T Nation

Constant Tension vs Rest Pause


Which is the better method for hypertrophy (Bodybuilding)?


These aren't even antagonistic training methods.. outside of the fact that you'd have to lock out between RP bursts, I suppose


structural hypertrophy - rest pause. constant tension produces more lactic acid and other metabolites which would reduce your work capacity.

sarcoplasmic hypertrophy - both. rest pauses would let you crank out more reps after you hit technical failure, producing more lactic acid and blood flow.


So why don't you pick up the 90-95% of 1rm and crank out many reps with rest pause style... would that be good for hypertrophy?
Is lactic acid bad for muscle? some says its produces Growth hormone and some says that its Catabolic...


I lift things up and put them down.

I suggest you do the same.


if you are natural Bodybuilder you should train smart to Grow! not just lift things up and down...


And when on steroids you only have to dream of unicorns and sweet old magic land. Then you'll taste the sweet nectar of the rainbow and grow.

You would still need to pick up things, but hey... wooooop woooop.


Whichever one works best for you. Or both. Or one now, one later, then both at another time. Or some on certain exercises, depending on your specific leverages, exercise selections, and which bodyparts you're training. WAY too many variables to give an across-the-board answer. Just experiment on yourself, pay attention to the results, and base your decisions off of that.



To answer the OP, you have to think about TUT.
Ofcourse it works, just don't over do it.

Now think about rest pause. Same concept.
It's like comparing, 8 reps with 10 reps.

2 different methods, i suggest if you are interested, implement 1 style for a couple of weeks then implement the other for a couple of weeks.

By that time you should have a better understanding and feeling of the 2 styles. Keep the one you like better. TUT might work better for the back, while rest pause is what you grow from with chest exercises.

Play with it, whats it gonna hurt?


I guess your point is that TUT/Constant Tension is good for Pulling exercises
Rest-Pause for Pushing?


What is your understanding of each? Who advocates the use of one over the other?

Are they mutually exclusive?

@Kakno -- Me too.


Constant Tension = you dont let oxygen to enter into the muscle and you keep muscle under the tension for whole set.
Rest-Pause = For example you are doing Db curls: if you let the weight all the way down it takes tension off the muscle so oxygen enters into the muscle...

So which is the better to do for Bodybuilding purposes?


BTW my bench press is 244 Lbs for 9 reps (will be 255 on next session)
Deadlift same (cause i start doing it 2 months ago)
Squat 130 Lbs 20 reps

im 5'11
165 lbs
12% bf

SteelyD and Kakno i Just saw your photos and no offence but i need replys from more experienced people.


It could be. Go find out, lol.

You act like its going to deminish your gains.
You have a few answers here. Go lift.

I'm dissapointed that your still asking. Go do it and do what ever feels better. They are both good.
As long as your lifting your getting bigger. (And sleeping good, and your diet is great)

Read some articles on the both.

If you want an answer do constant tension. King TUT


Fair enough. (Fair enough to me, not to SteelyD) I put slightly more thought into planning my training but my point is that you seem to be over-analyzing a fairly simple activity at a point in your life where you really don't need to.

You wouldn't happen to have hungry4more on ignore, would you? Cause he gave you THE answer.

FWIW: Oxygen still enters and exits muscle cells under "constant tension" and I believe your definition of rest pause is different from that of most people. For me, rest pause is go to failure, rack the bar, take a few breaths, go to failure, rack the bar, take a few breaths, go to failure.

Most people use a lot more "constant tension" than what you call rest-pause (and others call cluster reps). I don't know of any big person who got there by mainly doing cluster reps, but there are quite a few who focused on "constant tension".

On deadlifts however, I suggest that you do every rep from a complete stop, to prevent injuries due to deteriorating form. Or "rest-pause" as you would call it.

And you need to do a lot more squats and deadlifts.

At the end of the day, you're better off tripling your squat than starting threads about minutiae. Don't forget that.


Ok maybe you are right.. Thank you all for tips.



So, what are your strict requirements?

Let me say this- if you're worried about "Constant Tension" vs. "Rest Pause" for "hypertrophy" and you're sitting at 165 at 33y.o. with a hundred and something squat, I don't think you're head is really in the right place.

I put 5" on my arms (14+" to 19+") in less than 4 years (no, not all fat) in my mid/late 30's -- and went from never benching to a cunt hair under 400 right now, but obviously I don't know what I'm doing so I'll just shut up now.


I told you that i just start doing squats and deadlifts (Was doing only stiff legged) i had some Knee problem.

Dude no offence but i dont like the way you look... your bodyfat is something like 30%+
and you look more like a Powerlifter.
400 pounds is not that impressive for 265 lbs guy.



SteelyD is so weak and small not impressive at all


Dude, I'm cool with "looking like a powerlifter" (way to go insulting a whole forum of people bigger and stronger than you, btw). The fact is, 10%, 20%, 50% fat, wherever I go, literally, the conversation turns to asking me how much I lift (without my prompting). Incidentally, you have no idea what my BF is or could be (not that it really matters).

I'm not a "powerlifter" and I'm not a "bodybuilder". I lift weights and in clothes I look like I lift weights.

Whether "400 lbs for a 265 lb guy" is impressive or not is irrelevant. What's relevant is that what I'm doing in the gym is working- and it ain't worrying about minutiae (and what Internet warriors think of my physique).

When's the last time you attracted spectators with your lifts in a gym? While that may seem conceited an d indulgent, it's not. I'm still a long way from where I want to be, but what it is is an indicator that I'm making real, noticeable progress. It's an indicator that I'm starting to stand out, because that's what strangers (like real people in person standing next to me, not iWarriors) tell me, increasingly more often.

I don't consider myself 'amongst the biggest and strongest', yet, I still stand out in the gyms I go to regularly across the country.

Tell you what- you keep worrying about minutiae like "TUT" and "RP" and bodyfat percentage numbers. I'll keep getting stronger.

Good luck, brah!