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Pause Between Reps?


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)

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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.