Rest Pause training is great for busting through plateaus and adding valuable strength and muscle mass to your frame. Rest pause training is entirely different than any other weight lifting routine you will come across. Before I show you how to use rest pause training in your routine you should be warned that it is tough. If you are a complete beginner or simply have very little lifting experience then I would not yet recommend this routine to you. However, keep it in mind for future use because if followed correctly, it is an extremely effective routine! The concept of rest pause training is pretty simple. You basically take an exercise and perform one rep.
After this one rep you rack the weight and rest for 10-15 seconds. That counts as 1 set. Unrack the weight again and perform another rep. Rest 10-15 seconds and repeat. You get the picture. Continue this pattern until you reach the desired number of sets. You can look at rest pause training as performing single reps for multiple sets. 6-10 sets are often preferred on this type of routine. Don’t mistake this routine as something that is geared specifically towards powerlifters, strength athletes or strongmen. The combination of single sets, high intensity and small rest periods is perfect for muscle mass and strength gains. Everyone can benefit from this type of training!
Rest Pause Training – An Example
To show you how a rest pause training routine can be set up take a look at the below example:
Monday / Friday
Chest, Back, and Biceps
Flat Barbell Bench Presses: 10×1
Bent-over Barbell Rows: 10×1
One Arm Dumbbell Curls: 10×1
Wednesday / Saturday
Legs and Shoulders
Stiff Legged Deadlifts: 10×1
Standing Shoulder Presses 10×1
Standing Calf Raises: 10×1
As you can see, the main compound lifts for each muscle group are included in the workout (bench press, rows, squats, shoulder presses) and are performed for 10 sets of singles (1 rep). There is no direct tricep work due to the fact your triceps get blasted during all pressing movements (bench and shoulder presses). Ab work can be added to the end of the workout should you need it.
Weighted crunches, leg raises or side bends are all good choices. Rest Periods. Rest periods between reps should be 10-15 seconds. Rest periods between exercises should be 1-2 minutes. Weight Used. Ideally you want to start off with your 3 rep max. Find your 3 rep max and use that weight for every single set. For example, say your 3 rep max for bench press is 225lbs. You will perform 10 sets of 1 repetition with 225lbs. Due to the intensity of this kind of workout I would first recommend you increase your rest intervals slightly to get use to this type of routine. Using the above example of the bench press, perform 225lbs for each set taking 45-60 seconds rest in-between each set/rep. Once you manage to hit all 10 sets for one rep, drop the rest period to 30 seconds for your next workout.
Once you achieve all 10 sets again with only 30 seconds of rest, drop it down to 15 seconds. Once you can perform all 10 sets of the exercise with only 15 second rest periods between each rep its time to increase the weight. Increase the weight by 10lbs and reset your rest intervals back to 45-60 seconds. Drop your rest intervals down again when you are able to fully complete all 10 sets and repeat. Using a rest pause training routine can be tough so ensure you are not on the verge of overtraining before starting one.
Generally a rest-pause training program is performed for 5-6 weeks due to the high intensity of the routine. However, if your making great progress there is no need to stop there. If you are enjoying the program continue it until your progress stalls. Great strength and muscle gains can be made on this type of program so don’t shy away from it based on the low volume. This routine is intense and you will see why so many bodybuilders and athletes incorporate rest pause training into their workout routines to help trigger new muscle growth.