time it takes to reduce me to a quivering pile of regret, is only 70 seconds? You’re telling me that it only takes 70 seconds to get me from confident and strong to whining with an aching butt on the hip abductor machine? You’re telling me that Dwayne manages to correct me on my form roughly seven hundred times on the lat pulldown in only 70 seconds? It can’t be.
The Optimal Set Length
I looked into it. It turns out that under the standards of the type of training that Vertex Fitness practices, you should always be working with about 75-80% of your one-rep maximum load. This means that you should be able to manage about 8-12 repetitions. Lifting and lowering the weight under control and with perfect form should take a full three-four seconds each, leaving you with an ideal set length of about 50-70 seconds.
What You Can Accomplish in 70 Seconds
To illustrate how little time that is, allow me to list the things that also take 70 seconds:
- This is the amount of time it takes me to fix the headers and keywords tags on this blog post
- This is roughly twice the length of my attention span on a good day
- This is the time it takes me to finish inhaling a Snickers bar
- This is the amount of time my cat will allow me to touch her paws before biting me
- This is the length of time in between me unlocking my front door and flinging my bra across the room
- This is the amount of time I can get away with playing the Country Christmas Pandora station before my husband complains
Do you see how little time that really is?
Although I kid, 70 seconds really is the optimal amount of time for a set to last. If you give your muscles ample breaks in between reps and sets, you aren’t working to your maximum potential, and you’re taking that much longer to reach the optimal amount of muscle fatigue needed to grow stronger. Doing just a single set of 70 seconds at your maximum effort is what makes the Vertex Fitness plan so effective and time efficient, and gets me out of the gym and on with my life to go bother my cat and husband in just 30 minutes.