T Nation

Pause Between Reps?

I have never been told if this matters or not. When your lifting, is it a bad idea to pause between reps to get a few seconds rest? Whenever I squat I almost always need to get a few seconds break inbetween my last few reps if I go above 5 reps.

Depends on the exercise and the equipment for me

if it’s deadlifts and i don’t want to screw up my back (i have crappy form) then i will wait 2-3 seconds after putting the weight down to set myself up mentally and position for the next rep

on the other hand other exercises where there is constant weight hanging there like curls, pulldowns, chins, etc. then it’s one after the other

If you’re constantly rest-pausing, it’s possible you need to lower the weight.

[quote]fisch wrote:
I have never been told if this matters or not. When your lifting, is it a bad idea to pause between reps to get a few seconds rest? Whenever I squat I almost always need to get a few seconds break inbetween my last few reps if I go above 5 reps.[/quote]

I always take a breath or two at the end of my squat sets. I would say that’s pretty common. Of course, someone else might consider it poor conditioning. Deadlift, I completely deload and reset. One could also make the point that if you’re not huffing and puffing then you’re not giving it your all.

[quote]TheDudeAbides wrote:

One could also make the point that if you’re not huffing and puffing then you’re not giving it your all.[/quote]

Yeah, if im not exhausted at the end, I feel like I cheated myself. But I am curious about if you go through all the reps without breaking if it would give you a better workout.

Better workout how? Better metcon workout if you don’t take breaks. Probably better for strength/hypertrophy if taking a little break lets you lift more weight.

Maybe sets of 5 or less take your time so you can lift more weight. Longer reps sets go straight through if you want the cardio benefit.

[quote]fisch wrote:
I have never been told if this matters or not. When your lifting, is it a bad idea to pause between reps to get a few seconds rest? Whenever I squat I almost always need to get a few seconds break inbetween my last few reps if I go above 5 reps.[/quote]

Someone touched on it - when training for strength you should take a moment to completely deload between reps with any exercise were it is possible (deadlifting for example) and partially deload with those movements were a complete deload is not possible (bench pressing for example). Not doing so will allow you to use the stretch characteristic of the muscles which is great for increasing the time under tension (TUT) but will reduce the amount of motor recruitment per rep due to a decrease in load.

But whether or not you do it depends on the purpose of your training.

If you are unsure if you should do it, before a set ask yourself what you are trying to achieve with the movement. If it’s to increase the amount of weight that you can lift - your goal is maximum recruitment per rep - you should deload with each rep. If it’s to increase mass (TUT is more important) - your goal is maximum fatigue of all motor units - do not deload between reps and keep the tension on the muscle.

In my opinion you should have phases of doing each but if you are a beginner, consider focusing on TUT for the first while.