Give Rest-Pause Negative Reps a Try

A few years i played around with rest pause and negatives and termed them intense reps for want if a better word.

Here is a description of how to perform from my E Book :slight_smile:

I had been experimenting with Negative Emphasised Training, having read a study whereby
advanced trainees using this method made tremendous gains in size and strength. The idea is
you take a slightly heavier than normal load and lift in a controlled manner, the focus is on
lowering it slowly emphasising the negative portion of the repetition . Having giving it some
thought and discussions with my HIT colleges , I decided on a 2 second positive , followed by a 8
second negative, thereby making for a total of 10 seconds per repetition, this would make it a
nice round number to track and record and was slow enough for safety reasons. Having used
this method for a number of weeks I experienced gains that far surpassed my expectations,
the workouts while brief are extremely fatiguing and taxing to the point I used an A & B
workout to keep the demands to a sustainable level. Which then got me thinking could I
improve on it even further?
I came up with what I believe was a very effective means of training, it combines the best of
rest pause and negatives. The idea is you pick a weight so that you can just about get one rep, it
should be an all out effort in good form, you then lower it in approximately 15-20 seconds, you
then rest five seconds and try again. This process is repeated for 3-4 reps, but you may need to
reduce the weight on the second or third repetition due to muscular fatigue and inroad. Its an
extremely demanding way to train and I would advise you only train once per week using it or
use it on just a couple of exercies as a shock tactic.


Interesting. Let’s give the ideas a try.

Dr Darden I would suggest a brief general warm up prior to starting the routine just to get the blood flowing.

Using a weight that would be a one rep max I would absolutely have to reduce the weight for each rep after the first.

Your 2 up and 8 down sounds better for me … I can not stay focused on reps 15 seconds or longer. But I can’t wait to try your 2/8 it next workout.

I mentioned in another thread of a method I learned of in a Christian Thibaudeau article about alternate methods of doing your reps and sets.

The one I fell in love with is doing two slow reps of about 4/4 or 5/5 followed by two normal speed reps and repeat … total of 8 reps. This has become my ‘normal’ or ‘straight’ way of doing sets since learning about it. I’ll do two sets and if I picked the right weight I will barely be able to complete all 8 in the second set with only 20 seconds rest between the sets. Lot of times I can only get the first rep of the second group of slow ones … it’s a real killer and love it.

Hi due to the deep inroads you have to reduce the weight for each subsequent repetition when doing the rest pause negatives

Could you specify what “gains” do you mean (e.g. strength, muscle mass, muscularity/definition) and for how long have you been able to maintain the “progression” of gains? Any reasonable change of the program (especially, if one sticks to the same routine for a quite long period of time) delivers instant gains, which, however, may not last forever and may require another change in training environment.

Sounds a lot like Big Jim Flanagan’s routine posted on the old forum


I saw an increase in size and fullness which and have been able to maintain over the years. I used this method a number of years ago now.
But as I stated from a previous post I regulate my training periodically both in terms of volume, frequency and intensity.
The excert is from my ebook which documents my 30 years of training using predominantly high intensity principles
It can be found on Amazon called Rational Resistance Training and is just £3.00 should you wish to know more. If not I hope I have answered your question.

Year ago on high intensity,net a fellow lifter named Jetro wrote this:


Hello fellow lifters

I have racked my brains for the last few years with all the training plans and now I think I have come upon something that makes sense, none of this is new, but I had the faith to try it seriously, and here is what I have come up with.

What I do is called Rest pause Negative training

The plan is as follows:

I train once per week, using the Master Mike´s consolidated training scheme.

I use pure negative repetitions,

I limit my set to “ONLY” 4 reps and no more or less by that fourth rep I cannot do another.

I do the negative slowly and with nearly double the weight I can use for a a positive max rep.

I have elimanated the squat as I found squats and deads, to be too taxing on the consolidated routine, I do leg extensions instead of the squat (thus saving alot of nervous system and back power). I do the leg extensions with pure negative movement and it takes about 10 to 11 seconds to lower from full contraction to the very bottom ( my training partner actual times them with a stopwatch).

I did negative deadlifts but the weight became insane. Now I do them in the normal fashion, but I would prefer to be able to do them purely negative, I made crazy strength and size gains doing those negative deads, traps, forearms, butt, hams everything grew.

Anyway, why I do this is as follows. Mike said that the last rep was the growth rep, so I felt "well if this is the case why waste those first 6 to 8 on a normal set, why not get that growth rep from the very beginning, only heavy negatives would allow that to occur in my logic. Why limit the resistance my muscles and nervous system could handle by limitations of positive reps. So I got rid of positive reps.

To allow me to get 4 heavy negatives, I have had to take the rest pause angle, as Mike did, there was no other way, otherwise I would have died, I use between 5 to 25 seconds rest actually timed.

My results have been pretty wild, my side delts have grown immensely, triceps and biceps have ballooned, and here is my favourite, without squats, using only deads and negative leg extensions, my quads and hams have expanded dramatically. My quads are growing on neg leg extensions, plus the teardrop muscle is finally evident, I never had that with squats alone.

