Rest-pause training has you take a break between reps, though this way of training has no standards. Some have these breaks last as long as 30 seconds, setting down the weight until they go again. Others take just a few breaths while still holding the weight at the lockout.
All of these work to give you some rest so you can get more reps versus doing them one after the other.
That which adds to your training will make it take longer to rest and come back stronger though. You do need some work, but more work may not push you to your goal of more size and strength. Methods like rest-pause may feel tough when you do them, but these reasons show why rest-pause training may lead you away from building the most muscle.
Reasons to Avoid Rest-Pause Training
Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.
– George Bernard Shaw
- Use a heavy enough weight to avoid the wrong type of fatigue.
Rest-pause gives your ATP-PC system, which gives most of the power needed for brief and fast or heavy tasks, enough time to rest so you can get some more reps. This would seem to help in building strength and size. The longer a set goes on, the more the body draws from the next stage. This next stage builds up lactate, which limits tension. Tension is the main signal our bodies need to build more muscle.
You do not need rest-pause training though to form enough tension. This can occur with just one tough set. You do not need to use very low reps either.
You do need a set that lasts not too long. Less than a minute should stop too much lactate from forming. Your body does improve at handling this state though, so you could choose to use more reps if it worked well for you. If you then train to failure, which will slow down the set at the end, this will boost tension. Push with all of your might at the end to wear out the fast-twitch fibers.
- Add weight over time.
Rest-pause does not in itself help you to reach this goal. More work leads to fatigue that is not best for tension. The changes that take place in your body to handle lactate has almost nothing to do with strength and size. Some do argue though that the buildup of lactate may boost other growth factors. Brief ups and downs in hormones can promise no real change though. It may all just give you more work than you need.
In the end, many use rest-pause to add sets. This makes it harder to know your progress versus just one hard set. You give less effort when it counts. While rest-pause uses time better than other advanced techniques, these as a whole should not be needed. Like negative training, rest-pause seems to hold great worth until you realize that most of the strongest avoid it.
Many state that to train to failure with more reps builds more muscle and less strength. Low reps and not training to failure, along with rest-pause, works on strength best. While using your utmost strength may ask for more skill, building strength and size, in the long run, are the same thing.
Others use rest-pause to add variety. This does not add weight though. It just forms a mirage of progress. This may work only since you get a break from training at your best. You have to learn or relearn a movement or style. This has you work less hard, which helps your body to heal when overtrained.
- Stay safe.
More work can stress the joints. As you add more and more work, the sets can grow unsafe as you tire. This ups the chance that you lose control of the weight.
Choose the right exercises. Avoid extremes in positions and ranges of motion. These tips will help the most. Too much work still can cause issues with your form. If you get injured, at best, you may not be able to train well for a long time.
Training safely should also work best as it uses the body as it evolved to expect.
Try to Avoid Rest-Pause Training
Adding time to get in more work is not the key to fitness. To improve fitness and use your time best, you should do more work in the same or less time. You may feel like you can overcome your plateaus with rest-pause, but in most cases, you just made the standard easier to reach.
For longer sets, a brief pause here and there may reduce fatigue that gets in the way of building size and strength. For a set of any length, it can prepare your mind for a tough rep. Take a brief pause with your last reps, perhaps a few more for long sets, while still holding the weight. This can give a boost from rest-pause yet prevent its abuse.
If rest-pause gets someone to work much harder than they would with one set, then the method could work, even if not ideal.
Training brings into play so many factors. We all just take our best guesses on what does and does not work. I suggest using much less exercise than most do. You need to try things, measure your results, and make your own conclusions though.
Using a heavy enough weight that increases in time is all that matters to build size and strength. All that you do in your program must work toward this goal. Rest-pause is not efficient, so try to avoid it as it is usually done.