Rest-Pause Training

When it comes to increasing the intensity or difficulty of weight workouts, there are two methods usually employed; increasing the weight, or increasing the reps. I normally go the increasing reps way, as I do the exercise (squats, deadlifts, etc) until failure (I can’t do another rep with good form), as per the Body By Science way. This approach also is “super slow” to increase the time under tension of the muscles.

Recently, however, I discovered a new way of training – the “Rest-pause” method, also called “myo reps”. The method is essentially as follows..

  1. Do about 10-20 reps of the particular exercise, eg squats (make sure the weight is appropriate that you reach failure before going above 20)
  2. Rest for 10-15 seconds
  3. Do a further 3-5 reps
  4. Rest for 10-15 seconds
  5. Repeat the number of reps you just did (eg if you did four reps in step 3, do four reps again)
  6. Repeat until you can’t do the full four (or three or five) reps
  7. Stop. That’s it,. Do the same with a different exercise.

You should feel the “burn” after this workout, and the first time I did this, my muscles were much more sore than they have been in a while! I did squats, and could barely walk up the stairs, sit or stand without discomfort for 2 days. Subsequent workouts have been less sore, but I still feel the burn, and can see the progress I’m making.

The great thing about this type of workout is that it maximises the intensity of the workout in less time, so you don’t have to spend ages doing multiple sets. I’m always up for maximising fitness in the least amount of time. Try it out if you need a way to change up your routine!

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