T Nation

Rest-Pause Training


I just thought I would remind T-Nation members, old and new about Rest-Pause training. I think too many people are focused on specific programs instead of applying the principals or ideas behind them to a custom program of their own. The results of applying Rest-Pause Training are excellent. I am dominantly fast-twitch and received great results from this within six-months and my friend who is the ?ultimate? ectomorph who is a cycling freak found himself deadlifting 315lbs, for singles, at a weight of 145lbs.

The first six months I started to deadlift, while cycling in Rest-Pause training (3 weeks on, 2 weeks off), my deadlift flew up from learning the form with 225lbs on the bar to maxing out at 405lbs at a weight of 180lbs six months later. And that was with, what I would consider, "newbie" form (shoulders over the bar, bar not rolled all the way to shins, etc.)

Mike Mahler is definitely one of my favorite coaches/trainers, who posts on T-Nation. Mike definitely has some excellent articles about life, training and nutrition, anyone who isn?t that familiar with him should check out his archives.

A link to Mike's article on ?REST-PAUSE TRAINING?: http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=236rest2

There is an increased risk of injury with Rest-Pause Training so you weigh the results with the risk.


RP and drop sets are 2 of my favorite things.


I agree, rest pause is up there with OVT, EDT and recently OLAD. Deadlifts, pushes from pins are two of my favorite exercises to use with rest pause.


Psst...don't look now guys but just about everything that makes even a modicum of sense will work for a while.


How would you construct a warm-up for RP?
Would this look OK?
40kg x12: 1 min Rest
60kg x8: 1 min Rest
70kg x5: 2 min Rest
80kg x3: 2-3 min Rest
90kg x3: 3 min Rest
100kg x1 x10: 60s Rest.



I find the best way to warm-up for RP is sticking with just 1-2reps for each warm-up set, even if it's with an 8 or 10RM.

So a warm-up might look like this:

Dynamic and Ballistic Flexibility 10min
(It would be good to purchase Eric and Mike's Mobility DVD and come up with a warm-up routine using the moves shown on the DVD)

1x2 @8RM
1x1 @8RM
1x1 @5RM
1x1 @5RM
1x1 @1-3RM (Possibly your first working set)
1x1 (Work set)
1x1 (Work set)
and then keep going with the 1x1

When you're done it's a good idea to do some recovery work like a contrast shower or static stretching.


True, but I think there is something that goes without saying with this particular program. I think almost any trainee, beginer to advanced could take this at any given time and get good results with it. It is basic and brutal, similar to OLAD.


If you guys really love or are interested in rest-paused training you should look into Doggcrapp Training. Its a solid system based on Rest-Paused sets and produces some great results. Just be careful, because if you dont truley understand the system it is very easy to get over-trained.....


agreed, i'm currently doing DC which prescribes rest-pause for most exercises and i'm enjoying great results.


I bet it's..um like magic.


WOW! You figured it out...

On a more serious note, I dont understand why you seem to want to discredit this program as compared to others. No there is really nothing special about the said program, but it is one that I tend to lean on a bit. A while back I would rotate it in about every 3rd rotation, and got great results, strenght and size wise.


I'm not discrediting the program. I'm sure it does work for you. I've used rest pause many times in the past and think it's fabulous.

I was just trying to make a point that almost any decent program will work well if you train hard with it ....for a while. Certain programs work better for some people and not as good for others. Generally as your body adjusts it's wise to change the program.

I think any good coach would agree.


Which kind of rest pause are ya'll referring to? One with say heavy weight (such as 90% 1RM, and rest pausing 10 reps out), or using a 5RM, doing your 5 reps, and then rest pausing out maybe another two, then rest, then another two, then rest, then your last one?

Or does it not really matter? (I like this concept, it's a fascinating one).


Point well taken, Im getting the feeling that I came across as a huge fan boy of this program, hailing it as the holy grail. Which is not the case, and I would like to retract that fan boy status right now...
Anyhow, I wasnt looking to get into a pissing match over this and I find myself agreeing with most of your statements so I guess there isnt much more to say.


As for the original article posted here on T-Nation, it was a 1RM with a rest of 120 secs or so to start continuely shaving time off the rest period till you are in the 15 sec range, then do another rep, repeat till you reach 10. This like all programs arent set in stone and could be tweaked to ones liking, so find what works for you and go with it using the main program as a loose template.


Now I've thought about it RP was popular a long time back (20/30yrs?) as written in the old (i.e. good) Iron Man Mag. They would work up to a weight, say equal to a 3 or 5 rep max, and do singles with it using the 20-30sec rest pause and get as many reps as possible.


I have heard of people doing 20 rep goals, just like super squats, only with rest pause. Pick a weight, bang out a bunch of reps, take as many sets and you need to get 20 reps, then quit. Add weight every time.

Reading about Dan John's 61 rep set makes me feel like a quitter. I wonder what a 20 rep set would feel like breathing and huffing, crank another one, get 20 die, rest try a different exercise.


I tried doggcrapp and it works......for about 12 weeks...then i hit the next method which came from doggcrapp, as a fellow reader got it:a program I found called ?Progressive Exhaustion?, which is a very odd way to perform pre-exhaustion sets.

I have found it induces great fatigue but also gives you a greater pump and lets you increasy intensity and density in your workouts.

For example, let?s say you are doing cable flyies, and when the reps become difficult, about 2 or 3 reps shy of failure, you start performing the reps as a cable bench press in the concentric phase and you ?flyie? the weights down in the negative, so it allows you to get more reps but keeps the stress on the muscle in the negative phase, and when the weights cannot be ?flyied? down for more than another 2 or 3 reps until failure occurs, you perform the eccentric phase as a cable bench press and go as close to failure as you can at the end.

The reps may be between 30 and 40 ( adding up between the 3 segments ) and the tempo is fast, rhythmic, yet faster on the concentric and slower on the eccentric, each rep lasts no more than 2 seconds, although sometimes it may be a bit less. Normally 3-4 sets are enough, twice a week, per muscle group, with short rest periods between them, around 1 minute or slightly less. Each set lasts around 45-60 seconds.

The workout is preceeded by something like 4-5 progressively heavier sets in which the person tries to hit his best 3-5 max (using a tempo between the range of 211-20X ), something like a warm-up set of 12-15 reps (with a fast tempo and light weights) and then work sets of 10-12 reps, 8-10 reps, 6-8 reps (heavy) and 3-5reps ( max effort set).

Rest 5-10 minutes and then hit the workout as explained before. Wait 72 hours between workouts, no matter what type of recovery stuff you do or what supplements you use.

Just tell me what you all think. it is a good thing to cycle with a rest-pause program like Doggcrapps or Mika Mahler's take on what appears to be a similar train of thought as CW's " Singles Club"


You guys rest-pause deadlifts? That's just asking for injury.


How so?
I dont think there is any other way to deadlift. When Im going for reps I pause at the bottom of every rep. I check my feet, bar placement, reset my posture to pull, switch grip if need be and at times can take anywhere from 10 secs with light weight to 30 or more with near maximal weights.