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Would You Count a Rest-Pause Set as 1 or 3 Sets?

If you performed a rest pause set of 10, 5, and 3 reps, all to failiure, would you count that as 1 or 3 sets?

Why does it matter?

Either is fine.

Do you have a program that is asking for 3 RP sets?

That is one set. At least that is how I do it. But as sm questioned above, it is pretty taxing to do more than one set of these anyway.

If I’m counting/tracking number of sets to failure (like my planned workout is 8 sets for back) I would count the rest/pause as 2 sets.

In my head the 5 + 3 go together for 8 total reps.

I don’t think it’s necessarily “better” to keep track this way, it just makes more sense to my brain. Weird, “left over” sets of 3 don’t make sense when I’m trying to count working sets.

The answer could be 1, 3, either or neither depending on context.

Why are you asking?

Rest-pause is an intensity technique used to extend a set, so it’s blurring the line but it’s still, technically, “one set”. Just like a widowmaker set of 20-rep squats is one set, not 11 sets.

On one hand, it’s (arguably) just semantics. On the other hand, it ties back to basic program design where total volume, intensity, and frequency need to be accounted for when setting up a routine.

But, like three or four people have asked so far, where’d the question come from?

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That’s not an option!

Odd numbers are unlucky.

2 is the key number, think about it. 2 chipmunks twirling on a branch, eating lots of sunflowers on my uncle’s ranch. You know that old children’s tale from the sea.

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7 chipmunks!

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