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Rest-Pause Set vs Straight Set


normal straight set
4x8: 100kg x 8, 8, 8, 8

rest-pause set (20-30 seconds)
100kg x 8, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 (total 32 reps)

which one is better? or they are same?


Better for what?

First, what you listed as "rest-pause" would technically be a little more like "cluster sets". Rest-pause is generally lifting to failure, taking a short rest, lifting to failure again, maybe taking one more short rest, and then lifting to failure again.

There are tons of set/rep schemes that'll get you varying degrees of strength, size, power, etc. Lifting a weight that's your 8-10RM for 4x8 would be more for traditional hypertrophy. Lifting a weight that's your 8-10RM for 1x8 and then 12x2 would be for... I don't really know what. Strength endurance, maybe?

However, you could probably get a nice blend of size/strength lifting that same weight explosively-fast for 10x3 (a classic Chad Waterbury template).

There were two recent articles discussing the pros and cons of a ton of different set/rep schemes:


Read my mind. People often seem to ask "Is X better than Y?" (not just in lifting and training, either, but many walks of life) in black-and-white terms while missing a necessary piece of information, like the desired outcome.


This is my understanding as well. Borge "Blade" Fagerli (occasional TN contributor) calls his version of rest-pause 'Myo-Reps,' and says the goal of this technique is to re-create, over and over, the tension associated with the last few reps of a hard (ie, taken to positive failure) work-set. But as Mr Colluci points out, for this to occur one must get to that near-failure point in the first place.


Seems like semantics to me. I'm currently on a program where I work up to near 10 rep set but not quite to failure. The idea is to complete a 20 rep set. Depending on the exercise and weight involved my rep scheme may look like what you guys consider cluster sets yet I'm only taking (or trying to take) 10-20 seconds between pauses . In my eyes I'm doing rest pause work.


I think it's a little yes and a little no.

On one hand, for sure anyone can call a technique whatever they want in the context of their own training. Instead of rest-pause, I could call it 'ellipsis sets" since when I do it, I literally write in my training notebook "135/7...+3...+1...+1". In that regard, it doesn't matter so much what it's called because, as long as I understand it, it works.

Some idea goes for exercise names to an extent. I might call them lying french presses, you might call them skullcrushers, that guy might call them nosebreakers, another guy might call them laying down triceps curls, but it's the exact same movement.

But on the other hand, when we're talking among a group, it definitely helps to stick to "generally accepted definitions" in order to keep the discussion useful and on topic. (Not to dredge up a shitstorm, but I'm reminded of the "pre-fatigue/pre-exhaust" debacle from last year.)

So if the OP reads about Dorain Yates doing rest-pause and he reads about Thibaudeau talking about cluster sets, he'll have a better idea of which info is relevant to his situation.


Seems like you are using the same weight for the same amount of reps no idea why one would be better than the other you are moving the same amount of weight. Sure maybe a couple reps are faster but in the end i think the 4x8 would be better as long as those arent locked out (for size at least)


I thought the point of cluster reps was to use more weight for the same amount of total reps. Otherwise what is the point?




from the research i've read and experience, rest pause produces better results when training for power or speed, while straight sets are superior for strength and size


Vice versa. Cluster training lets you get more total reps (more volume) with a given load. So it's a way to get, say, 5 total reps with your 3RM. 1 rep, short rest, 1 rep, short rest, etc.

There have been several articles, as far back as 2003, talking about different ways to use it:

The biggest difference between "rest-pause" and "cluster reps" seems to be whether or not you hit failure (which will influence whether the training is more productive for size or strength). Muscular failure, rest-pause. No failure, clusters. Is it nitpicky? Again, a little yes and a little no.


Sorry read fast but either way straight vs these two techniques means those two "intensity" tenchiques should have more volume. Ie more total weight moved than straight sets whether it's through more reps or more weight.



Genuinely interested in this and other techniques.
Is there a name for a kind of excercise in which you pause for 3/4 seconds between each rep of the same set?
I think its aim is to lose the elastic component of the muscle, so that every rep is like a first rep, with no help from the natural contraction of the muscle from the previous rep.
Is this correct and is it a valid strength training?
I do it for pull ups.
Thank you.


Deadstop training:





i do this and it works


Front squats
Chin-ups (shoulder width grip)
Bench press (very slight incline)
Seated rows (wide grip, pull bar to pecs)
Leg curls
Concentration curls (alternate between arms with no/minimal rest)
Rope pressdowns
Standing calf raises
Wide grip upright rows (barbell or cable)


Romanian deadlifts
Pull-ups (wide grip)
Dips (parallel or V bar)
Chest-supported dumbbell rows (let elbows flare away from body)
Leg extensions
Incline dumbbell curls
Overhead extensions
Seated calf raises
Side lateral raises (dumbbell or cable)

Optional exercises (can be added to either A or B):

Hip thrusts
Dumbbell flyes (reverse dumbbell flyes should also be added in order to maintain balance)
Reverse dumbbell flyes (chest supported on bench, same movement as dumbbell flyes but in reverse)

Direct abdominal exercises are a complete waste of time, I no longer recommend them.

For all exercises (except calf exercises) you should select around a 10RM (8-12 is close enough) and take your first set of each exercises to failure (my definition of failure is not being able to complete another full rep, so if you can complete 10 full reps but would fail to complete rep 11 you should stop after 10 reps).

After reaching failure you should rest only long enough to perform another 3 (2-4 is fine) reps, keep performing rest-pause sets until you've completed 30 total reps, so it should look like 10, 3, 3, 3 etc.

If you can perform more than 4 reps during your rest-pause sets you're simply resting too long, if you can't perform at least 2 reps you're not resting long enough, every exercise will require different rest periods so you'll need to learn via experience. You should add more weight next workout if you can complete 12 reps in your first set, add the smallest amount of weight possible, try not to let your reps drop below 8 after adding weight (although sometimes it's unavoidable, don't worry too much about it).

For standing calf raises you should select around a 15RM and perform 3 straight sets to failure with 60 seconds rest between sets, add more weight once you can complete 20 reps in your first set. For seated calf raises you should select around a 20RM and perform 3 straight sets to failure with 30 seconds rest between sets, add more weight once you can complete 30 reps in your first set.

If 30 total reps per exercise is too demanding or time consuming you can reduce this target to 20 total reps per exercise, you can even mix and match, perhaps 30 total reps for the big exercises and 20 total reps for the small exercises. If possible I recommend sticking with the full 30 reps, more volume generally results in faster progress.

Exercise order isn't set in stone, go with whatever you prefer. I recommend a 3/1 week loading/deloading schedule, during a deload week you only perform your first set of each exercise.


How has it worked for you? Starting stats? How long have you been doing said program? current stats?


I ran it for a month straight, no rest days during winter break and made crazy gains. All I ate was greek yogurt pre-workout and I ate w/e my mom cooked for dinner but always made sure to get 180+ grams of protein.Haven't been as consistent since due to sickness, job and laziness. This routine was very tough mentally and had I of taken the deload I think would have been better off. Body was wrecked after a month.

some modifications I made
- no horizontal pull(mistake)
- no access to calf machine so no calves
- 30 rep side raises every day and no upright row (highly recommend)
- back squat instead of front squat
- klokov press instead of incline

I cant remeber all my lifts but here are a few
Bw mid 180s-170
bench 185x12-215x9
rdl- 27513-315x12
pull ups- 45x10-80x11
db curl- 35x10- 50x10
Squat atg 225x14-265x11
Klokov press- 105x12-135x9