T Nation

'Abusing' Rest/Pause and Drop Sets?

I just began a new program doing “rest/pause” sets and “drop sets” for almost all of my workouts. I know it says that it is a very stressful method and should not be abused, but what do they mean? I planned on using this type of method with my workouts for about the next 4 weeks. (I just started doing them.) Is that considered abusing them?

I’m also 16.

Post your rouitne and tell us where you’re using the drop sets and what you’re rest/pausing. Seeing as you’re a beginner you probably don’t need to be messing with advanced techniques like those.

Most people on this beginners forum would be better off just going with Rippetoe’s starting strength

Bench press 5 sets 8 reps Rest/Pause sets
Incline Bench 4 sets 8-12 reps Drop sets
Dumbbell flies 4 sets 8 reps normal

Bent over barbell row 4 sets 12 reps normal
Bent-over rear delt raise 4 sets 8 reps normal
Lat Pull down 3 sets 12 reps normal

Barbell curls 4 sets 8-10 reps drop sets
Weighted dips 3 sets 12 reps normal
Dumbbell curls 3 sets 10 reps drop sets
tricep extension 3 sets 12 reps normal

Dumbbell shoulder press 4 sets 8-10 reps Drop sets
Seated Barbell shoulder press 3-4 sets 8 reps Normal
Shoulder shrugs 4 sets 20 reps normal

I have a torn ACL so my leg workout comes when I do physical therepy for 3 hours. Sorry, now that its all written down I came off a little misleading saying that I do these sets for almost all of my workouts

How do the rest pause sets look? Like reps to failure… rest reps to failure… rest reps to failure?

They are an advanced method for strength gain and not needed for a beginner. And if they are like I described and you can do 5… well they certainly aren’t for you.

I dont really understand what you are saying? Lets say I do 8 reps, on the eighth rep I am close to failure but can still get it up and rerack the weight. I then count to ten and push out three more reps. Thats how I do my rest pause sets. If that was what you were asking.

I also barely push those three reps, sometimes only getting two or even one.

Also, is this an efficent upperbody workout? My goal is strength.

That’s pretty close to what I was describing. I don’t find them necessary for a beginner at all.

then how would you properly perform one of those sets?

Well the way multi rep rest pause training has been described the last 15 or so years(first I ever saw it done differently than Mentzer’s way)has been… assuming you are using 185 lbs for an incline press

185 x reps to failure, 6-10 and rack the bar
rest for 15 deep breaths
185x reps to failure 3-5 and rack the bar
rest for 15 deep breaths
185x reps to failure 1-3 and rack the bar

People have described variations of that but that’s the original as far as I know done in that style. That is done for ONE set because it is a very intense way to train… and typically reserved for intermediate or advanced lifters.

I don’t like that workout especially for strength. Pick something like a Westside style template and work that hard and I think you’ll be much happier over the long term. Get strong on a few basic exercises REALLY strong and you won’t have to worry about the fancy stuff till much later.

ah ok, thanks. I wasnt aware that you only do it for one set of your workout. Also is there any way you could show me what program your talking about. At points T-Nation seems extremely confusing, with tons of articles and different programs.

I actually tried to edit my post to say beginners powerlifting template as I remembered you were only 16.

www.ironaddicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12663

I like the first and second routines posted here for just about anyone first getting into training(first 1-2 years) who needs to build up a strength foundation. Iron Addict is a very well known trainer… heed his advice and you’ll get where you want to go.

thanks man, its well appreciated

I checked that program out, and it only has people doing 7 sets or less for a muscel. I feel like thats too easy. I read all of the first two BEGINNER I and BEGINNER II. And one of the main things was Strength= fewer exercises and more sets. I also looked at never make a bad program again.

By no means am I saying that you are wrong, I know that I am just starting out, but I feel the workout I do now is a hard one and that I could make good gains. Could you tell me what is flawed about my program.

[quote]JCUNN wrote:
I checked that program out, and it only has people doing 7 sets or less for a muscel. I feel like thats too easy. I read all of the first two BEGINNER I and BEGINNER II. And one of the main things was Strength= fewer exercises and more sets. I also looked at never make a bad program again.

By no means am I saying that you are wrong, I know that I am just starting out, but I feel the workout I do now is a hard one and that I could make good gains. Could you tell me what is flawed about my program. [/quote]

LOL this is so typical. You were given great advice from Scott, someone with far more experience than you, but you of course know better than him.

You were already given a perfectly good program. Why do you feel the need to tweak it and ‘make it better’? Why is it so hard to understand that more is not better, and that the absolute quickest way to get your strength up for reps will also be the absolute quickest way to get you the biggest?

There is no magical program. Pick somethign and stick with it. If you were to just do something bare bones like the one given to you for 3 years without wasting time with excessive sets and rest-pause and other advanced techniques that will do nothing for you right now, you would make far better progress than all the newbies who are agonizing over minutia.

I know it came off that way, but by no means do I think that I know better than him. And I’m pretty sure it will need some tweaking because of my torn acl…

[quote]Alquemist wrote:
Why is it so hard to understand that more is not better, and that the absolute quickest way to get your strength up for reps will also be the absolute quickest way to get you the biggest?[/quote]

Please heed the advice these guys are giving you. I had to learn these lessons the hard way, and I wish I had guys like this around when I was starting out.

I know, and I’m not trying to be difficult, but with the new program that Scott had sent me a link to, what should I do to replace the leg work?

According to Mark Rippetoe, the original author to the first program form the link which scott posted, it is entirely possible for someone without an acl to do a low bar squat without pain or putting any pressure on the acl.

I tryed looking up videos of a low bar squat and all looked to put pressure on the knees. Maybe I am not looking at the right thing. Also, what do I do about dead lifts.