Rest-Pause Training For Lower Body Muscle Growth
For the people that have purchased any of the E-books available on Ironplayground.com you will already have a good idea of what rest-pause training is all about. With that being said this article takes things one step further whilst providing some interesting findings from a resent 2017 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
To make sure we are all on the same page I will briefly explain what rest-pause training is all about and then we can dive into what the science says in regards to how this technique can help you in the pursuit of some big ass wheels.
What Is Rest-Pause Training?
Rest-pause training is accomplished through training to failure across multiple sets, this is all done with less than 30 seconds rest and repeated until you have reached a targeted number of reps.
Putting it simply, you choose a desired number of reps, in this case let’s go with 18. You then choose the load/weight for the exercise, for the purpose of this example lets choose 80% of your 1RM (1RM = the most weight you can lift for just 1 repetition). Once you have the total reps and load organised perform the exercises until you reach failure, take a 10-30 second rest period (no longer than 30sec) and perform another set to failure. Repeat this until you complete a total of 18 reps.
There is no specific repetition amount or load % you need to stick to when using rest-pause training however the study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research performed 18 total reps at 80% 1RM just like the above example.
The purpose of this study was to see if there was any difference between traditional multiple set training (the most common type of training you see in the gym) and rest-pause training when looking at relative strength, hypertrophy, muscular endurance and body composition over a 6 week period.
The study had 18 total participants split over 2 groups, the TMS group (Traditional Multiple Set) and the RP group (Rest-pause). Each group was made up of x7 males and x2 females all of which had been training for at least a year. Both groups trained x4 days per week with the same weekly training structure (x2 chest, shoulder & Tricep workouts and x2 leg, back & bicep workouts), however the TMS group performed x3 sets of x6 reps at 80% 1RM and the RP group performed 80% 1RM sets to failure with 20sec rest in-between until a total of 18 reps were completed. Note that both groups had the same training volume, 18 reps per exercise.
In terms of measuring progress / change, 1RM’s for Leg Press, Barbell Bench Press & Barbell Bicep Curl were recorded before and after the training period to gauge relative strength increases. Maximal reps to failure at 60% 1RM on all 3 of the above exercises were used to determine muscular endurance changes and lastly, hypertrophy / body composition advances were monitored through ultra sound, skin fold tests and limb circumference measurements.
The study showed that there was no real difference in relative strength however when looking at hypertrophy the RP group showed significantly more thickness through the thigh and also greater muscular endurance through the lower body in general. When looking at thickness and also muscular endurance through the upper body there was no significant difference.
With all the information provided this study confirms that rest-pause training is a viable option in the pursuit of lower body hypertrophy and also muscular endurance.
Repetition Targets & Load Percentages for different Goals
Even through this article is about how rest-pause training can help with muscle growth I have provided you with some rough, goal related guidelines for implementing rest-pause training into your training schedule.
Using 85%+ 1RM for 4-8 reps
Using 75-85% 1RM for 15-20 reps
Using 70% or less for 30+ reps
Take Away Points
Here are a few take away points from this article as well as some tips for making sure you maximise your progress with rest-pause training.
- Rest-pause does help with lower body hypertrophy and muscular endurance.
- Don’t go over 30 seconds of rest between sets when using this technique.
- Make sure you have a good foundation and balanced physique before trying rest-pause training.
- This form of training is highly stressful on the body so utilising the technique in blocks is recommended (Don’t use the technique too frequently).
If you are looking to increase your muscular endurance, pack on some lower body mass or just break through a training plateau rest-pause training is a great technique to utilise.
Written By: Jordan Metcalfe
Prestes J, Tibana RA, de Araujo Sousa E, da Cunha D. Strength And Muscular Adaptations Following
6 Weeks Of Rest-Pause Versus Traditional Multiple-Sets Resistance Training In Trained
Subjects. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 2017.