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Rest Pause Training

A great way to shake up your workouts, improve your strength and bust out of training plateau is with a training technique called rest pause.  You can use this training technique on just about any muscle group.

When I use the rest pause technique, I don’t do it the traditional way simply because I am alone when I work out and don’t have a spotter.

The traditional way of using rest pause training (provided you have a spotter)  is to choose a weight the is 90% of your 1 rep max, meaning the most amount of weight you can push for 1 rep. 

If you don’t have a spotter or you’re uncomfortable lifting at 85% – 90% of your one rep max, I would recommend that you choose a weight that is 75% – 80% of your one rep max.

When using rest pause training, you are going to perform the movement for as many reps as you can until your muscles begin to fatigue.  When that happens, rack the weight, wait 10-15 seconds and push out as many reps as you possibly can until you fatigue again.  Keep doing this until you absolutely can no longer push out any more reps. Essentially you are pushing your muscles to total failure.

When using rest pause training, you want to make sure that give your body a chance to recover from the workout and you also want to make sure that you consume a whey protein shake with fresh fruit immediately after your workout to help your muscle repair and recover from your workout, and then have a meal that contains protein about an hour to an hour and a half after your post workout shake.

Another way of using this training principle during a workout
Often times, I try out training programs by my friends in the industry and have used the rest pause concept to help get me through a set.

Because I usually am alone when I workout and don’t have a spotter,  I find myself incorporating this training technique when following a workout program.

Most workout programs have you working anywhere in the 8 – 15 rep range.  Let’s say you’re following a workout that calls for 4 sets of 12 reps of an Incline Barbell Bench Press.  You get through the first set and allow about a minute to recover before beginning your next set of 12 reps.  You get through your second set and struggle through reps 9 – 12 but you push them out.  You rest a minute before starting your 3rd set.  Let’s say you’re 4 reps into your 3rd set of 12 reps and you fatigue.  This is where you’ll want to incorporate the rest pause principle.  Rack the weight, count 10 seconds and push out as many reps as you can. 

Let’s say you’ve pushed out another 3 reps getting you 7 reps into your set of 12 reps.  Rack the weight, count 10 seconds and push out as many reps as you can.  Keep doing this until you hit your 12 reps.

Rest about 1.5 to 2 minutes before starting your 4th set of 12 reps incorporating the rest pause principle until you are able to complete your last set of 12 reps.

Let’s hear from you!!!
Try using rest pause training or if you try the modified version I use during a workout, let me know. 

I love using it because it really pushes me and challenges me and I has helped me push through training plateaus.

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  1. 1 Comment(s)

  2. By Kasper @ Fortius Fitness | Reply

    Good post Shari.

    I prefer rest pause sets on smaller isolation exercises and performed in a similar style like Dante Trudel recommends in his Doggcrapp training program.

    These rest pause sets are done like this:

    Set 1: 8-12 reps to failure – 15 deep breaths – Set 2: as many reps as possible – 15 deep breaths – Set 3: as many reps as possible.

    For the big compound movements like deadlifts and squats I go with straight sets or modified rest pause sets.

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