Rest Pause Strength Training
May 31, 2012 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Rest Pause Strength Training

I use Rest Pause strength training in my workout program, which is a long warmup, followed by sets of low reps with max weights. Has anyone else tried this method, or have any input on how effective it is?
posted by Query to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I used to do something like this - a warmup set or two, a set of 5, a set of 4 and a set of 3, resting in between - with dumbbells when I was much younger (21). I didn't eat enough protein, and yet in six months of doing it I went from benching about 245 to about 305. so yeah, it can work.
posted by notsnot at 8:59 AM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Rest pause training is characterized by taking very short rests between sets -- 15 seconds or so as opposed to a more standard 3-5 minutes. It's well known to be a good plateau buster and to be pretty effective for hypertrophy. However, it's not a novice technique, and if you've yet to exhaust the potential gains from a traditional linear gains program like Starting Strength, I don't recommend wasting your time f-ing around with rest pause.
posted by telegraph at 9:07 AM on May 31, 2012

Consistency (and protein) is the most important quality to have for gaining muscle. If RP sets keep you coming back in the long term then they're the best thing for ya!

Technical answer: It's a good method.

What are your goals?
posted by unixrat at 10:03 AM on May 31, 2012

Agree with telegraph's assessment. I find them very useful (particularly for squats & OHP) but I've been lifting heavy for 10 years - I very much doubt my younger self, with his idiotic lack of patience, disregard for perfect form and undeveloped grasp of the mental aspects of low rep lifting, would see much benefit before injury.

Incidentally rest-pause lifting is a decent form of aerobic training, and using a HR monitor and aiming to stay within a 130-150 bpm zone is a much sounder method of determining optimal rest durations than counting arbitrary seconds on a clock.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 10:11 AM on May 31, 2012

DoggCrapp, a.k.a. DC training, popularized by Dante Trudel, is a well-known training system which incorporates rest-pause sets. You may find that to be a useful search term.

Here's a study on the protocol that I just found as well.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:53 AM on May 31, 2012

What telegraph said. Rest-pause training (and DoggCrapp training for that matter) is not a good program for a novice. One, the potential for injury. Two, and more importantly, novices have neither developed the physiological nor psychological adaptations that make rest-pause training effective. The technique relies on your ability to maintain high intensity through intense muscle fatigue while being able to listen to what your body is telling you. The neuromuscular adaptations that allow this take years of regular lifting to develop. It can be fun for novices because the "feel the burn", but it doesn't have the payoff of programs better tailored to beginners (like ones centered around linear gains).

Also, it is generally more appropriate for high-rep work rather than low-rep stuff. The whole point of rest-pause training is for hypertrophy or to break through plateaus. Low-rep work is more appropriate for building a pure strength base.
posted by schroedinger at 11:46 AM on May 31, 2012

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