Rest Pause Training

Shane Reis is a ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) Certified Personal Trainer in Quincy, IL. Areas he likes to focus on in personal training are often areas novice gym goers may miss or overlook. Shane calls these areas “lagging body parts”. Shane thought this information would be valuable for all our readers. Shane has competed and placed respectively in two bodybuilding competitions and in one power lifting competition. He has had a love for training and nutrition for over 15 years and loves passing this his knowledge and experience onto clients and friends.

This is Shane’s second article he has contributed for the benefit of our readers. His first was titled Training Techniques .

There are many different types of training styles. These styles range anywhere from high volume, where sets are high in number, to low volume, where sets are lower.  A bodybuilder or weight trainer usually finds one of these types of training styles and uses that particular style for the most part. Some will also favor a particular style but incorporate the other from time to time for a change of pace. Whatever the case (style) may be there is one thing that a person is trying to achieve; a better, more muscular physique.

One training technique that can be used in either high or low volume training is a training principle known as “rest pause.”  The rest pause technique defined means to take a set of an exercise and turn it into a mini-set by taking a set to failure, resting for a very brief period, and repeating the process with the same weight. This differs from a “drop set.” With a drop set you decrease the weight on each mini-set.  Let me explain this with an exercise as it is easier to understand the concept. Let’s say a person decides to perform smith machine incline presses for chest. The set begins and the person gets eight repetitions with 315lbs. The weight is then racked. Now, without getting up and taking a break of one to two minutes or lowering the weight, the person would stay seated, take ten to fifteen seconds (normally), and then perform the next “set.” This “set” will be very difficult due to the short break.  The repetitions will more than likely be less than the previous set due to the brevity of the break between sets.  The person could do this multiple times or end the “set” there after two mini-sets. The idea behind this is to build strength by using a weight and taking the set to absolute failure.  As mentioned earlier, this can be a way to end a workout for a muscle group or use this as the sole exercise for a body part. Either way this technique is very taxing but extremely beneficial.

A lot of people find this training style to be a very good way to build strength and add size. Dante Trudel, who is the person who invented the very popular “Doggcrapp” (DC) training, uses this rest pause technique. With this “DC” style, a person takes a set to failure, takes fifteen deep breaths, does the next set, takes another fifteen deep breaths, and does a third and final set to failure. There is a lot more that goes into “DC” training, such as extreme stretching, widowmaker sets, etc. The idea of mentioning this style of training is to explain how rest pause is used in a training style.

Rest pause training is very difficult and really taxes the central nervous system (CNS). This technique will test your desire to train and force you to dig deep to grind out repetitions. If you have never used this “technique” I strongly suggest giving it a try. Even if you have used it before I suggest using it at least from time to time for a change of pace or as a way to increase strength on a particular movement. Anyone who has ever performed this method can attest to the fact that it is difficult but effective. Give it a try and hopefully you will find it as challenging and beneficial as I have. Happy lifting!

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