We know to rest between workouts and not workout 7 days a week but paying attention to our rest intervals during training is overlooked. The work/rest ratio is key to train our body's efficiently.
If you are new to strength training and see a long rest period between sets it makes sense to ask, "Why the long rest?"
Rest between sets and repetitions has a big part to play in terms of how well you are going to recover and come back to do the next set.
The rest should be long enough to ensure that the power output is high. If you want to train to be stronger and more powerful then the long rest intervals are imperative to keep the effort high. When there is a high power output there is also an oxygen debt. When this occurs we are burning more sugars than our system can handle and end up burning long after we finish our workout.
There will be times of short, incomplete rest and other times the rest will be abundant. There is a purpose behind both reasons. Generally, there is an inverse relationship between the amount of reps and rest. For example; a low amount of reps will cause for a longer rest time.
A good program will practice how to pace during each sessions. With practice, the person exercising appropriate rest periods will learn how much they can push, when to hold back, and watch their numbers go up.
The intention of the rest period is to create consistency and build strength overtime. The rest intervals allow for the person to see improvements, some soreness, but without feeling like they have been beaten up.
I hope this improves your understanding behind the why of resting in exercise programming!
Yours in health,