You are talking about two different animals and both have merit.

A rest/pause set is ONE set with the goal to fatigue as much muscle fibers as possible in a short time.

Whereas with max rep sets the goal is to get as many total reps, hence the longer rest intervals.

Here’s the thing.

What really matters are the number of maximally effective growth reps. When a rep is done with 80% of what you can lift at that moment you will recruiting as many fibers as you can. Which means the high threshold motor units (fast twitch fibers) that have the most growth potential.

It doesn’t mean that the barbell weight needs to be 80%. With any decent weight, you will cause a 2-4% fatigue with each rep.

So if you are using 70% on the bar, by rep number 4-5 you have “lost” around 10% of your strength due to fatigue which means that the load is now 80% of what you can lift at that moment.

Every rep from that point on represents a maximally effective growth rep.

The reps you do before that point don’t matter much from a growth perspective They are essentially a pre-fatigue to get you to the maximally effective reps.

The total number of reps is not that important, it’s the number of maximally effective growth reps that count.

Here’s a table from one of my seminars

In both approaches you mentionned, if you get the same number of maximally effective reps, you will get roughly the same growth stimulation.

You could argue that with the longer rest intervals you get more total reps, and even though they are not maximally effective reps they can have a small contribution to hypertrophy. True. But it also leads to a higher cortisol production due to a higher energy expenditure. So it pretty much evens out.

Understand that the “repetition method” doesn’t mean “high reps”. If you read Zatsiorsky the repetition method is simply what we would call regular hypertrophy sets… sets done for 6-20 reps. You can even go higher, but you get the point. 3 x 8 or 4 x 6 would also qualify as the repetition method.

Paul Carter and I were talking about this earlier this week. And we both moved away from veyr high rep sets because for muscle growth there is no benefit over sets in the 6-10 range. If you do 6 or 30 reps, you will get the same number of maximally effective reps per set, but with high reps you cause more fatigue and energy depletion to get there.

One benefit of high rep sets (20+) is that it could be effective to improve the tendons. So that might be why Louie and Joe found that these work for their athletes who tend to be banged up or want to avoid to be banged up.