Rest-Pause Training

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Rest-Pause training is something you can use to break strength and mass plateaus. But it can also cause you to overtrain if you go to failure all the time. Rest-pause training dates back to the 60s and alot of bodybuilders have used it to train or are at least aware of it. There have been studies on rest-pause training and it does suggest there may be some benefit to it. I do not recommend rest-pause barbell rows or deadlifts.

Rest-pause training is resting a short amount of time 10s-40s between sets. However the set is usually done as one set with a total rep goal. Lifting too close to your 1 rep max (doing singles or doubles) or always going to failure may result in burnout or overtraining. So I don’t suggest using it all the time for every exercise. But as a tool to increase growth on lagging body parts or break a strength plateau. You can also use rest-pause training on calisthenics exercises such as push ups.

Rep Ranges

For hypertrophy I would pick 20-30 reps total on an exercise. And use a lightweight perhaps 70-80% of your 1RM. I would pick a weight I could do for 12-15 reps or at least 10.

For strength training you do a rep range of 11-15. So you use 80-90% of your 1RM. So at least something you could do for 3-5 reps.


For hypertrophy purposes you would choose a rep range such as 20-30 reps total.

So you choose 30 for hammer curls for arguments sake.

So you do 12, rest 20 seconds, do 10, rest 20 seconds and do your final 8. You did 30 total reps hence you are finished with that set.


When you reach your rep goal you can add weight to the exercise. So if you get 30 total reps on the hammer curl example and used a 45 lbs dumbbell next time you use a 50 lbs for example. I recommend for barbell exercises just increasing the weight by 4-5%.


If you want to do this long term. Go from light to heavy to a recovery week.

Week 1 – Light 30-40 total reps

Week 2 – Medium 20-30 total reps

Week 3 – Heavy Week 11-15

Week 4 – Recovery (Regular Sets)

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