As you probably know each and every rep should have a purpose, whether it be to ‘warm the muscles up’ or to take the working muscles to failure and sometimes (with the help of a partner spotting) beyond failure.
So, upon reaching muscular failure you could be forgiven for thinking that’s the most you could do within that set and begin the mental preparation for the next one.
However you’d be wrong! Using the rest-pause technique you can achieve physical exertion 3 times in just one set!
This is a great way of increasing training intensity which is of course central to achieving our prime objective in the gym – Effective Muscle Overload. But before we go any further it’s important we once again define ‘Training Intensity.’
Training intensity can be defined simply as work done over time and should be of concern to all bodybuilders!
As with all the various training intensity techniques ‘rest-pause’ is potentially very effective and relatively simple to do, you don’t even have to lower the resistance as with ‘Drop-Sets’ or change exercises as you do with ‘Super-Sets.’
So how do we factor in ‘rest-pause‘ into our workouts?
Say you take a lift to exertion for 10 reps, you then rest for 10-15 seconds (staying in the starting point of the exercise without relinquishing the resistance) then you take it to exertion again. This time you may only manage 4 reps, you then repeat the resting period and make your final lift which may only be 1 rep. So all of a sudden a set of 10 reps suddenly becomes a set of 15, which is not only a good time saver but an increase in training volume of 50%! This fits perfectly with the previous definition of training intensity which is once again:
‘Training intensity can be defined simply as work done over time and should be of concern to all bodybuilders!’
This approach can give you the most incredible pump (espacially when taking Raging Beast) and can take the muscles to absolute failure. Also fantastic definition/detail can be achieved when using this technique on more isolating movements when dieting, side laterals come to mind. Be conscious though to use this technique sparingly, it certainly has the potential to put you in an ‘over-trained’ state which is not what we want.
The choice is yours, do whatever it takes to effectively overload the muscles. Evidence of this is muscular soreness or DOMS as it’s now often referred to. If your conditioned well and are struggling to ache in the morning like you did as a beginner then 2-3 sets of ‘rest-pause’ could be just the ticket. If you have no problems creating that dull ache deep within the muscles then right now I’d leave this technique to days when you’re really pushed for time yet don’t want to compromise on putting in a fantastic workout.