Advanced Strength Training Using a Rest-Pause Approach

Advanced Strength Training Using a Rest-Pause Approach

Your muscles adapt to the stimuli you place on them, no matter how rigorous. So, you have to keep challenging them to enjoy continued muscle growth and strength gains. You can boost the challenge to your muscles in a number of ways. The most common is to increase the resistance or the volume of the exercise that you do – but that gets boring after a while. Plus, your muscle adapts to this approach as well. Fortunately, there are other more advanced ways to get your muscles to respond once they’ve reached a plateau. No doubt about it, a strength training plateau is something you want to break out of. Otherwise, you’ll be perpetually frustrated by the hard work you’re doing without the gratification of seeing further gains in strength.

Advanced Weight Training Technique; Rest and Pause

One advanced technique you might not be familiar with is called rest-pause. This is an advanced technique you can use to stimulate further growth when your workout becomes stagnant. How exactly does it work? Although there are various approaches to rest-pause training, the concept is simple. You perform a set to near failure and then allow your muscles to partially recover enough to do another set. One approach is to complete a strength-training exercise until you can’t complete another rep with good form. Then, rather than putting the weight back in the rack, hold it in the starting position and rest for 15 seconds. Then repeat the set again, again pumping out as many reps as you can. Pause and rest for another 15 seconds and do a third set.

If you write it down, it would look something like this:

·       8 reps

·       15 second rest

·       5 reps

·       15 second rest

·       3 reps

·       15 second rest


Remember, you’re trying to do as many reps as you can with each mini-set, so the number of reps will vary depending upon your strength and endurance. What are the benefits of resting and pausing? Rather than doing only 8 reps and then stopping, you rest long enough to do two more sets, thereby increasing the volume you do.

Why does it work? The rest-pause approach to training takes advantage of the phosphocreatine system for fueling muscle contraction. This is the system your body taps into when your muscles must contract with force quickly. For example, you use the phosphocreatine system when you lift a heavy weight quickly or do an explosive sprint. It can only supply energy for movements that last 8 to 12 seconds.

The Phosphocreatine Energy System

Phosphocreatine is a creatine molecule with a high-energy phosphate group attached. When a muscle contracts, it splits ATP into ADP and phosphate and must be regenerated to fuel further contractions. Phosphocreatine helps out by donating its phosphate group to ADP to rebuild ATP. As a result, the muscle can keep contracting. The purpose of the 15-second rest is to give your muscles a chance to regenerate a portion

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