My training is like this:

every friday workout A

Deads: 1 set of 4 reps Wgt: 495 lbs

Laterial machine raise: 1x 4 reps wgt 85 lbs

R.delt machine: 1 x 4 reps wgt 70 lbs

calves: 1 set to failure with 480 lbs neg reps, (up on two feet lower on 1)

reverse wrist curls: 1 set to failure with 45 lbs plate weight (usually 4 to 6 reps) I do these to balance the forearm ,

Workout B: following friday

Negative Bench Press 1 x 4 wgt as of now 405 lbs ( done in power cage)

leg extension: 1 x 4 (sometimes 6) wgt 310 lbs ( I need to add a dumbell to the stack, to get this wgt)

Neg underhand Chinup: 1 x 4 wgt as of now 92 lbs ( trust me on this 4 reps is all you will need)

That is the plan, it has been working great, my pecs, delts, quads, hams, arms, everything have never been bigger or better.

My stats are

age: 35

weight: 237
height: 5,11

I only use whey protein powder and creatine suppliments, no roids, gear, sauce, juice and so on.
I train with the heaviest weights I can handle in negative fashion, I do not give a tinkers dam about my positive rep strength. Negatives work, they work period, no ifs and or buts, but they got to be limited and done slowly and with maximum weight. I wish I had of done this program back in my teens.

I will soon need to add more rest days, as I am at that point soon. I have a training partner that started this training with me about a year and half ago, he was a really skinny guy, 5,11 tall and weighed only 136 lbs, I am not kidding, he could not bench 135, and could only deadlift 95 lbs, and that hard.

Well he is now 160 lbs, can easily bench in normal fashion 185, neg 275, he does deads with 275 as of last workout he squeezed out 7 reps.

I have a few more bugs to hammer out in this training plan, but it works great overall.

All I want to know is "has anyone else experimented with this type of training and if so what were the results for you.

I would love to hear from anyone, I will be glad to answer questions about this type of training if anyone wants to know. Logic simply told me to use the most weight I could (negatives) limit the load (4 reps once a week) and eat and rest. It has been working great.

Whew, that was alot of writing, but I hope to hear from like minded trainers.


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Sounds a little risky to me…

I also wonder about eccentric only training, since recent research shows that eccentric and concentric contractions produce different kinds of remodeling of the muscle fibers. Probably want both.

I created a negative emphasised variation where I did a cycle of:

  • Ten second negative
  • Two regular reps
  • Ten second negative
  • Two regular reps
  • Ten second negative

So 30 seconds total negative work and 4 regular speed reps

Pros and cons - It was an interesting variation but it got a bit tedious

Wasn’t the Colorado experiment mostly negative only training…if so, this sounds like a modified version of that with less frequency and less exercises


I have taken cue from the likes of Mentzer and Big Jim, the idea behind this method is too deeply inroad the Musculature as quickly as possible, however caution has to exercised as not to create such a deep inroad its virtually impossible to recover from

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If you’re using your true 1RM, I don’t know how you’re supposed to manage a 15-20 second negative, that seems absurd. 5 seconds rest probably wouldn’t be enough time to strip some weight and still focus on recovery between the reps and it definitely isn’t enough time to do another negative that long of your 1RM. Not trying to be a jerk, but this seems very inconvenient and even quite dangerous. The training frequency is also crazy low at once a week.


Where did I say its a 1RM I said its a weight that you can barely complete one rep with, the 15 to 20 seconds is based on experience and the rest periods do allow enough time to strip the weight and attempt another rep. As long as good form is attuned too it is not dangerous at all, again based on my personal experience. Also 4 reps at approximately 20 seconds gives a time under load of 80 seconds which is optimal for hypertrophy. Again I said its too be used as a shock tactic as I found it simply too demanding to keep up for the whole body. Too much of a good thing and as I stated previously it can create such a deep inroad that once a week is necessary, is this ideal, in the short term yes as its simply a way of increasing demands of an unusual nature thereby illiciting the alarm reaction

To be honest, I thought you were recommending a weight that was close to your 1 RM. I got that idea from this statement in your original post:

The weight should be challenging so you barely complete the repetition in good form, so no squirming or intra muscular bracing

It seems like an extreme method to me, to use as a shock treatment for the experienced trainee, as a plateau breaker. But I am concerned about the heavy one positive rep. Going too heavy you may lose muscle contact and risk a strain or rupture. I wonder if this risk is worth the reward?

If - I were to try this, I would use a weight that allowed me a regular 6 rep max. I probably would be able to squeeze out a couple of long TUT reps then. But the question is why? It must be safer doing something similar with lower weights on a machine, where you lift with two limbs and lower with one (in 2-10 cadence for example).

Please don’t take this as a dismissal. It appearantly worked for you. It’s just that I am a sceptic on all things that seem too extreme.

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Bob People’s weighed 178 and deadlifted 728. He used his hydraulic tractor lift to pick up heavily weighted barbells so he could then do the negatives.

He was Baddest ever! No drugs!
He did concentrics also!

If you want to be the best (baddest),
Then do heavy eccentrics

When you walk in the supermarket you will be as big and muscular as anyone.
It is the only safe way to handle really heavy weights long term!
Don’t go so heavy as to excessively invoke negative feedback (inhibitory) factors such as muscle fiber spindles and Golgi bodies, and avoid excessive range of motions.

If you want to try a different HIT stimulus try loaded stretching. Highly recommended if you judge a good workout by its level of DOMS! :muscle: