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Rest pause training is not a way to get relief in training but actually the opposite – a style that makes it tougher on the muscles. The rest pause is only a very brief rest pause.
This style of training is often sometimes used in a powerlifting range. Just a few reps are performed, with a heavy weight load, and then the weight is put down – but only briefly. The rest allowed is not the typical minute or longer (powerlifters typically take around 3-5 minutes) but only a few seconds (10 to 15 seconds) and then the lift is performed again. The repetition typically is around 3 reps but can be varied.
The benefits of the rest pause come from muscle confusion and an increased weight load in a shorter time period. The muscle confusion comes from hitting the muscles with a work load so soon after the first set is put down. Muscles that are use to getting 60 or even 90 seconds of rest are only allowed 10-15 seconds. They don’t know what hit them and the shock factor forces new growth. The overall weight load is increased in a shorter time period, providing maximum volume in a minimal amount of time.
Rest pause training can be dialed up or down as needed. You can experiment with 20 second rest intervals as well. The muscles recover almost all of their strength (98 percent) within a 40 second range, so rest pause training keeps the set going well short of this target, really taxing the muscles to the max.
Rest pause training is quite different than the standard training approach and this difference is its upside. As with all training styles that use extreme intensity, it should be used in a cycle instead of becoming a standard everyday part of the program.
Note: For more information on High Intensity Training see The Colorado Experiment Workout
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