T Nation

Pause Between Reps?


#1

Don't know if I can describe this the way I want to, but here goes. When lifting for reps, do you pause between reps at all? Like, you do 6 reps or so, pause for a few seconds to catch your breath, do another rep, pause for a sec, another rep, and so on until the set is over or do you just do all the reps without any pause?

Here's what I mean by pause (scroll down to the Cutler video)
http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_training_performance_bodybuilding_alpha/alpha_cell_roundtable_6_shoulders?pageNo=2#bottom

And here would be no pause at all in the set (Branch Warren, scroll to 12 minute mark)

My whole training life (only 1.5 years), I have done the pause thing Cutler does, where you do a few reps, pause to catch your breath/whatever he does, then do another rep or 2. Usually though, my pauses are longer then his. Recently, I have become obsessed with bodybuilding and have really started watching videos of bodybuilders, when I noticed this difference in styles. I've also seen Ronnie Coleman squat 800 lbs for 2 reps where he knocks off both without any pause, but then i've seen Arnold squat for reps where he pauses after every rep later in the set.

When I tried to squat without any pause (completely new to me), I dropped 15 lbs on the squat, but obviously no pause means no rest, which means my muscles are more tired on the last rep so im not surprised I had to drop the weight. I'm now officially confused. Can anyone clear this up to me as to what I should be lifting like? Im doing usually 8-10 reps if that helps also.


#2

Both methods have merit.

Do what needs to be done to grow best.

That's really it.

You can google "rest pause technique" if you want a structured plan on how to do it.


#3

Im curious about this as well, so Bonez are you saying that some people find that the rest pause method benefits them better than lifting without it?

I mean in other words i guess im just asking is it just a matter of experimenting and seeing what works best for you?

Sorry but just trying to clear things up


#4

Well I dont do rest pause technique based on any specific numbers. If Im doing a lift and run out of breath but still need to complete more reps I take a few breaths and keep going. I take as little time as possible to get a few more reps. That's a bit different than the planned 15 seconds or 10 seconds or whatever that some rest pause based programs recommend. I dont have to do that for all things though. I cant remember ever doing it for something like triceps extensions but do it all the time when squatting high reps.


#5

Thanks Bonez for the input.

Hm. I never planned my rests, but it just sort of happened when I attempt to beat my old PR's (I did 5/3/1 and always tried to beat PR's). I squatted 250 for 13 reps when I paused to catch my breath, but only got 245 for 9 reps when I did not take any break. On my 250 lb set though, the last 5 - 6 reps where almost like singles, where I took anywhere from 6-12 seconds pause. I sacrifice weight for no pause, but maybe it would be best to mix the 2? Like do as many reps as I can without pause, then add a pause when I need to? Though I do agree on the not doing it for all things like triceps extension, it definitely is not a problem to knock out all the reps on exercises like that.

Any other input, maybe more people can provide research/personal experience on this? This is something that really interests me for some reason.


#6

Ah, thanks for clearing that up. I find that i do the same thing as you, with resting sometimes with squats but not with exercises like tricep extensions. I wasn't aware that rest pause techniques actually had a set time to rest so thank you for that info.